The history of the dachshund bobblehead is honored by Google on the search engine’s homepage on September 30.
According to the company’s blog post on the doodle, the accessory debuted in Germany as a car accessory during the 1970s. While the dog itself was first referenced in Johanna Freidrich von Flemming’s book, The Complete German Hunter. The dogs were originally bred to help on badger hunts.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Dachshund Bobblehead Is Known as a ‘Wackeldackel’ in Germany
In Germany, the dachshund bobblehead is known as the “Wackeldackel” which translates to “wobbling dachshund.” The Google blog goes on to say, “The agreeable canines could soon be found perched on the rear dash of traditional German notchback cars, nodding along to every twist and bump in the road.”
The Google engineer behind the doodle, David Lu, said that he was intrigued by the bobblehead because, “Not only is the wackeldackel a celebration of an iconic German dog breed, it is also an example of German tinkery.” Lu also said that his inspiration for the doodle was “the entirety of German culture.”
2. The Official Dachshund Museum, that Sells Bobbleheads, Opened in Germany in 2018
The National Dachshund Museum opened in the city of Passau, 120 miles east of Munich in the Bavarian region of Germany, in 2018. The museum’s website says that, “No other dog seems to be as world-famous as the dachshund.”
Reuters reported in 2018 that the museum also sells “dog-shaped bread.” One of the museum’s founders, Josef Küblbeck, told Reuters, “We wanted to give this dog a home where people can come and share their joy. Its popularity is increasing because the sausage dog, with its so-called sausage dog look, has conquered the hearts of many people.”
The Washington Post’s Diane Daniel mentioned in her review of the museum that she purchased a hot-pink wiener dog bobblehead in the gift shop of the museum.
3. National Bobblehead Day Is Celebrated in the U.S. on January 7
According to NationalToday.com, National Bobblehead Day is celebrated on January 7. The day was first celebrated in 2015. The page goes on today that bobbleheads were first recorded in southeastern Asia in the 17th century. Typical bobbleheads of the time were modeled after Buddha. During the 1760s, bobbleheads were exported to Europe.
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum opened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in February 2019. According to the museum’s website, it is the only bobblehead museum in the world. The museum includes three-foot-tall bobbleheads of NBA superstars Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
4. ‘Wackeldackel’ Is a Also Used in Germany to Describe a Person Who Regularly Agrees With their Supervisor
German gas station chain Aral featured the dachshund bobblehead in one of their ad campaigns in the 1990s which led to 500,000 of the accessory being sold in less than a year, reports Deutsche Welle.
The same report added that the word “Wackeldackel” is used commonly in Germany to describe a person who regularly agrees with their superior and “dutifully nods their head to whatever the boss says.”
5. The Official Mascot of the 1972 Munich Olympics Was a Dachshund Named ‘Waldi’
The official mascot of the 1972 Munich Olympics was a dachshund named Waldi. A 2010 Time Magazine feature on the history of the Olympic mascot detailed that Waldi was the first official designed mascot for the games. The mascot was modeled after a dachshund named Cherie von Birkenhof. The article notes that the mascot was “never envisioned as a creepy human-sized version.”