- What does a wire-haired dachshund look like?
- Wire Haired Dachshund At A Glance
- Wire haired Dachshund Fun Facts
- Pros and Cons of Owning a Wire-haired Dachshund
- Wire-haired Dachshund History
- Wire-haired Dachshund Temperament
- Exercise Requirements for Wire-haired Dachshund
- Wire-haired Dachshund Grooming and Shedding
- Wire-haired Dachshund Nutrition/Diet and Feeding
- Wire-haired Dachshund Known Health Problems
- How to Train a Wire-haired Dachshund
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do wire-haired Dachshunds shed?
- Is the wire-haired Dachshund as stubborn as other coat types?
- Why does my wire-haired Dachshund not have a thick beard and eyebrows?
- How can I tell if my Dachshund puppy is wire-haired?
- How long does it take for a wire-haired Dachshund to get their full coat?
- My wire-haired Dachshund scratches all the time, what can cause this?
- Where did the wire-haired Dachshund originate?
- Where can I find a wire-haired Dachshund?
- Is a Wire-haired Dachshund Right for You?
The wire-haired Dachshund is a lively, alert dog that is protective of their property and their family. While not normally a barky dog, the wire-haired Dachshund will sound the alarm should the need arise. The wire-haired Dachshund is the loudest of the three coat types and can easily be trained to “speak”.
These clever dogs are energetic and love spending time outdoors digging and racing after balls and sticks. Dachshunds need at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day to stay healthy and content.
Keep reading to learn more about the history, health, care, and temperament of the wire-haired Dachshund. You can also read the full Dachshund profile to learn more about this stubborn yet fun breed. For any Dachshund lover, this should be your go-to resource.
What does a wire-haired dachshund look like?
The wire-haired Dachshund looks similar to both the short-haired and long-haired variety except they have courser hair that is more terrier in type. Wire-haired Dachshunds will have coarse hair on their bodies and will have a beard and bushy eyebrows similar to the Schnauzer.
The wire-haired Dachshund can be found in a variety of colors similar to those of the shorthair and longhair coat type such as black, red, chocolate, and brindle. Dapple patterns are also gaining popularity.
Some wire-haired that come from a wire-haired parent and a longhair parent will have what is commonly called a soft-wire coat. This means the coat is slightly coarse but does possess more longhair quality and will shed more than a true wire-haired.
A pin-wired wire-haired Dachshund is one that has shorter body hair and not such a full beard or eyebrows. A pin-wired Dachshund can come from a wire-haired parent and a shorthair parent.
Wire Haired Dachshund At A Glance
|Colors||Red, Black, Chocolate, Brindle|
|Color Patterns||Solid, Dapple|
|Temperament||Stubborn, energetic, loyal, alert|
|Height||8-9 inches for standard; 5-6 inches for a miniature|
|Weight||16-32 inches 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|
Wire haired Dachshund Fun Facts
- They are not overly barky but are the loudest of the 3 coat types
- They come in 2 sizes: miniature and standard sizes
- They love meeting new people
- They do need to be stripped 2-3 times a year but otherwise are mild shedders
- Like shorthair and longhair Dachshunds, they love dog beds and blankets
- They can be stubborn and hard to train without treats and patience
- Life expectancy is 12-15 years
- A wire-haired Dachshund can cost between $1000-$2500
- They are tenacious diggers and also love to chew
Pros and Cons of Owning a Wire-haired Dachshund
|Loyal to their family||More grooming required than on a shorthair|
|Smart and alert||Can be very stubborn and territorial|
|More of a terrier nature||Love to dig and chew|
|Their furnishings (beard and eyebrows) are comical and fun||Can develop a dog smell when not bathed regularly|
|Suitable for apartments||More barky than the short and longhair Dachshund|
Wire-haired Dachshund History
It is well-known that the Dachshund hails from Germany and is believed to have originated during the 15th century to hunt badgers. The wire-haired variety was developed some time during the 19th century when breeders crossed a shorthair Dachshund with a rough-coated terrier, possibly the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Schnauzer, or Scottish terrier.
The resulting dogs had a rougher coat with a distinctive beard and eyebrows but the typical short-legged, long-backed appearance of the Dachshund. Many people believe the wire-haired was developed in the United States, but since the Dachshund is from Germany, the general consensus is that the wire-haired is also from Germany.
