Dachshund: The Clever Family Dog that Will Lighten Your Day


Are you looking for a small breed dog that can make your family or household whole? Then you must take the Dachshund into consideration.

This breed has no small dog personality, as it is braver than you may be tempted to think. In spite of having a small body and short feet, the Dachshund is a feisty little dog that loves exploring the outdoors and getting engaged in a wide range of activities.

But, before deciding whether this particular dog breed is what you need, it is recommended to learn as much as possible about it.

Below you will find sufficient details about the breed and if at the end of your reading session you find yourself charmed by the Dachshund, you can then seriously consider getting a puppy.

Key Facts

If you’re in a rush and you need the basics, here are some key facts about dachshunds. 

Average Lifespan

As a general rule, smaller dogs live for a longer amount of time, and dachshunds are no exception. The average lifespan of a dachshund is 12-15 years. However, some go way past this expectation. One long-lived dachshund was “Otto”, who lived in California and reached the grand old age of 25. That’s 175 years old in dog years! 

Minimum Exercise (per day)

Dachshunds don’t require as much daily exercise as some other dog breeds, but they certainly aren’t couch potatoes either! The total amount of exercise you’ll need to give them depends on the type of dachshund you own. 

Standard dachshunds need around an hour of exercise each day, while miniature dachshunds need around half an hour of exercise. For each type, it’s best to break their daily exercise up into two sessions with a walk in the morning or evening, and a game of fetch or something more active for the other session. 

Coat Length

Dachshunds have three different types of coat and each has its own length and texture. These are Short-Haired, Long-Haired, and Wire-Haired. Here’s a little information about each of these coat types:

  • Short-Haired: Short-Haired (or “smooth”) dachshunds sport the original dachshund coat. As the name suggests, this is short and neat, and it contours smoothly to their body. 

 

  • Long-Haired: Long-Haired dachshunds have straight or slightly wavy hair that is longer around the ears, undercarriage, behind the legs, and around the neck. The coat on the head and back is shorter, but still a little longer than the short-haired dachshund.
  • Wire-Haired: Wire-Haired dachshunds have short, dense, rougher outer coats that aren’t dissimilar to a terrier’s coat, but their undercoat is a little softer. They also have longer facial hair than both other types of dachshunds.

Minimum Cost (per month)

Factoring in food, monthly flea, and worm treatments, toys, dog poop bags, and grooming accessories such as brushes and toothpaste, you can expect the ongoing cost of owning a dachshund to total around $65 per month. 

Appearance

Dachshunds are most famous for their sausage-shaped bodies that they carry on tiny legs. They can also be found in three different coat types (Short-Haired, Long-Haired, and Wire-Haired) as well as a variety of colors. These include solid red, solid cream, merle, brindle, and sable. However, the color most associated with dachshunds is black and tan.

Dachshunds also have long, thin tails that often curve upwards at the end. Some also have a corkscrew tail that starts curling around the halfway point.

Size

Dachshunds are among the smallest dogs, but they aren’t categorized as “Toy Breeds”. Their small size makes them ideal for smaller homes or apartments, and they make excellent companions for children who are unlikely to get knocked down if the dachshund were to jump up. 

Average Height

There are two recognized breeds of dachshunds, the Standard Dachshund and the Miniature Dachshund, and each is a different size. 

A Standard Dachshund will reach an average height of 8-9 inches at their withers (the highest part of their shoulder). A Miniature Dachshund is much smaller and will reach an ultimate height of around 5-6 inches at the withers. 

Average Weight

As with their height, the average weight of a dachshund will depend on the type. A Standard Dachshund will reach an average weight of 16-32 pounds, while a Miniature Dachshund will never exceed 11 pounds in weight. However, this all depends on their diet, and we’ll explore this in more detail later.

Temperament

One thing that you may be surprised to learn is that dachshunds were originally bred as hunting dogs. Their small, sausage shape was ideal for burrowing into badger dens where they would flush them out or fight them.

These days, however, the dachshund is more renowned for its love of humans and other dogs than as a ferocious hunter! Dachshunds are more than happy to sit next to you on the sofa and cuddle up, They are also equally as happy to play and have no issues making friends with other dogs or humans.

However, while they aren’t considered hunting dogs anymore, they certainly have retained that bravery gene. They are alert and, as such, they make excellent guard dogs. They’ll have no second thoughts about sounding an alarm if they sense danger is approaching and they’ll signal with a short, sharp, bark. 

It’s also worth noting that they haven’t lost that instinct to burrow either, and they’ll happily dig a hole in the ground that looks like it was created by a much larger dog! They’ll also call on this instinct to burrow into blankets to get themselves comfortable. 

