The Dachshund, with its overlong mid-section, stumpy legs, and affable personality is one of the most iconic canines in the world. Comically known as the “wiener dog,” the Dachshund was originally bred for to scent, chase and flush out “burrow-dwelling” animals like the ferocious badger.
Dachshunds are good at burrowing; they often compete in “Earth-Dog” competitions wherein the tenacious Dachshund can show off its burrowing skills and surprising speed. Dachshunds are quick, popular and intelligent, but despite an uproarious following, the noble Dachshund has never won best in show at Westminster.
That hasn’t stopped Dachshunds from competing in Dachshund Races like the Wiener Nationals and the Dachshund Dash. Today the adorable Dachshund is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds, ranking 13th in AKC registration statistics.
Thanks to the Dachshund’s small size, Dachshund puppies are very popular among urban dwellers. Dachshund puppies are adorable, hilariously clever, and endlessly affectionate.
Typically born in litters of 4 - 8, Dachshund puppies are diminutive and born in two sizes, three coat types and a wide variety of colors and markings. Dachshund puppies are active, affectionate and fun-loving, but they can also be stubborn and even a little mischievous, so it’s important that you keep a close eye on them until they have been trained and socialized.
When you bring your Dachshund puppy home, be sure to allow time for your puppy to adjust to its new environment. Time spent with the children and other members of the family is essential to introducing a dachshund puppy to its new family.
We recommend assembling the family on the floor and letting the puppy come up to them. Treats ensure a positive experience for the puppy, but it's best to introduce any other pets, quietly and slowly.
Dachshunds belong to the Hound breed group of canines. There are over 80 types of Hounds including the Beagle, the Afghan Hound, and the Bloodhound. Hounds come in many different shapes and sizes making the breed group difficult to classify.
Due to this difficulty of classification, a hound dog is predominantly characterized by the role it plays as a companion to humans. Hounds were initially developed by hunters to track and/or chase prey. They rely on sight, scent and sound to flush out prey from where it was hiding, chase it down and corner it for the hunter.
Developed in Germany, the Dachshund was bred to scent, chase, and flush out burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature Dachshund was bred to hunt smaller prey like as rats and mice. Dachshunds brought to the United States were used to track wounded deer and hunt prairie dogs.
A breed standard details the appearance and temperament of an officially recognized breed. The Dachshund is officially recognized by all major kennel clubs and is therefore subject to a strict breed standard.
Dachshunds are bred in two sizes: standard and miniature. Each size appears bold and well-balanced. They carry themselves confidently and present an intelligent expression.
The Dachshund’s body is long and low to the ground, set on small but muscular legs. Dachshunds possess a powerful nose that is well suited for trailing, and a distinctive build, well suited for burrowing underground. Their skin is pliable and without excessive wrinkling.
When viewed from above, the head of the Dachshund tapers uniformly to the nose. Eyes are dark, medium size, almond-shaped and convey a pleasant expression.
The head displays prominent bridge bones over the eyes. Ears are set atop the head, are medium length, rounded and frame the face on either side of the cheeks.
The skull is slightly arched but not broad or too narrow, and gradually slopes to the muzzle. Dachshunds possess powerful canine teeth fit in a scissor bite.
The Dachshund’s body is developed to be an effective burrower. Forequarters are robust, long and clean muscled. Breast-bone displays prominently in front forming a dimple on either side of the chest.
Thorax appears oval when viewed from the front and extends downward to the mid-point of the forearm. Ribs are well-sprung and full which allows from a powerful heart and strong longs. Shoulder blades are long, broad, and firmly set upon the well-muscled thorax.
Upper arms are the same length as the shoulder blades and set at right angles to the shoulder with elbows close to the body. Forearms are short and curved inwards slightly and powered by pliable muscle and tightly strung tendons. Paws are compact with well-arched toes and thick pads.
The hindquarters of the Dachshund are strong, muscled and display impressive balance and coordination in equal measure. The pelvis, thighs, and rear are the same length with hind legs that turn neither in nor out.
