Dachshunds – Everything You Need To Know

Dachshunds are long and lovely purebred dogs. Either standard or miniature, the Dachshunds adorn any coat type—smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. Despite their hunting background, they are well-known for their courageous and enigmatic personality and are great watchdogs and excellent family pets. They are incredible scent-hounds who are passionate diggers with lovely personalities. Notably, they are the most popular family pets in the United States. 

Dachshunds Pros and Cons 

Adapts well to apartment life. Heavy barkers.
Ideal family companions.Prone to obesity.
Highly intelligent.High prey drive. 

Dachshunds Basic Information 

  • Name: Dachshund
  • Origin: Germany 
  • Group: Hound dogs 
  • Size: Small 
  • Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28-30 inches (female)
  • Weight: 140 to 175 pounds(male), 110-140 pounds (female)
  • Coat: Short, long and wiry
  • Color: Red, black, tan, chocolate, black, cream, wild boar, wheat, chocolate and cream, chocolate and tan, blue and cream, blue and tan, and fawn and tan, fawn and cream, black and cream, black and tan. Markings – Brindle, piebald, dapple, double dappled, brindle piebald, and sable.
  • Energy: Medium
  • Activities: Agility, obedience, tracking events, weight pulls, and sports such as flyball
  • Barking Level: High 
  • Shedding Level: Medium 
  • Hypoallergenic: No 
  • Litter Size: 1 to 6 puppies
  • Other Names: Wiener dog, hot dog, sausage dog, Doxie, Dashie, and (especially in Germany) Teckels, Dachels, or Dachsels
  • Breed’s Original Pastimes: Hunting
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years 


The origin of Dachshunds can be tracked down to Germany. These dogs were derived from a Pointer and a Pinscher to control the badger population. Hence, they are excellent hunters who were designed for hunting smaller animals. The history of their popularity can be traced back to Great Britain. These canines earned the affection of the royal family, which led to the development of miniature Dachshunds. Further, they carried their popularity to the US and were the superstars of the pet world. 

Types of the Breed

Dachshunds are bred in three coat varieties—-smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired and are available in standard and miniature sizes.

Smooth-haired Dachshunds: The most beloved dog breed of the United States, the smooth-haired Dachshunds are blessed with a short and shiny coat. Therefore, they are pretty easy to maintain with little grooming. However, as their coat does not provide dense protection, they must be insulated with a sweater during the cold months. These pets are available in red, cream, black, and tan, black and cream, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, and Isabella (fawn) and tan colors. They might also have a patterned coat such as dapple (a mottled coat pattern), brindle, sable, and piebald.

Longhaired Dachshunds: The long-haired Dachshunds are differentiated by their silky, slightly wavy hair. For this reason, they require frequent brushing to prevent matting from prevalent around their ears and elbows. Further, these canines are known to be pretty submissive. 

Wirehaired Dachshunds: The wire-haired Dachshunds are dense-haired, especially around their eyebrows and beards. They are mischievous and are resistant to cold. However, a religious brushing routine is required for these canines to prevent mats from forming. 

Dachshunds Highlights 

  • Dachshunds were bred for hunting. As a result, they are tenacious, avid diggers who were taught to kill their prey one at a time. Currently, they kill their house toys. 
  • These canines pose a challenge during potty training. Therefore, it is good to enroll them in crate training
  • Dachshunds are known for their mischievous, playful, and independent nature. Hence, they require persistent, firm, and patient training.
  • Although small-sized, Dachshunds bark loudly, qualifying themselves to be good watchdogs. 
  • Dachshunds are prone to gain weight and suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long. 
  • Due to their long backs, these canines are prone to suffer from slipped or herniated discs.

Dachshunds Personality

The Dachshunds are known for their short stature with short legs and a long body. They have an athletic build, with deep chests lodging larger lungs. Hence, this appearance gives them an opportunity to bark at higher decibels. Further, they have fluttery ears, naturally protecting their ear canal from dirt and debris while digging. They are also blessed with a curved tail, handy for their human counterparts to pull out when struck amidst the burrows. 

Friendliness Overview  

Affection level Medium to high 
Family-friendly Medium to high 
Kid-friendly High
Pet-friendly Medium
Stranger -friendly Low 

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment living High
Good to new owners Medium to high 
Sensitivity level Medium to high 
Tolerates being alone Medium
Cold-tolerance Low 
Heat-tolerance Low  to medium

Dachshunds Physical Features

Head: Dachshunds have a tapering head that ends with their nose tip. He is blessed with almond-shaped eyes with ears set near the top of the head. He wears a lively and pleasant expression with a less piercing gaze. 

His ears are floppy or folded. Their skull is slightly arched and slopes. Their nostrils are stretched out while their jaws open wide with lips covering the lower jaw. Their teeth fit closely together into a scissor bite. 

Neck: They have a slightly arched, long, and muscular neck, fitting into the shoulders without giving an impression of the right angle. 

Body: They have a long trunk fully muscled with their abdomens slightly drawn up. 

