Small but terrible–the Dachshund is one of the few dog breeds that can surprise you in more ways than one. They have a long-standing streak of being courageous, intelligent, mischievous, and independent. Dachshunds can probably conquer anything you throw at them because they’re always ready for adventure. Now that’s a real trooper!
What is a Dachshund?
The Dachshund is a dog breed with many names, including Doxie, Badger Dog, Wiener Dog, Sausage Dog, Hot Dog, Weenie, Hound, etc. Their small stature may fool you into thinking they’re the cuddly kind, but their personalities say otherwise. You might have to think twice because the Dachshund is infamous for their natural hunting skills. With that said, they’re always vigilant and curious about anything and everything around them.
They belong to the breed group “Scent Hounds” because of their impeccable skill of sniffing and hunting badgers. Their strong sense of smell helps them track and hunt badgers, while their bravery and fearlessness help drive the dangerous prey away.
Dachshunds are extremely devoted and loyal canines, which comes with downsides because they’re also prone to developing separation anxiety. Nevertheless, this breed is definitely one of the most versatile dogs in the canine world.
Origin of the Dachshund
The Dachshund’s country of origin is Germany, bred during the late 1500s. Their name ‘Dachshund’ was first established in the early 1600s by the German, which directly translates to badger dog in German. Over time, the Dachshund earned many nicknames like Sausage Dog, Wiener Dog, Weenies, etc. Most of which are inspired by their physical breed characteristics of short legs, long bodies, longer backs, and big heads.
There have been many speculations of their possible descendants, and some believe that they came from breeding taller hunting dogs. Until today, Dachshunds are considered the national symbol of Germany.
The Dachshund only gained popularity in Great Britain and the United States during the 18th century. It was only in 1885 when American Kennel Club (AKC) finally recognized the breed. Today, the Dachshund is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States.
What Was the Dachshund Originally Bred for?
Also called Badger Dogs, Dachshunds was originally bred to hunt badgers. Being smart hunting dogs with an unmatched work ethic, this breed became the ultimate predator for small animals, namely badgers, rabbits, squirrels, and prairie dogs. To this day, Dachshunds are still used as hunting dogs but most predominantly as pets in the United States.
What Does a Dachshund Look Like?
Dachshunds come in different variations, with each having its own distinct features. You can identify them in many ways, such as their coat type, coat color, coat pattern, and size.
According to American Kennel Club’s breed standard, the Dachshund has a general appearance which may be described as:
Low to ground, long in body and short of leg, with robust muscularOfficial Standard of the Dachshund, American Kennel Club
development; the skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling.
You can distinguish a Dachshund by the coat in three ways: coat type, coat color, and coat pattern.
∘ Smooth-haired Dachshunds
Smooth-haired or Smooth-coated Dachshunds typically have short, silky coats. Smooth Dachshunds’ smooth coat makes them the ideal dog for digging underground and hunting for their prey. This type of Dachshund requires less grooming compared to other Dachshund breeds.
∘ Long-haired Dachshunds
In contrast with the Smooth Dachshund, Longhaired Dachshunds have a long, silky coat that is feathery smooth to the touch. Their tails, ears, necks, and bellies are the common areas where their hair grows the longest. As expected for their kind of hair, they would require more frequent brushing than Smooth Dachshunds.
∘ Wire-Haired Dachshunds
On the other hand, Wirehaired Dachshunds sport rough, wavy, and coarse hair that runs on medium length. They are the least common type of Dachshund in the US.
Next, we have the 12 standard coat colors of the Dachshund, established by the AKC.
- Black & Cream
- Black & Tan
- Blue & Cream
- Blue & Tan
- Chocolate & Cream
- Chocolate & Tan
- Fawn & Cream
- Fawn & Tan
- Wild Boar
– Brindle is a unique coat pattern where the Dachshund features a solid red or tan main color with dark stripes across their body, closely resembling the same pattern of a zebra or tiger.
– Dapple Dachshunds usually have a merle or dapple pattern that runs across their whole body. This breed usually has one solid base color with two other colors that takes the form of patches, spots, or swirls.
