Discover the Dachshund: Origin, Temperament, and Care Guide

Dachshunds are renowned for their spirited demeanor, affectionate nature, and remarkable independence.

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By Alex

dachshund

The Dachshund, also known as Wiener dog, Sausage dog, or Doxie, is a delightful small sized dog that makes an excellent companion, loyal and friendly. Having one at home is like dealing with a lively child. It is one of the funniest small dog breeds ever: but it also knows how to be obedient and quickly learns commands.

Often counted among companion dogs, Dachshunds adapt well to apartment living, but they retain their hunting temperament and nature. Let’s discover everything about this short but long-bodied four-legged friend!

Origin and History of the Dachshund

The Dachshund’s origins trace back to ancient times, with theories suggesting a variety of possible ancestors, including pointers, terriers, Bloodhounds, and Basset Hounds, which may have contributed to their keen sense of scent. The history of these dogs is incredibly ancient. Remains of very small and long-bodied dogs were found in a Neolithic cave.

Many drawings from Ancient Egypt depict animals of this type, called “tekal.” This name recalls the term “teckal” used in Germany for Dachshunds. However, there is no scientific evidence linking the two breeds.

On the contrary, Dachshund ancestors may have appeared during the Middle Ages in Germany, where they were appreciated for their qualities as hunting dogs. The name “Dachshund” means “badger dog,” indicating its original use in badger hunting, thanks to its slender body and great determination.

Dachshund: Physical Characteristics

Their peculiar shape makes them one of the best dogs for underground hunting: thanks to their narrow and elongated body, they can reach even the most inaccessible burrows. Their preferred prey includes large game and hares.

As we will see, they come in three coat varieties: short, long, and wirehaired, and in two sizes: standard and miniature.

Their weight varies from about 7 to 14 kg / 16-32 lb for standard-sized dogs, while miniature ones weigh less.

The first Dachshunds had smooth coats. The standards were set in 1925, recognizing the existence of three sizes:

  • Heavy: over 7 kg / 16 lb
  • Medium: under 7 kg / 16 lb
  • Miniature: 4 kg / 9 lb

Today, there is no longer a distinction based on weight, but the measurement of the chest circumference is considered. Thus, we have:

  • Standard size: chest circumference over 35 cm / 14″, maximum weight of 9 kg / 20 lb.
  • Miniature Dachshund: chest circumference between 30 and 35 cm / 12″ and 14″.
  • Kaninchen Dachshund: chest circumference up to 30 cm / 12″.

All three can also be:

  • Smooth-haired: shiny, sleek coat, thin tail. The color is fawn, fawn-yellow, or yellow for solid-colored individuals. For bicolor ones, it’s brown or black, and for the harlequin variety, the base is dark, with beige or gray spots.
  • Long-haired: a good undercoat is also present. The colors are the same as the previous type.
  • Wirehaired: the coat is very dense and hard to the touch. In addition to the mentioned colors, there can be wild boar or leaf color patterns.

Regardless of the type of coat, Dachshunds tend to shed little hair. This resulted in the proliferation of numerous varieties. However, the development of miniature Dachshunds occurred in response to a boom in Germany’s rabbit population during the 1800s.

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There is never a dull moment with a Dachshund around

Other notable characteristics

The skin adheres well to the body, highlighting strong musculature.

The legs are shorter and disproportionate to the rest of the body, which is very long. This is due to an original malformation that has persisted through generations.

The head is also long, and the skull is rather flat. The eyes are oval-shaped, spaced apart, and dark red to black-brown in color. The ears are long and mobile.

Dachshund’s Temperament

The Dachshund boasts a temperament as unique as its appearance. Known for their lively and affectionate nature, Dachshunds make wonderful companions for those willing to appreciate their quirks.

Describing the temperament of this dog is difficult because it is both docile and stubborn, affectionate but also fond of its independence. However, one thing is certain: it is not lazy and prone to relaxation. It is always on the move and loves being outdoors.

Despite their small size, Dachshunds possess a bold and independent spirit. They are curious by nature, always eager to explore their surroundings and investigate new scents. This adventurous streak can sometimes lead to stubbornness, as Dachshunds are not easily swayed once they’ve set their minds on something.

