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the search for a dog
Brown Dachshunds

Breed overview

  • Breed group – Hound group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height – 5 to 6 inches (miniature), 8 to 9 inches (standard)
  • Weight – 11 pounds or less (miniature), 16 to 32 pounds (standard)
  • Coat length & texture – Short, medium, or long coats with a smooth, longhaired, or wirehaired texture
  • Coat color – Accepted colors include black and cream, black and tan, blue and tan, chocolate and tan, blue and cream, fawn and tan, fawn and cream, and chocolate and cream as well as cream, red, wheaten, and wild boar. They can also have brindle, sable, piebald, or dapple markings.
  • Exercise needs – Average
  • Intelligence – High intelligence
  • Barking – Vocal
  • Life span – 12 to 15 years
  • Temperament – Smart, playful, stubborn, courageous
  • Hypoallergenic – No
  • Origin – Germany

Dachshund fun facts

  • Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers, and their name translates to “badger dog” in German.
  • Dachshund races are held all over the world.
  • The hot dog was named after the breed, not vice versa.
Grey Dachshund

Dachshund temperament and characteristics 

Dachshunds are a highly playful breed with a big personality packed into a small body. They can be brave, independent, and a little stubborn when it comes to training or obeying commands. Dachshunds are fiercely loyal to their owners, though and useful watchdogs when necessary. While they are playful and comical most of the time, dachshunds can also be reactive to strangers or perceived threats. Thankfully, they can warm up to newcomers rather quickly once they learn that the situation is safe.

Dachshunds are social creatures and are often good around other pets, making them great house dogs. While they can be good around kids and babies, it’s more likely that they’ll happily intermingle with your children, but not feel overly attached to them. That being said, kids and dogs of all breeds should always be supervised when together.

Dachshund on sofa

Common dachshund health problems 

Dachshunds tend to develop certain health conditions thanks to their unique anatomy. The most common problems include:

  • Back problems. Intervertebral disc disease is a degenerative disease that causes mobility problems.
  • Obesity. Overweight dogs are common in the United States, and dachshunds aren’t immune to the obesity epidemic.
  • Blood clotting disorder. Known as von Willebrand Disease , this inherited bleeding disorder affects dachshunds.

Cost of caring for dachshunds

The cost of any health problems that arise depends on their severity. Get pet insurance early on in your pet’s life so you’ll have financial help in the case of injuries or illnesses down the road. Starting a pet savings account is another great way to prepare for emergencies as well as long-term care.

👉 It’s important to keep your dachshund healthy and active throughout their lives to help prevent future health issues. 

History of the dachshund

The dachshund originated in Germany as far back as the 15th century when they primarily hunted badgers. In the 1800s, a spike in the rabbit population led to the development of the miniature dachshund. With tiny bodies and stubborn, bold, and fierce personalities, they navigated tight tunnels and faced their opponents. While they were popular during World War I — dachshunds were nicknamed “liberty hounds” to avoid anti-German sentiment — their popularity soon grew worldwide.

German dog clubs recognize three types of dachshund: standard, mini, and “tweenie.” But in the United States, there are only standard and miniature sizes. Dachshunds were brought to the U.S. in the late 1800s and increased in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. The American Kennel Club ranked them the 11th most popular breed in 2019, and the list of celebrities who own a dachshund is ever-growing.

Caring for your dachshund

Caring for a new puppy of any breed can be overwhelming, but there are several important things to know about caring for the diminutive dachshund.

Exercise

Moderate exercise is enough for dachshunds. Short morning or evening walks, swimming, or playing fetch every day is sufficient for these short-legged dogs. Keeping them fit is the best way to maintain a healthy weight and help prevent future health issues.

Dachshund running

Grooming

The type of grooming necessary will depend on your dachshund’s coat type. Smooth coats require little grooming, with a weekly brush to keep them free of grime being enough. Daily brushing is more necessary for longhaired coats, with specific attention around the ears and legs to check for matting. Those with wirehaired coats have denser undercoats that require stripping twice a year and brushing multiple times a week.

Diet and nutrition

Since obesity is a common issue in dachshunds, it’s important to talk with your vet about the right food for your dog, portion control for feeding, and potential joint supplements to help with their backs or elbows as they get older. There is also breed-specific dog food to help with your dachshunds’ nutrition. Options by Hill’s Science Diet and Royal Canin come vet-recommended.

Dental care

Starting at-home dental care when they’re puppies and keeping it up throughout their lives is vital to maintaining healthygums and teeth. This may include brushing their teeth regularly (two to three times per week), adding a dental powder to the food, feeding dental chews, or adding a dental water additive to fresh water in their bowls daily.

Dachshund playing with a ball

Training

With all the boldness and tenacity that dachshunds show in their personality, it doesn’t always translate when it comes to training time. They can be a rather stubborn and independent breed but are incredibly smart. They enjoy having a job and love to be rewarded with positive reinforcement, whether it be with food or verbal praise. The best strategy to train your dachshund is to be consistent and start early on in puppyhood, and continue the training throughout their lives.

Breeds similar to the dachshund

Not quite sure that a dachshund is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Pembroke Welsh corgi. Another smart, playful, affectionate breed that may be easier to train and usually comes with fewer health issues.
  2. Scottish terrier. This breed is playful and can be better with small children but is equally as challenging to train.
  3. Basset hound. These hounds are built similarly (though larger) and great for new-time owners, but they tend to be lower in energy compared to dachshunds.

Frequently asked questions

Do dachshunds make good pets?

Yes! Dachshunds are a great choice for first-time dog owners. They require moderate exercise and grooming and are fiercely loyal to their families.

Are dachshunds smart?

This breed is intelligent, though they can be stubborn and challenging to train.

Do dachshunds like to cuddle?

Yes! They love to snuggle on the couch or in bed and follow their people around the house.

Do dachshunds bark a lot?

Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs, which means, yes, they tend to be more vocal than other breeds.

Are dachshunds expensive?

Dachshunds have become an increasingly popular breed. It may cost anywhere from $1,000 to as much as $3,500 to buy a dachshund from a reputable breeder.