OPINION - If they tried to ban dachshunds in Britain, the A-list revolt would be colossal


Sausage dogs are under threat — cue the magnitude-8 earthquake which has thundered across the upper middle class Britain that loves dachshunds.

Everyone can steady their display cabinet china for now, however, as the darling wiener dog is so far only under the microscope in Germany — quite the backstabbing move, if you ask me as they bred them to go down the badger holes in the first instance. In the most recent draft of Germany’s Animal Protection Act, they are set on clamping down on “torture breeding” by halting the reproduction of pooches with traits causing "pain, suffering or damage". All sounds agreeable, right?


The news has sent the German Kennel Club committee into a pearl-clutching frenzy. Their beloved dachshunds’ miniscule legs, they have said, could be seen as an "abnormality". In a bitchy bite back, the club has said these new rules will cause confusion because any breed that visually "differs from the original wolf type" should technically be banned. Snobby insinuations aside, no one wants to snuggle with a wolf on the sofa.

Despite the barking over on the continent, the fear of such a notion spreading to the UK has already raised British blood pressure. In the case of the sausage dog going the way of the XL Bully, I honestly think we could expect a mass exodus — not to mention an A-list revolt. What will Sadie Frost do if not take her sausage, Cherry, to the regular group dachshund walks on Primrose Hill? It’s a future which doesn’t bear thinking about.

I’m not a vet — but the sausage dogs I know seem fine

Any stamping out of the breed, in Germany or otherwise, would be a colossal loss for canine chicness. And if anyone disagrees the dachshund is the most glamorous, glance at their list of historical, public supporters: Princess Margaret adores them (her’s, named Pipkin, mated with the late Queen’s corgi, Tiny, to produce the beloved royal dorgi, Candy), Joan Crawford was obsessed, George Harrison had a pup named Bendix in the 1960s, Brigette Bardot was famously photographed with hers on the bonnet of Renault in Saint Tropez in 1962, and Liam Gallagher named one of his after her 50 years later.

They make for peerless muses, too. Some of my favourite David Hockney works are from his 1995 Malibu retreat, where he repeatedly painted his dachshunds Stanley and Little Boodge; Andy Warhol made a rather lovely silkscreen canvas of Maurice, the pet of Scottish Marmalade heir of Gabrielle Keiller, in 1976, and was attached to his own pet Archie, while Pablo Picasso’s love affair with sausage named Lump saw him practically kidnap the pooch from a friend for six years (you’ll find Lump in his famous Las Meninas paintings).

And look, I’m not a vet — but the sausage dogs I know seem fine. Happier, even, than most other breeds. They usually live in the poshest digs, and enjoy day trips to Mayfair galleries followed by lunch outside at the George (the member’s club whose logo is, oh yes, a sausage dog). Let them enjoy it, I'd say, or prepare to face the repercussions.

Joe Bromley is junior fashion editor of the Evening Standard