Wire-haired Dachshund Temperament
The wire-haired Dachshund has several of the more notable Dachshund traits such as stubborn, active, and loyal. However, due to the terrier influence in their development, they are also the most outgoing of the three varieties.
Many times a wire-haired Doxie does not know a stranger when they have been properly socialized from puppyhood. Wire-haired Dachshunds love meeting new people and are great little traveling companions.
A wire-haired Dachshund does still possess the most notable Dachshund trait: stubbornness. While your wire-haired Doxie may have more of a terrier look and temperament, they are still a Dachshund and their stubbornness will shine through especially during training.
Patience and treats will help convince the stubborn Dachshund that they really do want to do what you are asking whether it is potty training, obedience training, or just basic manners, rest assured your pup is super smart, just a tad stubborn and opinionated.
Exercise Requirements for Wire-haired Dachshund
A wire-haired Dachshund is the same as a shorthair and longhair when it comes to exercise requirements. You will want to spend at least 30 minutes per day in active play or exercise such as walking or running.
For standard-sized Dachshunds, 60 minutes each day is better for them. You can easily spend 15 to 30 minutes in the morning on a brisk walk or spirited game of fetch and then another 15 to 30 minutes in the evening.
These naturally athletic dogs love to run and play games. They also have a high prey drive and will easily excavate your yard if they do not have enough toys and chews to occupy their time. They will also become nuisance barkers if they are left alone to entertain themselves for long periods of time.
A fenced yard that is secure is ideal for your wire-haired Dachshund to get out in the sunshine and fresh air for time to run and play. A sand pit is a great way to encourage digging without them tearing up your yard and a small obstacle course is another way to keep them active, just be careful with jumps and things that may strain their backs.
Wire-haired Dachshund Grooming and Shedding
Wire-haired Dachshunds do require regular grooming to keep their coat properly conditioned and them looking their best. They have a coarse outer coat with a very thick undercoat. Plucking or stripping is also required throughout the years to remove dead hairs.
You will want to brush your wire-haired Doxie several times a week with a moderately stiff bristle brush. This will help remove dirt and debris from the coat. You can use a steel comb on your dog’s furnishings including their beard and eyebrows.
Your wire-haired Dachshund will generally need stripped or plucked twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. You will know they need stripped when their coat starts looking dull and dry.
You do not want to strip your wire-haired Dachshund right after a bath, clean hair is harder to grasp and pluck. Use a stripping knife and separate a section of hair then hold the hair between the stripping knife and your thumb while pulling it toward you. The loose undercoat will come out and any of the dead hairs on the outer coat.
Pluck any of the remaining hairs after you have stripped the entire body. You want the finished look to resemble a close-fitting jacket so your wire-haired Doxie looks dapper and clean.
Do not over-bathe your wire-haired Doxie, unlike the longhair and shorthair a wire-haired only needs a bath three to four times a year. Use a shampoo that is formulated for wire-haired dogs and uses only lukewarm water.
Wire-haired Dachshund Nutrition/Diet and Feeding
Dachshunds in general can be prone to overeating and become overweight. This is why exercise and quality food are important for their overall health. I am a firm believer in feeding quality kibble and am not a fan of grain-free or raw diets.
Feeding a raw diet that meets all your wire-haired Dachshund’s nutritional needs can be tricky and many people do not fully understand or have the knowledge to create a fully balanced raw diet for their canine companion. If you have decided to feed a raw diet, make sure you do your research and create a balanced diet plan.
I am also a believer that while too much grain in a diet is not good, canines do need at least some grain to create a balanced and nutritious diet. Dog food that is grain-based or has a lot of grains in the ingredients is not a great choice for your wire-haired Dachshund.
Remember, there are specialized foods for all life-stages and you will want to make sure your Doxie is eating a quality diet to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition. Puppies up to one year of age should eat quality puppy food. Adults up to 10 years should be eating a quality, premium diet that is properly balanced.
While many people claim a senior dog is age 7 years and older, I do not feel this is correct for a Dachshund. Many of my dachshunds live 15 to 17 years so to classify them a senior at 7 years is a bit much. I usually switch my Dachshunds to a senior diet when they turn 10 years old.
