Called by many different names: weiner dogs, hot dogs, dachsies, mini or just doxie, the Dachshund is one hound dog breed that’s small in stature but big in heart and devotion.
Dachshunds are curious, energetic, mischievous, stubborn and loveable.
There is much debate on how exactly to pronounce the name Dachshund. You never want to pronounce it as Dash-Hound, instead, it is Daks-Hund. Aside from learning how to properly pronounce this German word you will learn about the care, training, health, and overall popularity of the breed.
This low-to-the-ground, notoriously stubborn dog has stolen the hearts of people around the globe and made them one of the most popular dog breeds not just in their native Germany, but throughout the world. This hearty dog may be small in stature, but they have a big, loyal heart.
Learn how to find the right Dachshund for your family and how to properly care for and maintain them so they have a long, healthy life. A well-bred Dachshund can easily live 12-15 years and possibly even longer and you want them to have an excellent quality of life throughout all life cycles.
Find out the different types of Dachshunds that are out there and even if you have already discovered how fantastic this breed is, reading more about their personality, training, health, care, and history of the breed is always fun. If you are considering adding a Dachshund to your family, this article is a fantastic way to get to know the breed before bringing one home.
Dachshund At a glance
|Popularity||12th of 197 breeds per AKC|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years|
|Temperament||Stubborn, energetic, loyal, happy, curious, friendly|
|Height||8-9 inches for standard; 5-6 inches for a miniature|
|Weight||16-32 inches for standards; 11 pounds and under for miniature|
|Coat Type||Short-hair (smooth), long-hair, wire-hair|
|Grooming Needs||Minimal for short-hair; moderate for long-hair and wire-hair|
|Shedding||Moderate for all three coat types|
|Tolerance to Heat||Short-hair tolerates heat better than long-hairs and wire-hairs|
|Tolerance to Cold||Wire-hairs and long-hairs tolerate cold better than short-hair|
|Good with Children||Yes with children who respect their space|
|Good with Other Dogs||Yes when introduced correctly|
|Good with Other Pets||Should not be left alone with hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, birds, or other small pets|
|Exercise Needs||30-60 minutes a day|
|Health Problems||IVDD, PRA, obesity, dental and gum issues, DVMD, Cushing’s Disease, Lafora, cancers, and tumors|
|Average Puppy Price||$1200-$2500|
|Ease of Training||Moderate due to their stubbornness|
|Loudness||Minimal to moderate|
|Stranger Friendly||Most will be wary of strangers|
|Weight Problems||Yes without proper diet and exercise|
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History of Dachshund
The Dachshund is a scent hound that was developed in Germany as a tenacious hunting dog. The breed can be traced as far back as the 15th century but the popularity of the breed skyrocketed during the 17th century.
Dachshund literally translates from German as badger dogs and that is exactly what they did. They were bred to go underground through the badger tunnels and flush their prey out into the open.
Their short legs, long backs, deep chests, and loose skin made them ideal for digging and squirming into the tunnels and then fighting the badgers that would not easily flush out of the tunnels.
As the breed became more popular as a companion the Dachshund evolved into two sizes: standard that is 16 to 32 pounds and miniature that is 11 pounds and under. The standard size was used to hunt hare, fox, and wild boar, along with badgers.
In 1885, the Dachshund made its first appearance in the United States, and the American Kennel Club officially recognized them. Their popularity decreased when they were associated with Nazi Germany during World War II.
The AKC rebranded the breed during this time as the Badger Dog and their popularity once again began to increase. Today, the Dachshund is commonly listed in the top ten most popular dog breeds on many websites including the AKC.
Type of Dachshund Dog
Despite their small stature, they are often the first to speak and the last to back-down. They tend rely on their wit and clever nature to make up for their size.
In the United States, the Dachshund comes in two sizes: standard and miniature. Although there is an informal size that falls between the miniature and standard called the “tweenie” that is usually 12-15 pounds.
