With its long body, short and stocky legs, tapered muzzle, and large, floppy ears, the Dachshund is one of the most recognizable breeds on the planet. It is a joyful, energetic dog in two basic sizes; standard and miniature, and three coat varieties; smooth, long, and wire-haired.
The Dachshund gets its name from the German “Dachs,” meaning badger, and “hund,” meaning hound or dog. Originally bred to find and hunt badgers and other small game, this is a bright and diligent breed characterized by a loud bark and a tireless nature.
|Other names||Badger Dog, Weiner Dog, Sausage Dog, Doxie|
|Coat||Short to medium-long and smooth or wire-haired|
|Color||Black, red, chocolate brown, Isabella, piebald, golden brown, wheaten, or blue-grey|
|Life expectancy||12-16 years|
|Height||Standard – 8 – 9 inches|
Miniature – 5 – 6 inches
|Weight||Standard – 16 – 32 pounds|
Miniature – up to 11 pounds
|Litter Size||4 – 8 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Alert, energetic, friendly, playful, and clever|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Barking Tendency||High; has a loud, deep bark for its size|
|Climate compatibility||Moderate; prefers warmer climates|
|Do they shed||They shed very little|
|Are they hypoallergenic||No|
|Trainability||Moderate; they can be stubborn at first but adapt quickly|
|How much do they cost||$250 – $5,000|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/ Information||AKC, FCI, UKC, and VDH|
History and Origin
The Dachshund goes back around 600 years, developed as a hunting dog in medieval Germany. Its main target was the badger, hence the name. However, it was also used to trail foxes and wild boars in packs. Since these animals often lived in underground burrows, Dachshunds were bred to have long, slender bodies and powerful claws for digging and climbing into tiny spaces. Selective breeding and cross-breeding through the centuries led to the development of different sizes and varieties.
As its popularity spread throughout Europe, breeders made it smaller and smaller, finally leading to the establishment of the breed standard in 1879. The German Dachshund Club was set up in 1888, and the AKC registered the first Dachshund in 1885.
This popularity continued till the early 1900s. However, the World Wars led to a sharp decline in Dachshund’s favor, as this breed was regarded as a symbol of Germany. Still, it endured, and public opinion rose again in the 1950s, leading to Dachshunds becoming one of the most beloved breeds today.
Temperament and Personality
Dachshunds are known to be lively, intelligent, and bold to the point of rashness. Their independent nature can make them stubborn, but they are very cuddly and good with kids due to their small size. As they are hunting dogs, they love chasing small objects and other pets and can get aggressive with strangers. They love digging, and a bored Dachshund will often destroy flower beds and potted plants unless house-trained from a young age. Their small size makes them great apartment pets. Still, you should not leave them alone for long as they can develop separation anxiety.
Their breeding greatly influences their temperament. The longhaired variety is more affectionate and docile, while the wire-haired type is bolder and terrier-like. The miniature variety is more prone to be timid, but that is less common. In general, Dachshunds need a loving and patient owner willing to put in the time and effort to handle their wilful and headstrong personalities. A well-trained Dachshund is the center of attention in any home with its joyful and vibrant personality.
Even though their small size may suggest otherwise, providing your Dachshund with ample exercise and playtime is essential to avoid obesity. Dachshunds have a very delicate spine, and excess fat will put unnecessary pressure that may cause significant issues. For this reason, you should also avoid letting your pet jump off high places and climb up and down stairs. Going on moderately long walks twice daily and occasional outdoor play should be enough to keep your pet healthy. Some other fun activities for your pup are scent tracking, nose work, and puzzle toys.
Since they do not shed a lot and keep themselves relatively clean, Dachshunds only need brushing and trimming once or twice a week. Different varieties have specific grooming requirements; Smooth-Coated Dachshunds only need a wipe-down to look clean, Wire-Haired Dachshunds need plucking several times a year, and Longhaired Dachshunds need more frequent combings. Whatever the type, you should trim your Dachshund’s nails every month and keep their ears clean.
Dachshunds are a healthy breed, but their body shape and breeding make them susceptible to conditions such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), GDV or bloat, Cushing’s disease, canine diabetes mellitus, and deafness.
Dachshunds do well on high-quality dog food, but you should consult your veterinarian while formulating a meal plan for your dog, considering its age, weight, and health. It is crucial to keep your dog at a healthy weight, so only feed it the recommended amount. You should avoid giving your dog fat-rich foods such as cooked bones and table scraps. They have keen noses, so it is best to keep food out of reach so they don’t overeat.
Initially, Dachshunds can be difficult owing to their wilful nature. However, with time and patience, they respond beautifully to commands and are a joy to train.
Socialization: Dachshunds need gentle handling. Positive encouragement and reward-based training are recommended to ensure your pet grows well-adjusted. You must start house training your dog from a young age, as learning how to control their instincts takes a while. Since they are hunting dogs, their instinct to track a scent may hinder their listening ability, so you must train your pup early to control its urges.
Early socialization is vital to avoid unwanted aggression and unruly behavior. Puppy kindergarten and obedience training are good ways to encourage good behavior in your pup. Crate training has proven useful, but do not keep your pet in a crate for long periods, as it can get anxious.
Obedience: Since they are prone to obesity, it is best to avoid too many treats while training your dog. Toys and puzzles are an excellent alternative reward, as they stimulate them mentally. Dachshunds may feel too lazy to do their business outside, so a piddle pad is recommended, especially for apartment dogs.
- Dachshunds are called “dackel” in Germany. However, hunters call them “teckel” as well.
- A dachshund named Waldi was the mascot of Munich’s 1972 Summer Olympic Games.
- The Dackelmuseum Kleine Residenz was established in Passau, Germany, by master florists and Dachshund enthusiasts Seppi Küblbeck and Oliver Storz. The museum has a collection of over 4,500 Dachshund-related items.
- Many famous personalities have owned Dachshunds. Some notable names are Queen Victoria, Andy Warhol, Adele, and Jack Black.
The proper pronunciation of Dachshund is “DAKS-huund.”