The Badger Warrior

German Cold-Painted Cast Spelter Dachshund Sculpture (LEO Design)

Dachshunds are consistently amongst the most popular of dog breeds with pet owners.  They are lively, devoted and fiercely protective of their masters. The origins of the breed, however, are somewhat clouded in mystery.  We know that they were developed in Germany as "scent hounds"—to hunt badgers and other burrowing mammals (say rabbits or foxes).  The early German name, Dachs Krieger, means "badger warrior" and is found in-print from the 1700's.  The American Kennel Club contends that the breed was established in the 1500's.  The long body (and snout) allows the animal to crawl down into holes, in pursuit of prey.  Loose skin prevents the dachshund's skin from tearing if caught on the walls of a burrow.  Long, drooping ears keep dirt and other debris from entering the ear canal.  And a long tail was developed to provide the huntsman a convenient "handle"—should the dog become wedged into a tight spot.  All this selective breeding is evident to anyone who knows a dachshund up-close: they love to dig, will burrow & sleep beneath the blankets, will give-chase to anything that resembles prey, and they are ferociously brave—even against long odds.  Dachshunds are not quiet, easy-going creatures.  They yap incessantly and will lunge toward that strange person or dog across the street—regardless of how big or fierce that other dog appears.  Dachshunds have been popular in America since the Nineteenth Century.  It was only during World Wars One and Two—when America was fighting with Germany—that the prevalence of the breed dipped.  Some American "patriots" attempted to rename the breed "Liberty Hounds" (as they attempted to rename sauerkraut "Liberty Cabbage").  These silly "re-brandings" were dropped as soon as the conflicts with Germany had ended.

The cold-painted spelter dachshund, shown above, is (funnily enough) about the size of a real hotdog.  It was hand-painted in the traditional "black and tan" coloration and he sports a dapper red collar.  Click on the photo above to learn more about him.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248