At a glance
The Dachshund is a short-legged, elongated dog originally meant to aid hunters in rooting out badgers and other burrow animals. Today, no one can mistake the unique-looking “sausage dog” for another breed.
- Names and nicknames – Doxie (US), Dackel or Teckel (GER, FR), wiener dog/hotdog (US), sausage dog (UK/US/AUS/NZ), Teckel (NL), Worshond , Weenie Dog (US), Jamnik (PL), Jezevcik (CZ), Tax (SWE), Bassotto (ITA)
- Group – AKC: Hound Group; KC: Hounds
- Size – medium
- Life expectancy – 9-15 years; average of 12
- Cost of ownership – low
- Ease of ownership – medium
- Aggressive tendency – medium
- Amount of Exercise – medium
- Amount of Grooming – low
- Ease of Training – low
- Obedience level – medium
- Suitable for Children – low
- Amount of Care Required – low
- Susceptibility to Health Problems – low
What one immediately notices when looking at a Dachshund is his long back, short legs and short height. The Dachshund’s muscular look is defined when he is a puppy, but when he matures he develops a sinewy build, a deep broad chest and well-developed forelegs. The long muzzle helps give the skull an elongated look. The eyes are dark, almond shaped and intelligent looking and the floppy folded ears are high set. There are three coat types in terms of texture: wired-haired, short-haired, and long-haired.
- Bitch – 9kg (20lbs) to 12kg (26lbs)
- Dog – 9kg (20lbs) to 12kg (26lbs)
- Standard: over 11 pounds (4.9kg.) at the age of 12 months.
- Miniature: 11 pounds (4.9kg.) or less at the age of 12 months.
- Toy: 8 pounds (3.5kg.) at age 12 months.
- Standard: 14-18 inches (35-45cm.) at the age of 12 months.
- Miniature: up to 14 inches (35 cm) at the age of 12 months.
- Toy: up to 12 inches (30cm.) at the age of 12 months.
- Color – solid red, sable, or cream; black and tan, chocolate and tan, wild boar and tan, gray and tan, or fawn and tan, brindle.
- Coat – The Longhaired Dachshund has a long and straight coat, with hair slightly feathered and longer on the underbelly, chest and extremities. The Smooth Coat has a straight, smooth, short, and glossy coat which is ideally of short uniform length all throughout the body of the dog. Lastly, the Wirehaired has a coat of non-uniform appearance with wiry, rough-looking hair.
- Shedding – medium
- Allergies – low
- Causes Allergies – medium
The three varieties basically share the same temperaments; their personalities only somewhat differing. The smooth-hair type is something like the original Dachshunds, in that they are likely to be closer with a certain family member and to be reserved towards strangers. The wirehairs, on the other hand, tend to be extroverts with a clownish sense of humor. Finally, the longhairs appear to have a bit of spaniel character but still exude calm and dignity in the excitement of some game. On the whole, the temperament of the Dachshund really varies greatly from dog to dog.
- Separation Anxiety – medium
- Barking tendency – high
- Aggressive tendency – medium
- Compatibility with other animals – low
- Suitable for children – low
- Watchdog suitability – high
Many Dachshunds dislike strangers and they will show this by growling or barking. A Dachshund’s temperament is not easy to identify. Some are capable of enthusiasm while others are calm and reserved. Things to know about this breed include their tendency to “train” their owners, they are good to travel with, are prime diggers, will bite if not properly disciplined/trained and they can be very stubborn.
Prevent a dog’s boredom from turning into a love for mayhem through daily exercise and socialization, which should begin at an early age. Walking the dog in public places is an important part of socializing, as it helps the dog to be more comfortable near strangers. Keep in mind that even if a particular dog is said to be tolerant and loyal to children within their family, these children must still be taught how to handle and care for this breed. This canine and his personality is only suitable for those ready to handle him.