Hind feet are slightly smaller than forefeet with four compact toes and thick pads. The tail is set in continuation of the spine and extends without kinks or any pronounced curvature.
Dachshunds are bred in three varieties of coat: smooth, wirehaired and longhaired. All three varieties possess a short coat that is smooth and shining. Coats should be neither too long nor too thick. Dachshunds have very distinctive facial furnishings including a beard and eyebrows.
When Dachshunds appear in one color, they are red and cream and may display a small amount of white fur on the chest. Dachshunds that are two colors are typically black, chocolate, gray (blue) and fawn.
All two-colored coats may have deep, rich tan or cream markings over the eyes, on the sides of the jaw and along the inner edge of the ear, chest, and throat. Dachshunds may also possess a dappled coat display as lighter-colored areas in contrast with the darker base color.
In wirehaired Dachshunds, the outer coat is uniform, short, and rough. The undercoat is finer, somewhat softer with shorter hairs distributed between coarse hairs. In longhaired Dachshunds, the coat is sleek, glistening, and frequently displays wavy hair under the neck and on fore chest ears and behind the legs giving the dog an elegant appearance.
Dachshunds are bred in two sizes: standard and miniature. Miniature Dachshunds are no more than 11 pounds when younger than one year old. Standard Dachshunds typically grow to weigh between 16 and 32 pounds.
Dachshunds are clever, intelligent and surprisingly courageous for their diminutive stature. Dachshunds are known for being playful and friendly, but as hunting dogs have developed a reputation for stubbornness; they are known to chase small animals and tennis balls with the ferocity of a much larger predator.
The stubborn personality can make training a Dachshund challenging and can manifest as occasional aggression toward strangers and other dogs. Despite a challenging training process, Dachshunds are counted among the smartest canines, likely to follow trained commands 50% of the time or more.
Overall the Dachshund is a healthy breed, however due to their elongated bodies and short legs, Dachshunds are genetically prone to musculoskeletal medical conditions.
With a loving family, a healthy diet and a safe environment to run and play, owners can expect your Dachshund to live approximately 12 years on average.
Taking care of a Dachshund is an incredibly rewarding experience. Like all dogs, Dachshunds require a nutritious diet, regular exercise and plenty of attention from their family, which includes grooming, training, and special precautions for avoiding spinal injury.
Dachshunds are susceptible to back and spinal issues which can cause pain, bladder and bowel control problems, and even partial paralysis. To avoid future spinal issues, it’s best to prevent your Dachshund from jumping off furniture or climbing stairs.
Consider installing a baby gate or small ramps to allow your Dachshund access to places where stairs can’t be avoided. It’s also essential that you support your Dachshund’s spine when carrying them and lifting them on to/off of furniture.
Support your Dachshund’s rear end with one hand and place another hand under their tummy to protect their spine. Never carry your Dachshund with one hand or by its paws or head.
Dachshunds tend to pull when on walks which adds stress to their vertebrae which may lead to spinal problems. For this reason, we recommend utilizing a harness instead of a collar when walking your puppy on a leash.
Be on the lookout for the symptoms of spinal problems and contact your Dachshund’s vet immediately if you notice any:
Next to supporting its spine, the best precaution you can take to avoid spinal injury is ensuring your Dachshund enjoys a nutritious diet. Avoid feeding your Dachshund from the table, as “people food” can lead a Dachshund to become obese, which asserts additional strain on its spine.
It’s best to limit treats and avoid dog foods that contain healthy proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Try and avoid dog foods that contain meat by-products, artificial ingredients, and gluten, wheat or grain.
We recommend implementing a feeding schedule after your Dachshund puppy is weaned from its mother's milk, typically 6 to 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, start your Dachshund puppy on moistened dry puppy food, 3 to 5 times per day for no longer than 10 minutes per feeding. After 10 minutes remove their food even if they haven't finished.
From 3 to 6 months your puppy can be moved to three meals a day. At 6 to 12 months you can reduce their feeding schedule to two meals per day. Dachshund puppies also need fresh, clean and easily accessible water - refilled as soon as it is finished.