Feeding your wire-haired Dachshund is strongly dependent on their lifestyle. A Dachshund that leads a more sedentary life will need less food with a lower fat content than a Dachshund that is active and getting lots of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.
I generally feed Doxie puppies free choice until they are about 6 months old. If you notice your little sausage is getting plump, you will want to start limiting their food intake and increasing their activity level.
An adult Dachshund that has not been spayed or neutered and is active will require more food than a Dachshund that has been spayed or neutered. A dog’s metabolism changes when they have been altered (spayed or neutered) and they will need less food and more exercise to maintain their weight.
Expect your senior Dachshund to begin decreasing the amount of food they eat as their energy levels decrease. If you notice a drastic change in their food consumption, a trip to the vet may be in order as there could be an underlying dental or health problem.
Wire-haired Dachshund Known Health Problems
Dachshunds, no matter the coat type, have the same medical issues. IVDD or intervertebral disc disease is the most common ailment in Dachshunds. A Dachshund with an exaggerated back and very short legs will be more prone to back problems as they age.
Weight and exercise do play a role in whether your wire-haired Dachshund will develop back problems and the severity. An overweight Dachshund will be more likely to strain their backs when they do exert themselves. A Dachshund that is too high-key or excitable and jumps often can also be more prone to back strains and other problems.
PRA or progressive retinal atrophy is another condition that can affect Dachshunds, although it is most prevalent in longhairs. PRA will cause blindness and since all coat types have been interbred, PRA does affect all coat types.
An annual examination by a canine ophthalmologist will be in order if your wire-haired Dachshund has two copies of the gene that causes PRA. You will want to know if there are any significant changes to your Doxie’s vision so you can properly prepare to take care of them.
Other health problems in Dachshunds include DMVD or degenerative mitral valve disease, cancers and tumors, Cushing’s disease, and Lafora disease. Dachshunds in general are prone to dental disease and obesity.
How to Train a Wire-haired Dachshund
Due to their more terrier-type personalities, the wire-haired Dachshund can be a challenge to train. They are very active and alert, always looking for mischief and thinking of ways to get what they want.
The wire-haired Dachshund may not be the most stubborn of the coat types, but they definitely will exhibit their stubbornness at the most inopportune times. The selective hearing also seems to come with their stubborn streak and they will ignore you if something better catches their attention.
While I have not had the pleasure of raising wire-haired Dachshunds, I have taken a few into the show ring and spent time around the show circuit with some of the funniest and most dapper wire-haired Dachshunds. From personal experience, wire-haired dachshunds are like shorthairs and longhairs; they are food motivated and will work for tasty treats.
Do not use harsh training tactics with your wire-haired Doxie, they will shut down and not work for you at all. Instead, use lots of praise and positive reinforcement. Always be consistent when you are training any dog, especially a Dachshund.
Make training sessions short and fun. Your wire-haired Doxie will be more willing to work with you if things are kept short and lighthearted, and there are plenty of treats on hand. I like to keep training sessions between 10-15 minutes to start.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do wire-haired Dachshunds shed?
While the wire-haired Dachshund is the least shedding of all three coat types, they do still shed, especially if their coat is not properly maintained. You will want to brush your wire-haired Doxie at least two times a week with a bristle brush to loosen and remove any loose hairs.
Is the wire-haired Dachshund as stubborn as other coat types?
They are a Dachshund, so of course, the wire-haired has a stubborn streak that will definitely show up when you least expect it. Since terriers can also be stubborn, the wire-haired may have a double dose of stubbornness that will either endear them to you or make you want to pull your hair out.
Why does my wire-haired Dachshund not have a thick beard and eyebrows?
Your wire-haired Dachshund may still be a bit too young to have the fancy furnishings that a mature wire-haired has. Usually, their full beard and eyebrows do not fill in until they are over a year old.
The time of the year may also have something to do with the fullness of your wire-haired Doxie’s beard and eyebrows. If they have just been stripped and plucked, their furnishings may not be as thick and plush.
Proper coat maintenance also will determine how thick and adorable the wire-haired, do not over-bathe or they could develop patchy coat and skin problems. Comb their beard and eyebrows a few times a week to keep dirt and debris from collecting.
How can I tell if my Dachshund puppy is wire-haired?