There are three different coat types in the standard and miniature Dachshund: short-haired Dachshund (also known as smooth), long-haired Dachshund, and wire-haired Dachshund. The Dachshund comes in several different colors and patterns with new colors and patterns in the works to be approved by the Dachshund Club of America and the American Kennel Club.
Fun Facts of Dachshund
- Dachshund is German for badger dog
- There are two different sizes of Dachshund in the United States
- Dachshunds come in three different coat types
- The breed’s popularity declined in the U.S. after World War I because they are a German breed and used in a lot of different propaganda. The Dachshund was called a Badger Dog or a Liberty Pup.
- Dachshund races began in the 1970s in Australia and have since become popular around the world including the annual Wienerschnitzel Weiner Nationals held in Southern California.
- The hotdog’s original name was the Dachshund sausage because it looked like the dog’s long body.
- The first Olympic mascot was a Dachshund named Waldi at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The marathon route was in the shape of a Dachshund.
- The first dog cloned in Britain was a Dachshund named Winnie.
- There have been two Dachshunds and a Dachshund mix named as the World’s Oldest Dog in the Guinness World Record. A Dachshund named Chanel who lived to 21 years old and a Dachshund-Terrier mix named Otto that lived to 20 years old along with a Dachshund named Scrolly who also lived to 20 years old.
Dachshund Dog Breed – Facts and Personality Traits
Stubbornness is the most definitive personality trait that a Dachshund has and you will have to handle them with finesse to work around that stubbornness. A Dachshund can also be a mischievous creature and loves to play games when they are not working.
Loyal is another personality trait that most Dachshunds possess. They will bond closely with their family and will do all they can to ensure that you love them and want them with you. Their loyalty makes them one of the most loveable dogs.
Being a scent hound that was bred to go into the badger tunnels and pull their prey out, they have to be stubborn and tenacious. Their low, long bodies and thick chests help them to quickly dig and wiggle into and out of the tunnels.
Is a dachshund a good family dog?
You will hear people say that a Dachshund makes a terrible family dog while others will argue that a Dachshund makes a fantastic family dog. Having been working with the breed for over 20 years, I have to say that a Dachshund does make a good family dog if they are trained right and the children are respectful of their space.
Toddlers and Dachshund puppies do not usually make good friends only because toddlers are not steady on their feet and can fall on a Dachshund causing injury or even paralysis if a disc gets ruptured or slipped.
You also want to teach your young children how to respect a Dachshund’s space and not pull on their ears, tails, or legs. If a Dachshund, or really any dog, feels threatened they will probably lash out and can injure a child.
Families with older children do wonderfully with a Dachshund as their family dog. Just remember, while a Dachshund will love all the people in their household, they do pick a favorite who is their comforter and protector.
Behavior of Dachshund
When you have a well-bred dog, you will know the type of behavior to expect but remember; a lot of a dog’s behavior is also learned and depends strongly on training. A dachshund in general is stubborn, energetic, happy, and loyal.
When you bring your Dachshund home, training should begin immediately to shape them into the companion you are hoping to have. A well-trained Dachshund will be happy and understand what is expected of them.
A Dachshund that is not well-bred or well-trained can become dominant, snappy, and a lousy family companion. Put time and effort into molding a family companion that you can trust and love. You will not be sorry you spent the time or energy.
Dachshunds can become food and/or toy aggressive. If you notice this behavior, you will want to immediately begin training them to be able to safely remove food and toys from them without them becoming aggressive. Seek the assistance of a trainer if you are not sure how to properly handle a dog showing aggressive tendencies.
The Dachshund is one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world. Their short legs and long backs along with their big floppy ears make them an instant favorite with many people.
The Dachshund technically comes in two sizes: standard and miniature. However, countries outside the United States do recognize three sizes: standard, miniature, and rabbit.
