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Dachshund – Temperament And Dog Breed Information

Dachshund
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When most people think of hunting dogs, large dogs like Labrador Retrievers, Coonhounds, and Shorthaired Pointers cross their mind. Though, there are several small dogs that were bred for hunting too.

Bred in Germany and were used by hunters as well as foresters to hunt down badgers, foxes, rabbits, and other tunneling animals, the Dachshund is a low set, short legged, long bodied dog bred to go to ground and go after the preys into their burrows.

Packs of Dachshund can even hunt down a wild boar. However, today they are a popular household pet due to their distinctive good looks, cheeky playful personality, acumen, disposition and most important of all, loyalty.

Keep reading to know more about the favorite vertically challenged dog.

Dachshund Breed Characteristics Sheet

  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: Small
  • Dog Breed Group: Hound
  • Purebred: Yes
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Height: Standard – Height 8 – 11 inches (20 – 28cm), Miniature – Height up to 5 – 8 inches (13 – 19 cm), Toy – Height up to 12 inches (30 cm)
  • Weight: Standard – Weight – over 11 pounds (4.9 kg) at the age of 12 months, Miniature – Weight 11 pounds (4.9 kg) or less at the age of 12 months, Toy – Weight 8 pounds (3.5 kg) at age 12 months.
  • Coat Appearance: Fine, soft neither flat nor corded coat
  • Coat Colors: Single-colored Smooth Dachshunds – red(tan) or cream, red-yellow possibly with some black hairs, Two-colored Smooth Dachshunds – chocolate, black, white, wild boar (grizzled), blue (grey) or fawn (Isabella) with tan or cream markings, Dappled Dachshunds – dappled (tiger or merle) pattern in their coats, with dark and light colored areas in even distribution (neither the dark nor the light predominates).
  • Temperament: Affectionate, adorable, clever, courageous, Devoted. Easygoing, Friendly, Laidback,  Intelligent,  keen, Outgoing,  playful, pleasant, Responsive, Social, spirited.
  • Good With Children: Yes
  • Intelligence Level: High
  • Good With Pets: Yes
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • GroomingAverage
  • SheddingAverage
  • Barking: Barks when necessary
  • Suitable For Apartments: Yes
  • Need For Exercise: Average
  • Easy To Train: No
  • Good For First Time OwnersNo
  • Health Issues: Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), Cushing’s disease, Bloat, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Litter Size: 4-8 puppies
  • Average Price: $1,000 – $2,000 USD (USA), £1,291 for KC registered, £872 for Non KC registered

Dachshund History

Famously described by American writer H. L. Mencken as “a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long”, the name “Dachshund” literally means “badger dog,” from Dachs (“badger”) and Hund (“hound, dog”).

If you want to be proper, German accent… the name should be pronounced as – DAKS-hunt (or hot) (never dash-hound).

Dachshunds are the first ever mascot of Olympic Games and that was during the 1972 Olympics in Munich, a mascot was created and was called Waldi the Dog.

Dachshunds attract ardent followers who would never consider having any other breed.  In fact, Dachshunds are often kept in pairs, which is OK with them, since they seem to identify and prefer being with other “wiener dogs”.

Queen Victoria is known for being attracted to the breed famously said: “Nothing will turn a man’s home into a castle more quickly and effectively than a Dachshund.”

Is Dachshund, The Right Dog For You?

If you want a dog who…

  • Is loyal to a T. This loyal is packed in a variety of sizes, coats, and colors
  • Is Curious, charming, courageous and lively
  • requires only moderate exercise
  • Makes a dedicated, alert watchdog
  • Is good with other family pets, especially other dogs
  • Has an enchanting sense of humor and makes a devoted companion

A Dachsie may be right for you.

If you don’t want to deal with…

  • Inflexibility, belligerency towards larger dogs
  • Chasing and hunting instincts (small animals, low flying birds, chipmunks etc.)
  • Notorious housetraining difficulties
  • Potential for ferocious barking and digging holes
  • Excessive circumspection toward strangers when not socialized properly

A Dachshie may not be right for you.

Dachshund Size And Lifespan

Dachshund Size

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, there are two accepted sizes in the   Dachshund breed standard – standard and miniature.

In Europe, they also recognize a “Kaninchenteckel” – “rabbit” size dachshund. Rabbit Dachshunds are smaller in stature than miniatures.

