Photo by Shelby McQuilkin
Dachshund - Breed Profile:
Breed video: Dachshund introduction
Physical characteristicsThe Dachshund is a small dog with a long body and short powerful legs. Bred as badger hunters, they are quite muscular and sturdy. For the same reason, they have extremely strong jaws and teeth (to pull prey out of a hole). The skin is soft and elastic, nice to the touch. Unlike the Basset Hound that has a similar long body and short legs, Dachshunds do not have any loose skin and wrinkles. The muzzle is rather long and tapering. The ears are moderately large and pendent. The almond sized eyes are dark and rimmed with black. The teeth meet in a scissor bite. The tail is relatively short, compared to the length of the body.
There are two types of Dachshunds as regards their size: standard and miniature. The standard one weighs 16 to 32 pounds, and the miniature one is about 11 pounds. The height is 5 to 9 inches regardless of the type.
Because of their long, narrow build, Dachshunds are often nicknamed the hot dog, wiener dog or sausage dog.
TemperamentSmall dogs with a vigorous temperament. Being very smart, wilful, and bold, Dachshunds may attempt to train their owner rather than let themselves be trained. Be sure to become a good pack leader. Along with that, Dachshunds are very affectionate and energetic, with a very strong and curious spirit. They are proud dogs, but can easily be clownish and mischievous. We don't think you will ever be bored if you have a Dachshund. Moreover, these dogs are perfect travel companions that enjoy new environments (probably because they are curious and love to explore everything). Usually do well with other pets, but don't forget they are hunters for blood. Good for elderly people since the coat requires minimum care.
Wire-haired Dachshund puppy.Photo by Hakan Dahlstrom.
Coat and groomingThere are three varieties of the Dachshund: smooth (short-haired), long-haired, and wire-haired. The first one is the most common and the easiest to take care of as it requires very little grooming. The last one is more common in Germany and quite rare in other countries. Wire-haired Dachshunds have a rough and harsh outer coat; their most distinctive features are beard and eyebrows. Longhair Dachshunds have a sleek glistening coat (can also be wavy) with longer hair on the body, the back of the legs, the tail, and on the ears. The wire-haired and long-haired Dachshunds need more grooming than the short hair variety.
All the types can come in many colours and patterns, but the typical are solid red, black and tan, chocolate, piebald, and single-coloured with spots ("dappled" or "merle").
HealthDachshunds can sometimes develop spinal disc problems. Also, they are prone to heart disease, urinary tract issues and diabetes. Do not overfeed the dog because Dachshunds tend to put on weight quickly.
The lifespan of Dachshunds is 12 to 15 years.
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