- Standard Dachshund: 16 to 32 pounds
- Miniature Dachshund: 11 pounds and under for the United States; 12 to 15 pounds in Europe
- Rabbit Dachshund: 11 pounds and under in Europe
You will notice the miniature Dachshund is two different sizes depending on where in the world you live. In the United States, Dachshunds that weigh 12 to 15 pounds are informally called “tweenies” meaning they fall between the miniature and standard.
Dachshunds also come in three different coat types: short-hair, long-hair, and wire-hair. They also come in several different colors and coat patterns. The original colors of the Dachshund were red (with the occasional wild boar or red with black hairs running through) and black and tan. Chocolate and tan were also acceptable as it is dilute of the black and tan.
Living Needs for Dachshund
A Dachshund will be happy no matter where their family is and they will flourish as long as they get the attention, love, and care they deserve. Whether you live in an apartment, condo, traditional home, sprawling farm, or even a mansion, a Dachshund will adjust to their surroundings and enjoy life to the fullest.
Set up a schedule for potty breaks, walks, and playtime when you do not have a fenced yard to turn your Dachshund out and let them do their thing without constant supervision. If you live in an apartment or have shared walls, you will want to train your Dachshund to not be too vocal as to annoy your neighbors.
If you do have a fenced yard and turn your Dachshund out to romp and play, you will want to take a stroll along your fence every few days to look for holes being dug beneath for a quick escape. Dachshunds are notorious diggers.
Dachshund Care and Health
Diet and Nutrition
Many people feel that their dog needs a specialized diet to meet all their nutritional needs. While feeding a raw diet or a specialty food may sound like a great idea, if you do not fully understand the nutritional needs of your Dachshund it could cause problems later in life.
Many raw diets do not provide the right balance of protein, grain, carbohydrates, and vegetables and can leave your Dachshund lacking in important vitamins and minerals. Therefore, carefully research raw diets before you make the switch to feeding raw.
The only time your Dachshund will need a specialized diet is if your veterinarian feels your dog will benefit due to gastrointestinal issues or allergic reactions. A quality kibble that does not include dyes and fillers is a good choice for your Dachshund.
Each life stage will require a specific food. Puppies will need a diet formulated especially for growing puppies. Look for a food that is high in protein but also has a good amount of fat to ensure healthy skin.
Adult Dachshunds will require a diet that is rich in protein and is also good for their coat and skin. Many people consider senior dogs to be seven years and older, however, many Dachshunds are long-lived and therefore, a true senior Dachshund is usually ten years and older. I do not switch to a senior diet until they reach ten years.
A senior diet is lower in protein but still has the nutrients needed to maintain healthy brain function and immunity. Some Dachshunds may require a softer diet as they age, if this is the case, look for a softer food that is not filled with water or gravy as these are fillers and have very little nutritional value.
How much Exercise does a Dachshund Need?
A Dachshund does not require an excessive amount of exercise. They are short-legged, long-backed dogs therefore you want to avoid stair or rock climbing. You also do not want them jumping in and out of the car or off furniture.
Dachshunds, however, love to run and play fetch. They are also expert diggers. Turn your Dachshund out in your backyard and watch them run or set up a sandpit and bury a favorite toy or treat for an enrichment activity.
Dachshunds should spend at least 30 minutes doing physical activities in the morning and then again in the evening. Add in some brain enrichment activities such as interactive toys and games to keep their brain sharp and focused as they age.
How to Groom Longhair Dachshund
The grooming of a Dachshund will depend on the coat type you have. A short-haired Dachshund requires the least amount of grooming. They need their ears cleaned weekly, nails trimmed monthly, teeth brushed every day or every other day, and then a bath monthly.
A long-hair Dachshund and a wire-haired Dachshund require more grooming such as brushing them once a week. The wire-haired Dachshund does require hand plucking when they begin shedding and the long-haired Dachshund needs extra grooming when they shed. Ear cleaning should be done weekly, then nail trimming and bathing monthly.