Note: The unofficial terms such as dwarf, tweenie, toy, micro-mini or teacup Dachshund are not AKC-recognized size variations, though some breeders are using these terms and breeding for a smaller dog.

The moniker “tweenie” is often used informally when the size falls between the miniature and standard. Other unofficial nicknames people have labeled this breed are Little Hot Dog, Wiener Dog, Sausage Dog, and Hotdog Dog.

Height 

  • Standard – Height 8 – 11 inches (20 – 28cm)
  • Miniature – Height up to 5 – 8 inches (13 – 19 cm)
  • Toy – Height up to 12 inches (30 cm)

Weight

  • Standard – Weight – over 11 pounds (4.9 kg) at the age of 12 months.
  • Miniature – Weight 11 pounds (4.9 kg) or less at the age of 12 months.
  • Toy – Weight 8 pounds (3.5 kg) at age 12 months.

Dachshund Lifespan

A healthy Dash should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 12 – 16 years when properly cared for and fed a good quality diet to suit their ages.

Dachshund Coat Color and Appearance

Dachshund Coat Color

  • Single-colored Smooth Dachshunds – Red(tan) or cream, red-yellow possibly with some black hairs.
  • Two-colored Smooth Dachshunds – Chocolate, black, white, wild boar (grizzled), blue (grey) or fawn (Isabella) with tan or cream markings.
  • Dappled Dachshunds – Dappled (tiger or merle) pattern in their coats, with dark and light colored areas in even distribution (neither the dark nor the light predominates).

Dachshund Appearance

There is no mistaking a daschie for any other breed, although there are more than 6 varieties of these delightful little dogs, which can, at times, cause misunderstanding.

Often called Sausage Dogs, thanks to their long bodies and short legs, they are well muscled compact dogs that boast powerful front legs with long, roughly conical shaped heads with a very slightly arched skull.

Facial Region

Head should taper uniformly from the slightly arched crown to the tip of the nose and should be clean-cut. The slightly arched skull and should slope gradually without a stop into the finely-formed slightly-arched muzzle (ram’s nose).

The bridge bone over the eyes is greatly prominent. Their almond-shaped medium-sized eyes are oval and set diagonally.

Dachshunds have dark eyes, although chocolate colored Dachshunds have light-colored eyes and in dogs, with grey/dappled coats either one or both can be fish or pearl eyes (walleyes) which are acceptable as a breed standard.

Their ears are set high near the top of the head and moderately long with animated carriage and the forward edge of their ears touching a dog’s cheeks. When Dachshies are alerted by anything they carry their ears forward and outward.

Body

Their necks, like their bodies, are fairly long, muscular, clean-cut, tight, not showing any dewlap on the throat as well as slightly arched in the nape. Miniature dachshunds are sinewy, compact and even in their jaws and neck, they don’t have folds or wrinkles or dewlap.

Standard or miniature, dachshies have muscular, prominent, deep chests.

The sloping shoulders and small, rigid pelvis should lie in the straightest possible line between the very slightly arched loins and withers, and the former being short, rigid, and broad.

Topline: The straightest possible line between loins and withers. In a fit dog, the chest should be the lowest-hanging part of the body, with prominent breastbone.

The dogs are well ribbed with slightly arched abdomens that permit adequate clearance from the ground for dogs to move about freely.

Powerful, well-muscled hindquarters with a wide, full rump and extended, round, robustly muscled croup that slopes somewhat towards their tail.

Their strong upper thigh is set at a right angle to a dog’s pelvis and to the well-muscled lower thigh. The front feet are full, broad and cohesive with a dog’s back feet which are being somewhat narrower and smaller.

What do you call for in a Dachshund?

  • Stumpy and Long
  • Short Legs
  • Sturdy
  • Long snout
  • Straight Tail
  • Just imagine… loooong!

