The Dachshund is an intelligent, energetic, courageous, and entertaining small dog breed. Also known as the sausage dog, badger dog, Doxie, Wiener dog, hot dog and Dashie, this affectionate dog has a peculiar shape that makes him stand out. Full of spunk and life, the Dachshund has a unique character, hunting spirit, and perfect devotion.
Origin & History
Dachshunds were initially bred to hunt badgers in 15th century Germany. Because of their long backs and short legs, this small dog breed was ideal for smelling, pursuing, and flushing out tiny creatures and burrow-living animals.
The natives called this short-legged scent hound Teckel, earth dog, badger creeper and dachsel. Apart from badgers, the Dachshund also hunted foxes, deer, hares, weasels, rabbits and wild boar.
Their independence, loose skin, short legs, broad chest, and determination made them ideal for tunnelling, digging, and battling badgers. When excavating, their unique flip-down ears helped to keep debris out.
In the 1800s, this breed became a favourite in European royal courts, including Queen Victoria. The size of the Dachshund was gradually reduced and thus, the Miniature Dachshund was developed.
Breed standards were set in 1879 and in 1888, the German Dachshund Club was formed. The American Kennel Club registered the breed in 1885 and the Dachshund Club of America was founded in 1895.
The sausage dog has a cute physical appearance with soulful eyes and adorable facial expressions. The muscular body is long on short legs, and the head is held high with a broad chest.
Wirehaired Dachshunds have a short, hard topcoat and a soft undercoat. Stiff hair can be found all over the body, except for the jaw, eyebrows and ears. Dachshunds with long-haired coats have shiny wavy hair.
Dachshunds have coats in a range of colours:
- Black and tan
- Fawn and cream
- Solid black
- Fawn chocolate
Coat colour patterns include brindle, dapple, brindle piebald and sable.
Size & Weight
This breed features in Standard and Miniature sizes. Standard Dachshunds can have smooth, wirehair or longhair coats and weigh between 15 and 33 pounds (7 and 15kg). The adult Miniature variety weighs under 11 pounds (5kg).
Character & Abilities
Dachshunds are affectionate and loyal to their owners and other family members. Lively and fearless, they appreciate a good cuddle on the couch.
The Dachshund is more arrogant than other small dog breeds and will break almost all the rules set for him. As a result, training can be difficult because of his stubborn demeanour.
Wirehaired Dachshunds are mischievous, longhairs are calmer, and the smooth-coated Dachshunds are somewhere in between. Miniatures are sometimes more nervous or shy.
Dachshunds have a high tendency to bark. Despite the dog’s small stature, this breed can let out a loud, deep bark and enjoys doing it, which can be annoying.
Exercise & Nutrition Needs
Adult Standard Dachshunds require regular walks or playing outdoors. Twenty to thirty minutes every day is recommended. Miniature dachshunds need much less.
To keep your sausage dog healthy throughout his lifetime, feed it the correct amount of healthy dog food. Too much food will make Dachshunds obese, and too little food will lead to an array of nutritional deficiencies.
Miniature Dachshunds require less food than Standard Dachshunds. Adult Wieners usually consume two meals every day, while their puppies eat at least three meals.
This wonderful small dog breed is low maintenance, especially the smooth-haired variety. However, Wirehaired Dachshunds need coat stripping twice a year, and long-haired Dachshunds need regular brushing to prevent the fur from matting.
Other grooming needs for Dachshunds include:
- Bathing once every three months
- Checking the paws, ears, and eyes and ensuring that they are clean and free of infection
- Keeping an eye out for ticks, fleas, and ticks and eliminating them
- Brushing the teeth with doggy toothpaste and toothbrush once a week
- Clipping the nails frequently
Trainability & Intelligence
This small dog breed is intelligent and tenacious. The Dachshund can focus on one task without becoming distracted for an extended period, one of the reasons this breed was chosen as the first official mascot for Germany in the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Training a Dachshund requires a consistent, patient and firm hand because this breed can be mischievous. Sessions should be short, and the Dachshund can be motivated with food rewards or a dog toy.
Crate training is recommended for effective housebreaking.
Early and proper training is necessary to socialize the Dachshund, mainly because he may become clingy and jealous when he thinks his owner is not paying attention to him.
Living Conditions & Adaptability
Dachshund dogs are not suited for living outside. They don’t require a backyard and can live comfortably in apartments, as long as they get regular physical exercise outdoors. However, they can be noisy, and this needs to be taken into account for good neighbourliness.
Avoid exposing this dog to wet surfaces because he walks close to the ground and will get soggy quickly. It might be prudent to supervise the dog when playing outside to prevent unwanted behaviour like hunting and digging.
Dachshunds adore their pet parents and do not want to be left alone for extended periods.
Health & Life Expectancy
The Dachsund, just like all small dog breeds, is genetically inclined to specific health issues such as:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Cushing’s Disease
Most notably, due to their elongated back, this small dog breed is susceptible to back problems like slipped disks and IVDD (intervertebral disc disease). Therefore, to avoid back injuries, Dachshunds should not jump from high places, and a ramp is a very necessary investment for Dachshund owners.
Since Doxies are prone to gaining weight, which will put additional pressure on their already delicate backs, regular physical exercise and diet monitoring are necessary.
Dachshunds can live a healthy, happy life of 12-15 years.
Dachshunds are energetic, intelligent, fun-loving dogs. They are loyal and cope well with children and other pets, especially when introduced in puppyhood. This wonderful breed makes an excellent companion and is a perfect addition to any family.
Here at All The Small Dog Breeds, we live and breathe small dogs. We provide detailed descriptions for new and existing dog parents who are looking to expand their family. In addition, we encourage the adoption of rescue dogs or visiting a reputable registered local breeder.