THE DACHSHUND

The Dachshund originated during the sixteenth century and is believed to be related to the Basset Hound and a terrier breed. The word “Dachshund” is German and means “badger dog,” since they were bred to dig into badger dens to force the animals out. Their bodies are low and bred especially for underground work.

Brief History

Dachshunds of different sizes were bred to hunt different a wide spectrum of animals ranging from badgers to wild boar  — especially when the pursuit took place in burrows. The breed’s loud bark allowed for his pet parent to locate him underground easily. Today the Dachshund is still used for hunting, as well as companionship.

Physical Features

This breed is compact with a long, muscular body. With a wedge-shaped head, super soft long drop ears, a deep chest and long tail, this breed can be either miniature or standard in size. They have very short legs with three types of coats: long and silky, short and smooth, or long and wiry. The color can either be red or cream, black, chocolate, blue, or fawn with tan. The Dachshund has a long back with elastic-like skin and is extremely well-balanced despite their short legs.

Average Height:

11-13 inches

Average Weight:

16-32 pounds (Standard Dachshund)

Under 11 pounds (Miniature Dachshund)

Life Expectancy:

12-16 years

Temperament

These dogs are incredibly intelligent, active, playful, and love affection. They are outgoing, friendly, and fun to have around. This pup does well with apartment living and plenty of socialization. 

Special Needs

This breed is prone to weight problems, so pet parents should always monitor closely. Unhealthy weight gain will quickly lead to  strain on the back and legs. It’s hard to resist affectionate Dachshunds begging at the dinner table, but be sure to feed only healthy foods.

Possible Health Concerns

This is an active dog breed that may be susceptible to the following:

  • Bloat. This pup is deep-chested and thus more prone to this life threatening condition. Bloat is caused by the twisting of the stomach combined with the accumulation of gas with or without fluid. Stress is also a major factor in causing bloat. Never feed your pup a large meal followed by exercise. At the first signs of dry vomiting, restlessness and discomfort, contact your emergency veterinarian immediately. 
  • Epilepsy. Epilepsy is an inherited disease that causes seizures. 
  • Hyperthyroidism. This is a deficiency of the thyroid hormone and can cause weight gain, as well as constipation and cold sensitivity.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease. 25% of Dachshunds will suffer from damage to the discs of their spines at some stage of their lives. This causes severe pain and can lead to spine damage and paralysis.

Exercise

The Dachshund needs regular exercise every day to maintain strong back muscles and keep a healthy weight. They should never be allowed to run up and down steps or to jump off furniture. This breed enjoys being indoors with their pet parent.

Nutrition

Higher-quality dog food is recommended for Dachshunds. Don’t underestimate the importance of a well-balanced diet for this small and short breed. Consult with your veterinarian for the very best nutritional advice.

Grooming

Dachshunds don’t shed much. They also don’t have much body odor. Grooming varies depending on their coat type. Longhaired Dachshunds may need daily grooming. Wirehaired Dachshunds will need to be plucked or stripped throughout the year. Eyebrow, beard and nail trimming is needed regularly, along with good dental hygiene.

The Dachshund is an easy breed to adopt. They are sensitive, affectionate and independent, but don’t like harshness or loud noises. That said, the Dachshund does need regular socialization and positive dog training during puppyhood.

The Dachshund is an easy breed to adopt. They are sensitive, affectionate and independent, but don’t like harshness or loud noises. That said, the Dachshund does need regular socialization and positive dog training during puppyhood.

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