Dachshunds should no longer be bred with exaggerated features to “look cute”, new guidance states.
The Kennel Club has confirmed it is changing its advice to ensure dachshunds must be in proportion with suitable “ground clearance”.
Also known as the sausage dog, the breed has seen a “huge increase” in popularity in recent years among advertisers and celebrities, the organisation said.
A spokeswoman said: “Dogs with over-exaggerated physical features are one of The Kennel Club’s biggest priorities and all breed standards, which are a detailed guide to breeders and judges to what a breed of dog should look like, are regularly reviewed.
“These reviews take place by looking at ongoing breed specific health information and are explicit that any physical exaggerations should be avoided.
“Dachshunds have been impacted by a huge increase in popularity over recent years, largely due to them being the breed of choice for advertisers, on social media and with celebrities.
“This has meant that certain exaggerated examples of the breed that may be perceived to look ‘cute’, can gradually become seen as normal and desirable, when in fact it could mean that they are more predisposed to back pain and disc disease.
“These small but important changes have been made to the Dachshund breed standard with the aim to ensure they cannot be misinterpreted and that any dogs within the Kennel Clubs sphere of influence are being bred with their health and welfare as the absolute priority.”
It suggests the breed should be “moderately long in proportion to height” with “enough ground clearance, not less than one quarter of the height at the withers [shoulders] to allow free movement”, the Sunday Times has reported.
The Kennel Club spokeswoman added: “While some dachshund varieties have become increasingly popular, our advice is the same when considering buying any puppy.
“Potential owners should do their research and find a good breeder who places health and welfare at the top of their agenda, is aware of any health concerns and uses the relevant tools and health schemes to breed the healthiest puppies.”