– Sable is a pattern in which there’s one base color with a dark overlay usually at the end of the hair.
– Meanwhile, Piebald Dachshunds displays one or two base colors with large white spots or patches covering their main coat color. With this type, the white patches are more prominent than their actual base color which might lead some to think that their base color is white.
Non-standard coat patterns
∘ Double Dapple
– It’s not recommended to breed Double Dapple Dachshunds due to the numerous health problems associated with the type. These health issues may include small eyes, blindness, deafness, and, in some cases, both blindness and deafness.
∘ Brindle Piebald
– Lastly is the Brindle Piebald pattern, which is basically a Dachshund with brindle as the base coat and white patches all over.
Dark brown or black are the most common eye color for a Dachshund. Sometimes they can feature a lighter shade like hazel. In some cases, you may see Dachshunds with blue eyes. This only occurs if the Doxie carries a dapple gene, most probably a result of breeding two Dapples together. Having a Dach with blue eyes may seem appealing, but remember that a blue-eyed dog is at risk of health complications, particularly deafness or blindness.
In general, Dachshunds have a drop ear. This type of ear shape usually increases the risk of dogs getting ear infections due to the ear hanging low and covering the inner ear, which traps moisture. Moisture buildup in the ear can cause several ear problems. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean your Doxie’s ears.
A Dachshund’s long snout is their greatest weapon for hunting. They don’t just have a long and large snout but also wide nostrils. This might be the reason why the Dachshund’s specialty is hunting. It’s because of their large nose and keen sense of smell.
The standard Dachshund has a straight, sturdy tail extending from 8 to 9 inches long and is tapered to the end.
How Big Does a Full Grown Dachshund Get?
A Standard Dachshund can grow between 8 to 9 inches tall (20cm – 23cm) and weigh between 16 to 32 pounds (7kg – 14.5kg). There’s not much size difference between male and female Dachshunds based on AKC.
Meanwhile, the Miniature Dachshund can only grow between 5 to 7 inches tall (12.7cm – 17.8cm) and weigh about 8 to 11 pounds (3.6kg – 5kg). Another variation is the Tweenie Dachshund, who weighs 12 to 15 pounds (5kg – 6.8kg) and stands 6 to 8 inches tall (15cm – 20cm).
Different Types of Dachshunds
Aside from recognizing the Dachshund by coat types, colors, or patterns, you can also categorize them by size. According to AKC, the Standard Dachshund is the only one that fits the breed standard. Meanwhile, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognizes two other size classes: the Tweenie Dachshund and Miniature Dachshund.
Following AKC’s breed standard, the Standard Dachshund weighs an average of 16 to 32 pounds. They are the largest among all other Dachshunds.
Next is the Tweenie Dachshund, most commonly referred to as Tweenies, who weigh between 11 and 16 pounds.
Miniature Dachshunds, also known as Mini Dachshunds, are the ones that fall under the category of Doxies who weigh 11 pounds or less.
How to Take Care of a Dachshund?
Dachshunds are quite the independent bunch, and in most cases, they can thrive on their own with minimal supervision. However, like any other family pet, they still require attention and care from time to time. They certainly appreciate receiving your affections as much as they love giving them.
Lively and playful as they can be, Doxies only need moderate exercise every day. Going for daily walks or playing fetch might be enough entertainment for them. Still, you will want to be creative and mix up their daily activities because this breed can get bored easily if you give them the same exercise every day. Use fun exercise routines to create a stronger bond and make it an enjoyable experience for the both of you!
Since there are different Dachshund coat varieties and coat types, their grooming needs will entirely depend on your Dachshund’s coat. Generally, Dachshunds are moderate shedders and won’t require much grooming.
For Smooth-coated Dachshunds, you can easily maintain their coat by using a damp cloth or towel to keep them clean. Meanwhile, Long-haired and Wire-haired Dachshunds need regular brushing to prevent mats, tangles, and knots. A Longhaired Dachshund will also require more bathing than a Smooth-coated Dachshund to keep their hair clean, shiny, and healthy.