Do not over-bathe your Dachshund, bathing too often can cause skin dryness and dandruff. Shampoos with fragrances can also cause skin irritation. When trimming their nails, a nail Dremel is better than clippers, you just have to get your Dachshund used to the sound and feel of the Dremel.
Dachshund Health Problems
Dachshunds are generally healthy dogs with the exception of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
- PRA or progressive retinal atrophy is a group of diseases that affect the photoreceptor cells within the eye and cause the cells to atrophy or deteriorate. Dachshunds affected with PRA will eventually go blind.
- IVDD or intervertebral disc disease affects the spine usually of long-backed, short-legged dogs. In milder cases, there is a partial loss of feeling and function in the limbs. Dogs with a more severe case of IVDD can cause complete paralysis of the hindquarters. Dachshunds have the most documented cases of IVDD but it can affect any dog breed.
Other health issues to be aware of in Dachshunds include degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD), cancers and tumors, Cushing’s disease, and Lafora disease. While general check-ups with your veterinarian will help catch any disease that may be affecting your Dachshund, you can do things at home to ensure they stay in good health.
Dachshunds are prone to obesity so you will want to keep your Dachshund active and at their optimal weight. Feeding a well-balanced diet, minimizing threats and people’s food, and having a set exercise regimen will help keep them at their ideal weight.
Dental issues can also be problematic for Dachshunds. Start your Dachshund on teeth brushing schedule to keep any tartar build-up to a minimum and ensure that they have healthy teeth and gums. If you notice overcrowding of your Dachshund’s teeth, consult your veterinarian.
How to Train a Dachshund
Dachshunds are notorious for being hard-headed and stubborn, but they are also wearing their heart on their sleeve. A Dachshund hates getting into trouble and displeasing their owner, but, their stubbornness will sometimes be its downfall.
Be consistent when training your Dachshund, also have plenty of treats and patience. Your Dachshund is going to try your patience, but stick with it and do not let them win. Short training sessions are always best and always end on a positive note so your Dachshund feels like they really did something and you are proud of them.
If you are not an experienced dog owner, you may want to invest in puppy training classes or general puppy manners classes to start the training process with your new Dachshund. Look for a dog trainer that is familiar with the breed.
Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs. They would go into the dens of a badger or fox and chase it out. This required some iron determination to prevail. In fact, the name dachshund means “badger dog.”
Leash Training Dachshund
When I have to leash train a Dachshund, I do not slip the collar or harness, attach the leash, and start walking. Most Dachshunds will balk at this type of training. Instead, start them young by wearing a collar or harness around the house.
Once your Dachshund is used to their collar or harness attach the leash and let them drag the leash along behind them in the house. They will become accustomed to the feel of the leash without meeting any type of resistance.
Finally, load your pockets with treats, pick up the leash, and start coaxing your Dachshund along with treats and praise. They will quickly understand exactly what you are expecting of them and want to please you.
Potty Training Dachshund
Most Dachshunds are generally clean and do not like to mess in their beds. Therefore, I always start out crate training all of my Dachshunds by using a crate, playpen, or exercise pen.
When they are out of their crate, they are limited to one room and put on a strict schedule to go outside and potty. As your Dachshund learns their boundaries you can begin giving them more access to other rooms in your home.
Dachshunds work best on rewards and treats. They really want to please you, even though their stubbornness may rise up from time to time. Be patient and consistent during the potty training process.
Are Dachshunds aggressive?
A well-bred and well-trained Dachshund will not be aggressive. They can be protective of their family and may growl at people they do not know. A Dachshund can also become possessive of their food dish and their toys; therefore, proper training is a must to ensure your Dachshund is a well-adjusted member of the family.
Dachshunds that are not well-bred can develop aggression issues and will need continual training to ensure their aggressive tendencies do not get out of hand. A dog trainer that specializes in dogs with aggression is recommended.
Some Dachshunds will vocalize their displeasure and it may sound like a growl or grunt. Learn your Dachshund’s vocalizations and understand whether or not they are simply “grumping” at you or if they are growling in an aggressive manner.
