Breed Type: Dachshund
Country of Origin:  Germany
Size: Standard and Miniature
Also known as:  Dackel
Males: Height: 20-27 cm Weight: 5-9 kg
Females: Height: 18-25 cm  Weight: 4-8 kg
Exercise Requirements:  Medium
Care Requirements:  Average
Lifespan:  12-15 years
Best Suited as: Family Companion, Hunting Dog,

Dachshunds originated in Germany sometime in the early 17th century. They are renowned for their bravery and versatility especially when hunting. They were bred specifically to hunt small animals such as rabbits and badgers because their short legs helped them to follow animals underground and fit inside the burrows easily. After World War I, Dachshunds were exported from Germany to the United States of America where the population of the breed increased dramatically.

Dachshunds come in three different varieties including shorthaired, wired-haired, and longhaired versions of the breed. Each variety has different sizes and weights specific to their type . In general, Dachshunds are long and muscular dogs with dis-proportionally short legs. They have proud and intelligent facial expressions with a long head and a skull that tends to be a little convex. They have arched eyebrows, a lengthy muzzle, tough jaws, and a scissor-like bite with very firm and strong teeth (usually 42 in number). Dachshunds’ eyes are mostly dark brown, oval, and clearly expressing both excitement and affection. Their ears are medium in length hanging down alongside the face. Dachshunds’ tails are also long and usually hang down with a slight upward bent at the tip. Their shorthaired coat is shiny, uniform, and smooth. Solid-colored Dachshunds can be yellow or tanned while those with bi-colored coats may be a combination of brown, deep black, or gray with some patches of bright chestnut or cream color. The wirehaired Dachshunds might also have unique bi-colored hair in shades of red and black.

The Dachshund breed of dogs is clever, brave, and loving in temperament which is partially why they make a perfect family dog. These dogs can be hard to train, as they tend to be a bit stubborn at times. Regardless, they still want and need an owner who can lead them and make it clear what to do and what not to. If a Dachshund is allowed to behave any way it wants, it can create some serious problems for the owner so strong and consistent boundaries are essential. If not trained properly, they can become unpredictable and impulsive towards young children and may nip or bite. Dachshunds are excellent travelers so owners who need to travel frequently are a good fit for these dogs. A Dachshund with a good owner who is comfortable in training with consistency will have balanced and positive temperament and do well as a family pet.

There is no evidence or documentation specifically in regards to the Dachshund breed prior to the 16th century. Instead, they were referred to as “low crooked-legged” dogs, dacksels, small burrow, or badger dogs. That information provides the reason why the modern German name of “Dachshund” simply means a badger dog.

The history of the three-coat variety Dachshund is different from some of the other types. The original Dachshunds had a smooth coat with genetic connection to the pinschers (a type of miniature French pointer), a bracke, and a vermin-killer of type of terrier dog. During the 16th century there is some documented evidence of longhaired Dachshunds.  It is thought that the smooth-coated Dachshunds were a cross between the German stoberhund and spaniels which bred together to produce a Dachshund with longer hair. The wire-coated Dachshunds aren’t referenced until around 1797. History tells us that this variety of Dachshunds were not carefully bred at first, but originated around the end of the 19th century by crossing the original, smooth Dachshunds with German wirehaired pinschers, and the Dandie Dinmont terrier.

The different varieties were bred for hunting purposes that fit different landscapes, climates, and terrains. The Dachshunds have always been strong, tough little dogs brave enough to take on (and succeed) hunting badgers, foxes, and other small animals. Before the 20th century, these small dogs were kept only for hunting small prey such as rabbits and squirrels. The different varieties were not bred carefully throughout earlier centuries so after 1910, strict principles were adopted to produce the perfect and right type of Dachshunds for showcasing and eventually breeders were content that they were producing the best possible varieties of Dachshunds. Since then, the Dachshunds have also become known for being wonderful family pets. Their popularity has increased over time until now they are often a favored choice for families.

Care and Grooming:
As similar to some of the other small breed types, Dachshunds require little grooming but plenty of overall care. They are highly active dogs with unusually high stamina so must be walked daily. Dachshund owners should try to visit a dog park occasionally with their dogs for a change of scenery and pace, but Dachshunds should be discouraged from jumping as this can damage their spine.

The longhaired Dachshund type needs daily combing and brushing in order to avoid tangles and matting issues. As far as the wire-haired Dachshunds are concerned, a professional trimming approximately twice a year is sufficient for a healthy coat. The smooth-haired type of Dachshund needs regular rubdowns with a wet cloth in order to keep the coat clean and beautiful.

Dachshunds can suffer from some serious and debilitating health problems if proper care is not taken. They are prone to spinal disc problems (also known as Dachshund paralysis) because of their elongated structure. Apart from this, they can also have genetic tendencies for heart diseases, urinary tract problems and even diabetes. If Dachshunds are not exercised sufficiently on a daily basis, they can become lazy, lethargic, and overweight. Being overweight causes extreme stress and pressure to the elongated spines characteristic to the Dachshunds so it is vital to keep them active and at an appropriate weight. It is wise to visit a veterinarian periodically even when seemingly healthy in order to make sure that there are no hidden health problems waiting to become obvious.

Suitability as a Pet:
Dachshunds are bold little dogs and usually fearless. They are always ready to enjoy the next adventure their inquisitive and intelligent minds come up with independently but also enjoy being involved with any family activities available. They are instinctively intense hunters who love catching the scent of any potential prey and chasing it all the way underground to its burrow if necessary.

When trained appropriately, Dachshunds are good with children of the family, but not too much with unknown children and may tend to bite children they do not know. The breed is also distant with strangers and it takes some time to get to know them before they choose to interact without reservation. Some varieties of Dachshund tend to bark more than others while other types tend more to being quiet and timid.

As Dachshunds are rather independent dogs with a tendency for doing their own thing, they should never be allowed to consider themselves in charge of anyone in the family. If the owners’ authority is not established in the beginning, training is difficult and intense. They need to understand their owners are the ones in charge and must be obeyed. As long as the Dachshund knows he is not the leader of the “family pack”, he will be cooperative and affection and behave as he is supposed to. Owners need to take care to discourage extensive barking as well as any type of nipping or biting expressions. They should also be socialized with acquaintances and visitors to the family home from the beginning in order to lay a foundation of tolerance for those outside the family unit.

Training Dachshunds can be challenging, but with proper attention and consistency, a well-mannered Dachshund can enjoy and be enjoyed as a member of the family.

Dachshund  Organisations in Australia
The Dachshund Club of Victoria Inc

Dachshund  Organisations in the UK
The Dachshund Club

Dachshund  Organisations in the US
Dachshund Rescue of North America
Home – Dachshund Rescue Australia

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