Dachshunds are one of the most easily identifiable dog breeds due to their distinctive short legs. Also known as wiener dogs or sausage dogs for their appearance, Dachshund dogs have an interesting history. They were bred during the Middle Ages in Europe for hunting badgers. It was for this reason that the breed got its name, Dachshund, which is German for ‘badger-dog’.
The Dachshund dog breed is known to be very lively, playful, and loyal. Dachshund dogs are small sized and known to adapt to apartment living extremely well. They can be great companions for first-time pet parents. However, it is important to note that given their body structure, long back, and short legs, they may not adapt well to a home with too many steps. Also, Dachshunds thrive in warm climates and cannot adapt to extreme cold.
Key specifications of a Dachshund dogs
If you are looking to adopt a dog from this breed, here is some information on a Dachshund’s lifespan, average height, average weight, and coat.
4 to 14.5 kg
5 to 9 inches
12 to 15 years
Smooth, long, or wirehaired
Physical appearance of Dachshunds
The Dachshund dog breed has one of the most unique physical appearances - a long back and short legs. It is their appearance that has earned the dogs of this breed their nickname, ‘sausage dogs’. The breed has three varieties of coats - smooth, long, and wirehead. The smooth coat is short and dense. The long coat is perfect for those who prefer a canine with a glamorous coat. The ones with wirehead coats, on the other hand, have shorter fur. Unlike long coats, their fur is rather harsh to touch and has earned them the name ‘wirehead.’ The coats can be in either of these shades:
- Blue and cream
- Blue and tan
- Blue and grey
- Isabella and fawn
- Black and tan
- Black and cream
- Chocolate and tan
- Chocolate and cream
Their coats can also have these colors in patterns such as dapple, sable, brindle, piebald, and a combination of brindle and piebald.
Due to their unique body shapes, Dachshunds are very easy to identify. Yet, it is important to note the traits to identify a purebred Dachshund. Purebred Dachshunds have:
- A long body with short legs
- A long muzzle
- Big ears that always hang down
Dachshund personality traits
The Dachshund is primarily a sporting dog, yet it is incredibly well-suited to being your domestic companion. They also get along really well with kids. Dachshund dogs are also known for their high intelligence and prey drive. When they see a rabbit or a fox, their sharp hunting instinct quickly kicks in. Dachshunds are sensitive and tend to bark a lot. They are known to be aggressive towards other pets and animals. However, if trained in socializing at an early age, they can get along with other pets.
Do Dachshunds need training?
Dachshund dogs are known to be extremely prey driven and aggressive. Despite being very lovable, the temperament of Dachshunds also makes them very stubborn and self-dependent. These qualities surely make it difficult to train Dachshunds and at the same time, very necessary. With the right amount of patience and training methods, you can discipline your Dachshund well. When training your Dachshund puppy or dog, you must focus on reward-based training methods and strictly avoiding aggressive methods. When using dog treats as rewards, ensure to not overfeed your pet as doing so may make them overweight and cause spinal damage.
How to care for a Dachshund?
There are a few essential points about caring for Dachshunds that you should note if you are planning on adopting a dog from this breed.
Due to the physical characteristics of the Dachshund breed, these dogs are prone to spinal disc damage. To prevent them from incurring such injuries, you’ll need to keep an eye on their physical activities. Also, since the length of their body is rather disproportionate to their height, it is important not to overfeed Dachshunds. If they are overfed and get obese, they are at a significantly higher risk of damaging their spinal health.
The Dachshund breed has three varieties of coats - smooth, long, and wirehead. Dogs with smooth coats need a little amount of grooming. You can use a soft-bristled brush to brush their coat once a week. Dogs with wirehead coats will need to be brushed several times a week. And the ones with long coats will need daily brushing in order to maintain the best health of their coat. Long coats tend to pick up on much more dirt and get tangled, which is why they require daily grooming.
Dachshunds are avid eaters and tend to get bored easily. So, it is important make sure they get regular exercise. When it comes to physical activities, Dachshunds are not very enthusiastic. They can spend days just sitting around without walks or any outdoor time. So, it is important that their owners ensure they go for walks and get enough of other forms of physical activity.
It is extremely important avoid overfeeding Dachshunds. This is because their physical build cannot support too much body weight. Becoming overweight may severely injure their spine and cause disc damage. So, ensure that you pick the right kind of dog food for your little Dachshund. You can also ask your vet to help you with a Dachshund food chart.
A brief history of Dachshunds
It is believed that the Dachshund’s origin has its roots in Germany. As per studies, the dogs of this breed were used by people to hunt badgers, foxes, and rabbits. Their physical characteristics made it easier for these dogs to burrow and enter tunnels to hunt those animals, unlike other larger breeds. It is because of their history as hunters that these dogs have a great sense of smell and are very independent and prey driven. It was in the 19th century, that people began keeping Dachshund dogs as pets rather than using them for hunting. The breed did not gain popularity in the USA till the 1950s, a few years after the World War II was over. Today, the Dachshund is a popular breed among dog lovers!