Dachshund, The Wiener Dog: Breed Fact Sheet, Pros & Cons
Dachshunds are well-known across the globe. Their unique appearance and lively character make it impossible not to recognize them.
- Classification – scent hound, terrier
- Place of Origin – Germany
- Approx. Origin Date – 16th Century
- Initial Function – hunting above and below ground (badger, rabbit, fox)
- Current Function – earth dog, agility, obedience, field, and tracking trials.
- Male – 11 to 32 pounds, 8 to 9 inches in height.
- Female – 11 to 32 pounds, 8 to 9 inches in height.
- Life Span – 12 to 14 years (average)
- Alternate Names – Deckel, Teckel
Dachshunds have long bodies that are short to the ground. Their ears are long and droopy, and their snout is pointy. Although small, a dachshund’s entire body (including their short, crooked legs) is naturally toned. The muscle helps them stay active in case they have to dig or run while hunting.
They also have flexible skin that allows them to go into holes to capture their prey without getting injured. A dachshund’s chest is also built so that hunting can be easily performed; the extra space created with the deepness of their chest gives them more room for air.
Defining the coat of a Dachshund is not at all an easy task, but overall there are three variables in the dachshund coat equation.
There are three types of dachshund coats; long-haired, wire-haired, and short-haired.
Dachshund coats also vary from solid to mixed colors.
Single-colored doxies can have a bit of white on their chest; however, their nose and nails should be black. Solid colors in dachshunds include;
- Cream (aka English cream)
Solid blacks and solid chocolates often occur, but are not accepted by the AKC standard.
Two Colored Dachshunds
Two-colored dachshunds typically have tan or cream markings near the eyes, jaw, chin, ear borders, chest, rear end, throat, and on the front legs. A bit of white on the chest area is accepted but not preferred. In addition to the tan or cream, two-colored doxies will also have another color such as:
- Wild Boar
Dachshunds also come in different coat patterns. Below we list all the defined coat patterns for them.
There are two main types of dapple coat patterns in dachshunds; single dapple and double dapple. A single dapple coat includes a darker base color and a lighter topcoat. A double dapple coat is like a single dapple, except there are white spots on the coat as well. Dapple dachshunds can have any of the AKC accepted colors, and they may also have a white spot on their chest.
The piebald coat is not recognized by the AKC, but it is a popular coat pattern among dachshund breeders. True piebald dachshunds have solid, white spots on top of their coat’s base color, have white at the tip of their tail, and do not have blue eyes. The spots on a piebald dachshund should never be a mixed color.
Brindle dachshunds are a solid color (usually red) with dark stripes over the coat that closely represents a tiger’s coat pattern. In chocolate coats, the stripes are chocolate, whereas in red dachshunds the stripes are black.
Sable dachshunds are considered rare and are often times confused with red dachshunds. A sable coat contains hair that is two different colors; the part of the hair that is closest to the dog’s body is the lighter color and the tips of the hair are the darker red.
The dachshund breed has become such a sensation, that hybrid breeds and other mixed breeds have been inspired.
The AKC only recognizes two dachshund sizes (standard and miniature); however, in Europe the toy breed is also accepted.
Standard dachshunds weigh between 16 to 32 pounds and measure 8 to 11 inches in height.
Miniature dachshunds weigh less than 11 pounds and are 5-7 inches in height.
Toy dachshunds weigh approximately 8 pounds and measure no more than 12 inches in height.
Teacup dachshunds are also not an accepted AKC size, but they are popular among breeders and owners. Teacups are typically the same size as miniatures, which is why the names are used interchangeably.
All dachshunds have short legs and long bodies, hence their nickname “wiener dog”!
A dachshund’s personality is often described by owners as loyal, energetic, and mischievous. This dog breed loves to be around people and certainly loves attention! Bravery is another personality trait of the dachshund. They are protective of their family and are not afraid to stand up for them. Lastly, dachshunds will keep you on your toes, as they are extremely curious and love to play. Find out more about the dachshund’s personality here.