Recommended Read: Majestic Names For Your Male DogsCute Names For Female Dogs

Dachshund Temperament

  • The Dachshund is described as clever, curious, and courageous to the point of rashness. He’s bred for doggedness, meaning- he can be stubborn.
  • Dachshunds have a reputation for being flashy and fearless; also what they want most is to cuddle with their pet parent. For many Dachshund buddies, this attribute offset having to deal with the breed’s insistence on being independent.
  • The Dachshund persona can also vary with coat type. It would not be fair to say that in general, but still
  • The wirehaired Dachshunds have terrier in their settings, so they can be affectionate, active, extrovert, playful troublemakers.
  • Longhairs are easy-going, laid-back, peaceful and quiet, and standard Smooths (which are the most popular variety in the United States) have a personality that lies somewhere in between. They tend to be one-person dogs by nature and they can also be “one-family” dogs too.
  •  Mini Dachshunds can be introverts or shy, but this isn’t acceptable for the breed. Steer clear of the puppies that show these characteristics.
  • Loyal to its family, Daschies can be slightly difficult to housetrain, but not impossible. This little dog needs a trainer/parent who understands how to be his pack leader or he will take the charge and begin to dictate terms.
  • This may result in many behavior problems such as, but not limited to, guarding food, toys or other objects, guarding furniture, separation anxiety, biting, snapping and obsessive barking.
  • They can be a little suspicious of strangers and are always quick to let you know when there is anyone about. For such little dogs, the Dachshund boasts a loud, aggressive, deep bark which often surprises people when they first hear them bark.
  • Another important thing is that if a doxie is not given the right amount of mental stimulation and daily exercise, they quickly get bored and they will develop unruly behaviors.

For first time owners

Dachshunds are not the best choice for first-time owners because they are little difficult to train and are better matched to people who are aware of the breed and their specific needs which include the health concerns the breed is known to suffer from.

If not handled and trained properly from the word go, these charming little personalities can become disorderly and wayward which makes it hard for owners to manage them.

Though, in the right hands and with a lot of time, space and situation, it is possible to overcome their stubborn streak. Keep in mind that if a Dachshund picks up a whiff of anything that’s more attention-grabbing, they are liable to blast-off after it.

Adaptability

  • Apartment living – Yes
  • Good for first-time owners – Average
  • Sensitivity level – High
  • Loneliness – Hates to be left alone
  • Cold weather – Low
  • Hot weather – Low

Friendliness

  • With Family – High
  • Kids – High
  • Other dogs – High
  • Cats – Good with cats, if raised together
  • Other pets – Good, if raised together
  • Strangers – Suspicious

General Behavior

  • Independence – Fairly independent
  • Dominance – Moderate
  • Combativeness – Aggressive
  • Indoors – Active
  • Outdoor – Highly active
  • Territorial – Yes
  • Easy of transportation – Medium

Dachshund Care

  • Exercise needs – Average
  • Intensity – High
  • Activity level – Medium
  • Exercise requirements – >60 minutes/day
  • walk mileage/ week – 7 miles
  • Playfulness – High
  • Grooming needs – Average
  • Tendency to Drool – No
  • To Snore – No
  • Bark – High
  • Dig – Low
  • Social/Attention Needs – High

Dachshund Training

  • Trainability – Easy
  • Intelligence – High
  • Memory – High
  • Mouthiness – High
  • Prey drive – High
  • Wanderlust potential – High

The Dachshund is known to be a sharp, small dog, yet they are little hard to train thanks to the fact they are quite independent by nature and have a mind of their own which can be put down to the “hound” in them.

However, when they are given the right amount of positive reinforcement training from puppyhood as well as with a lot of persistence and patience, doxies can be trained properly.

The dachshund is naturally vigilant, which makes them a steadfast watcher to train. Their razor-sharp and persistent look will certainly scare away any unsolicited entries.

Actually, a research study published in ‘Applied Animal Behavior Science Journal’ in 2008 ranked the dachshund as one of the most aggressive breeds towards both strangers and other animals.

While Dachshunds have many traits, cleverness isn’t essentially their strongest point. Studies show that a Dachshund will follow the first command just about 50% of the time.

The Stanley Coren’s book ‘Intelligence of Dogs’ has stated that the Dachshund is the 49th most intelligent dog breed. Nevertheless, the AKC breed standards portray the doxies as an intelligent and lively breed.

Regardless of all this, they are often difficult to housebreak, and this needs patience and perseverance. While they are only ranked as of average intelligence, this does not make the Dachshund a dim-witted dog.

They are considered a dog that is convincingly clever and has a rather good intelligence for a working dog breed.

Stubborn, Subjective and very intelligent, doxies are exactly like their big cousins the greyhound, will not comply with you if he sees monotonous or unexciting – mostly, if he is fixed on something, he thinks is much more interesting.