Apartment Living

Dachshunds are a good choice of dog if you live in an apartment as they don’t take up too much space. They also only need around an hour of exercise a day (half an hour for Miniature Dachshunds) so they don’t need an outdoor space to run around all day long.

One thing to be aware of, however, is that they do have the potential for you to become a noisy neighbor! They are very aware of their surroundings and if they sense a threat they’ll bark. And, in an apartment complex, there will likely be noises coming from all directions. 

Luckily, this excessive barking can be trained out with a little hard work and patience. After a while, they will also get used to several noises and they’ll know that they don’t pose a threat.  

Good for Novice Owners

A dachshund may not be the best choice if you’ve never owned a dog before. The main reason for this is that they are extremely stubborn and, while they are intelligent and can be trained, it does take quite a lot of hard work. 

They also have a tendency to focus on something that they deem to be more of an urgent issue. So, even if you’re dedicated to your training, there may come a time when they simply ignore you and choose to focus on something more pressing instead!

Sensitivity Level

Dachshunds have quite a high sensitivity level. This means that certain things may trigger or upset them more than some other breeds. They may not enjoy living in a chaotic household and they may start developing behavioral issues if a routine isn’t developed and followed.

If you have a busy home filled with noisy kids, or you can’t commit to a routine, it would be better to choose a dog with a low sensitivity level.  

Tolerates Being Alone

Another area where dachshunds have a high sensitivity level is separation anxiety. While they are brave little dogs, they really don’t like to be left alone for a long period of time. With this in mind, if you need to go out all day long, it would be best to choose a dog that doesn’t mind their own company. Failing that, it would be best to book your dachshund into daycare where they can spend time with other dogs and humans. 

Tolerates Hot Weather

Dachshunds are generally hot weather tolerant, but it’s still important to make sure they don’t spend too much time in the sun. This is especially true for long-haired or wire-haired dachshunds and for those with black coats. It’s also a good idea to decrease their walks during hot weather as they can easily burn their feet on the hot sidewalk.

Affectionate with Family

Since dachshunds love spending time with people, they make an excellent choice for a family looking for an affectionate dog. However, it is important to note that they may not get along with very young children as well as they would with older children and adults. 

Kid-Friendly

The reason why dachshunds may struggle in a home with younger children is that they are brave, no-nonsense dogs. So, while they may put up with a certain amount of ear-pulling or overly-eager petting, they do have their limitations and once these have been reached, there is a chance that they might snap. 

This doesn’t mean that they aren’t kid-friendly, and they’ll get along with them as long as the children don’t cause them any discomfort. Put simply, if a kid pushes a dachshund too far, it will retaliate. 

Dog Friendly

Dachshunds are very sociable and they’ll get along with other dogs without any real issues. There may be a little settling-in period at first while the dogs try to figure out who the alpha is and this is something that may be challenged when you first introduce a dachshund to an already established dog. 

But, once this has all sorted itself out, your dachshund will be quite happy running, playing, and cuddling up with the rest of their pack!

Friendly Towards Strangers

While dachshunds are people-loving dogs, they can be wary of strangers at first. They won’t necessarily bark at any stranger that they pass in the street, but they may show slightly aggressive behavior such as barking or growling towards people that you’ve invited into your home who they’ve never met before. 

The best way to stop this from happening is to socialize them from a young age. The more people they meet and the more situations they encounter, the less likely they are to react negatively to strangers and strange situations. 

Health and Grooming

Caring for a dachshund is relatively easy and they don’t require much in terms of grooming. However, they can suffer from some health issues that you will need to keep an eye out for. 

Shedding

Dachshunds are considered a “low to medium” shedding dog. Even the long-haired and wire-haired varieties won’t cover your entire home with hair, so they are a good choice if you’d rather not have to constantly sweep or vacuum! 

This low to medium shedding habit also makes them a good choice for anybody with pet hair allergies and, with the exception of long-haired varieties, dachshunds are considered hypoallergenic. 

Drooling

Drooling isn’t something that you’ll ever need to worry about with a dachshund. They may leave the occasional wet patch on a pillow they’ve been resting their head and dreaming on, but they certainly don’t leave long strings of drool all over your home!

Grooming

Dachshunds are one of the easiest dogs to groom, especially the short-haired variety. A simple brush will remove any dirt and debris from their coat and leave them looking glossy and clean. Long-haired and wire-haired dachshunds may also benefit from a trip to the groomer during the summer months if temperatures get really hot. 

General Health

Dachshunds are hardy little dogs and generally don’t suffer from any ongoing general health problems. However, there are some things that you’ll need to do to keep them healthy and happy. 

