German dachshund museum in Passau 'a world first'

Image source, Reuters
Image caption, Dachshund ornaments show the centuries-old affection for the German breed

A new museum in the Bavarian city of Passau celebrates Germany's - and the world's - affection for the dachshund.

More than 4,500 toys and other items showcase the breed popularly called the "sausage dog", a symbol of Bavaria.

A dachshund called Waldi was the mascot of the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The Dackelmuseum was created by two former florists, whose collection was amassed over 25 years. Artist Pablo Picasso and physicist Albert Einstein were among the dachshund's many fans.

The museum opened on Monday in the heart of Passau, in the elegant Residenzplatz. The curators say it is the world's biggest collection of dachshund-themed objects.

"The world needs a sausage dog museum... No other dog in the world enjoys the same kind of recognition or popularity as the symbol of Bavaria, the sausage dog," said co-founder Seppi Küblbeck.

Canine stamps, prints with sausage dog motifs and porcelain dachshunds are on display.

Germans bred dachshunds in the Middle Ages to flush out badgers and foxes from their burrows, to stop them attacking ducks and hens. The dogs' passion for hunting was a highly prized trait.

Image source, Dackelmuseum
Image caption, Museum curators Seppi Küblbeck (L) and Oliver Storz
Image source, Reuters
Image caption, The museum shows famous dachshund owners: Albert Einstein (L) and actor Leonard Nimoy
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Dachshunds are among the world's most popular breeds
Image source, Dackelmuseum
Image caption, Waldi - mascot of the 1972 Munich Olympics

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