The great writer E.B. White wrote forthrightly about the Dachshund stubbornness, “Being the owner of dachshunds, to me, a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot.”

Dachshund Feeding

Doxies are energetic and ‘full of beans’ dogs. Consider this energy level when determining how many calories your Dog needs, particularly if you are doing any work or training.

Breeders would give you a feeding schedule (if you get a puppy from them) and it’s important to stick to the schedule. Changing a puppy’s diet should be done slowly and making sure that they don’t develop any stomach upsets.

Rough Feeding guide for Dachshies

As a rough guide, recommended daily amount: 1 to 1 1/2 cups of high-quality dry food a day. A puppy should be fed with nutritious meals which are evenly spread out throughout the day.  It’s best to feed 2 or 3 times a day:

  • Daily Cost – $1.20 – $1.40 (average)
  • Monthly cost – $40.00 – $45.00
  • Pups between eight and 12 weeks old – 3 meals every 24 hours (60g- 180g).
  • 3 to 6 months old – 3 meals every 24 hour period (180g-190g)
  • Feed puppies 6 months to 1 year – 2 bowls of food daily (150g)
  • When your dog hits his first birthday, one bowl or two smaller bowls every 24 hours is typically all that’s necessary.

Remember, the feedings depend on puppy’s build. Once a puppy is 11 months old they can be fed adult dog food depending on their activity level.

  • Dogs weighing-9 kg = 130-150g
  • 10 kg =140-160g
  • 11 kg = 150g

Remember; these feedings depend on your dog’s eating tendencies and depending on their energy level and activity.

Grown-up dogs need to be fed a good quality diet that meets all their nutritional requirements while keeping a close eye on a dog’s weight.

Here is a rough feeding guide.

  • Protein content should be between 14 – 21%
  • Carb content should be 30 to 70%
  • Fiber content should be less than 4%
  • Fat content should be less than 10%
  • Calcium content should be 0.5 – 0.8%
  • Phosphorous content should be 0.4 – 0.7%
  • Sodium content should be 0.2 – 0.4%

Dachshund Grooming And Shedding

  • Coat density – Normal
  • Length – Medium
  • Texture – Straight
  • Brushing frequency – Weekly
  • Trimming/stripping – No
  • Hypoallergenic – No
  • Shedding – Moderate

Smooth haired doxies wears a fine, short, low shedding, extremely glossy coat that is soft to the touch. They come in the variety of colors and are low maintenance in the grooming department thanks to their coats being so short.

A quick wipe off with chamois leather keeps their coats lustrous. Though, these cutie pies love the tête-à-tête contact they get during a grooming session. This also allows the pet parents to check their dog’s skin and to ensure there are no bumps and lumps in their body.

Longhaired dachshunds shed regular grooming will prevent matting as well as helps loose hair from falling off the dog.

Using sectioning clips can help you to ensure that the pup’s top and undercoat or both tangle free. Just clip up sections of the fur, allowing you to efficiently brush every area carefully to get rid of mats that may be building up.

Long haired doxies have fur that should be trimmed often, predominantly where it grows infringes, such as around their ears and feet.

The wire doxies require a different kind of grooming. The fallen or dead hairs in his coat must be plucked out regularly, called stripping. A professional groomer can show you how to do it.

You may also want to trim his bushy beard and eyebrows to keep them looking smart. For the wire and longhair doxies, trim excess hair stuck between the paw pads.