This isn’t anything too difficult, though. Simply brush or apply a dental gel to their teeth a couple of times a week to keep them strong and plaque-free. You should also trim their nails regularly and, although there may be some resistance to this at first, they will soon get used to it. 

Finally, it’s important to clean your dachshund’s ears regularly. Their unique, floppy shape makes it harder for air to circulate freely and this can lead to infections. To help you with this, we’d recommend buying an ear cleaning gel which will do all the hard work for you.

Common Health Problems

While dachshunds are generally healthy dogs, there are some common health problems that you need to be aware of. 

The first of these is Intervertebral Disc Disease. This occurs when one or more of the discs that separate the spine begin to degenerate, causing weakness and numbness in the upper and lower part of the spine. This affects dachshunds more than any other type of dog due to their long spine. 

Dachshunds can also suffer from several eye conditions including glaucoma, cataracts, and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy). If left untreated, each of these conditions can lead to blindness. This is something that your veterinarian will check for on your dog’s annual visit. 

Potential for Weight Gain

One area that you need to monitor very closely with dachshunds is weight gain. They’ll very happily eat as much food as you can give them and, as such, they can become obese very quickly. This leads to other issues and can affect their joints, breathing, and their heart.

To stop this from happening, you’ll need to make sure that you’re feeding them the correct amount of food each day. Any treats should be factored into their daily calorie intake as well. 

Weight gain in dachshunds doesn’t always come down to excess food, though. They are also susceptible to developing hyperthyroidism. This can cause weight gain even if they are getting the right amount of food and exercise. Again, a trip to a vet’s office will be able to confirm this. 

Trainability

Dachshunds can be trained, but you need some experience to do it. You’ll also need to exercise some patience as they are a notoriously stubborn breed!

Easy to Train

There’s no getting around the fact that dachshunds are not easy to train. This is because they would rather focus on a more urgent matter, whether that’s a potential intruder or their favorite toy! It’s not impossible to train a dachshund, though. You’ll just have to put in some extra effort and expect it to take a fair amount of time. You’ll also need to make sure you keep on top of command training for the rest of their life, otherwise, they may forget!

Intelligence

A dachshund’s stubbornness when it comes to training isn’t a testament to their intelligence. They are really clever dogs who are constantly aware of their surroundings. It also won’t take them very long to figure out how to get what they want! 

Potential to Bite

Dachshunds have a bark that is much bigger than their bite, and it will take quite a lot for them to snap and attack. However, it’s not impossible for them to lose their patience, especially if they feel they are being violated in any way. For this reason, they don’t make the best choice for homes with very young children, who may pull their eyes or poke them a little too hard. 

Tendency to Bark or Howl

Dachshunds don’t tend to how, but they will bark if they feel threatened. They also have a very loud bark for such a small dog. Excessive barking can become a problem if it’s not trained out of them from a young age, so it’s incredibly important to do this. 

History

The dachshund first appeared around 600 years ago and it was initially used as a hunting dog for badgers. Their long, slender bodies made it easy to slide into burrows and either chase the badgers out or kill them. There’s even some evidence to suggest that dachshunds were once used to hunt wild boar!

Around the 1800s, the dachshund made its way into our homes as a domestic dog. Queen Victoria was an enthusiastic dachshund lover and, as the trendsetter of the time, this inspired the wealthier members of society to breed and keep them.

Unfortunately, their popularity fell in the 1940s during World War II as their sausage shape was seen as a direct representation of Germany. But, in the 1950s, they regained popularity and have been a much-loved breed of dog ever since. 

Costs

Dachshunds are considered to be one of the most fashionable dogs and, as such, they can come with a hefty price tag. Some pedigree dachshunds can sell for thousands of dollars, and even those with an untraceable heritage fetch a few hundred dollars. 

There are also ongoing costs to think about with dachshunds. We’ve touched on this earlier and noted that you can expect to pay around $65 per month for food, healthcare, and toys. You’ll also need to pay for an annual visit to your veterinarian and any medication or treatment that they might prescribe. 


It is a dog breed with a rather long tradition

Although this breed appeared in the United States in the 80s, it was developed and bred in Germany three centuries ago.

The breed was created for a particular purpose back in those days, so the mission of a Dachshund was to hunt badgers.

Thus, this is how we can explain the long body and short legs, as the dog often went inside a badger’s layer looking for the critter.

These dogs are the ideal combination between the active temperament of a terrier and tracking abilities of a hound, which made them so appreciated for their skills.

While the first version of this breed was short-haired, long coat and wired coat variety emerged, later on, offering Dachshund enthusiast a wider range of pups to choose from.