A daily walk is usually sufficient to satisfy a dachshund’s exercise needs; however, in cases where a high-calorie or high-fat diet is fed, more exercise may be required in order to prevent obesity. Additional exercise can be provided in the form of play as long as jumping or any twisting motion is not involved. Rough play should also be discouraged, as it can lead to back injuries in dachshunds.
Dachshunds are not aggressive dogs but can be snippy if they feel threatened. Young children should not be left alone with an untrained dachshund, as they are protective of their small bodies and may not tolerate being pulled or pushed. Stubbornness is another characteristic often found in dachshunds; this trait can be either natural in dachshunds or develops when the proper training is not provided.
Dachshunds are extremely social dogs and love being the center of attention. When not active, they enjoy relaxing and spending quality time with their owners. The dachshund’s small size and ability to adapt well to new environments also make them excellent travel dogs. Overall, dachshunds are good-tempered dogs and are ideal for most households.
Dachshunds are extremely intelligent and can be easily trained as long as patience and consistency is maintained throughout the process. One of the first things you should start with your dog is obedience training; it is a must for dachshunds because it can help prevent the development of unruly behavior.
Socialization is another important part of training; it involves exposing your dachsie to different environments and people so that you can take him along any place you go. Potty training and leash training are also essential.
Like with any other breed, dachshunds to are predisposed to several health conditions. Some of the health conditions include; seizures, back problems (paralysis, injury, IVDD), skin issues (allergies, pattern baldness, acanthosis nigricans), patellar luxation, eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, PRA, corneal dystrophy, keratoconjunctivitis sicca), and obesity.
It is important that you are familiar with the conditions your dog is prone to so that you can learn to detect problems early on and provide the best treatment possible.
The average life span for a dachshund is 12 to 15 years. It is not rare for a dachshund to live past the average life span, especially if they’ve been properly cared for. Preventative care, regular health exams, a healthy diet, and regular exercise are some of the factors that can help elongate a dachshund’s life.
All dachshunds shed moderately, but each type requires different grooming. Long-haired dachshunds are high maintenance when it comes to grooming. They need to be brushed and combed on a daily basis to prevent mats from forming. Dachshunds with wire-haired coats need to be hand-stripped of their undercoat two times per year. This gets rid of dead and loose hair and allows the new coat to grow in nicely. Lastly, smooth-haired doxies can also be brushed daily and wiped down with a moist cloth to reduce shedding.
The dachshund’s origin is largely debated. This is mainly because there are dogs depicted in tombs and drawings (over a thousand years old) in Egypt that highly resemble the breed. In most countries; however, it is widely accepted that dachshunds developed over a course of 400 years in Germany.
The breed’s existence can be dated back to the 15th century, where a sketching displays a small, long dog that has similar characteristics to that of the modern-day dachshund. Clay figures of petite, short-legged dogs were also found in Mexico in the early 1500’s. Breed books from the 18th century are additional proof of the dachshund’s existence. These publications describe a hunting dog that has a long body, short, bent legs, and various coat colors.
Breeders in Germany worked to produce a dog with favorable hunting characteristics. By the early 19th century, the breed became definite and was known as a dachshund, or “Teckel” in German. The wire-haired dachshund was first mentioned in German hunting books in 1812, and long-haired dachshunds began appearing in books in 1820.
By the late 1800’s, dachshunds were the most popular dog breed in Germany. Up until World War I, dachshunds were on the top ten list of most popular dog breeds. The dog’s relation to Germany caused a great decline in their popularity starting in 1914. After WWI and WWII, dachshunds slowly regained popularity and were on the top ten list again in 1940.
In 1870, the first dachshund standard was created in Germany. At the time, there were only two varieties of dachshunds accepted; the long-haired and smooth-haired dachshund. It wasn’t until 1890 that the wire-haired dachshund was approved. The American Kennel Club accepted the breed in 1885, the German Dachshund Club was then created in 1888, and the Dachshund Club of America was finally founded in 1895.
Despite of the obstacles, the dachshund breed was kept alive by breeders and other enthusiasts. The dachshund’s lively personality, affectionate nature, and hunting skills helped the breed fight for their existence. That is why today, people around the world have the opportunity to enjoy the small dog with its big personality.