- Dachshunds can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak. Crate-training is recommended.
- Dachshunds are intelligent dogs with an independent nature and playful spirit. Because of this, they can be mischievous. Be patient, firm, and consistent when training them.
- Because they were bred for hunting, they can exhibit some behaviors that are related to that. They were designed to dig into badger burrows, and that instinct may lead them to dig up your dahlias instead. They were bred to be tenacious in the hunt, and this instinct may lead them to be relentless in pestering you for a treat. They were bred to not only hunt but kill their prey; in your household, the “prey” most likely will be your Dachshund’s toys and he will effectively “kill” them one after the other.
- Dachshunds have loud, deep barks for a dog their size – and they do like to bark!
- If you don’t watch out, your Dachshund can become fat and lazy, which will put more strain on his fragile back. Be sure to monitor your Dachshund’s food intake and keep him at a healthy weight.
- Dachshunds are prone to having slipped disks in their backs, which can lead to partial or full paralysis. Don’t let them jump from high places, and when you hold them, support their backs.
- Your Dachshund will probably be a one-person dog. By nature, he can be suspicious of strangers, so it’s important to socialize him when he is a puppy.
- To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.
AKC group: Hound;
UKC group: Scenthound;
Average lifespan: 12-15 years;
Average size: 11-32 lbs;
Coat appearance: Smooth, wire or long;
Other identifiers: Small frame; long in body; short in height;
Possible alterations: Two size variations: standard and miniature.Comparable Breeds: Border Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Did You Know?
The diminutive Dachshund comes in two sizes, three coat types and a wide variety of colors and markings, meaning there’s a Dachshund for almost everyone! Just don’t leave him alone outside – his tendency to bark could create problems with the neighbors.
Badgers and other burrowing beasts are the bane of country folk everywhere and have been for centuries. To rid themselves of the hole-digging pests, foresters and huntsmen developed a long-bodied, short-legged dog with the tenacity and toughness to root out badgers from their dens. First known as the teckel in his home country of Germany, the Dachshund has been around in one form or another for at least 500 years. He was prized for his strong scenting ability, small size, determination to dig and courage in the face of a formidable foe. Breeds that probably contributed to the development of the Dachshund were the schweisshund, a type of Bloodhound; pointer-type dogs known as dachsbracke; Basset Hounds and Beagles.
The earliest Dachshunds had smooth coats that could be any color. The longhaired Dachshund, which was popular for hunting water-loving prey such as otters, may have been created through crosses with spaniels. The wirehaired Dachshund is the youngest of the varieties, receiving official recognition in 1890. His rough coat protects him from thorny brush as he pursues his prey.
Dachshunds first came to the United States in 1870, imported to hunt rabbits. The American Kennel Club registered its first Dachshund in 1885, and the Dachshund Club of America was formed 10 years later.
Because of its German heritage, the breed’s popularity took a nosedive during World War I. It took a couple of decades for the breed to regain acceptance. Once it did, not even World War II, with the Germans as enemies again, could stop the Dachshund’s rise to his current place as one of America’s favorite dogs. These days, the Dachshund is ranked number eight among the breeds registered by the AKC.
Symbol of Germany
Dachshunds have traditionally been viewed as a symbol of Germany. Political cartoonists commonly used the image of the dachshund to ridicule Germany. During World War I the dachshunds’ popularity in the United States plummeted because of this association and there are even anecdotes such as a Dachshund being stoned to death on the high street of Berkhamsted, England at this time because of its association with the enemy. As a result they were often called “liberty hounds” by their owners similar to “liberty cabbage” becoming a term for sauerkraut.The stigma of the association was revived to a lesser extent during World War II, though it was comparatively short-lived. Kaiser Wilhelm II and German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel were known for keeping dachshunds.
Due to the association of the breed with Germany, the dachshund was chosen to be the first official mascot for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, with the name Waldi.
Is this breed right for your?
Ideal for apartment living, this loyal and compact breed makes a great city dog. Stubborn by nature, start potty training early. Prone to barking and “guarding,” enforce basic obedience from the start, or you may face some unhappy neighbors. As a professional hunter and burrower, this breed may not be the best for children as Dachshunds can be know for having a short temper and being a little snappy. Whether you have a smooth-coated, wire-coated or long-haired Dachshund, minor grooming and bathing is all it takes to keep this compact pooch fresh and clean.
The Dachshund is described as clever, lively, and courageous to the point of rashness. He’s bred for perseverance, which is another way of saying that he can be stubborn. Dachshunds have a reputation for being entertaining and fearless, but what they want most is to cuddle with their people. For many Dachshund people, this characteristic outweighs having to deal with the breed’s insistence on having his own way. The Dachshund personality can also vary with coat type. Because the wirehaired Dachshunds have terrier in their background, they can be mischievous troublemakers. Longhairs are calm and quiet, and Smooths have a personality that lies somewhere in between. Some Mini Dachshunds can be nervous or shy, but this isn’t correct for the breed. Avoid puppies that show these characteristics.
Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who’s beating up his littermates or the one who’s hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents-usually the mother is the one who’s available-to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you’re comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
Like every dog, Dachshunds need early socialization-exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences-when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Dachshund puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.