A Doxie should always get their nails trimmed every month and have their ears checked regularly, especially for someone with their ear shape. Remember that dogs with a Drop Ear are more prone to ear infections because of the possible moisture buildup in their inner ear. Always pay attention to your dog if they are scratching their ears, shaking their head, and there’s a foul odor coming out of their ear, as these are the usual signs of an ear infection.
Give your Hot Dog a high-quality diet with the right amount of proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients appropriate for their age and size. Look for dog foods that are formulated with quality animal protein as the first ingredient such as chicken, fish, turkey, or beef. These proteins will especially help Dachshund puppies grow with lean muscles and maintain their energy levels.
1. How much to feed
Dachshunds are small dogs with high energy levels that you need to maintain to keep them fueled for the whole day. How much you should feed your dog and how many times you should feed them will still depend on factors like their age, activity level, and metabolism.
As a standard rule for your Dachshund puppy, the recommended feeding guideline for them is 1oz per pound of body weight. Meanwhile, adult Dachsunds may need 1 to 1 3/4 cups of dry kibble each day. On an important note, this little dog is susceptible to becoming overweight, and overfeeding them is not recommended.
2. How often to feed
Feed your Dachshund puppy 3 to 4 times a day, split into morning, afternoon, and evening meals. Meanwhile, your adult dog can usually eat 2 times a day, splitting their meals in the morning and evening, with each meal having 1/2 cup of dry food.
3. Common food allergies
Now that you know what to feed your Weenie, you should also know the food ingredients to avoid. As much as possible, you want to remove corn, soy, wheat, and dairy from your dog’s diet, as these are some of the most common triggers of food allergies in dogs.
Animal by-products or artificial and chemical additives are also food allergens you would want to avoid. In some cases, animal proteins like chicken, fish, or beef are also known causes of allergic reactions in dogs. If that’s the case for your pooch, you can choose dog foods with a limited-ingredient formula and no corn, wheat, or soy.
Here are the common signs and symptoms of food allergies in dogs:
- Irritated skin like itching, rash, or skin sores
- Skin inflammation
- Hair loss
- Dry and dull coat
- Glassy eyes
- Teary eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
- Chronic ear infection
- Upset stomach or diarrhea
- Coughing or wheezing
- Biting or scratching of their own skin
Are Dachshunds Easy to Train?
Dachsunds are smart doggos with a little bit of stubbornness, so you might have to make a bigger effort in training them. You will need a great deal of patience and consistency. A good thing about this Badger Dog is their enthusiasm and eagerness to please their pet parents, which can essentially become helpful in training.
Keep in mind, though, that the Dachshunds have a sensitive side and will not respond well with harsh training. It’s better to use positive reinforcement to encourage them further. You can give them training treats once in a while, but don’t let them get used to it and only feed it to them in moderation.
Are they easy to potty train?
Again, the Dachsund dog breed does tend to get stubborn and mischievous when training them. Potty training them will certainly require you to make adjustments. You need to be devoted, patient, and consistent in potty training them. The most important thing is to stick to a potty training routine that your Doxie can easily follow and do every day.
How long does it take to train a Dachshund?
In general, training Dachshunds can take you 3 to 9 months. In training, repetition is key, and the longer your puppy trains, the easier it will get for your pupper eventually. You can start them with early socialization as early as 3 weeks old, and for potty training, they can start at 8 weeks to 12 weeks old.
Looking for the best way to train your Dachshund puppy? Check our article How to Train a Dachshund for the best tips and tricks to train your puppy!
Dachshunds are a lively and playful bunch who loves a good adventure from time to time. This makes them the ideal family dogs for a family outing, vacation, hiking, or camping. Once they get to bond with you, they are one of the sweetest and friendliest dogs who will love having you around them.
Of course, being originally bred as hunting dogs their intelligence and bravery will not go unnoticed. As I have mentioned before the Dachshund is one of the versatile breeds in the canine world. They would make a great travel pet, house pet, and hunting dog–an all-around dog for the family!
Does this breed do well with children?