The training of a Miniature Dachshund (and any variation of the breed, for that matter) should begin in puppyhood. An owner can do the training at home or a professional trainer can be hired. In any case, training should consist of behavioral correction that deters unappealing habits that a Dachshund may have developed, such as begging, chasing cars, jumping on people, and so on. Consistency is vital when training Doxies.
Obedience training sessions should be short but frequent; ten to fifteen minute sessions, two or three times a day will be sufficient. Training sessions that are too long may bore a Dachshund. A good training time is before the dog’s meals.
- Obedience – medium
- Exercise required
Despite their love for burrowing and digging, they are not really outdoor dogs and are far more secure when they are with their human companions. Furthermore, this dog should be walked on a leash outdoors since his hunting instincts can drive him to run off in pursuit of rodents. Dachshunds are happy in both an apartment and a house. However, in homes with stairs, doxies should be deterred from frequent travels up and down the steps as this places pressure on their elongated spine and can lead to injury. If the home has a backyard, it must be very well fenced since he will not hesitate to find ways to get under the fencing.
- Energy – medium
- Amount required – Approximately 30 – 40 minutes. Doxies are not demanding when it comes to exercise. Two walks of moderate distance (I.E. half a mile) a day will be enough for them.
The Dachshund’s droopy ears need to be cleaned regularly because they can hold on to moisture, making the ears a breeding ground for fungus, bacteria, and mites.
The dog’s teeth also need to be cared for. Puppies, especially, need to chew while their teeth and jaws are developing to help the teeth become strong. Make a variety of chew toys available to your dog, as this will not only help their teeth but also steer them clear of chewing on household items.
Your dog’s teeth should be brushed daily. If you are not comfortable using a flossing ‘toy’, you might find it worthwhile to look into getting your dog some nylon chews, which are arguably one of the safest and best solutions to your dog’s chewing needs.
While not all commercial dog food is of high quality, there are many good brands on the market that can meet the dietary needs of a dog. The food ingredients you will want to look for include a variety of meats and cereal grains, which are ideal components of a balanced diet for your pet. Your dog should have the daily requirements of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and water in his diet to develop properly. You may need to make some dietary changes depending on your doxie’s age, growth, and activity level; your breeder can assist you in making these adjustments, if necessary.
The Dachshund can be given dry or wet food once or twice a day. Be careful not to overfeed, as Dachshunds can be food-lovers and become overweight.
Snack foods like cake and chocolate should never be given to dogs. The same goes for foods that are spicy, fried, starchy or fatty. In addition, chicken, pork and fish bones should be avoided
The needs of a doxie will vary depending on the coat of the animal in question.
Long-haired doxies need daily combing and brushings; wire-haired dogs need a professional haircut twice a year, and smooth-haired dogs require a regular rubdown with a damp cloth.
While the smooth ones need little grooming, they may appreciate a sweater for cold winter days. The longhair needs brushing to prevent mats and clumps from forming. Care for the wirehair falls in between; he won’t need a sweater but his coat does require some brushing, especially if it is soft. Mats and tangles must be eliminated from the coat before bathing.
- Ease of grooming – high
- Amount of grooming – medium
When it comes to acquiring a new doxie, potential owners need to check the feasibility of adopting first before breeding. Anyone who wants to give breeding a try needs to think about their decision carefully. First of all, a would-be breeder needs to ask themselves a few questions, such as: Does the bitch or the dog have fine qualities worth passing on? Does the selected mate have traits that complement the characteristics of their own dog? Does the bitch, in particular, have health conditions (e.g. worms, skin problems) that need to be addressed first?
You should plan on breeding your female about 6½ months after the start of her last cycle, or season. In the actual breeding process, a female dog may need to be physically held in place so that the male dog can get a tie with her. In case his back proves to be too long to achieve a natural tie, then a veterinarian’s assistance may be needed for an artificial insemination instead. During the period of pregnancy, the changes in the bitch need to be observed. The owner needs to be prepared for the pregnant female to lose her appetite, occasional vomiting, etc. while her abdomen enlarges.