Do Dachshunds bark a lot?
In general, a Dachshund is not a barky breed. They do not bark just to hear the sound of their own voice like some other breeds tend to do. However, a Dachshund will vocalize and let you know if someone is prowling around your home or is somewhere they should not be.
A Dachshund may also talk to you and vocalize their needs such as when they need to go outside or would like a treat or attention. Some Dachshunds are very quiet and do not vocalize unless they are sounding an alarm while others can be very talkative.
Can Dachshunds be left alone all day?
Depending on your Dachshund’s personality, most can be left alone all day while you are away at work. There are instances where a Dachshund is very attached to their family and being left home alone all day can cause anxiety.
Leave plenty of toys and chews to keep your Dachshund entertained when you are gone all day. Sometimes a radio playing to break the silence in the home is a good way to soothe your Dachshund. Two Dachshunds do fantastic home alone all day since they will have each other for company.
Do not leave your Dachshund loose in your home when you will be gone all day until they are completely trained. Exercise pens, playpens, and/or crates are wonderful tools to keep your dog contained and your furnishings safe while they are being trained.
Do Dachshunds get attached to one person?
For the most part, your Dachshund will pick their special person, although they will love and bond with the entire family. They do become attached to the entire family but you will know which person has that special place in their heart by which they go to for comfort and want to spend the most time snuggling with.
Even if you have more than one Dachshund, they will still bond closely with their family. The loyalty of the Dachshund is legendary and many times it makes re-homing an adult Dachshund a little difficult as they truly love and adore their people.
Are female or male Dachshunds better?
This is a loaded question and one that has been debated to death! For me, I always prefer my males to my females. I have found that males are easier to train than females. Yes, if you do not properly train a male, they may mark their territory in your home. However, a well-trained male Dachshund will not mark in your home.
On the flip side, it has been my experience that females will be sneaky and will go off to potty in other rooms in your home without you realizing it. If you have an intact female, then you will also have to deal with heat cycles and that can become messy.
There are always exceptions to every rule, and while I prefer males, I have had some very special females in my life. It also depends on how comfortable you are with each gender. Some people are more comfortable with girls than boys and others prefer having boys.
Why do Dachshunds cry so much?
A well-adjusted Dachshund will not cry much. When you bring a new puppy home you can definitely expect them to cry until they become used to their new home and family. Once they have adjusted and feel safe and comforted, the crying will lessen.
Your Dachshund may cry when they need to go outside or want attention or reassurance. You will learn the different cues that your dog will give you. If you think your Dachshund’s crying is excessive or they seem to be in pain, seek your veterinarian’s opinion.
Do Dachshunds like to be held?
Most Dachshunds love to be held and cuddled. They want to feel safe and secure with the people they adore. So, sit back and snuggle with your Dachshund for a bit. Petting and cuddling with a pet will help you relax and give your dog the attention they crave.
Obviously, it is easier to hold a miniature Dachshund that weighs less than 12 pounds versus a standard Dachshund that can reach 30 pounds. However, a Dachshund is a Dachshund, and snuggling with one is great medicine.
What is the difference between a Dachshund and a Wiener dog?
There is no difference between a Dachshund and a wiener dog, they are often referred to as wiener dogs because of their long body that resembles a hotdog. Some delis even referred to hotdogs as Dachshund sausages.
How do I stop my Dachshund peeing in the house?
Consistency and patience will help with training your Dachshund to stop peeing in your house. If you have an intact male that has been allowed to mark their territory indoors, you may want to consider investing in belly bands or doggy diapers until they learn what is acceptable behavior. Neutering will also help with stopping marking behavior.
Put your Dachshund on a potty schedule and stick to it. Take them to the exact same spot each time they go outdoors to potty and praise them when they pee outdoors. Treats are also a good tool in rewarding them when they pee outdoors.
