The Dachshund is a peculiar-looking, low-to-the-ground dog, longer than he is tall. Impeccable smellers, Dachshunds were originally developed in Germany in the 16th century to track badgers. In fact, the name Dachshund means “badger dog” in German. Affectionately named “weiner dogs” or “doxies”, Dachshunds come in two sizes–standard and miniature, with three coat varieties: long hair, short hair, and wire hair. The long-haired version has a long, soft coat; the wire-haired has a short, bristly coat; and the short-haired one has a very smooth, short, dense coat. Wire-haired is the least common version in the United States, but is the most popular in Germany. Dachshunds like to bark and produce quite a loud sound for their diminutive size. Today Dachshunds are among the top 10 most popular breeds in the U.S.
Country of Origin: Germany
Height: 6 to 10 inches
Weight: standard: 15 to 28 pounds; miniature: 9 to 11 pounds
Color: Dachshunds come in a wide variety of colors. They can be single-colored, single-colored with spots (“dappled”), or single-colored with tan points with assorted markings.
Training: Dachshunds are smart and bold. When given a task they enjoy, they will grasp on quickly. Many are known to be highly tenacious, however, particularly when it comes to training. In addition, they have loud voices and without proper training can become nuisance barkers. They will test their owner’s patience during the training and housebreaking processes. Discipline is of utmost importance from an early age.
Grooming: Dachshunds are relatively low maintenance and can be groomed at home with ease. Long-haired coats require basic daily combing or brushing; wire-haired need professional trimming twice a year, and the short-haired variety requires periodic rubdowns with a damp cloth.
Exercise: Dachshunds are active little dogs with surprising stamina. They need to be walked daily and enjoy playing in the park or other open areas. Be mindful of pedestrians, as Dachshunds are more likely to be stepped on than more visible dogs. Because of their distinctive body shape, Daschunds should be discouraged from climbing stairs, jumping up on curbs, and negotiating furniture. Many Dachshund owners assist their pets by providing them ramps that allow them to easily go up and down without putting the stress on their back that jumping may require.
The Family Factor: Dachshunds can tolerate considerate small children, but are best with older kids (ages 10 and up). They do fine in a large house or small apartment. The Dachshund travels well and likes to be taken along wherever you go.
Health Concerns: The breed suffers from unique health issues, due to it’s “hot dog” body type. They tend to develop spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury may be worsened by obesity, jumping, or heavy exercise, all of which place greater strain on the vertebrae.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
Famous Owners: Mary Tyler Moore, Wayne Gretzky, Heidi Klum, Dick Clark, E.B. White, Pablo Picasso