Dachshunds, or sausage dogs as they are affectionately called, are among the most popular dog breeds, and so cute that they proved irresistible to the likes of Pablo Picasso, John F. Kennedy and Andy Warhol. Now, two men from Passau in Germany’s Bavarian region have taken their love for the cute, yet stubborn breed to the next level and have hit the news with the opening of a new museum entirely dedicated to sausage dogs – the world’s first.
The city’s latest attraction opened its doors on Easter Monday and was quickly stormed by media representatives and Dachshund fans who brought along their furry friends to explore the 80-square-metre exhibition space.
Curators Josef Küblbeck and Oliver Storz spent more than 25 years collecting sausage dog mementos in all shapes and forms, made out of porcelain, glass or fabric, including Christmas tree ornaments, stuffed animals or toys, poster images and accessories and more. Now, more than 4,500 exhibits fill the glass vitrines of the Dackelmuseum.
On the opening day, sausage dog owners travelled to Passau from across the region and from as far as Austria to be among the firsts to see this unique exhibition. Overwhelmed by the success, the two founders admitted to German newspaper FAZ that their life had changed overnight. The phone keeps ringing, tours are booked out until the end of June, and people from all over Europe are donating Dachshund memorabilia to the museum.
Dachshunds, or as Germans call them – Dackel, were first bred in the Middle Ages to hunt smaller prey and to flush out foxes and badgers from their burrows. But their adorable short-legged and long-bodied appearance helped them gain cult status, particularly in Bavaria. In the 1970s, bobblehead Dackel figurines would sit in the rear window shelves of cars across Germany – a trend that saw a short comeback again in the late ’90s – and the cute breed also inspired the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics mascot ‘Waldi’.
Dog lovers can visit the exhibition for a fee of €5 (concessions €3) daily between 10am and 4pm, except Fridays, which are open by appointment only.
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