If your Dachshund is peeing excessively, you may want to limit their water intake and if that does not help, a trip to your veterinarian may be in order. A bladder infection or a urinary tract infection may be causing your Dachshund to pee excessively and uncontrollably.
What is the rarest Dachshund color?
The original colors of the Dachshund in their country of origin, Germany, were red or black and tan with the occasional chocolate and tan being born. Chocolate and tan are dilute of black and tan. As Dachshund became more popular within the United States, other colors and patterns began emerging.
While a dapple and piebald used to be a rare pattern in the Dachshund, they have become very popular and been bred quite a lot. Isabella, English cream and blue are considered by many to be rare colors but even these colors are beginning to be bred more often, but many claim the solid black, without any tan or white, is the rarest Dachshund color.
Why are Dachshunds so hard to potty train?
I have not found potty training to be an issue, but there are always exceptions. When potty training, just like with a human child, consistency is the key to success. Put your Dachshund on a schedule and stick with it. Take them to the exact same place to potty so they learn that when they go outside, their first order of business is to go potty.
Never play with your Dachshund outside until they have done their business. Bring a few treats with you so you can praise them for going potty and then give them a small reward. Dachshunds are stubborn dogs and respond best to praise and rewards.
If your Dachshund is still having accidents in the house or seems to be urinating excessively, you will want to make a visit to your veterinarian’s office to ensure there is not an underlying health problem causing the excessive urination or defecation.
Is it better to have 2 Dachshunds?
In my opinion, it is always better to have two Dachshunds. Dachshunds are pack animals and they love having someone to keep them company and have a special bond with. While humans are great, a dog, especially a Dachshund, needs a canine companion that they can play with.
I find it easier to raise two puppies together, but some people may find this overwhelming. If that is the case, I suggest getting the first one through the potty training phase and then bringing home a new brother or sister. Dachshunds will still bond with their human family but will have the needed canine companionship when their humans cannot be home with them.
An added bonus to having two Dachshunds of differing ages is that the older Dachshund can teach the newer addition the ropes of the household and can even be beneficial in housetraining. The new puppy will follow the lead of the older Dachshund.
Are Dachshunds jealous dogs?
Generally, a Dachshund is not an overly jealous dog. You will have some jealousy when they have been the center of your world and somebody new comes in and they do not get as much of your attention. Whether it is a new pet, a child, or a significant other, expect a little bit of jealousy.
But, jealousy can easily be thwarted by giving reassurance to your Dachshund that they are still loved and cherished. If you have brought in a new pet, make sure your Dachshund is not pushed aside. Give them their food and treats before the new pet gets theirs, keep their routine the same, and reassure them with a few extra cuddles.
Why do Dachshunds like to sleep under blankets?
Dachshunds were bred to go underground through badger tunnels after their prey; therefore they are very comfortable digging in their blankets and creating a little tunnel to sleep in. A smooth-coat Dachshund will also become chilled easily and love to burrow into their blankets to stay warm.
The softer, fluffier the blanket the better for a Dachshund to snuggle into, they also love cuddle beds when your bed is not readily available for them. It is best to scatter a few cuddle beds through the house, in the kitchen, living areas, bedrooms, and office areas so your Dachshund can be comfortable no matter which room you are in.
If you are considering adding a Dachshund to your family, do your homework, research breeders, and find the best one that will fit your family’s day-to-day lifestyle. If you are an active family, you do not want a couch potato for a dog, you want one that is willing to get out there and be as active as you are.
Training a Dachshund takes consistency and a lot of patience, but the end result is a loyal, smart, mischievous, happy companion that will become an important part of your family. Do not let their stubbornness intimidate you or steamroll you into giving in, stick with their training and you will be head over heels in love with this breed.
After over 20 years of showing, training, breeding, and loving the Dachshund I have to say there is no other breed like these loyal little sausages. When properly bred and cared for, you will have a long-lived companion that will worm its way into your heart and give you so much unconditional love.