The dachshund is the rare breed that, because of its small size, is good for both hunting and urban living. Standing 5 to 9 inches (13 to 23 centimeters) in height and weighing anywhere from about 16 to 30 or so pounds (7 to 14 kilograms), these long low dogs use their powerful legs to track down a variety of smaller game. The breed can be traced back to 17th-century Europe where dachshunds were used for hunting small game like badger -- dachs is the German word for badger -- fox and rabbit [sources: Iams, Dog Breed Info Center].
There are three varieties of dachshund: smooth, wirehaired and longhaired. In addition to their size and strength, these canines often display certain valuable terrier characteristics (courage and tenacity, in particular). While many owners buy dachshunds as companion dogs these days, the breed's size and fearless nature also make them an asset in the field [sources: AKC, Iams, Dog Breed Info Center].