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Dachshunds 101

Martha is joined on the television show by Rusty, an adult dachshund available for adoption.

The Martha Stewart Show, September 2008

The word "dachshund" originated in Germany, and means "badger dog." It refers to the keen hunting skills of the breed, which was established in the United States in about 1885.

It's believed that the breed earned its nickname "hot dog" from Europeans who brought along the low-slung, sausage-like dogs with them when migrating to America.

It was also a joke among college students that dog meat was an ingredient used in sausages, which generated the Coney Dog cartoon.

Dachshund for Adoption
Rusty is a 10-month-old dachshund who was seized from the puppy mill crisis in Parkersburg, West Virginia, in August 2008. Since his rescue by North Shore Animal League America, he's gone through a medical and behavioral evaluation and is ready to be adopted by someone who can provide lots of tender loving care. It's important for that special someone to understand that he has never walked on grass, so he'll need to learn to walk on a leash. Because of his background, he'll be better in a home with older children. He's received a lot of nurturing lately and will get along great with other animals. For more information about North Shore Animal League, visit

Update: Since Rusty's national television debut on "Martha" during The Hot Dog Show, he has been adopted by a family in New York. Learn more about Rusty's new home.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Devera Lynn, vice president of communications at North Shore, for sharing Rusty's story.

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