On Saturday 14 November Oundle played host to its first Sausage Festival. The town was bustling with various market stalls, but the highlight of the week was undoubtedly the Sausage Dog competition, when market-goers had to watch their step for all the low lying dogs straining at their leads.
Over two dozen sausage dogs from far and wide were entered into the competition. First place was won by a shaded red Dachshund named Russell from Northampton.
The Dachshund, more affectionately referred to as the Sausage Dog, has significantly increased in popularity over the last few years. The name Dachshund is German for badger dog, as the breed was originally bred for hunting. It is believed that Dachshunds were bred from dwarf mutations of taller hunting hounds such as the Schweisshund and Bibarhund.
Through selective breeding, by the 18th century these hunting dogs had shorter legs and were created as a new breed called the Dachshund.
Since the start of the year the number of Dachshund puppies sold has tripled, and it is believed TV programmes, adverts and popularity of the breed among celebrities have influenced this. This year the dog was classed as the ninth most popular breed in the USA and the eleventh in the UK.
There are a growing number of social media accounts for the photogenic pooches. @Scrappythedoxie has attracted nearly 52,000 followers on Instagram. The pup posts all about his new fancy dress costumes and hard working days modelling.
It is believed that interest in the breed has grown after the Vitality adverts, published in January this year, featured a miniature smooth-haired Dachshund alongside Jessica Ennis and Johnny Wilkinson. Searches for the breed increased by 41% in the first three months of 2015.
The breed has also been popularised through the TV show Gogglebox and social media sensations Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman, who recently bought a miniature smooth-haired Dachshund, called Martha. The Youtube couple have 1.4 million Twitter followers.
In 2013, Emilie Harley, a dachshund-mad-lover attempted to open a Sausage Dog Café in Brixton. She planned to organise the café so that people could go and have ‘tasty snacks, a good cuppa and creative workshops in the company of our adorable SAUSAGE DOGS! Take them for a walk or chill in the knitting corner and make them a coat…’
If you are devoted to your Dachshund, there are any number of shops where you can stock up on items for your home and wardrobe, from Christmas notecards and a sausage dog tape dispenser to bandanas, cushions, mugs and bread boards.
By Sophie Street