When you think of a “wiener dog” the image that probably comes to mind is a short-haired, long-backed, and short-legged little dog. The short-haired Dachshund is the original wiener dog and is a stubborn, tenacious, but totally devoted companion.
The short-haired Dachshund is, in my opinion, one of the coolest dogs in the world. I may be a bit biased as my parents have been devoted to preserving the breed since 1996 and I have had a few Dachshunds who have completely stolen my heart over the years.
While I love the long-haired variety of Dachshund, it is the short-haired variety that I am in love with and enjoys showing in conformation. The short-haired Doxie will choose their favorite person in the family and while they like everyone in the family, there is that one person who is their best friend.
What Does a Short-haired Dachshund Look Like?
I think most people know a short-haired Dachshund as soon as they see one, with their classic hound-dog ears that hang down, short legs, and long back, they are both noble and comical at the same time.
Depending on whether your smooth-coated Doxie is a standard or miniature, their size will vary from 5-6 pounds all the way up to 32 pounds and sometimes larger. Standards are obviously more impressive than miniatures with their deep chest and thick legs and body, but the miniature version is still striking and easier to pick up and cuddle.
Shorted Haired Dachshunds At A Glance
|Colors||Red, Black/Tan, Chocolate/Tan, Isabella, English Cream, Brindle, Blue|
|Color Patterns||Solid, Dapple, Pie-bald|
|Temperament||Stubborn, energetic, loyal, Suspicious|
|Height||8-9 inches for standard; 5-6 inches for a miniature.|
|Weight||16-32 pounds for standards; 11 pounds and under for miniature.|
|Health Problems||IVDD, PRA, obesity, dental and gum issues, DVMD, Cushing’s Disease, Lafora, cancers, and tumors|
|Exercise Needs||30-60 minutes a day|
Short-haired Dachshund Fun Facts
- They are tenacious diggers and will excavate your yard or dig under fencing
- They can be found in miniature and standard sizes
- They love cuddle beds, blankets, and toys
- You can find them in a variety of colors and patterns (avoid the double dapples)
- In the winter, they may need a coat or sweater when they go outside
- They can be extremely stubborn
- The smooth-coated Dachshund picks a favorite person
- A quality Dachshund can cost on average between $1200-$2500
- Prey drive is very high in a short-haired Dachshund
Pros and Cons of Owning a short-haired Dachshund
|Minimal grooming||Very stubborn|
|Intelligent||Love to dig|
|Do not get a “dog smell”||Do shed during season changes|
|Low maintenance||They are a one-person dog|
|Very loyal and loving||Do get cold during the winter months|
The Dachshund originated in Germany probably during the 15th century as a hunting dog. It was not until the 17th century when the Dachshund started to gain popularity. The word dachshund literally translates to badger dogs and they are very efficient and effective in going to the ground and getting their prey.
It was also during the 17th century that the breed evolved into standard and miniature sizes. The standard Dachshund was still used to hunt badgers and they were also used to hunt wild boar, whereas the miniature variety was used to hunt fox and hare. Germany also has a size between standard and miniature.
It was not until the late 1800s that the Dachshund made its way to the United States and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Popularity in the U.S. skyrocketed during the 1930s and 1940s. To this day, the Dachshund is still a very popular dog.
Short-haired Dachshund Temperament
The smooth-coated or short-haired Dachshund is first and foremost stubborn. They are also happy, energetic, loyal, and intelligent, which can make for a rather interesting companion. They are smart enough to assess a situation and can even problem solve and find ways to make their owner look a bit foolish at times.
You definitely want to keep your short-haired Dachshund occupied or they will make their own mischief and find things to keep them busy. Interactive toys are a great way to keep them engaged and make them use their brain.
A smooth-coated Doxie will also love snuggle time with their favorite person and will expect you to have a set routine with a snuggle time set. Many times people do not put their Dachshund on a set schedule and that will lead to upheaval in your household because your dog does not know what is expected.
All of my Dachshunds have set times that they get fed, have playtime, have downtime or nap time, and have snuggle time. This way they know what is expected and it makes for a more structured day and happier canine companion.
How Much Exercise Does a Short Haired Dachshund Need?
A short-haired Dachshund, like the other two coat varieties, does need at least 30 minutes of continuous activity a day, but really 60 minutes broken into two 30-minute blocks or four 15-minute blocks is better for your Doxie.
Puppies and young adults will need more exercise than older dogs, standard Dachshunds will also need more exercise than a miniature. A dog that is being conditioned for dog sports will also require more exercise than a dog that is simply your companion.
