Wire-haired Dachshunds: History, Health, Temperament and Fun Facts

What is a wire-haired Dachshund? Is this type of Doxie the right pet for you? What makes him unique? Let’s find out all this and more.

Are wire-haired Dachshunds good pets? Yes. The wire-haired Dachshund makes a good pet. The three varieties of Doxies are ideal family dogs. Still, this particular type is especially protective and loyal to his family with a bark that means business, the loudest of the three.

While brilliant in the same capacity as the short-haired and long-haired, the wire-haired is clever with the ability to outwit a pet parent’s attempts at training and can put on a stubborn, independent attitude if attempts are made to teach the grown dog new tricks.

Wire-haired Dachshund

Wire-haired doxie is perfect for families with kids since he loves to run and play due to a high energy level requiring at least 30 minutes of outdoor activity to stimulate the pup physically and satisfy his instinct for digging and chasing.

Check out much more about the wire-haired Dachshund with what we’ve been able to provide for you.

Please also look for the complete Dachshund profile to gain more knowledge on this fun breed. The resource should be your go-to when looking for advice as this beloved dog’s parent.

Wire-Haired Dachshund At A Glance

Wire Haired Dachshund Breed Info

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
Hypoallergenic No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Mild
Health Problems IVDD, PRA, obesity, dental and gum issues, DVMD, Cushing’s Disease, Lafora, cancers, and tumors.
Exercise Needs 30-60 minutes a day

What Does a Wire-haired Dachshund Look Like?

Appearance Wire-haired Dachshund
Standard Wire-haired Dachshund

Distinctive Physical Traits

It’s easy to recognize Wire-haired Dachshunds not only by the distinctive Dachshund long-backed body, pointy nose, and short, stubby albeit powerful legs but this variety sports a coarse coat along with a bearded chin and bushy eyebrows almost reminiscent of an aged man.

Size And Weight

A Dachshund is prone to gaining weight and becoming obese with even an extra pound creating a health issue for the dog whether miniature or standard. The typical height and weight can vary for each pup making it necessary to get exact recommendations from your vet concerning the ideal weight compared to your Doxie’s height.

Size Ideal Weight Typical Height
Miniature Dachshunds 8 – 11 pounds 5 – 6 inches
Standard Dachshunds 15 – 32 pounds 8 – 9 inches

Again, these will vary depending on the dog so don’t expect your dog to explicitly fall into these categories.

You might want to check: Dachshund Weight Chart – Growth Curve and Average Weights

Wire-haired Dachshund Coat and Typical Color

dapple wire haired dachshund
Dapple Wire-haired Dachshund

As with the smooth and long-haired varieties, you’ll find the wire-haired Dachshund coat and colors in numerous solid colors some of which include, red, cream, and chocolate plus combinations including black with tan or chocolate with tan based on varied factors.

Still, the common color combination for the wire-haired pup is “wild boar.” That is a combination of greys, browns, and black with a coating medium in length.

brindle miniature wire-haired dachshund
Brindle Miniature Wire-haired Dachshund

Patterns are unique for each dog with some of these bringing with them health concerns including eye or ear issues for the double dapple. Parents will also find the Dapple, Brindle, Sable, and many other combinations. It’s essential to pay attention and research these to avoid potential disabilities for the animal.

What is a Soft-Wire Coat Dachshund?

Soft-Wire Coat Dachshund
Silky wire-haired Dachshund = wire-haired + silky long-haired

Some wire-haired Dachshunds that come from a wire-haired parent and a long-haired parent will have what is commonly called a soft-wire coat or a silky wire-haired Dachshund.

This means the coat is slightly coarse but does possess more long-haired quality and will shed more than a true wire-haired.

What is a Pin-Wired Coat Dachshund?

Pin Wire coat Dachshund
Pin Wire coat Dachshund

A pin-wired 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 short-haired parent.

Fun Facts About Wire-haired Dachshunds

Wire-haired Dachshunds
Black and Tan Wire-haired Dachshund
  • The pup is a “loudmouth” offering the shrillest bark of the three varieties. Of course, this makes him an ideal watchdog.
  • Britain’s first cloned dog was, you guessed it – the Dachshund. Her name is “Mini-Winnie,” an exceptionally healthy replica set to live a long life.
  • The hot dog food was actually named after the Doxie originally labeled Dachshund sausages since German butchers had the animals as their favorite pets. A cartoon designer challenged to spell “Dachshund’ forced a shortened name.
  • They can be stubborn and hard to train without treats and patience.
  • Artists like Andy Warhol adore the Dachshund with many calling the popular breed their faithful companion.
  • German Nazi scientists claimed they taught the Doxies to speak, spell, read and communicate telepathy with indications that the pups were as bright as humans with a program set up that made claims there were dogs with special talents including one Dachshund could write poetry.
  • The first Olympic mascot was a Dachshund.