Tail: Their spine continues in the form of a tail without twists or curves. 

Forequarters: They have strong, deep, long, and cleanly muscled forequarters. Their chest is prominent with depression or dimples. Their thorax is oval and extends downward to the midpoint of the forearm. Their enclosing ribs appear full and oval to accommodate the well-developed heart and lungs. 

Hindquarters:  Their hindquarters are again strong and well-muscled. Their thighs form a series of right angles with a powerful appearance. 

Coat: Dachshunds are bred in three coat varieties—-smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired and are available in standard and miniature sizes.

Color: Single-colored Dachshunds are primarily red and cream and may have a shading of dark hairs. Dual-colored ones come in black, chocolate, wild boar, gray (blue), and fawn (Isabella), with rich tan or cream markings scattered throughout their body. 

Gait: Their gait is pretty fluid and smooth, with forelegs and hind legs in sync. They have a long free stride facilitated with the help of a perfect shoulder assembly and well-fitted elbows. 

Dachshunds Temperament

Dachshunds are known to be playful, vibrant, and astute. These canines own the reputation of being tenacious. On the downside, they are known to be pretty stubborn. They are also excellent companions who are great therapy dogs. They are known for their love of cuddling and fierce loyalty toward their owners. Hence, they make marvelous watch dogs endowed with the loudest bark for such a small-breed size.

Further, your Dachshunds’ temperament varies as per their coat types. This is because wiry-haired Dachshunds share their ancestors with terrier groups. Whereas long-haired Dachshunds are calm and quiet while smooth-coated ones lie somewhere between the two. 

Dachshunds Training 

Dachshunds are pretty prudent, but their independent nature is a challenge while training. Therefore, a reward-based positive reinforcement technique works well for them. Additionally, Dachshunds were bred to stay focussed on the trail. Hence, their attention is erratic. Further, their training sessions must be interesting and unique to keep them from boredom. Crate training is essential for these breeds to get used to confinement which is necessary in case of hospitalization. Further, house training Dachshunds is a pretty challenging task. Therefore, patience and consistency are a must while dealing with them. 

Trainability Overview

Easy to train Low
Intelligence Medium to high 
Mouthiness tendencies Medium to high 
Barking and Howling tendencies High 
Prey drive High 
Wanderlust tendencies High

Dachshunds Exercise Needs

Although Dachshunds are known for their high energy levels, they are prone to be lazy when left indoors. Further, this laid-back attitude can put them at risk of developing obesity. Therefore, they require regular exercise, which can be a couple of moderate walks every day or at least a game of fetch per day to meet their daily requirements. In addition, it is vital to pay attention to their back while playing as they can be easily harmed if they try to jump over. 

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy level Medium
Exercise needs Medium
Intensity Medium
Playfulness Medium to high 

Dachshunds Grooming

Dachshunds are quite easy-to-maintain as they are moderate shedders. However, depending on the coat type, they will require frequent brushing. Their eyebrows and beards have to be trimmed occasionally. 

Smooth-coated Dachshunds: The smooth-coated Dachshunds have very short hair. Therefore, they don’t require much grooming. However, you can wipe their coat between baths to keep them odor-free. These canines require a sweater during winter to protect them from cold. 

Wirehaired Dachshunds: To maintain these canine hair growth, you must hand-pluck their dead hairs twice a year. This will ensure to speed up the natural process of shedding and growing. 

Longhaired Dachshunds: Due to their dense hair, these canines must be bathed frequently, followed by blow-drying. In addition, you must ensure to groom them regularly to prevent the hair from matting.

Additional care has to be exercised while growing for all the varieties, they include:

  • Droopy ears: Dachshunds are blessed with droopy ears, which can be the breeding ground for bacteria, fungus, and mites. Hence, they must be hygienic with a wet cotton ball and an ear cleaner to wipe their ears once weekly. However, ensure you don’t go beyond your first knuckle while cleaning. 
  • Nail care: It is best to introduce nail clipping early for your pet. You must trim his nails once or twice a month to prevent them from growing too long. 
  • Dental hygiene: Brushing your dog’s teeth every day is good. However, you can try brushing them at least twice a week if impossible.
  • Check for signs of infection: It is vital to check them for any signs of infection to detect health problems early. They include: 
  • Sores 
  • Rashes 
  • Redness 
  • Tenderness 
  • Inflammation on the skin, mouth, ears, nose, eyes, and feet.
  • An excellent smelling ear without much wax inside.
  • Clear eyes devoid of any redness or discharge. 