A brisk 15-minute walk two to four times a day is a great way to keep your Doxie moving and keep them in shape. Letting them run around the backyard and playing fetch is another great way for them to get their exercise. Some people even install sand pits for their Doxie to dig in so the yard does not get excavated.
Avoid strenuous activities that could put a strain on your short-haired Dachshund’s back. Limit the number of stairs they have to climb and do not have them do many jumps that may jar their vertebrates.
Grooming and Shedding
Many people are under the misconception that the smooth-coated Dachshund does not shed. While they do not shed clumps of hair, they do shed and it is short, fine hairs that will get on your clothing and furniture (know more about grooming).
Brush your short-haired Dachshund at least once a week to ensure that shedding is minimal, especially when the seasons change. Use a soft slicker brush or bristle brush to remove any loose hair and any dirt and debris that has collected on their coat.
You will also want to clean their ears once or twice a month. If you notice a foul odor or excessive dirt, clean their ears every few days and consult your veterinarian if the problem persists.
Clip their nails every four to six weeks depending on how fast the nails grow and whether or not your Doxie wears the nails down. Many Dachshunds do not enjoy nail trims so if you can, use a Dremel to file their nails as it is less traumatic and you have a lesser chance of taking the nails too short.
Nutrition/Diet and Feeding
Short-haired Dachshunds can easily become overweight therefore careful monitoring of their food and snack intake is important, especially as they age. Once your Doxie puppy reaches 16 weeks or so, you will evaluate their relationship with food and if you notice them getting a bit chunky you will want to begin limiting their food and snacks.
It is important to keep them lean and well-muscled so food that is high in protein is a good idea. A lower fat content is ideal but if the fat percentage is too low, then their skin and coat can suffer. However, if you find a food you really like but it is too low in fat you can add coconut oil or another palatable fat to their diet for coat and skin health.
Raw diets and grain-free diets are not something I recommend. To feed a raw diet, it takes a lot of research and understanding of the proper nutrition for Dachshunds. It can also be very expensive. Grain-free diets are only beneficial if your Doxie has a grain allergy. I am a firm believer that a well-rounded diet should have some grain.
Do your research and do not buy into the fad diets and specialty foods unless your short-haired Dachshund has a medical condition that requires a specialty diet. Remember, puppies do need quality puppy food and should not be switched to adult food until at least 6 months of age, but one year of age is better.
Adults also require quality food that has a balanced analysis and they will not need a senior diet until they are about 10 years old. Many dog food companies will recommend changing to a senior diet at 7 years old but for a Dachshund, they really are not a senior until at least 10 years.
Short-haired Dachshund Known Health Problems
The short-haired Dachshund does have the same health concerns as the wire-haired and long-haired varieties. IVDD or intervertebral disc disease is the most prevalent health concern for the short-haired Dachshund and unfortunately, more than 85% of all Dachshunds have some form of IVDD. In milder cases there are partial paralysis or loss of feeling and function in the limbs, more severe cases there is total paralysis.
Another serious health concern for short-haired Dachshunds is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) which causes blindness. PRA was originally a long-haired Dachshund health concern, but as breeders have interbred the three coat types, it has become problematic in all varieties.
Other health problems in Dachshunds include degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD), Cushing’s disease, Lafora disease, cancers, and tumors. Dachshunds as a whole are prone to obesity and dental issues.
Is It Easy to Train a Short-haired Dachshund?
Some people claim that you do not really train a short-haired Dachshund but they train you. I believe that it takes a person more stubborn than a Dachshund to properly and completely train a Dachshund.
You have to be persistent, consistent, and just a bit stubborn to ensure that training sessions do not spiral out of control. Lots of treats and praise are also necessary to win your Dachshund’s love and respect when you are training. While they are stubborn and want what they want, they also crave affirmation that they are doing something right.
Always keep training sessions upbeat and happy and end each one with a positive exercise, lots of praise, and just maybe a treat or two. Keep your training sessions short as well, start out with 5-minute sessions and then work up from there. You do not want to wear them out or have them lose interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a smooth-coated Dachshund shed?
Yes, a smooth-coated Dachshund will shed especially during season changes. Regular grooming will keep the short hairs from becoming unmanageable or from clinging to your clothes or furniture.
Does my short-haired Dachshund get cold?
Most short-haired Dachshunds will get cold when the temperatures dip below freezing. This is why you will notice them burrowing in blankets or looking to snuggle with you.
