Dachshund By Janice Jones |Last Updated 10-23-2021
Curious, loving, intelligent, and comical are adjectives to describe the Dachshund.
Still true to his nature, these dogs were bred to be excellent hunters, above and below ground and these traits are evident in their strong prey drive, their propensity to dig and their fierce devotion to the task at hand.
They are fun-loving and
will keep you amused with their comical antics.
While being a very sturdy breed, they are prone to problems with their
long backs so precautions should be taken when carrying and holding them.
Jumping off the furniture can cause serious
injury, so be prepared to install ramps or doggie steps.
A typical dachshund has a long body and
short muscular legs. Being low to the
ground allows them to burrow and maneuver through tunnels.
They come in two sizes, three coat
types and a rainbow of colors, providing something for anyone who would love to
share their home with these exceptional dogs.
Their name comes from the German where they were first developed.
The Dachshund Dog Breed Profile at a Glance
Dog Breed Ratings Got You a Little Confused?
Here’s a little help in understanding them
- Playfulness: Most Playful = 5 Least Playful = 1
- Affection: Most Affectionate = 5 Least Affectionate = 1
- Friendliness Towards Strangers: Most Friendly = 5 Least = 1
- Good With Children: Great= 5 Not Good with Children = 1
- Good With Dogs: Great = 5 Not Good Around Dogs = 1
- Good With First Time Owners: Fine=5 Not Appropriate = 1
- Exercise Required: Extensive Daily Exercise = 1 Minimal = 1
- Ease of Training: Very Easy = 5 Difficult = 1
- Watch Dog: Excellent Watch Dog = 5 Minimal = 1
- Grooming: Time Consuming = 5 Minimal = 1
- Shedding: Heavy Shedder = 5 Minimal = 1
- Cold Tolerance: Well Tolerated = 5 Poor Tolerance = 1
- Heat Tolerance: Well Tolerated = 5 Poor Tolerance = 1
If not socialized properly from an
early age, these dogs can become suspicious of strangers; making them good from
a watch dog perspective; not so good if you enjoy company.
Playful by nature, they seem to be able to
make up the rules for any game they choose, changing the rules whenever it
suits them. They can make great family
dogs, but often will choose one person to bond with and own.
They are an extremely intelligent breed but
because they are somewhat stubborn, they are not always easy to train. Persistence and patience will pay off and
early socialization is a must.
Other Names Used (Nick
- wiener dog
- hot dog
- Weenie dog
- Sausage dog
- Low rider
- Bassotto (in Italian)
- Teckel or Deckel in German.
Affiliation: AKC, UK: Hound
- Height: Miniature, 5 — 6 inches at the shoulder; Standard, 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder
- Weight: 11 pounds and under (Miniature); 16 to 32 pounds (Standard) Between 11 and 16 pounds: affectionately called Tweenies
Coat Type: Short, Long, Wire
Chocolate & Cream, Red, Black & Tan, Blue, Cream, Tan, Black, Chocolate,
Blue and Tan and Isabella (fawn)
Color Patterns: Patterns
in dachshund coats include dapple (light or diluted markings over the color),
brindle (black streaks over the color), and piebald (large areas of white over
Country of Origin: German
Activity Level: Moderate
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Good with Children: Yes if managed correctly
Good with other pets: Good with other Dachshunds
The history of the breed goes
back more than 500 years originating in Germany or so the story goes. There is some evidence, however that the origins
of the breed go back much farther in history at least 1000 years to Egypt.
There have been dogs found depicted in tombs
and drawings that resemble the breed during that era.
Most agree that the Germany was
the country to develop the breed. First
known as a Teckel, it was then renamed Dachshund from the German “Dachs”
meaning badger and “Hund” meaning dog.
These dogs were developed to help rid farmers of badgers and other burrowing
creatures and hunting these small animals is what the breed did best.
The doxie’s determination,
excellent sense of smell and courage gave him a reputation for being an
excellent hunter. The breed was and
still is considered to be the only one that has the capability to hunt above
and below the ground.
These dogs were
trained and developed to not only hunt their prey, but kill it too. It’s almost comical to watch a dachshund
attach a plastic toy and destroy it by tearing out the squeaker. Anything
is fair game for a Dachsie, toilet paper roll, half dead insect, red laser
The original German dachshunds were larger than the
dachshunds we know today – averaging between 30 and 40 pounds.Breeders probably
used a variety of dogs to create the modern day Dachshund including the
Schweisshund, Dachsbracke, Basset Hounds and Beagles.
The original dachshunds were all smooth
coated in a variety of colors. Later
they were crossed with different types of spaniels to create the longhaired
varieties that were especially popular for hunting water prey such as
The wire-haired dachshund was the last
to be developed, late in 19th century. There is some debate as to which dogs
were used to create this new variety.
has been suggested that the wire-haired dachshund was a cross between the
smooth dachshund and various d terriers such as the Schnauzer, the Dandie
Dinmont Terrier, the German Wirehaired Pointer, or the Scottish Terrier.
Beginning in the 1800s, dachshunds were bred in England for pet purposes and their size was slowly reduced by about 10 pounds. Eventually, an even smaller version – the miniature dachshund – was bred.
The earliest members of the breed came to the United States around 1870 to hunt rabbits with the first ones being registered by the AKC in 1885. The breed lost popularity during World War I due to its German origins, but began to gain acceptance two decades later.