As a Dachshund ages it will require a special diet rich in nutrients that support joint, bone and digestive health; though we recommend that you speak with your veterinarian before significantly altering your Dachshunds diet.
Of the three potential Dachshund coats, Smooth Dachshunds are the easiest to groom. Smooth Dachshunds are typically free of dog odor and don't need to be bathed very often. Smooth Dachshunds also shed very little. Wiping a damp washcloth along their coat can keep them looking shiny between baths and remove excess fur.
Wirehaired Dachshunds need regular brushing to free mats and debris from their coat. They will also require a more frequent bathing schedule than a Smooth Dachshund. Twice a year, a Wirehaired Dachshund's coat needs to be stripped - we recommend this be performed by a groomer the first time so you can learn the correct way to do it.
For a Longhaired Dachshund to look its best, it needs regular bathing, blow-drying, and daily brushing to free mats and debris from their coat. A Dachshund's ears are also prone to infection, so regular ear cleaning must also be part of your puppy’s grooming regimen.
A new Dachshund puppy (6 to 8 weeks) does not require formal exercise. Simply playing with them in a safe space will suffice. As the puppy grows you can start to take them on walks every other day for about 5 to 10 minutes per walk.
Around 4 months your Dachshund puppy can start going on longer walks (15 to 20 minutes.) At six months you can gradually increase the distance and time of each walk to about 30 minutes every day.
At one year you should be walking your Dachshund for about 45 to 50 minutes every day. Once an adult, your Dachshund will take any amount of exercise you care to give. The general guidance is 5 minutes of “formal” exercise per day, per month of age.
Owners describe their Dachshund puppies as full of energy until they grow up, but keep in mind that it is possible to over-exercise a Dachshund puppy. Over-exercising a Dachshund puppy can result in abnormal development or spinal issues like out-turned feet, or a poor topline.
Dachshunds are difficult to train. This should not deter you from adopting a Dachshund puppy, but it should encourage you to do your research before welcoming one home. To determine whether you are up to the task of training a Dachshund consider the following:
Dachshunds don’t like strangers. Compared to dogs like the Golden Retriever, Dachshunds are not the best with strangers. They often bark at strange people, cats and other dogs. Dachshunds should also be kept away from large dogs whenever possible.
Dachshunds bark… a lot. Dachshunds bark at anything they perceive as an intruder into their space, be it other dogs, cats or a leaf.
Dachshunds may not be well suited for a home with small children. We recommend utilizing caution when introducing a Dachshund to small children. To avoid accidents, ensure that children are instructed on how to safely approach, pet and interact with a canine.
Many Dachshunds have been accidently injured by small children picking them up, falling on them, or tripping over them. Children under 5 years old should never be left alone with a small dog.
Dachshunds will always need a leash. Dachshunds have a very strong prey drive. They will chase after anything that catches their interest with surprising speed and are likely not to return unless they want to.
Dachshunds are born burrowers. Dachshunds were bred to burrow into rodent holes, which means they love to burrow into furniture, dig holes and otherwise insert themselves into places you may not wish for them to go.
Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to housebreak, and every owner should understand the likeliness that their Dachshund will never be fully housebroken. Consistency and reward are key to housebreaking a Dachshund. Ignore the pottying inside and reward the pottying outside.
It’s best to acclimate your Dachshund to its new home slowly. We recommend crate training and confining them to a single room away from children and other pets for its first few days. Be sure to carefully monitor your Dachshund puppy for the first few weeks and consult a trained veterinarian if you notice unusual behavior or symptoms of a potential disorder.
Dachshunds need to be socialized to learn how to behave in new environments and to ward off destructive behavior, though it’s best to introduce children and other dogs slowly and with caution.
Dachshunds that are not socialized are less likely to gain the experience needed to feel safe in a given environment and will, therefore, be more prone to aggressive behavior when presented with new situations, people, or pets.
Though your Dachshund will love being outside, a dog park is likely not the best place to socialize a Dachshund. A game of fetch in a fenced in yard is a great way to exercise your Dachshund away from large, curious dogs who are likely to upset the smaller pooch.