Should I put a coat on my short-haired Dachshund in the winter?
If you notice your short-haired Dachshund is shivering and uncomfortable because they are cold, then a coat or sweater is definitely recommended. Make sure you measure your Doxie to find a coat or sweater that will fit them properly.
If you are unsure how to measure your pup for a coat or sweater, you can take them to a pet specialty store and the associates will be more than happy to help you fit your Dachshund for the right winter outerwear.
How do I know if my Dachshund puppy is a standard or mini?
This is a very tricky question and sometimes even breeders can be fooled when it comes to determining the size of a Dachshund. All Dachshunds are derived from the larger, standard size; therefore, even miniature parents can produce a standard puppy.
For the most part, you can determine if a Dachshund will be standard or mini by looking at their littermates and by looking at their bone structure. Larger feet and legs can be indicative of a larger tweenie or standard-sized Dachshund.
A tweenie Dachshund is an unofficial term meaning that a Dachshund is larger than the 11-pound miniature and smaller than the 16-pound standard.
Why are schedules important when I have a Dachshund?
Dachshunds thrive in an environment that has structure and they know what is expected of them and what they can expect from you. Set a schedule that best suits your daily activities and works in plenty of “Doxie time” so they are not left alone or shoved aside when you are busy.
All of my Dachshunds are on a set schedule and while there are times we have to deviate from that schedule, it is a much more balanced home because there are specific times set aside that are just for the Doxies and then times when they have downtime and take naps or quietly chew their bones.
My short-haired Dachshund has a funny smell, should I be concerned?
It may be that it is time for your smooth-coated Dachshund to have a bath, they generally need a bath every 4 to 6 weeks but can sometimes go every 6 to 8 weeks. Some short-haired Dachshunds love to find smelly things to wallow in and that could be the cause of the funny smell.
If you have just bathed your Doxie and there is still an odd odor, thoroughly examine your dog from head to toe. Look for any skin irritation or scrapes that could be infected. Sniff their ears as Dachshunds can develop ear infections. Check their anal glands as well and see if they need to be expressed.
If the funny smell persists, contact your veterinarian and go in for a general check-up. There could be an underlying health concern that has not been diagnosed that is causing the odd odor.
My short-haired Dachshund scratches all the time, what can cause this?
Skin irritation is the number one cause of itching and that can range from allergies to external pests. Thoroughly check your Dachshund for fleas and treat accordingly if found. A topical flea preventative is a good idea during the months that fleas are most active.
If there are no external parasites, check for dry, flaky skin as this can also cause your Dachshund to itch. Skin that is dry will need a good moisturizing conditioner and then you may need to add fat to their diet such as coconut oil.
Finally, if you do not find any apparent cause for their itching, a trip to the vet may be in order to rule out any type of allergy. Food allergies, while not common in Dachshunds, can occur and can be very uncomfortable for your companion.
Where can I find a short-haired Dachshund?
Dachshund rescue groups are a great way to find a short-haired Dachshund if you are looking to adopt an older dog. You can also check with the Dachshund Club of America for a list of rescues. Local animal shelters and rescue groups for all breeds may also have a short-haired Dachshund that has been surrendered and is in need of a home.
There are a number of reputable breeders of smooth-coated Dachshunds who are willing to help you find the right puppy. or adult that will fit into your family. Do your research and find a breeder that you are comfortable with, do not be afraid to ask questions as this is how you will get to know the breeder and their breeding practices.
We often get complaints about not getting good breed of dachshund in California. If you hail from the same state, then check the list.
Is a Short-haired Dachshund Right for You?
If you are looking for the original wiener dog, then the short-haired Dachshund is the one for you. They are happy, loyal, intelligent, and great at snuggling. They do shed so if you are in need of a completely hypoallergenic dog, this is not the dog for you.
They are not outdoor dogs, as in they are not meant to live outdoors without much social interaction. The short-haired Dachshund will become a nuisance if left on their own too long and they will completely excavate your yard. They also get cold and require heat in the winter.
The short-haired Dachshund is ideal if you are looking for a loyal dog that wants nothing more than to snuggle with you and play games, go for walks, or play a spirited game of fetch. Dachshunds also love to run and will take off at a moment’s notice after some type of prey whether it is rabbit or squirrel or even a mole or badger.
I admit to being completely in love with the short-haired Dachshund. There have been a few that still hold a piece of my heart years after they have passed on. The love and loyalty they give you are beyond compare and like I tell many of my clients, Dachshunds are addicting little dogs, once you have one you are hooked for life.