To be certain at birth if your puppy is wire-haired, both parents need to be wire-haired and not carry genes for the other coat types. Otherwise, it will become more and more obvious a puppy is wire-haired as they grow, and usually, at about 3 weeks the breeder can determine coat type.
The outer coat of a wire-haired puppy will be rough or coarse and they will have the beginnings of bushy eyebrows and beard. Their overall body hair will be coarse and not sleek like a shorthair or have a fine fringe like a longhair.
A wire-haired Dachshund that has a wire-haired parent and a shorthair parent may have a shorter coarse coat than a wire-haired that has two wire-haired parents. You could also have what is commonly called a soft-wire-haired and this generally comes from a longhair parent and a wire-haired parent.
How long does it take for a wire-haired Dachshund to get their full coat?
A wire-haired Dachshund’s mature coat will depend on its genetics, conditioning, and diet. Wire-haired puppies will need to be stripped near a year of age and that is when you notice their adult coat is beginning to come in.
Full coat for a wire-haired including their furnishings will be around two years of age. Some wire-haired dachshunds do mature more quickly and will get their full coat before two years old.
My wire-haired Dachshund scratches all the time, what can cause this?
An itchy dog is no laughing matter, it could be pests such as fleas or mites or it might be something more sinister like a food allergy or other underlying health problem. Thoroughly check your Dachshund over from head to toe, looking for fleas. If you see fleas bathe your Doxie and apply a flea treatment.
If your Dachshund is itching their ears or head, check their ears. Ears that hang down are more prone to ear infections. Clean their ears and carefully dry them. If the itching persists, make an appointment with your vet to check for an infection or mites.
Food allergies or dry skin can also cause your wire-haired Dachshund to be itchy and scratch all the time. Talk with your vet if your Doxie’s skin looks healthy and no flakes can be seen. A food allergy may be the cause of your dog’s discomfort.
Where did the wire-haired Dachshund originate?
While the Dachshund breed originated in Germany, there is a lot of discussion regarding the origins of the wire-haired variety. Some people argue that the wire-haired Dachshund was first bred in the United States in the late 19th century while others firmly believe they were created in their native Germany.
The wire-haired variety was created when the shorthair Dachshund was crossbred with a terrier, most likely the Dandie Dinmont, Scottie, or Schnauzer. TheFédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and American Kennel Club (AKC) both state the wire-haired Dachshund originated in Germany.
Where can I find a wire-haired Dachshund?
There are plenty of Dachshund rescues throughout the United States and you can even check with local Dachshund clubs or the national club, the Dachshund Club of America, for a list of rescue groups near you. Local animal shelters and all-breed rescues may even be able to help if you are looking to rescue.
For those looking to purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder, you can check with the Dachshund Club of America or even the breeder directory on AKC’s marketplace website.
Make sure you do your research when you are planning to either adopt from a rescue or purchase from a breeder. You will want to be confident in the breeder or organization where you will be getting your wire-haired Dachshund from, they will be a resource for you for the life of your Doxie.
Is a Wire-haired Dachshund Right for You?
For those who love Dachshunds but also love the look of a terrier, or the terrier temperament, the wire-haired Dachshund is probably the dog for you. They are the most outgoing of the three coat types and love getting out and meeting people.
A wire-haired does require grooming a few times each week and it can be time-consuming when you strip them twice a year. Luckily, they only need a bath three to four times a year. They can develop a dog smell but a quick refresh with waterless shampoo can help keep them from smelling.
The wire-haired is also the least shedding of the three coat types which is wonderful when you love the Dachshund breed but not the shedding that occurs with them. Regular grooming and coat maintenance are necessary to keep your wire-haired looking dapper.
While my heart is for the shorthair Dachshunds and I also really like the long-haired Doxies, when I spend time with a wire-haired Dachshund I am in stitches over their comical antics. The wire-haired dachshund seems to know they are special and their adorable eyebrows and beard lend to their uniqueness.
Overall, the wire-haired Dachshund has so many of the typical Dachshund traits it really comes down to what coat type appeals to you the most. For those looking for streamlined and traditional the shorthair is for you. Or maybe you are looking for elegance personified; if that is the case the longhair is the one.
However, if you are looking for a dapper and just a little bit comical, the wire-haired is the dog for you. These friendly, alert, active Dachshunds make a great family companion and will keep you on your toes.