They are extremely smart dogs with a tendency toward stubbornness

It is not a good idea to underestimate a Dachshund, as this little dog can easily surprise you with its cleverness.

If you manage to get its attention and know how to stimulate it, you will manage to train it with ease and teach it a lot of tricks, as it is a type of dog that loves challenges.

In case you will have to leave it at home for hours in a row, make sure it has toys and other possibilities to get entertained while you’re gone.

The Dachshund’s intelligence will make it get bored rather fast, so offering it stimulants, like dog puzzles, will definitely enchant this small dog with such a large heart.

It is also worth knowing that Dachshunds’ personalities make them persevere, and they won’t let go of what intrigues them easily.

Their smart nature also makes them extremely curious, so they might find out things you don’t want them to find, like where you hide the dog treats, in case it is in their range of action.


You will need to be consistent about their training

People often think that it is not that difficult to manage such a small dog. What they don’t know is that Dachshunds are strong-minded dogs, in spite of their reduced size.

While it is important to train your dog, regardless of its breed, you should know that Dachshunds need consistency and patience at this chapter.

It’s not that it is impossible to train a Dachshund and get it to do what you want. But, you will need to be patient, consistent, determined, and gentle at the same time.

It is worth knowing that Dachshunds are real gourmands, so finding a treat they love will offer them the motivation needed to go through a training session.

Also, using their favorite toy could work just as well.


These dogs have a very long lifespan

The best part about having this small dog breed is that they exceed the average lifespan of dogs.

This way, you will be sure that the moment when you’ll need to part from your friend will not come very soon.

How many years can a Dachshund live?

On average, this dog breed can live 14 to 16 years. But, very many individuals of this breed managed to go beyond these ages and reached 20 years old as well. So, it is not uncommon to see a very old Dachshund.

Of course, for this, you need to find puppies for sale from a reliable dog breeder.

This will give you the certainty that the Dachshund puppy you will take home with you is healthy and has a great genetic background, due to a responsible breeding program.

In case you don’t know where you look for responsible dog breeders, visit the Charlotte Dog Club website. This particular website helps people find their ideal puppies by working with responsible dog breeders only.

Each puppy will come accompanied by a 10-year warranty certificate, giving you the peace of mind that you’ll get a healthy and beautiful puppy that will become your loyal companion for very many years to come.


They may be picky about the weather

Yes, you may notice that your Dachshund will refuse to go for a walk on rainy weather. This is because their short legs will make them wet their bellies on a rainy day, so your dog may want to avoid this.

What to do in this case?

Well, you will need to walk your Dachshund regardless of weather, as it needs to do its duties.

Offer your dog a warm jacket when the weather is bad and don’t allow it to be too fussy about the weather, by doing everything you can to persuade your dog to take its walk.


It may be hard to find pet clothing and accessories for a Dachshund

Starting with harnesses and doing to clothing items, it will be a real challenge to find something that will fit your Dachshund.

These dogs have a small neck but large chest area, so most harnesses found in pet stores won’t fit your dog.

The same will happen if you’re trying to look for a clothing item, as Dachshunds have a rather long body, so most clothes will be short for your dog.

But, don’t stop looking for the right products and you will eventually succeed in finding something suitable.


Keep in mind that they are prone to back injuries due to their body shape

Dachshunds should not be allowed to jump off things or use the stairs too often.

This can lead to back injuries as their bodies are longer than in comparison to other dog breeds.

Thus, their spine is longer and fragile to stress and constant tensions. Instead of allowing you Dachshund to climb things, install a ramp that will make things easier for them.

Also, offer proper support to your dog’s back when you pick it up, to minimize stress on its spine.


Key Takeaways

So, there are quite a few things you need to have in mind before deciding whether the Dachshund is the right dog for you.

But, if you decide that all of these aspects are not going to bother you, most certainly you will be charmed by this clever and surprising small dog breed.

Fun Facts

  • The name ‘Dachshund’ is actually formed of two different German words. “Dachs” means “Badger”, and “Hund” means “Hound”.
  • In a post-WWII marketing effort, dachshunds were renamed “Badger Dogs”, but they soon reverted back to their proper German name. 
  • The Mascot in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich was a dachshund named Waldi. 
  • One dachshund named Crusoe is a New York Times bestselling author and he has a YouTube channel where he and his doggy-friends parody famous movies.

Jacquelyn Kennedy

PetDT was founded by Jacquelyn Kennedy, a dog lover and pet admirer. She built the website to provide pet owners with information, experiences, and opinions on breeds, temperament, personalities, health, nutrition, products, and care.

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