- Activity Level: moderate
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
- Prey Drive: high
- Watchdog: very alert
- Registered?: aca, akc
Dachshund Breed Profile
The Dachshund, sometimes affectionately referred to as a “wiener dog”, “hot dog”, “sausage dog”, and “Doxie”, is known for its long body and short legs. They were originally bred to be an independent hunter of badgers and other dangerous prey. Packs of them were used to chase and hunt down wild boar. The Dachshund originated in Germany and means “badger dog” in German. Their lineage can be traced back over 600 years and they have been a national symbol of Germany for a long time. The AKC admitted them to the Stud Book in 1885 and considers them part of the Hound Group.
The “Wiener Dog” is clever, lively, and courageous. They have a friendly, spunky, and curious nature and also tend to do very well with children. Dachshunds tend to be vigilant, wary of strangers, and have a “big-dog” bark, which makes them good watchdogs. They are prone to barking, but early socialization and training can keep this to a minimum. They also have a strong prey drive, which can be an issue for animals in the home smaller than they are unless properly socialized towards them. However, they are generally friendly towards other dogs.
This dog breed is moderately adaptable. They do well in apartments or in larger homes with yards and get along well with families of all types, including children. They do not handle cold weather well and can be sensitive to heat, so they do best in moderate climates.
The Dachshund is a generally healthy dog breed. Because of their shape and stature, Dachshunds can be prone to back injuries and disc damage, especially as they age. Running up and down stairs or jumping on and off furniture can cause damage to your Dachshund’s back over time. It’s important to keep them from becoming overweight and to monitor their activities to avoid disc damage. They can also get ear infections if their ears are not kept clean.
A Dachshund can be a good fit for a novice owner as long as they attend obedience and puppy training classes. Although affectionate and eager to please, this dog breed is highly intelligent, independent, and has a stubborn streak, which requires plenty of patience when it comes to training. They can be difficult to train and respond best to reward-based training. Although they have an independent nature, they are also sensitive, so they tend to take harsh commands or punishment personally.
They are moderate shedders and their coats require moderate grooming. The Dachshund coat comes in three types – smooth, wiry, or long. A smooth-haired Dachshund will have short, smooth, and shiny fur. The wirehaired coat type features short, thick, and hard fur. A long-haired Dachshund will have sleek and slightly wavy fur. The coat comes in a variety of patterns and colors. A regular brushing and a bath when needed will keep this dog’s coat healthy. A long-haired Dachshund needs to be brushed a few times a week to prevent mats and tangles.
Aside from their coats and the occasional bath, you will want to make sure you trim your dog’s nails monthly. It’s also important to regularly check and clean their ears. Since they have “drop ear”, ears that droop or flop over, they can get ear infections if their ears are not kept clean. In order to protect your pup from dental problems, it’s important to clean their teeth regularly too. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly prevents tartar buildup and helps to avoid serious dental problems like tooth decay and periodontal disease. Daily tooth brushing is ideal. Getting your puppy used to having their teeth brushed and paws handled early makes regular grooming and care much easier.
Dachshunds have a low to moderate activity level. They are prone to weight gain, which puts unnecessary pressure on their short legs and joints. So, a good diet and plenty of exercise is necessary to keep this dog happy and healthy. Regular exercise also helps your Dachshund build and maintain muscles, which will also help protect and support their back. Daily walks twice a day paired with some playtime are usually sufficient to keep this dog in shape.
Dachshunds usually stand between 5 and 9 inches at the shoulder. Miniature Dachshunds stand 5-6 inches tall while a Standard Dachshund will stand 8-9 inches tall. Mini Dachshunds weigh under 11 pounds while a Standard Dachshund will weigh 16-32 pounds.
This dog breed generally lives 12-16 years.
A Dachshund was chosen as the first official mascot for the 1972 Summer Olympics. His name was Waldi.