Yes, the Dachshund breed is generally excellent with kids that are part of the family. If you socialize them early, the friendlier your Dach will be to them. Dachshunds are incredibly affectionate and playful dogs, and they will most likely love to interact with children. Early socialization plays a key role in establishing a good relationship between the Dachshund and other people or pets.
Does it do well with other pets?
Normally, your Dachshund will do well with other dogs or pets that are part of the family. However, with strange dogs or animals, not so much. The best way to start their relationship with other dogs is to slowly introduce them until they learn to be comfortable with each other’s presence. One thing to remember about this breed is they are also independent dogs, and forcing them to form a bond with other dogs is not a good idea.
Are Dachshunds Aggressive?
A journal published by Applied Animal Behaviour Science, states that the Dachshund is one of the most aggressive dog breeds in the canine world. This may be a fact, but not all Dachshunds display the same behavioral tendencies.
A Dachshund may show aggression to strangers or other dogs for several reasons. The main reason could be because of their long history as hunting dogs. Still, this is not the case for all Dachshunds. Other Dachshunds may act out or show aggressiveness due to the lack of proper training or socialization, or as an act of self-defense.
Never lose faith in your Weenie, though, because this behavior can still be corrected with the right training and socialization. As much as possible, start training and socializing your Doxie puppy as early as 4 weeks old to prevent unwanted behaviors from developing in the future.
What Environment Is Ideal for a Dachshund?
This wiener dog is not very picky when it comes to their living situation. Your Doxie would be very happy in a cozy house or apartment where they have the option of playing indoors or outdoors. They are active breeds and will highly appreciate a walk in the park once in a while.
Typically, a Smooth Dachshund will do better in warmer climates than colder climates because of their short fur. However, a Longhaired Dachshund or Wirehaired Dachshund can probably tolerate cold weather better than a Smooth-coated Dachshund. As much as possible, keep them away from places with extreme weather temperatures and opt for places with moderate climates.
What Is the Average Life Span of Dachshunds
Dachshunds are naturally healthy breeds. They are expected to live as long as 12 to 15 years for the standard Dach and 16 years for a Miniature Dachshund. Some can even live as long as 18 years. Still, there are a number of factors that can determine your dog’s life span, and the biggest contributor would be the health complications they can experience along the way.
Dachshunds Common Health Issues
No matter how super this breed may seem, the Dachshund is still susceptible to certain health issues. As a Dachshund owner, you must know the possible health problems that your Doxie can encounter.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
Dachshunds are known for their elongated backs, which explains their appointed nicknames like Sausage Dog, Wiener Dog, or Hot Dog. Unfortunately, their long backs and short legs make them prone to several skeletal issues. One of these is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a very common genetic disease among Dachshunds. It is characterized by the breaking down or degeneration of the discs, weakening the vertebrae, and causing immense pain for your pooch. In severe cases, if left untreated, it can lead to paralysis.
Some signs and symptoms of IVDD are:
- Stiffness on the neck, back, and limb
- Dragging of the hind legs
- Showing signs of pain when running or jumping
- Reacting to the slightest movement or touch
- Decreased activity levels
Another notable skeletal issue in Dachshunds is Patella Luxation, also called Luxating Patella. This condition occurs when the knee cap pops out of place from its original location–the dislocation of the knee cap basically. The treatment will depend on how severe the issue is. Either you will get prescribed medication for arthritis or surgery for realignment of the kneecap.
The signs and symptoms of Patella Luxation include:
- Lameness or limping
- Skipping or hopping
- Noticeable lump on the affected limb
- Visible signs of pain
Hip Dysplasia can be described as the abnormal development of the hip joints where the hip ball and socket do not fit together correctly. The rubbing and constant pressure of the hip joints can cause great pain and discomfort for the dog. If not treated accordingly, it can progress and lead to arthritis or cause mobility issues for your Doxie.
Here are the signs and symptoms of Hip Dysplasia you need to watch out for:
- Reluctance to running, jumping, or climbing the stairs
- Lameness in the rear leg
- Bunny hopping
- Decrease in activity levels
- Difficulty standing or lying down
- Limited range of motion
Yes, chubby Dachshunds look cute, but you have to realize that keeping your dog in this shape has serious long-term health complications. As we have previously mentioned, avoid overfeeding your Weenie as they are one of the dog breeds that are prone to this condition.
