Introduction to Breeds – Dachshund

cute black dachshund breed in a box

Planning on getting a cute Dachshund, or “wiener dogs”? They quite popular among the small dog breeds. With headstrong and loyal personalities, they make great pets!

Keep reading for more information about this adorable, yet fierce, dog breed.

History Of Dachshund

history of dachshund breed

The original Dachshund is a cross between a Pinscher, a Mini Pinscher and an Alpine Dachsbracke. They have been in existence since the 16th century. These smooth-coated dogs were originally a German breed. Cross-bred with German Stoberhunds and Spaniels, resulting in the long haired version of the Dachshund breed.

Wire-haired doxies were not widely bred until the 19th century, although there is some mention of them as early as 1797. This version of the breed is a cross-breed of the German Wirehaired Pinscher, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and a smooth coated Dashchund.

Breeding Dachshunds became a lot stricter by the year 1910. Breeders can breed the smooth coated Doxies (a nicknamed coined for Dachshunds) with Miniature Pinschers only. Moreover, wire-haired Doxies with Miniature Schnauzers and long-haired Doxies with Papillons.

Dachshunds were hunting dogs in the past due to their capability of trapping foxes, badgers and smaller prey. This made them extremely popular in royal families, including Queen Victoria.

This breed grew popularity as hunting dogs and as a household pet as well. Even in America, they became an official breed with the American Kennel Club in 1885. Today, they are one of the top 10 most popular breeds in the United States.

Features

brown and black dachshund breed puppies

Dachshunds have a long face with floppy ears and a long back with bowed legs. They have many facial expressions, which they will use to their advantage (like trying to guilt you into giving them treats!). Their noses are exceptional for hunting and trailing.

Dachshund Colours

  • Black / Black & Cream / Black & Tan.
  • Blue / Blue & Cream / Blue & Tan.
  • Chocolate & Cream / Chocolate & Tan.
  • Fawn & Cream / Fawn & Tan.
  • Red / Red & Cream / Red & Tan.
  • Wheaton
  • Wild Boar

Dachshund Patterns

  • Brindle
  • Dapple
  • Double dapple
  • Piebald
  • Sable

Dapple and double dapple wiener dogs are more prone to health issues due to their interbreeding. This variety of Doxies is prone to eye issues and blindness.

Average Weight

Standard Dachshunds weigh around 11 to 32 lb/5 to 14.5 kg while the miniature ones weigh only 11 lb/5 kg and under.

Average Height

Standard Dachshunds stand about 6 to 9 inches/15 to 23 cm tall while the miniature ones stand at only about 5 to 6 inches/13 to 15 cm tall.

Temperament

portrait of a black dachshun breed

Dachshund are definitely vocal

Doxies are extremely vocal and they will let you know exactly how they feel. Over time,  you will be able to distinguish between their different growls, barks and whines.

Dachshunds need your love!

brown dachshund breed with owner in the car
It is best that their owners spend as much time with them as possible.

As with most breeds, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time, inside or out. Therefore, it is best that their owners spend as much time with them as possible.

They tend to get along with every member of the household. However, there will be that one member of the family to whom they would share a deep bond with.

They may suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to aggression issues. It should not come as a surprise if they decide to “act out” if they feel neglected or bored. They may even chew on furniture and other items just to be more dramatic!

How to Train a Dachshund?

Due to their often stubborn nature, wiener dogs can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to training. They love to receive attention and affection and they will work well with a reward-based training.

Extremely sensitive, they do not take well to harsh tones, “time-outs”  or other forms of punishment. However, with some consistency and patience, they can be trained!

Dachshunds are natural hunting dogs

Their natural instinct is to hunt and burrow.

Their natural instinct is to hunt and burrow because of their origin as hunting dogs. For that reason, it should not be a surprise if you find your dachshund digging up your yard. They also like to “burrow” themselves under covers so you may find them buried beneath your bedding during a nap.

Are Dachshunds sociable?

Miniature wiener dogs are more timid than standard Dachshunds. Wire-haired Doxies are extremely outgoing while long-haired Doxies tend to be more reserved. However, as every dog has a different personality, your own pup may take you by surprise with their personality!

Completely unaware of their small stature, sometimes Doxies may tend to be aggressive toward other dog breeds, regardless of their size. Therefore, it is advisable to keep them on a leash when you go for walks. Likewise, when other dogs are around.

“Doxies may tend to be aggressive toward other dog breeds, regardless of their size.”

While they are extremely loyal to their own families, Doxies may need to be supervised around other children. Similarly, always be aware when introducing a new pet into your household.

Doxies are very affectionate and cuddly. They can be very friendly too! However, it may take them some time to trust and warm up to total strangers such as new house guests they have never met previously.

