WHAT'S A TECKEL?
What's a teckel? What kind of mix is that? Is that a Schnauzer? Is that a 'real' wire haired dachshund? That's a hunting dog? These are questions we hear all the time. The answer is a teckel is the smallest versatile hunting breed. Let's dig in.
The FCI Sets The International Standard for the Dachshund, also Called a Teckel or Dackel in Many Parts of Europe
Dachshund itself translates into 'badger hound', and dachshunds are one of the oldest hunting breeds. They were bred to work both below ground in dens, hence their body shape and large claws for digging into burrows, but also above ground, giving chase to small game like rabbits to large game like wild boar. They are fearless and persistent hunters, and while that can translate into a bit of stubbornness, they are also wonderful in the home and full of personality.
SO WHY NOT JUST CALL THEM DACHSHUNDS?
The distinction between a dachshund and a 'teckel' ultimately boils down to field and physical standards that maintain the working nature of the breed. 'Rauhhaar Teckel' in Jaeger's case more distinctly defines the 'rough haired' or wire-haired coat type, from European working bloodlines. For those familiar with the distinction between German Wirehair Pointers and Deutsch Drahthaars, the distinction is the same. 'Teckels', like Deutsch Drahthaars, are held to high field and physical standards in order to be bred and perpetuate the desired working traits of the breed. German Wirehair Pointers and 'dachshunds' are not defined by internationally recognized standards, and their field worthiness is subject to the discipline and opinion of breeders.
In short, one is governed by a defined set of rules and bred based on requirement, and one is not and is bred based on opinion. This article by Project Upland explains this very well: Difference Between a Deutsch Drahthaar and German Wire-haired Pointer. The term 'teckel' in the United States used properly defines the offspring of dachshunds from European working lines that have met the German field standards and are registered there.
SO WHAT'S JAEGER'S STORY?
Jaeger's kennel is Vom Mountain Creek in Georgia, USA, owned by Mike Schlapa. He was born 'Barrett vom Mountain Creek' in May 2017. His mother is Yedra 'Ivy' de Los Madronos and father is Jamiroquai 'Jimmy' vom Eisenstein. Ivy lives here in GA at Vom Mountain Creek with Mike, and Jimmy is still in Germany at Vom Eisenstein with breeder Joana Krietsch.
Jaeger began tracking and interacting with scents of wounded big game at a young age. He was just four months old for his first big cross country road trip, and was able to participate in recovering both mule deer and antelope. In his first hunting season he also became familiar with wild boar and whitetail deer. He has since added some experience with elk. In the off season we work on water retrieves for waterfowl and have been doing some upland bird work.
Along with personal hunts, we have now been aiding the public in the recovery of wounded big game. A few videos of those recoveries can be seen here.
In April 2019 Jaeger took his first formal tracking test, the UBT-2, at Trackfest held by United Blood Trackers. In August 2019 we travelled to Quebec for the only DTK (Deutscher TeckelKlub) field trials held in North America, an annual event conducted by the North American Teckel Club extension of the DTK. During that event Jaeger tested and passed all the field and physical requirements necessary to enter the DTK's breeding program. Those tests included gun shyness, waterfowl retrieve under gunfire, a 20-hour blood tracking test, and physical conformation exams. Following those tests his DNA was tested to verify lineage and that he was not a carrier of OI (osteogenesis imperfecta) or PBA (progressive retinal atrophy). He was then fully qualified as a breeder who met the true teckel standards set by the DTK, and was issued his Zuchtzulassung (Breeding Certificate). He has since successfully sired the 'G' and 'H' litters at Vom Mountain Creek.
His formal titles are:
Sfk (gun steadiness)
Wa.T (water test, duck and gunfire)
BHP-3 (water test, toy)
SchwhK (blood track, 20 hour, 1km)
V (Zuchtschau, Conformation)
Zuchtzulassung (Breeding Certificate)
WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT THEY'RE CALLED?
The distinction between 'dachshund' and 'teckel' is important to maintain the intended working nature of the breed. Dog breeds evolve if left unchecked. Breeding for specific traits is why all of the established breeds exists today while sharing wolf ancestry. Rules and qualifications like those set by the DTK maintain a breed standard over time which is critical for a working dog. Culturally and amongst the hunting community in Europe dachshunds have been and will continue to be valuable companions and tools in the field, held to high standards. If we wish to see the hunting characteristics of the breed maintained in the United States, we must educate breeders and the public in regards to the distinction, and help all of them, clubs and registries work together to foster the true teckel as a distinct breed in North America, just as the Deutsch Drahthaar has become.
For more information on the organizations mentioned here head over to the Partners page or follow the links below.
Hopefully that helps explain what a teckel is, and how Jaeger represents the breed. If you have any questions, feel free to track us down at firstname.lastname@example.org.