Dachshunds are good with children in their own family if introduced to them early. They may not be as fond of your children’s friends, so supervise playtime.
With his long back, the Dachshund can be easily injured if he’s not handled properly. Make it a rule that young children can only hold or pet the Dachshund if they’re sitting on the floor. Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he’s sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Dachshunds get along well with other pets, especially if they’re introduced to them in puppyhood. With their bold, domineering personalities, they may well be top dog.
The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury may be worsened by obesity, jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise, which place greater strain on the vertebrae. About 20-25% of Dachshunds will develop IVDD.
Treatment consists of combinations of crate confinement and courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen and meloxicam), or chronic pain medications, like tramadol. Serious cases may require surgery to remove the troublesome disk contents.A dog may need the aid of a cart to get around if paralysis occurs.
A new minimally invasive procedure called “percutaneous laser disk ablation” has been developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital. Originally, the procedure was used in clinical trials only on dachshunds that had suffered previous back incidents. Since dachshunds are prone to back issues, the goal is to expand this treatment to dogs in a normal population.
In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation which is where the kneecap can become dislodged. Dachshunds may also be affected by Osteogenesis imperfecta . The condition seems to be mainly limited to wire-haired Dachshunds, with 17% being carriers. A genetic test is available to allow breeders to avoid breeding carriers to carriers. In such pairings, each puppy will have a 25% chance of being affected.
In some double dapples, there are varying degrees of vision and hearing loss, including reduced or absent eyes. Not all double dapples have problems with their eyes and/or ears, which may include degrees of hearing loss, full deafness, malformed ears, congenital eye defects, reduced or absent eyes, partial or full blindness, or varying degrees of both vision and hearing problems; but heightened problems can occur due to the genetic process in which two dapple genes cross, particularly in certain breeding lines. Dapple genes, which are dominant genes, are considered “dilution” genes, meaning whatever color the dog would have originally carried is lightened, or diluted, randomly; two dominant “dilution” genes can cancel each other out, or “cross”, removing all color and producing a white recessive gene, essentially a white mutation. When this happens genetically within the eyes or ears, this white mutation can be lethal to their development, causing hearing or vision problems.
Other dachshund health problems include hereditary epilepsy,granulomatous meningoencephalitis, dental issues, Cushing’s syndrome, thyroid problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, and cherry eye. Dachshunds are also 2.5 times more likely than other breeds of dogs to develop patent ductus arteriosus, a congenital heart defect. Dilute color dogs are very susceptible to Color Dilution Alopecia, a skin disorder that can result in hair loss and extreme sensitivity to sun. Since the occurrence and severity of these health problems is largely hereditary, breeders are working to eliminate these.
Dachshunds have a lot of stamina and energy. They love to take a walk or play outdoors with other dogs, and they like to hunt and dig. They are also active inside the house and can do well in small living quarters so long as they get a moderate amount of daily exercise. Two half-mile walks a day (about 10 minutes each) is about right. Occasionally, when time is short, a game of fetch will meet their need for activity.
They’re not suited to living outdoors or in a kennel but should live in the home. Dachshunds can injure their backs jumping on and off furniture, so get a ramp or steps and teach them to use it if they want up on the sofa or bed. When you hold a Dachshund, always be careful to support his rear and his chest.
Dachshunds can learn quickly if properly motivated. Use positive reinforcements such as food rewards or a favorite toy to hold their attention, and keep training sessions short. The Dachshund will quickly become bored if made to repeat the same exercise over and over, so make obedience practice fun and interesting.
Housetraining can sometimes be a problem with this breed. A Dachshund may not see the need for eliminating outside. Patience and consistency are musts. Crate training helps as well.
Beyond housetraining, crate training is a kind way to ensure that your Dachshund doesn’t get into things he shouldn’t. Like every dog, Dachshunds can be destructive as puppies. Crate training at a young age will also help your Dachshund accept confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized. Never stick your Dachshund in a crate all day long, however. It’s not a jail, and he shouldn’t spend more than a few hours at a time in it except when he’s sleeping at night. Dachshunds are people dogs, and they aren’t meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.
The Dachshund excels as a watchdog, but he can be noisy. Minis, in particular, can be yappy. Keep this in mind if your Dachshund will be living in an apartment or condo community.
Dachshunds like to roll in stinky things. So while they typically don’t need baths more often than every six weeks or so, that rule goes out the window when they find something especially aromatic — to them, anyway. To you, it’s simply eau de bathtime.
Other than that, brush smooth and longhaired Dachshunds weekly to keep them clean and, in the case of the longhair, tangle-free. They shed moderately and regular grooming will help keep loose hair from falling off the dog and onto your clothes and furniture. The wire needs a different kind of grooming. The dead hairs in his coat must be plucked out twice a year, called stripping. Your dog’s breeder can show you how to do it. You’ll also want to trim his bushy beard and eyebrows to keep them looking neat. For the longhair and the wire, trim excess hair between the paw pads.