Grooming Overview

Easy to groom Medium
Drooling tendency Low 
Amount of shedding Medium

Dachshunds Health

Dachshunds are healthy breeds, extending their lifespan to 16 years of age. Hence, they have to be taken care of well to maintain their optimum health. For this purpose, you have to put them on a healthy diet and keep them physically fit through adequate exercise. Further, these canines must be kept off from obesity, their backs should be protected from injury, and their droopy ears must be checked frequently for infections. Although Dachshunds are healthy, they are prone to certain specific health conditions, include: 

Health Overview 

Overall health Low
Weight gain tendencies High 
Size Low 

Specific Health Conditions 

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): A vertebral column shields the dog’s spinal cord. In between the vertebral column’s bones, IVD permits vertebral movements, which usually act like shock absorbers. They are assembled with two layers, the inner soft jelly-like layer, and the outer fibrous layer. This disorder happens when the inner jelly-like layer pushes the spinal cord, resulting in spinal cord compression—symptoms include paralysis, neck and backache, and loss of bladder, sensation, and bowel control. 

Epilepsy: Idiopathic epilepsy is a common hereditary disorder. It frequently causes seizures, ranging from mild to severe. In addition, unusual behaviors may indicate a stroke, such as frantically fleeing as threatened, stumbling, or hiding. Seizures frighten, but dogs with idiopathic epilepsy have a relatively good long-term outlook. Other than unexplained epilepsy, seizures can be induced by metabolic disorders, respiratory illnesses of the brain, malignancies, toxin poisoning, and severe traumatic injury. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A degenerative eye disorder that causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eyes. It can be detected earlier. A very later stage is blindness. Dogs with this condition can survive for several years since they have other senses to compensate.

Canine Diabetes Mellitus: A hormonal disorder when the body cannot regulate blood sugar. Common indications are excessive thirst and weight loss.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat):  Bloat or GDV is a life-threatening condition prevalent in deep-chested dogs such as Dachshunds. When bloat occurs, your pet’s gut becomes distended with gas and twists. This trapped gas hampers your canine’s ability to belch or vomit. This inability blocks the normal return of blood to the heart, causing a drop in blood pressure and leading to shock. If untreated, this shock could eventually lead to death. 

Causes Of Bloat 

  • When they are fed more than one large meal per day. 
  • They eat rapidly 
  • Drink large volumes of water after eating. 
  • Exercise vigorously after eating. 

Symptoms of Bloat

  • A distended abdomen and is  
  • Excessive salivation. 
  • Retching without vomit 
  • Restlessness 
  • Depression 
  • Lethargy 
  • Weakness 
  • Rapid heart rate 

Hypothyroidism: This disorder occurs in dogs when their thyroid glands don’t produce enough thyroid hormones. This condition slows down your dog’s metabolism leading to epilepsy, hair loss, obesity, lethargy, dark patches on the skin, and other skin conditions. Proper medication and diet will help in alleviating this deficiency.

Deafness: Deafness is a heritable condition prevalent among Dachshunds. They may be prevalent unilaterally (deafness in one ear) or bilaterally (deafness in both ears). Bilaterally deaf dogs require some special considerations. To understand your pet better, you can adopt a reliable scientific test called the BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response), which helps you detect deafness in dogs. 

Cushing’s Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism): Cushing’s disease or Cushing’s syndrome happens when the adrenal glands secrete extreme quantities of different hormones. Hyper Adreno Corticism is the medical term for this situation. “Hyper” means “overactive,” “Adreno” means “adrenal gland,” and “Corticism” refers to the adrenal gland’s outer part (cortex). The signs of Cushing’s disease in canines are: 

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Reduced activity
  • Excessive panting
  • Thin or fragile skin
  • Hair loss
  • Recurrent skin infections
  • Enlargement of the abdomen – resulting in a pot-bellied appearance.

Dachshunds Diet and Nutrition

Dachshunds are generally a healthy breed. However, they should not be encouraged to overeat as being overweight dm their long backs. Hence, feeding an age-appropriate diet for your dachshund pet is vital, minimizing table scraps, cooked bones, and high fatty foods. In general, you can provide your pup with 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of high-quality dry food. However, this can vary depending on your pup’s age, physical activity, and general health. 

Dachshunds Living Condition

Dachshunds are perfect for apartment life. This is because of their smaller size. They love to walk outdoors and feel mentally stimulated with a game of treasure hunt. They are pretty affectionate to their pet parents. Consequently, they are prone to separation anxiety when you leave them alone. Therefore, it is good to leave your dog in a kennel when you cannot take him along with you. Dachshunds are good with kids if they are introduced to them early. However, they can snap at them when kids don’t behave well. Hence, supervision is always necessary. They get along well with other canines and are pretty suspicious of strangers. 

Did You Know?

  • The name Dachshund is taken from the German words ‘dash,’ meaning ‘badger,’ and hund, meaning ‘dog.’
  • The Dachshund is the 13th most famous breed among the 194 species recognized by AKC. 
  • The national symbol of Germany contains the Dachshund, representing its origin. 
  • Dachshunds are avid diggers whose long and low bodies are ideally suited to navigate badger tunnels underground.
  • A Dachshund is the first ever Olympic Mascot. 

Dachshunds Club Recognition 

Dachshund Club of America, Inc

Adding a Dachshunds to Your Family

Find a Dog

Dachshunds Rescue Groups 

Dachshunds Images

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