Examples of tests that prove a dog is worthy for breeding are: CERF, to screen for cataracts or other inheritable eye diseases; BAER, to determine that the dog can hear in both ears; OFA of hips and patellas, to screen against hip dysplasia and luxating patellas.
Lastly, here are several factors that need to be considered. For starters, it’s important to note that authentic breeders usually make little or no monetary profit. Next, whelping care and expenses are considerable. In regard to pregnancies, whether or not a c-section is required, it should always be foreseen and planned for. Finally, it is only natural for a breeder to be on 24 hour call for the first few weeks after the litter is born
- Litter size – The average litter size is 5 to 6 puppies; on rare occasions, a female can have more than 10 puppies.
- Puppy cost – average price is $560 and up. Dachshund puppies can cost between $630 and £900.
The Dachshund is susceptible to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). This is when ruptures occur among the discs within the spine’s vertebrae, which causes pressure to be placed on the spinal cord and results in pain.
- Life expectancy – average of 12 years; range of 9 – 15 years
- Susceptibility to illness – low
- Common health problems – Dachshunds can suffer from skin ailments, such as Acanthosis nigricans (a dark thickened area develops near the armpit), pattern alopeica (baldness) and vitiligo (lack of pigmentation in skin).
A Dachshund is the perfect fit for the right family; one that knows how to handle the breed. He likes to bark and is a sound watchdog. Doxies may be aloof, wary or slightly hostile towards strangers. There are 6 varieties of Dachshunds: smooth-haired, wire-haired and long-haired, which are available in two sizes – Standard and Miniature. The smooth-haired Dachshund is the original breed, the wire-haired and long-haired were created by crossing the smooth-haired with other breeds.
- Living conditions – Doxies are suitable apartment dogs. Quite satisfied with outdoor walks, there is no need for them to have a yard.
- Good with Children – The Dachshund’s sometimes moody temperament makes him incompatible with rough and disrespectful children.
Dachshunds can be traced all the way back to 15th century Germany. The German breed standard was created in 1879 and the following decade the breed club was established. Dachshunds were exported to Great Britain with Prince Albert and became popular in Britain and America throughout the 19th century. During World War I, the breed fell out of favor among the pro-Allied Forces countries. However, prejudices were forgotten years after World War II and the dog became a favorite family pet and hunting companion once more.
The smooth Dachshund is thought to be the oldest of the doxies’ many varieties, with longhairs widely believed to be a result of mutation, selective breeding or of crossbreeding with a German spaniel. Meanwhile, the wirehair is the result of various crosses between smooth Dachshunds, Schnauzers, and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. It is believed that the long-coats could possibly have served as bird dogs, while the wire-coats were excellent in the field since they were well-protected against burrs and thorns.
- County or origin – Germany
- AKA KC name and group: Hound, AKC Hound
Did you know…
- Famous Owners of Dachshunds include:
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
- Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy
- Actor John Wayne
- Painter Pablo Picasso and Lump
- Writer E. B. White and Minnie
- In the early Mickey Mouse comics, Mickey had a Dachshund named Weenie.
- Famous Dachshunds include:
- Schultzie from Lady and the Tramp (The dog trying to tunnel out of the Pound while the dog quartet sings)
- Joe, owned by General Claire Lee Chennault and the mascot of Chennault’s Flying Tigers of World War II.
- Slinky in Toy Story and Toy Story 2
- Buster in Toy Story 2
- Waldi, the mascot of the 1972 Summer Olympics
- In advertising: Cocoa, a wildly popular Dachshund promoter of Apple Products in Japan, rose to fame for primarily being able to balance iPhones and iPods on her head for hours.
- In the movie-world: The role of the pet dog of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz was originally meant for a miniature Dachshund named Otto. Footage had actually been taken of Dorothy singing together with the dog but due to the negative attitude toward anything German at the time, the studio felt compelled to scrape any work with Otto and find a more politically correct dog actor. The role would eventually go to a Norwich terrier to be called Toto.
- The dog’s name is directly related to hunting badgers. Dachs is German for “badger,” and Hund is “hound.”