I don’t know if these were wire-haired or which variety served in these roles but these are strange and interesting facts.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Wire-haired Dachshund

Pros Cons
Loyal/Protective to their family More grooming is required than on a short-haired
Smart, alert and clever Can be very stubborn and territorial
More of a terrier nature Love to dig and chew
Their characteristics (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 long-haired


Wire-haired Dachshund History

Wire haired Dachshund History

It is well-known that the Dachshund hails from Germany and is believed to have originated during the 15th century originally bred to hunt badgers.

The wire-haired variety was developed some time during the 19th century when breeders crossed a short-haired 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

Wire-haired Dachshund Temperament

The wire-haired Dachshund has several of the more notable Dachshund traits such as being independent and stubbornenergetic and active, plus protective and loyal.

However, due to the terrier influence in their development, they are also the most outgoing of the three varieties with a loud bark meant for the animal to get noticed and an innovative cleverness aside from their intelligence helping the animal outwit even the fastest thinking pet parent.

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 is most notably the most obstinate of the three varieties taking stubbornness to the next level. While the wire-haired is a Doxie, he has the appearance of a terrier and seems to have received a double dose of the trait along with a need to be independent.

That means training from a baby with plenty of positive reinforcement to take advantage of the intelligence and avoid the potential for the puppy to give his “opinion.”

How Long Do Wire-haired Dachshunds Live?

A full-grown dachshund has the potential for enjoying an exceptionally long, joyful life with the expectation being a span of 12-16 years but with some seeing as long as 20 years or more.

How Much Exercise Does a Wire-haired Dachshund Need?

Wire-haired Dachshunds Playing

A wire-haired Dachshund is the same as a short-haired and long-haired 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 sandpit 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.

READ MORE: Can Dachshunds Swim?

Wire-haired Dachshund Grooming and Shedding

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.

Do Wire-haired dachshunds shed a lot?
Do Wire-haired dachshunds shed a lot?


Wire-haired Dachshunds grooming is especially essential to keep the dog’s 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-hair Dachshund will generally need coat stripped or plucked twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. You will know they need to be 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 long-haired and short-haired, a wire-haired one 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.

What do Wire-haired Dachshunds eat?

What do Wire-haired Dachshunds eat
What do Wire-haired Dachshunds eat?

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 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 as 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 more wirehaired 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 or perhaps a better quality dog food option the animal will enjoy.

Common Health Problems in Wire-haired Dachshunds

Health Problems in Wire-haired Dachshunds

Dachshunds, no matter the coat type, have common health issues shared among them. 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.

According to researchmore Dachshunds contract IVDD at nearly 25%. The standard wire-haired and standard smooth-haired saw substantially different risk results for back injuries like IVDD with smooth-haired at nearly 25% and the wire-haired merely seeing 7%.

In preventing these injuries, pet parents can keep the jumping to a minimum using soft stairs or preferably dachshund ramps for getting up and down from furniture or beds.

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 standard dachshunds 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.

Is It Easy 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 doxies are like short-haired and long-haired one; they are food motivated and will work for tasty treats.

Do not use harsh training tactics with your wire-haired Dachshund, 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 few wirehaired Dachshunds.

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.

Bad Habits – Potty Training and Barking

Unfortunately, the wire-haired Dachshund can tend towards being somewhat spiteful, particularly when it comes to training. The dog is prone to bad habits including taking potty inside and exceptionally loud barking.

It’s essential as a pet parent to start the training process early with this variety Doxie especially. With potty habits, you’ll need to take the puppy outside at least every two hours or more depending on his need. Crate training is another practical method many parents employ.

The thing to remember is to always use positivity including a reward system, never engage in negative speaking or actions towards your Dachshund. it can cause the animal to associate training with a bad experience.

With barking, socializing early is important. To prevent the loud, offensive activity, make sure to decrease the reasons for the animal to engage like closing drapes so he isn’t disturbed by activity outside to make him bark. Also, expose your Dachshund to the noises, people, and activities that bring a reaction little by little until he becomes acclimated to the environment. Once accustomed, your Doxie will be less likely to bark in those situations. Till then, get a good quality bark collar (Check the list of bark collars here).

Where Can I find a Wire-haired Dachshund Puppy?

Olde Fashion Wire Haired Dachshund Breeder in Wisconsin
Wire Haired Dachshund Puppies

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 other dogs to rescue.

For those looking to purchase a wire-haired dachshund puppy from a reputable Dachshund 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 wirehair Dachshund from, they will be a resource for you for the life expectancy of your Doxie.

Check:Best Wire-Haired Dachshund Breeders in the USA (Read More)

Frequently Asked Questions 

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?

wire-haired dachshund puppies
Wire-haired Dachshund Puppies

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 short-haired 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?

How long wire-haired Dachshund get the full coat
A Wire-haired Dachshund will get the full coat at around two years of age.

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.

Is a Wire-haired Dachshund Right for You?

Wire-haired Dachshund

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 short-haired 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 short-haired is for you. Or maybe you are looking for elegance personified; if that is the case the long-haired 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.

1 thought on “Wire-haired Dachshunds: History, Health, Temperament and Fun Facts”

  1. Graciela C Catasus

    Wonderful all-inclusive and knowledge-packed article! As a Terrier lover who has come to love Dachshunds, I am in love with the Wire-Hair variety! Thanks!

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