Health and Lifespan

On average, Dachshunds have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. They are a relatively healthy breed. However, as we will discuss later on, one must take great care of their Doxie, especially as they age, to prevent spinal issues.

Following is a list of some of the other health issues that affect Dachshunds:

  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Luxating patella (dislocated kneecaps)
  • Mast Cell Tumours
  • Obesity
  • Urinary Tract Issues

Proper care and regular vet appointments will help keep your Dachshund healthy. Remember that like humans and any other animal, they may develop sudden and unexpected health issues at any moment.

Grooming

cute brown dachshund breed with sunglasses

Dachshunds shed moderately as compared to other breeds and do not have a noticeable body odour.

Smooth-coated Dachshunds need little brushing after a bath or wiped dry with a towel from a cleanup. Just the basic for this Dachshund type, no fuss!

Wire Haired Dachshunds on the other hand, are a little more tricky. You may need to hand-strip or pluck their coats a few times a year and occasionally trim their eyebrows and beards to keep them from pesky knots and tangles. A good combing once or twice a week will keep their coats healthy between grooming sessions.

wire haired black and brown dachshund breed
Occasionally trim their eyebrows and beards to keep them from pesky knots and tangles!

Long haired Dachshunds require quite a commitment to keep their coats shiny and healthy. It is advisable to have a quick and efficient brushing session at least once a day. They do not require a bath too often. Once or twice every three months is sufficient.

For all Dachshund types, it is important to trim their nails at least once a month to keep them from scratching up your furniture, themselves or you. Brush their teeth once a week to prevent bad breath and promote good dental hygiene.

Dachshund Care and Nutrition

adorable black dachshund breed puppy

While Dachshunds are ideal pets for apartments and smaller homes, they still need a great deal of exercise. Half an hour walks twice a day is the most ideal as well as supervised play time outdoors.

It cannot be stressed enough that you should take extra care of your wiener dog to keep them from hurting their backs. Do not let them jump off or on furniture or run up and down the stairs.

As they are one of the smallest dog breeds, it is imperative that you keep your Dachshund on a strict diet. Do not overfeed them as there is a high risk this breed may suffer from obesity. This can lead to a multitude of health issues in the long term. This may also increase their chances of injuring their spine. Limit their treats and avoid giving them table scraps at all costs!

Food coma! Make sure to never overfeed your Dachshund. Just keep them happy and healthy!

Ensure to feed them the correct amount of both dry and wet food according to their age and weight. It is important to know that obesity can lead to issues such as diabetes, heart problems and can lead to spinal issues.

The Proper Way to Handle A Dachshund

holing black dachshund breed puppies

Due to their long backs and short legs, it is very easy for a dachshund to damage their spine. Here are some tips on how to hold your dachshund to prevent spinal injuries.

Picking up your Dachshund

Keeping their body level, lift your dachshund slowly. Avoid letting their lower body hang. Always keep their back as flat as possible. Support their back as you lift him/her and always be gentle, slow and calm.

Holding your Dachshund

When holding your wiener dog, place one hand under his back end and the other under the rib cage under the chest. Always keep the back at a level position. And never pick them up using their upper body. 

Cradling your Dachshund

To move to a cradling position, always support the back, keeping it as straight as possible. Bring your dog close to your body using your forearm to support them. Dachshunds like to be close to their owner for comfort and support. This is similar to how you would cradle a human baby. Take care to support the entire length of their body and always use both hands.

Placing your Dachshund down

When putting your Dachshund down, keep the back in a flat position as you slowly and gently lower him or her to the floor. Do not let them go until their feet are firmly on the ground.

Where to Get Your Dachshund 

adorable brown wire haired dachshund

While we would recommend saving a life by adopting from a shelter, you can also purchase a wiener dog from a reputable breeder. Check your local animal shelters to see if they have any doxies. As well, they are an abundance of Dachshund rescues if you look online.

Fun Facts About Dachshunds 

black dachshund breed playing frisbee
  1. One of the world’s oldest dogs are weiner dogs. A dachshund named Chanel lived to the ripe old age of 21 in 2009. As well, 
  2. Waldi the dachshund from Munich was the first official Olympic Mascot for the 1972 Olympics.
  3. The term “hotdogs” in fact came from the idea of a Dachshund’s wiener-like body. It was originally “Dachshund sausages” and the shorter version came about soon after.
  4. In German, Dachshund translates as “Badger Dog.” They are a national symbol in Germany.
  5. Dachshund” means “Badger Dog” in German.
  6. There is no such thing as a “Teacup” or “Toy Doxie.” Miniature Dachshunds account for any Dachshund that is 11 pounds or under.
  7. During World War II, Doxies were referred to as badger dogs in the U.S. to avoid being ostracised or discriminated against.