They have been gaining popularity ever since. In 2002 they were the fifth most popular dog in America. In 2012, the Dachshund’s popularity dropped to number 10, but still very impressive. In 2016, he is ranked number 13 in popularity.
The descriptive words use most
frequently for this breed include determined, stubborn, comical, brave,
fearless, clever, and lively. Even
though they belong to the hound group, their personality is strikingly
Unlike many breeds that have
different varieties, the different hair coats found on the dachshund seem to
bestow different personality quarks.
This is likely due to the breeds that were used to create the various
All Dachsie are brave, but the wire-haired
variety gets dubbed the clown. Being the
most terrier-like, they seem to be the ones always in trouble.
The Spaniel personality shines through in the
Longhaired members of the breed making them quiet, docile, and focused on
humans. The smooth coated variety is
somewhere in between, not wild as the Rough, not quiet as the longhair.
As personality quarks goes, digging is probably at the top
of the list of any owner along with barking and chasing. They were bred to dig and dig they do all so
well. Whether it is in the garden on your bed, they will find ways to burrow.
This breed will keep you laughing and
it’s hard to resist the kisses and love that they bestow their favorite
They make good family dogs if
they are brought up with kids, but with any small breed dog, it is important to
teach and supervise play so that children learn how to pick up, hold, and
interact with the dog in an appropriate way.
However, you should know that there are
some negatives as well as all the wonderful positive reasons to own a
dachshund. Housetraining is not always
on their list of priorities and the process may take longer with this
They are often cautious around
strangers and tend to bark. They are alert and will bark whenever they
hear an unusual noise. They do make
excellent watch dogs, but often their barking is the result of a squirrel
searching for nuts two miles down the street.
They are an active breed but adaptable
to most any situation. Moderate exercise
means a walk or two a day and a romp around the yard. Most of their exercise requirements can be
met by following you around the house.
if you are more active, your doxie is likely to be a willing partner. He will track rabbits in field trials, take
part in earthdog trails and even agility.
They also make good therapy dogs.
Another characteristic of the breed is
their fondness for food. Some dogs
will literally eat until they are sick.
When they become obese, they are most prone to back problems, so the
challenge of all good dachshund owners is to find a diet that will be satisfying
but not put on the pounds.
be counted into the overall daily calorie count and food should not be left out
where your hungry hound might feel tempted.
So, if one had to discuss potential
behavioral problems in this breed they might fall into:
Early training and socialization are
most important to curb some of the natural tendencies found in the breed.
These dogs are the perfect breed for people who do not enjoy the grooming process, although don’t think you’ll get away with doing nothing.
One of the big tasks of grooming these dogs involves keeping them clean and smelling fresh. As long as your dog does not go outside, a bath one a month should be fine.
But for the average dog who enjoys a romp in the yard and a walk or two, bath time will come more frequently. Doxies love to roll in the grass and usually the spot they choose has some aroma that only they can appreciate.
A quick bath will take care of that problem.
Smooth haired doxies require little in the way of brushing, but a quick rub with a towel will help keep their coat soft and shiny. They do benefit from a weekly brushing because they do shed.
The long haired
dogs will need regular brushing so mats do not form. The wire haired coat will need striping twice
This is a process that involves
plucking out hair; their beard and eyebrows will also need to be trimmed to
keep him looking great. The hair between
the paw pads will also need to be trimmed on the wire-haired and long-haired
As with any breed that has long droopy
ears, good hygiene will help keep them from getting infected. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of
cleaning the ears once a week with a cotton ball and an ear cleaning
solution suggested by your vet.
This breed is relatively healthy with most members living on average 12-15 years. The most common issue that plagues them, however, is back problem.
Their long back can be damaged easily even with normal doggie behaviors such as jumping off the bed can result in a slipped, pinched, or ruptured disc.
Depending on the location of the disc(s) involved, the poor dog may be
left unable to walk, urinate or defecate.
Surgery is almost always needed to restore normal function.
To protect their backs, it is important
to pick them up and hold them correctly with one arm under his hind end and one
supporting his chest.
They should not be
allowed to jump on or off high furniture if possible so many owners will invest
in ramps or doggie steps that lead do the bed or sofa. Read more about IVDD and Spinal Injuries Solutions.
Bloat and Gastric torsion are also
serious concerns in dogs that have deep chests. During an episode of bloat, air
fills the stomach.
If the stomach twists (gastric torsion) blood supply is cut
off and is a medical emergency. Surgery
is the only option for twisted stomachs.
Other conditions such as epilepsy, eye
disorders, diabetes, hip dysplasia and skin problems are also found in dachshunds.
has also been reported in dogs who are born from parents that both have a
dapple color pattern.
- Curious, brave, fun-loving and intelligent
- Good Watch dog
- Good with children as long as proper supervision
- Good with other household pets, especially other
- Treats work well as a training aid
- Relatively healthy breed living 12-15 years.
- Very loyal, devoted to his family
- Needs only moderate exercise
- Can be stubborn
- Strong prey instinct; likely to chase things
- May be difficult to housetrain
- May bark excessively
- Likes to dig
- Serious health problems include back problems
- Can be suspicious towards strangers
For Lovers of the Dachshund
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