The dachshund is a small, short-legged dog that originated in Germany hundreds of years ago. Its name literally means "badger dog" (dachs is German for badger and hund means dog), as this breed originally served to hunt and flush out badgers from their dens. In the 19th century, the breed was also bred to hunt various other prey such as rabbits and birds. The first dachshund standards were drawn up by German breeders in 1879, but it wasn't until 1910 that the American Kennel Club (AKC) made the breed official when it was accepted into its Stud Book. Since then, they have become immensely popular family companions worldwide due to their sunny dispositions, loyalty and keen intelligence.