Dachshund Running

Dachshund Dog Breed

Other names:
Badger Dog
Dash It Hound
Earth Dog
Hotdog Dog
Kaninchen Dachshund
Little Burrow Dog
Little Hot Dog
Long Dog
Perro Salchicha
Sausage Dog
Tekkel Doxie
Weenie Dog
Wiener Dog

The dachshund is a small breed hound dog most famously known as the "wiener dog" due to the dog's long body resembling a hot dog. The dachshund has an elongated body with short legs and is commonly joked as being "half a dog high and a dog and a half long". The breed's unique body was intended to help it crawl deep into animal dens and holes to find game for hunters.

The dachshund is a brave intelligent dog that can be stubborn at times. The breed has a lot of energy and enough stamina to keep up with hunters on horseback. They have an incredible digging instinct and an incredibly deep bark which many people mistake as coming from a much larger dog.

Dachshund Breed Details

The Dachshund was bred as a hunter. Over the last century or so, however, this formerly medium-sized, highly aggressive, and very versatile dog has been down-bred in size, made a lot less mean (even if they sometimes attack), and yet remains somewhat adept in accommodating work, duties, and tasks. While nearly no one uses these dogs for hunting, they are nevertheless classified as a Hound by the AKC and most all other kennel clubs. They are best for single people, they not good for large families, and they are prone to problems that need a lot of resources to deal with. Depending on their coat type, they may or may not shed excessively and require various levels of grooming.

Wiener Dogs do have their quirks, and not all the facts about them are funny or cute:

Very loyal
Good watchdog
Remarkably clever
Love to live in packs
Long average lifespan
Extremely jealous
Highly possessive
Persistent diggers
Not good with kids
Hard to housebreak
Aloof to most people
Notoriously headstrong
Vicious in odd ways
Long list of health problems
Must be exercised at length daily
Not good in cold weather or cool climates
12 - 16 yrs.
5 - 11 in.
11 - 32 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Dachshund Breed Description

The dachshund breed can vary in size and coat. Their size is classified as miniature or standard (if a dachshund is between these two sizes they are often called a "tweenie"). Their coat can either be smooth, wire haired, or long haired. It is not uncommon for the dachshunds temperament to be different between coat types due to crossing terrier breeds with the dachshund to create a new variety of dachshunds with longer coats.

The dachshund was originally bred to be the ideal dog to help hunt badgers. Generally, the dachshund would dig into badger holes to flush the animal out (or fight it underground if necessary). Through careful breeding, hunters successfully bred the dachshund which was large enough to defend itself from animals, narrow enough to squeeze through tunnels, and had a bark deep enough the hunters could locate the dog when it was underground.

Dachshunds are intelligent dogs, but have a tendency to be stubborn at times so it can be a difficult breed to train for individuals unfamiliar with dogs. They are friendly with children who the dachshund considers part of the family, but they can be reserved towards guests. The breed does well with other pets, however they have a very bold personality so they may not get along as well with dogs that also have bold personalities.

Dachshund Breed History

Dachshunds may be small and somewhat cute now, but the history of the Dachshund proves they weren't always this way. It's documented that they have been around at least since the 15th century. Back then,they were much larger, there were two distinct varieties, and they were used to hunt a variety of critters and predators.

The origins of the breed is believed to have been in the early 1600s. Breeders in Germany produced two varieties: the crooked-leg variety, which is the basis for the Dachshund we know today, and the straight-legged ones. Both types of Wiener Dog were bred for pest extermination and hunting. Back then, Dachshunds weighed around 35 pounds or more, and they often hunted in packs. They were used to bag badgers, wild boars, and wolverines, and they went to ground with a ferocity that occasionally surfaces to this day.

A few decades later, in 1870, England formally recognized the breed. By 1881, the world's first Dachshund Club was founded. During this time, the dogs were taken to the United States and quickly became popular among the German and Dutch immigrant communities. The American Kennel Club (AKC) admitted Dachshunds in 1885. Although Germany had the first studbook, in 1840, it didn't have a club until 1895. They were kept by a wide variety of royals, celebs, and other famous folk. Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Napoleon Bonaparte of France were two such world leaders who had Dachshunds.

Ironically, they were one of the most popular dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club Show the same year that World War I broke out, 1914. The irony is that during the war, anything from Germany or even related to the country's culture fell sharply out of favor, and this included the Dachshund breed. The AKC even changed the breed's name to Badger Dog, but the die was cast. Luckily, all this animosity faded away shortly after the war.

Dachshund Appearance

The Dachshund anatomy is a unique one, and you probably know what they look like from one of the countless cartoons that have played on TV, in movie cartoon previews, and broadcast elsewhere during the last century. You may have even seen the 2016 movie, "Wiener-Dog." These sausage-shaped dogs are unmistakable.