Obesity can lead to other health problems, one of which we already discussed is IVDD, and the other is arthritis. Ensure that your pooch maintains a healthy weight and avoids excessive weight gain. A few ways to avoid this include giving them well-balanced dog food and engaging them in daily exercises.
Here are the common eye problems that can afflict your Dachshund.
- Progressive Renal Atrophy (PRA) – PRA is a degenerative disease that can be obtained genetically. A reputable breeder will usually conduct a PRA-genetic test, among other health tests, to ensure that the Dachshund puppy doesn’t carry the defective gene for PRA. This is an eye condition that causes blindness. First, your dog will experience vision loss during the night and eventually during the daytime.
- Cataracts – Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness in Dachshunds. This eye condition causes the eye to have a cloudy film over it, inhibiting light from entering properly.
- Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that commonly affects senior Dachshunds. Dogs, even people who have Glaucoma, tend to experience immense pain. Unfortunately for affected dogs, blindness is often inevitable with this eye issue.
- Dry Eye – Also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is characterized by the dryness of the eyes because of the lack of production of tears responsible for lubricating the eyes. If not treated, this can result in itchy eyes, sore eyes, redness, or eye infections.
Dachshunds are also prone to numerous neurological problems such as narcolepsy, epilepsy, Lafora Disease, and Myasthenia gravis. The warning signs and symptoms of a neurological disorder in dogs are:
- Sudden weakness
- Balance issues
- Sensitivity to touch
- Neck or back pain
- Mobility issues
How Much Does a Dachshund Cost?
The price tag on a Dachshund will depend on the coat, age, pedigree, and the breeder’s reputation. Typically a Dachsund puppy can cost as much as $300 to $3500. A budget-friendly option would be adoption. Still, the puppy is not the only thing you will be paying for in the long run.
Taking care of a puppy means providing them with all the necessary things they need to grow and thrive. You will also need to allot a budget for additional expenses such as food, pet supplies, grooming, pet insurance, health care, vet visits, pet accessories, etc. It’s important to always think ahead and reserve a monthly budget for pet care.
Tips on Finding the Right Breeder
It’s not too late to consider adopting a Dachshund rescue from your local shelter or rescue group. But, if you have already decided to get a Dachshund from a breeder, you need to make sure that you are transacting with a reputable breeder that shows real priority to the animals they care for.
Signs to look for in a responsible breeder
Here are the things you need to take note of to find the right Dachshund breeder for you.
- The breeder is part of parent breed clubs (i.e. Dachshund Club of America or National Breed Club)
- Extensive breeding background
- Shows genuine concern for animals
- Creates a high-quality living environment for dogs
- Shows transparency about the history of the dogs
- Provides necessary documents such as Hip Certification, Genetic Testing, Registration, and Bloodline
- Open to answering questions
- Implements health clearances to ensure puppy’s health is in good condition
- Schedules a visit or video call to see the puppy
- They make sure that the puppy will live in a good home with good fur parents
What to avoid when looking for a breeder
Don’t make the mistake of buying puppies from breeders like the one described below.
- Backyard breeders and puppy mills… enough said
- They sell two to three litters of puppies at the same time
- Making false undocumented claims about the dog’s character
- Defensive when asked about their breeding practices
- Doesn’t allow visits
- If visits are allowed, the place where the puppies are bred doesn’t satisfy comfortable living conditions
- No pedigree information and registration documents available
- No medical history provided
Dachshunds are delightful furry fellas to have as companions. Anyone lucky enough to receive their love and affection is surely blessed with their presence. A Dachshund will keep you on your toes. They are amazing family dogs and can be friends with anyone they bond with. Talk about a man’s best friend. With someone as devoted and loyal as a Dachshund, you can get a paw-tner-in-crime who will not let you down. Furthermore, they will tug at your heartstrings with their natural charm and endearing personality.