Herbert C. Sanborn


Herbert C. Sanborn

Dr. Sanborn photographed when judging the Dachshund Club of California Specialty 1949

Dr. Herbert C. Sanborn in his great work, The Dachshund or Teckel, published in 1937, educated the English speaking Dachshund public about the history of the Dachshund in Germany.  He included large portions of the information from the two authoritative German books, Der Dachshund by Leutenant Emil Ilgner, published in 1896, and Der Dachshund, by Dr. Fritz Engelmann, published in 1925.  The Dachshund fancy is also indebted to Herbert Sanborn for including in his book many photographs from these books and other sources on Dachshunds extending back to Dachs 16, the progenitor of the breed in Germany.

Dachs 16, pillar of the German breed. Descent and breeder unknown, owned by Freiherr von Knigge.

Interest in the Dachshund began for Herbert Sanborn during his student years at Heidelberg University, Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany in 1900-1902.  A fellow student owned a Dachshund and it became a favorite of many of his friends.  Later Sanborn enrolled at the University of Munich.  While there he purchased his first Dachshund, a son of the then famous Wally Kickebusch.  This puppy, later names Rex vom Isartal, German registration #8570, (Isartal being the kennel name of Herbert Sanborn) developed into an excellent example of his Frankfurt-Brunswick breeding.  In 1909, Rex won 12 first, 7 seconds and other special prizes at shows in Munich, Regensburg, Berlin, Zwickau, Chemnitz, Witten a Ruhr, and Dusseldorf.  (The Frankfort-Brunswick group of breeders included many who did not own large number of dogs, but all bred within a similar tradition.  The majority of their dogs were black and tan and descended from the influential Hundesports Waldmann, through Isolani Forst, Comet, and Aspirant.  Breeders included Hampe, Rubach, Sprotge, Schaller, Salzer, and others. Due to the fact that the kennel name of Heinrich Salzer, von der Haide, was almost the only registered one in the group, the name was used on many dogs that were not bred by Salzer.)

Hundesports Waldmann, bred by Revierforster Stech, owned Ernstt von Otto-Kreckwitz

Isolani Forst, bred by Forester Strecker, owned by Count Wurmbrand

Sanborn selected for breeding to Rex a daughter of German Champion Fred II vom Wienerwald and German Champion Agerl vom Braunhirschengrund, purchased from Mr. Johann Metka of Vienna, Austria.  Johann Metka was one of a group of Austrian breeders whose stock had come from Count, a well known earlier breeder.  This bitch, named Brynhild vom Isartal, at only just six months of age, when shown at Zwickau won 4 first prizes and specials with the award for best bitch in show.  (Incidentally, it was common practice in Germany during this time to register a puppy with the kennel name of the owner rather than that of the breeder.)  Later in 1909, both Rex and Brynhild were brought to America.  Brynhild was shown only twice, in Boston, and was awarded best of breed both times.  Tragically, she was lost soon afterwards as the result of a caesarian section, but fortunately two puppies were saved.

Brynhild vom Isartal, bred by Johann Metka,owned by Herbert C. Sanborn

Rex and Brynhild furnished the foundation for Sanborn’s Isartal Kennels. Later were introduced Champion Tenor von der Haide, Niggel von der Haide, Champion Rex von der Haide, Mauschen von der Haide, and Schliefein Ingo.  In addition, Lichtenstein blood was incorporated from the kennels of Mr. George Semler, New York City, primarily through Peter West-End. 

CH Tenor von der Haide, bred by Heinrich Salzer, owned by Herbert C. Sanborn

CH Rex von der Haide, bred by August Hohmann, owned by Herbert C. Sanborn


Niggel von der Haide, bred by Heinrich Stroh, owned by Herbert C. Sanborn

The contribution of George Semler to progress of American Dachshunds in the early 1900s cannot be overstated.  Quoting Herbert Sanborn:

“Speaking from a first-hand careful examination of this kennel at its peak, I am sure that it was at the least the equal of any single collection of dogs I have ever seen.  Mr. Semler, purchased Lutz-Ermandsheim and Nelly Erdmansheim from Major Ilgner as early as 1898, but the great development of the kennel came in the period of 1906-1910.  The owner of this kennel, like Count Wurmbrand before him and like Mr. Herbert Bertrand, who bids fair to be his successor, bought up almost every available first-class dog in Germany.  Among them were Asbecks’ famous Drickes (son of Schlupp-Hochst and Sieger Denise), Lechner’s splendid Ramsch vom Seelberg, Dr. Reichenbach’s Tell von der Bergsteig, Guggeline Isarlust, and also more especially the best specimens from the kennel of F. Widmann, of Laufamholz bie Nurmberg, which was owned for a time by Mr. Semler.  All of these latter dogs bore the kennel name von Lichtenstein, to which was adder after purchase Mr. Semler’s own kennel name, West-End.”

Few Dachshund fanciers have left their imprint on our breed to the degree of Herbert C. Sanborn – author, breeder, distinguished judge.  We are very fortunate that he chose to return to America after his education rather than remain in Europe.  I would like to end this article with a personal recollection of Herbert Sanborn by Mrs. Longshore, one of the editors and publishers of the Italian Greyhound, and also an enthusiastic supporter of Dachshunds (The American Dachshund, February 1967, page 17)

The first time I met Dr. Herbert Sanborn was about 11 years ago when I went to his home at Brentwood, Tennessee, to breed a bitch.  His lovely home (slanted toward the comfort of the Dachshunds) stands on the side of a mountain – well, almost a mountain.

On one visit to his place, we had the privilege of following him on his rounds of feeding and watering.  The Dacshies were housed all along the mountainside, clear to the top.  Two or more lived in separate little houses with pens of their own.  I think Dr. Sanborn was about 84 years old at the time, and yet he climbed the mountain at least twice a day to attend to the Dachshunds himself.  His lovely wife admitted to me that such maneuvering worried her.

There were many dogs of various colors, sizes, ages, some excellent specimens and some not so good, as is true with all dog breeder.  It seemed a shame that some of these dogs would not be seen in a show ring.  All were in excellent condition.

It would be impossible for me to remember the many bits of wisdom heard from this grand person.  The last time I talked with him was by long distance telephone when he called me in Kentucky to know the name of a cold remedy I had previously suggested for his wife and which has helped her.  This was in 1959 or 1960, I believe.

CH Freki vom Isartal, bred owned by Herbert C. Sanborn


Bob Bray, February 19, 2012


The Dachshund or Teckel by Herbert C. Sanborn

The American Dachshund, February 1967, page 17