It’s likely that a Dachshund will never be fully trained. The breed is not noted for its obedience but rather its tenacity. However, with a good deal of patience and consistency, A Dachshund can be trained to basic levels of obedience.
The most important thing to remember when housebreaking a Dachshund is they are stubborn, intelligent, and not afraid of you. Dachshunds may be small, but they were bred to hunt tenacious rats and the downright ferocious badger.
Therefore, they are more likely than some breeds to react to aggression in kind. Never strike a Dachshund. Calm consistency is key to ensuring a smooth obedience training process. Use the same words and phrases to indicate when, where and how you want your puppy to execute a command.
Use basic reward-based training principles like “sit” and “stay.” Every time your Dachshund correctly executes a command reward them with a treat to reinforce the behavior. Remember, it can take up to 6 months to fully housebreak a puppy.
Is a Dachshund a good family dog? Yes. Though, families should take care that their Dachshund feels safe and comfortable in their surroundings. Those who do not risk causing the dog undue stress, thereby increasing the likelihood of an incident.
Are Dachshunds kid friendly? Dachshunds who have not been socialized are unlikely to respond well to being handled, pet or otherwise forced to interact with children. Families should ensure that children have been instructed on dog safety and are supervised when interacting with the dog.
Do Dachshunds bark a lot? Yes. All intruders, real or imaginary, dog, or tennis ball are likely to receive a bark from a Dachshund.
Are Dachshunds aggressive? It is not uncommon for Dachshunds to be aggressive toward strangers, and large dogs who cause it to feel undue stress. Dachshunds have been described as fiercely proud.
Dachshunds have large egos and are likely to act out when said ego is bruised. The best way to avoid aggression in Dachshunds is to ensure:
What breeds were used to make Dachshunds? Smooth-Coated Dachshunds were born from by crossing the Bracke French pointer and the Pinscher, a type of dog bred as ratters on farms.
Long-haired Dachshunds are believed to have been the result of crossbreeding between the Smooth-Coated Dachshund, the German Stoberhund and Spaniels.
The Wire-Coated Dachshund is mix of the Smooth-Coated Dachshund the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and the German Wire-haired Pinscher.
Are Dachshunds loyal? As family dogs, Dachshunds are loyal companions and great, if not overzealous watch dogs.
Are Dachshunds lazy? Despite their diminutive size, Dachshunds are courageous to the point of rashness, known to fearlessly take on animals much larger than themselves. They can also quickly become complacent in a life of canine luxury, which is why it is important to ensure they receive at least one hour of exercise per day.
Can Dachshunds be left alone all day? We recommend the maximum length of time you leave any dog alone is 4 hours. Dachshunds should not be left in a small crate for long periods and must have access to fresh drinking water at all times.
Puppies need lots of socialization before being left on their own, otherwise owners increase the risk of separation anxiety, which can result in destructive behavior excessive barking. Puppies also need to relieve themselves more often than an adult dog, at least once an hour when housebreaking.
Why do Dachshunds like to sleep under blankets? The burrowing instinct is very strong in “denning” animals like the Dachshund. As small-prey hunters the Dachshund was initially bred to burrow into rodent dens and flush out prey living inside.
As pets they will frequently tunnel their way under blankets and in between the cushions of furniture to relax in a small space where they feel safe and warm.
Originating in 17th century Germany, the Dachshund was bred from a combination of hunting breeds (hounds) primarily to roust burrowing rodents from their dens.
Bred with short legs, loose skin and powerful chests, the Dachshund has everything a dog needs to dig and tunnel their way inside an animal den, including the stubborn determination to face down what they find inside.
The name Dachshund translates to "badger dog," an etymology owing to the breed’s proficiency at facing down badgers, one of the most ferocious animals in all of Europe. Dachshunds were brought to North America in the late 1800s where they quickly grew in popularity.
Dachshund races, known as "wiener races," are popular across Europe, the U.S. and Canada but are opposed by the Dachshund Club of America out of concerns that racing might injure the dogs.