Interesting Facts About Dachshund

  • Dachshunds are a skillful badger hunter. The German word Dachshund means Dachs – badger, and Hund means dog.
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) decided to rename the breed After the Second World War so as to distance it from its German roots. So, at present, in the English-speaking countries, it is known as the Badger Dog while others referred to them as “liberty pups”.
  • The resilient breed weathered two World Wars and has been welcomed back into the hearts of millions thanks to some serious PR work. At the moment, doxies are the 11th most popular breed in America.
  •  The breed was the first ever Olympic Mascot and was born during the 1972 Munich games. Waldi, the dachshund was chosen as the Olympic talisman for the very first time over the period of the Olympic Game’s existence.
  • The trail of the Olympic marathon was also planned to be in the form of the Dachshund body shape.
  • Nazi researchers boasted that they successfully taught the dachshunds to read, speak and even communicate telepathically.
  • Germans set up a special program called “Hundesprechschule Asra” as they believed that dogs were almost as intelligent as humans. Some of the weird feats claimed by the program included dachshunds that could say “Mein Fuhrer” and few others could write poems.
  • Famous artists have seemed to be attracted to the little dogs. When Picasso met Lump- a dachshund belonged to David Douglas Duncan, in 1957, it was love at first sight.
  • Their rapport was chronicled in Duncan’s Picasso and Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey. Andy Warhol would frequently bring his doxies- Amos and Archie to interviews and let the dog “respond” the questions he disliked.
  • The Far Side creator Gary Larson was another dachshund aficionado and he used the Dachshunds for a parody book called Wiener Dog Art—a whole collection of classic art pieces with doxies were added for comedic effect.
  • David Hockney’s two dogs, Boodgie and Stanley, were featured in 45 oil paintings and a book called ‘David Hockney’s Dog Days’.
  • The origins of name “hot dogs” is murky at best, but few historians think that they were first called as dachshund sausages, after the similarly shaped dogs, which were favorite companions of German butchers.
  • What’s in a name?
  •  Dachshund is also commonly called “wiener dogs” in reference to, yes, sausages. Dachshunds have many nicknames!  doxie, Weenie, sausage dog,  Bassotto, Perro Salchicha, Sosis,  Badger Dog, Tax, Jamnik and Takca—and the list goes on. In modern Germany, they’re called as Teckels or Dackels (among hunters.)
  • And that’s official! Dachshunds are the smallest hounds. This wee scent hound was included to the group of hunting dogs and it fully justifies this status.
  • Chanel, a wire-haired dachshund from Port Jefferson Station, outside New York City, held the Guinness World Record for the oldest living dog in 2009.
  • She lived until the age of 21(147 in human years), after which the honors was transferred to another dachshund from Shropshire, England, named Otto. Generally, dachshunds are known for their longevity.

Dachshund Health Problems

Dachshunds may be prone to the following health problems.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

This is a common spinal disease in dachshunds. When the fibrocartilaginous cushions between the vertebrae (except the first two cervical vertebrae) in a dog’s spine degenerate or ruptures or herniates into the spinal canal, resulting in severe inflammation and pain, partial loss of limb function and even paralysis.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) – Deterioration of the retina which causes progressive vision loss

Allergies – Common allergens consist of dog foods that contain elevated levels of grains and other cereal-type fillers, Dust mites, airborne pollens, Flea, and tick bites.

Minor Concerns

Bloat/gastric torsion 

Gastric Dilatation -Volvulus, or more generally referred to as gastric torsion or Bloat typically occurs in with deep-chested breeds.

Canine bloat can happen inadvertently, in which the stomach becomes overstretched and rotated by excessive gas, fluid, froth or all of these.

Torsion (volvulus) is when the whole abdomen twisted at either end i.e. it is sealed off at both its ends, identical to the ends of sausage is twisted and closed at both ends.

This is a serious condition and if the dog is not brought for veterinary care and surgery, the dog will not survive.

Cushing’s disease

(AKA hypercortisolism, hyperadrenocorticism) this is an endocrine disorder that’s typically found in older Dachshunds. The most common cause of Cushing’s disease (85% of all cases in dogs) is a tumor (may be either benign or malignant) of the pituitary gland.

Dachshund Price And Breeders

Dachshund Price

The price of doxie puppies will cost you anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 from a reputable breeder. Then there are licenses, vaccines, preventative medicine, heartworm testing and – of course –   spaying or neutering. You’ve added an extra $400.00 to the actual price.

 Alternatively, you can adopt at dog rescue centers and animal shelters for around $300. They exist in all the countries and will also have grown-up dogs to re-home.

Dachshund Breeders

Our 2018 list for the most reputable breeders in America

  • Dominos Mini Ch Dachshunds M Keshlear Austin, Texas
  • Lucene Standard Smooth Dachshund and Rottweilers Alpine, California
  • Nuforest Dachshunds Ramona, California
  • Nancy Prouty Winchester, Virginia
  • Von Wolff Kennel Miniature Dachshunds Michigan City, Indiana
  • Kenmar Hounds Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Dynadaux Miniature Dachshunds Del Valle, Texas
  • Wyndham Field Dachshunds Oak Harbor, Washington
  • Ali’i AK Kennels Wasilla, Alaska
  • Hill Dachshunds Graham, Texas