Dachshund dog breed information guide includes photos, history, temperament, personality, lifespan, care, health, grooming, activity level, training and more.
Want to adopt a Dachshund? Visit our Miniature Dachshund adoption listings page.
All About Dachshund Dogs and Puppies
Often called “weiner dogs”, Dachshunds are spirited little dogs with long bodies and short legs. Dachshunds are an ancient breed, although the modern versions are of German origin. They were prized by royal courts throughout Europe for their ability to hunt, chase and flush badger and other burrowing animals. These small, fearless dogs have been known to take on larger animals, like foxes, as well.
Quick Dachshund Dog Breed Facts
Life span: 14 – 17 years
7.3 – 15 kg (Standard Size)
Temperament: Lively, Playful, Devoted, Clever, Stubborn, Courageous
Colors: Black, Chocolate & Cream, Chocolate, Red, Black & Tan, Blue, Cream, Tan
Dachshunds are an ancient breed, although the modern versions are of German origin. They were prized by royal courts throughout Europe for their ability to hunt, chase and flush badger and other burrowing animals. These small, fearless dogs have been known to take on larger animals, like foxes, as well.
Long-bodied and low to the ground, Dachshunds are muscular little dogs with a protruding sternum. The head is elongated with a slightly convex skull, arched eyebrows and a long muzzle. Long, floppy ears hang to the cheeks.
Dachshunds come in three sizes, and AKC standards separate the breed into two class divisions for show. Standard Dachshunds weigh over eleven pounds, and may weigh 28 to 30 pounds. Dachshunds who weigh less than eleven pounds at twelve months of age are considered miniature.
Smaller versions are not recognized by the AKC but are unofficially called toy, dwarf, tweenie, micro-mini, or teacup. Life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.
The coat may be smooth, long haired, or wiry. The wiry coat is less common. Colors and patterns are various, but dominant colors are red, black, and tan. The coat may be solid, bi-colored, brindle, dapple, or piebald. Double dapple results from breeding two dapple-coated Dachshunds, but is discouraged because the variety may possibly carry defective genetic traits for blindness and deafness.
Dachshunds were bred to be obstinate and to make their own decisions, two qualities that are admirable when hunting yet undesirable in a companion animal. This breed can be hard to train, but with patient and consistent training the Dachshund can be a well-behaved family companion. Dachshund are overindulged and treated like people or toys become snappy and unpleasant, and will try to run the family.
Long-haired Dachshunds are considered by some fanciers to have calmer personalities, while the wire-haired variety is more clownish. However, the temperament varies a great deal within the breed, and the appearance of the coat is no guarantee of the dog’s temperament. Choosing a Dachshund puppy whose parents have even temperaments, and proper socialization and training, are the keys to rasing a well behaved and friendly pet who is welcome anywhere.
Dachshund Exercise Info
Dachshunds do not require a lot of exercise, but since this breed has a propensity for weight gain, a daily walk is a must. Daily exercise will keep both you and your Dachshund in good shape, and in a good mood.
Dachshund Grooming Info
Smooth-haired Dachshunds require little grooming, and may be rubbed with a damp cloth to remove dirt and loose hair. Long- haired varieties require daily brushing, and wire-coated Dachshunds require professional trimming twice a year. Attention to grooming will reduce the amount of hair this average shedder leaves in the house.
Dachshund Training Info
The Dachshund needs an owner who will set limits on his dog’s behavior in regard to what is acceptable, and what is not. It is vital that the owner socialize his dog well from puppyhood, training his dog patiently and with a gentle, no-nonsense attitude to avoid raising a snappy little dog who tries to run the family. Dachshunds should be exposed to a variety of people, sights, sounds, and smells from an early age.
Dachshund Health Info
Their long backs and relatively short rib cages make Dachshunds vulnerable to back injuries and spinal disc problems. Disc degeneration can lead to paralysis of the rear legs. Obesity, rough handling, jumping from heights and hard exercise should be discouraged to reduce health risks.
Other possible health concerns include epilepsy, urinary tract disorders, heart disease, various eye conditions, thyroid conditions, dental problems and allergies.
Is the Dachshund Dog Breed The Right Choice For You?
A well-socialized Dachshund is good with kids, but may not be the best choice for families with very small children who may play too roughly with the dog, fall on him, or try to pick him up. Older children should be taught to pick the dog up carefully, supporting his back, to avoid injuring his spine.
Dachshunds adapt to a variety of living conditions. Because of their small size, they are popular companion dogs for apartment and city dwellers, but being cooped up inside too long will lead to inventive destruction. They need at least one long daily walk, and will enjoy playing in the park or other open areas.
While Dachshunds are prone to bad temperament, spinal disorders and many other medical conditions, reputable breeders attempt to eliminate these problems from the breed. Buy your Dachshund only from a breeder who has a proven track record of producing high-quality, healthy puppies of good temperament.