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Dachshunds are spirited and affectionate dogs with a strong sense of independence.

While they may be independent thinkers, Dachshunds are also incredibly loyal and loving towards their human families. They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on attention and affection. Despite their small stature, Dachshunds are often fearless and protective, making them excellent watchdogs.

Their playful and mischievous nature ensures that there is never a dull moment with a Dachshund around. They have a natural inclination towards hunting and digging, traits inherited from their hunting dog ancestors. This can sometimes translate into a tendency to chase small animals or dig up the backyard if left unsupervised. This is also why it is considered not suitable for playing with children and tends to engage in fights with other dogs, even those larger than itself.

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Dachshund

If you decide to adopt a Dachshund puppy, you will need to spend a lot of time teaching it basic commands, socializing it with other people and dogs, and teaching it skills like sleeping and doing its business outside.

Moreover, there are some key aspects of its character to know and care to provide.

  • A dog that requires a lot of affection. Like any pet, it loves to be cuddled. If you show it your affection, it will reciprocate with tenderness.
  • A gentle but firm owner. To discipline it, it needs authority but also tenderness. You shouldn’t be too strict with it, but remember to reward it after every good deed. It likes to be rewarded, so give it a biscuit or a treat every time it performs a command well.
  • It needs a lot of attention. In general, it requires spending a few hours a day with it, both in the morning, at lunchtime, or in the evening. Playing with it is a good way to bond with it.
  • It needs special care and vaccinations. You must adhere to vaccinations to avoid the risk of serious illnesses like leptospirosis, viral hepatitis, distemper, or parvovirus because it has a weak immune system. You also need to vaccinate it against rabies. If it shows signs of tiredness, fever, vomiting, it should be taken immediately to a veterinarian.

Care and Health of the Dachshund

Generally, this breed enjoys good health and can live at least 15 years.

Like all breeds, they are prone to certain hereditary conditions such as intervertebral disc disease, joint problems, and some heart diseases.

However, it is a dog that needs a lot of physical activity to prevent potential back problems.

Being low to the ground, it fears moisture from the ground and tends to suffer from the cold, so it would be appropriate to dry it well upon returning home.

Grooming

The Dachshund’s coat requires different care depending on the type: short-haired dogs need occasional brushing, while long-haired and wirehaired ones will require more frequent grooming.

Bathing can be done monthly unless the dog gets particularly dirty. Regular ear cleaning and nail maintenance are also important.

Lifespan

They have an average life expectancy of 12-16 years. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to keep the dog healthy.

Cost of a Dachshund Puppy

Puppies require special attention during growth to avoid back damage. It is important to limit jumping and the use of stairs and provide them with a diet suitable for growth.

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Cute Dachshund puppies

Like all dogs, Dachshund puppies benefit greatly from early socialization and positive training.

The price of a puppy starts at 800 dollars. Alternatively, you can consider adopting one from a shelter in your area.

The Dachshund at a glance

This dog with unique shapes has an affectionate character. It is perfect for families and apartment living.

Here is a summary table with all the characteristics:

Characteristic Detail
Origin Germany
Size Standard and Miniature
Weight (Standard) 7 to 14 kg / 16-32 lb
Weight (Miniature) Less than 4 kg / 9 lb
Height at Withers (Standard) 20 – 22 cm / 8 – 9 inches
Height at Withers (Miniature) Less than 15 cm / 6″
Coat Type Short, Long, Wire
Colors Varied, including chocolate, black, piebald, red, cream
Life Expectancy 12 – 16 years
Temperament Dachshunds are spirited and affectionate dogs with a strong sense of independence. They are extremely curious, lively, courageous, affectionate.
Exercise Needs Moderate; daily walks and playtime
Suitable for Apartment Living Yes
Compatibility with Children High, if properly socialized
Grooming Depends on coat type; regular brushing and periodic professional grooming
Training Intelligent but sometimes stubborn; requires patience and consistency
Common Health Issues Back problems (such as intervertebral disc disease), obesity, dental issues

 

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