While the Dachshund coat is often the universal black and tan, it's the short legs and the long body that is the well-known image of this breed. They have large paws that make the short legs appear even shorter, and Dachshund feet are webbed. They have a long snout that is triangular in shape, leading back to a small, dome-shaped head in which are set round, black eyes. The ears are long and are folded down. If you have a bearded Dachshund or one with a long coat, the ears may look like massive, furry butterflies. Although small dogs, they have a broad chest. Dachshunds have medium-length tails, and as there are two types of dachshund coats, the tails look different depending on that. They typically have bald tails unless they have a long-haired coat, which means they'll have a tail with the hair hanging down from the tail.

Dachshund Colors

The images below represent the coat colors and patterns associated with Dachshunds.

Black and Cream
Black and Tan
Blue and Cream
Blue and Tan
Chocolate and Cream
Chocolate and Tan
Fawn and Cream
Fawn and Tan
Additional Coat Colors
Wild Boar

Dachshund Variations

Initially, there were two variations of Dachshunds: straight- and crooked-leg. The straight-legged still exists but number far fewer than the crooked-leg variety, and it was this latter one which is the basis of all the other ones we know today: the short-, long-, and wire-haired varietals and the standard, miniature, and nearly unknown toy or kaninchen, which is German for "rabbit." There are also coat color varieties, but as Doxies come in nearly all colors, this is not really a variety — or we'd have to accept that there are several tens of types! There may be accepted exception in the double-dapple, however, as this kind is highly prone to many ailments.

The most typical variety is the short-haired, crooked-leg, standard Weiner Dog, although this might imply that there are far more than the six mentioned above. As all the variations are crooked-leg, that's a given. Any of these dogs can come in one of the three sizes, and all of these sizes can have any of the three types of coats. This might cause some confusion, and you may be wondering, Do I identify a variety by it's coat or it's size? That's a good question, one that's yet to be answered. Most all Doxy owners and breeders tend to use either size or coat type, so the jury's still out on how to deal with this. The big kennel clubs determine variety by size, however.

Most everyone has heard of the standard and miniature Dachshunds, and both are recognized by the AKC and UK clubs. Only the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognizes the "rabbit" size, and this is not a kennel club but an international group of them. As these dogs are internationally renowned, the variations are often called by their non-English names: Langhaarteckel for long-haired, salchichas mini and teckel nain for the miniature are a couple examples, and should not be confused with puppy.

Dachshund Temperament

The Dachshund temperament is one with a great many conflicting traits. Still, it's this breed's very character that makes them so ornery, so clownish, and so lovable!

The personality of these dogs is something you will have to get ready to live with — and to live with for a long time! — if you chose to adopt a Wiener Dog. You should know beforehand that these dogs are extremely clever, are very stubborn, are remarkably courageous, have erratic behaviors, and can exhibit unusual traits. Their characteristics have long made them a humorous target for film-makers and cartoonists. To your non-Doxie friends, this breed's disposition will seem odd.

To sum it up colorfully, the writer E.B. White (of Charlotte's Web and other classic children's books) said of Dachshunds, "I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command."

Living Requirements

Living with a Dachshund is not as easy as it seems to be. These dogs are highly prone to separation anxiety. They also bark a lot — and constantly, and at everything. They are aloof to strangers and friends and may not always be friendly. Owning a Dachshund is a handful, to be sure.

Still, these dogs are fine for apartments as well as massive ranches and most any home between. They love to run, roam, and be free. If you do live in a small place, you will want to get out to the dog park frequently

Because there are three different coat variations of their breed, a lot of people wonder, Are Wiener Dogs hypoallergenic? Yes, the Dachshund is hypoallergenic and in various degrees due to their coat length and to people in different ways. The allergic reaction you have may not be the same type or severity that someone else has because of the same dog.

Dachshund Health

The Dachshund is one of those breeds that is not only well-known the world over but equally infamous for having a list of health problems that's longer than the typical Wiener Dog. Even worse are the multiple genetic issues that can happen when two dapple Dachshunds are bred, something that should never be allowed but still happens.

Here is a list of many of the ailments and other health issues that are common to Doxies:

  • Bloat
  • Tumors
  • Obesity
  • Walleye
  • Cancers
  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts
  • Liver shunt
  • Narcolepsy
  • Back injuries
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pattern baldness
  • Inherited deafness
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Keratoconjunctivitis
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes
  • Demodectic mange
  • Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Lymphocytic thyroiditis
  • Von Willebrand's disease
  • Intervertebral disk disease
  • Congenital night blindness
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The typical lifespan of the average Dachshund is 12 to 16 years.

Dachshund Health Concerns

Below are potential health concerns associated with Dachshunds.

Cushing's syndrome
Mitral valve disease
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
Progressive retinal atrophy
Elbow dysplasia
Demodectic mange
Canine diabetes mellitus
Intervertebral disc disease
Acanthosis nigricans
Lymphocytic thyroiditis

Random Details

Unlike most movie dogs, many people were already familiar with Dachshunds due to the early Disney cartoons in which they were portrayed as coiled toys that stretched their already long bodies ridiculously so. The popularity of the 1966 movie, The Ugly Dachshund, was built not so much on a Doxie starring in it (although their was a pack of the breed alongside the starring dog, a Great Dane) but on the Dane being confused as a Dachshund.

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