Keep your Dachshund’s droopy ears clean with a solution recommended by your veterinarian. Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear; they can push gunk further down into it. Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, never going deeper than the first knuckle of your finger.
Trim his nails regularly, usually every couple of weeks. They should never be so long that you hear them clicking on the floor.
Some people train and enter their dachshund to compete in dachshund races, such as the Wiener Nationals. Several races across the United States routinely draw several thousand attendees, including races in Buda, Texas; Davis, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Los Alamitos, California; Findlay, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Kansas City, Kansas; Palo Alto, California; and Shakopee, Minnesota. There is also an annual dachshund run in Kennywood, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, called the Wiener 100, and in Huntington, West Virginia called the Dachshund Dash.
Despite the popularity of these events, the Dachshund Club of America opposes “wiener racing”, as many greyhound tracks use the events to draw large crowds to their facilities. The DCA is also worried about potential injuries to dogs, due to their predisposition to back injuries. Another favorite sport is earthdog trials, in which dachshunds enter tunnels with dead ends and obstacles attempting to locate an artificial bait or live but caged and protected rats.
These are active dogs with surprising stamina; they need to be walked daily. They will also enjoy sessions of play in the park or other safe, open areas. Be careful, however, when pedestrians are about because Dachshunds are more likely to be stepped on than more visible dogs. They should be discouraged from jumping, as they are prone to spinal damage.
Dachshunds are one of the most popular dogs in the United States, ranking 10th in the 2012 AKC registration statistics.They are popular with urban and apartment dwellers, ranking among the top ten most popular breeds in 76 of 190 major US cities surveyed by the AKC. One will find varying degrees of organized local dachshund clubs in most major American cities, including New York, New Orleans, Portland, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The breed is most popular in Europe.
Notable dogs and owners
- John F. Kennedy bought a dachshund puppy while touring Europe in 1937 for his then girlfriend Olivia. The puppy, named Dunker, never left Germany after Kennedy started to get terrible allergies.
- Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President, had a dachshund in the White House.
- William Randolph Hearst was an avid lover of dachshunds. When his own dachshund Helena died, he eulogized her in his “In The News” column.
- Fred, E.B. White‘s dachshund, appeared in many of his famous essays.
- Lump, the pet of Pablo Picasso, who was thought to have inspired some of his artwork. (Pronounced: loomp; German for “Rascal”) Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey tells the story of Picasso and Lump.
- Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, had a dachshund named Sheba, which he often referred to as his wife. At the time he committed his infamous murder, he had four of them—although he once had as many as ten.
- Andy Warhol had a pair of dachshunds, Archie and Amos, whom he depicted in his paintings and mentioned frequently in his diaries.
- Adele has a Dachshund named Louie, named after Louis Armstrong.
- Stanley and Boodgie, immortalized on canvas by owner David Hockney, and published in the book David Hockney’s Dog Days.
- Wadl and Hexl, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s famous ferocious pair. Upon arriving at Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s country seat, château Konopiště, on a semi-official visit, they promptly proceeded to do away with one of the Austro-Hungarian heir presumptive’s priceless golden pheasants, thereby almost causing an international incident. Another one of his beloved dachshunds, Senta, is currently buried at Huis Doorn, Wilhelm’s manor in the Netherlands.
- Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her husband own and have owned a large array of dachshunds, both smooth and wirehaired.
- Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked, in 2003, whether he has duct tape, plastic sheeting, and a three-day supply of bottled water at home. He replied, “I would like to say I did. I don’t believe we do. But I do have a miniature dachshund named Reggie who looks out for us.”
- In Zelenogorsk, Russia, is a Dachshund monument near which passes a parade of Dachshunds on City Day, July 25.
- Joe was the dachshund of General Claire Lee Chennault, commander of the Flying Tigers and then the China Air Task Force of the US Army Air Forces, and became the mascot of those organizations.
- Maxie, a dachshund owned by actress Marie Prevost, tried to awaken his dead mistress, who was found with small bites on her legs. Maxie’s barking eventually summoned neighbours to the scene. The incident inspired the 1977 Nick Lowe song “Marie Prevost”.
- Liliane Kaufmann, wife of Edgar J. Kaufmann who commissioned the home Fallingwater from Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935, was a well known breeder and owner of long-haired dachshunds. At the Fallingwater bookstore, visitors are able to purchase a book entitled “Moxie” which is about one of the dachshunds who lived at Fallingwater. Liliane raised long haired dachshunds and they travelled from Pittsburgh to Bear Run with her.
- Kevin Smith (director, podcaster) has a Miniature Dachshund named “Shecky”
- Obie is a dachshund who became infamous for his obesity, weighing as much as 77 pounds (35 kilograms), more than twice a normal-weight standard dachshund. He reached his target weight of 28 lb (13 kg) in July 2013.
- David Hockney produced a series of portraits of his two dachshunds.
A dream day in the life of a Dachshund
Digging up trouble is in this breed’s blood. Keep your pooch happy and your household intact by taking your Dachshund on daily walks. Playtime outdoors where this pup can dig, sniff and chase will help fulfill its natural-born hunting instincts. Despite its determined personality, this breed loves to socialize, and a day at the dog park would complete a dream day.