Whether you call them doxies or wiener dogs, the dachshund is a unique dog breed that’s adored by many across the globe. The Dachshund’s name comes from the German words for badger dog: badger (dachs) and dog (hund).
Originally bred in 15th century Germany to hunt badgers. This dog breed’s long back and short legs made them ideal hunting dogs for scenting, chasing, and flushing out small animals, wild boar, and burrow-dwelling creatures. Amongst hunters, they were referred to as Teckel.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) registered its first Dachshund in 1885, and the Dachshund Club of America was formed 10 years later.
These clever german hounds have an irresistibly cute body shape, with a personality that wins people over instantly.
A mighty hound dog with a vivacious personality, these clever pups are high-energy dogs that love to keep themselves busy. If you’re welcoming a doxie into your life, there are some important factors to consider and items you’ll want to have on hand to appease your hot doggie.
Keep reading to learn all about this popular breed group so you can best prepare yourself on how to keep your family dog happy and healthy!
A Basic Overview of the Dachshund
While the Dachshund can light up any room they walk into, it’s important to establish a pack order with this breed so that they know they don’t run the show. These dogs can be too smart for their own good sometimes, and training them young is best to ensure they practice good doggie manners.
These smart yet stubborn pups love a challenge, so ensure that you’re exercising them both mentally and physically on a routine basis. Puzzle toys and other enrichment toys are wonderful for this breed to keep their sharp minds stimulated.
Due to their smaller size, these dogs are well-suited for just about any home situation—from tiny apartments to sprawling homes. Just be mindful of tall steps for these vertically challenged canines.
The Temperament of the Dachshund
These outgoing little pups are known for having a loud bark and will always be quick to alert you if someone has approached your home. This is a scent hound at heart, so although they are incredibly loving and loyal to their people, a strange scent can drive them away quickly when their prey drive curiosity kicks in, making them the ideal watchdog.
Because of this reason, as well as for their safety, you’ll always want to make sure that your Dachshund is properly leashed when the two of you are spending time outdoors together. Additionally, it’s important to invest in a harness for your doxie as to be considerate of their delicate neck.
With proper training, the Doxie can make for a wonderful companion dog. These dogs learn fast and love to impress their owners with their talents. Dachshunds make for great family pets, although their hound dog nature might make them natural cat chasers. With children, however, they will thrive, because if there’s anything that Dachshunds love—it’s attention from people!
The breed is prone to separation anxiety, so try to spend as much time with them as you can allow. In your absence, be sure to offer them a quality bed, toys, and chews to keep them occupied and their mind at ease.
Additionally, house training might be a bit tricky, too. Puppy pee pads can help if you bring home a Dachshund that’s not taking well to housebreaking.
General Health & Common Health Problems
Be sure to obtain your Dachshund from a reputable breeder who screens his/her breeding animals for both temperament and health problems. The Dachshund Club of America, the official breed club, strongly recommends breeders complete thorough cardiac, patella, and eye exams.
This is a generally healthy breed of dog, with an average life span of 12-16 years.
The breed comes in two sizes, the standard dachshund, and the miniature dachshund. The standard can weigh anywhere from 16-32 lbs and still be considered healthy.
But due to their body structure and shorter legs—as well as a love for eating—you’ll want to be sure to monitor their food intake and walk them regularly to keep them in a healthy weight range. A standard doxie will be 8-9” in height, while the miniature will stand only 5-6”.
For miniatures, the suggested weight range is 11 lbs or less. An automatic feeder is a great choice for your Doxie so that they don’t overindulge on food when you’re off at work.
Due to their body structure, dachshund dogs are prone to Hip Dysplasia and joint issues, so a healthy diet is needed to prevent obesity for less stress on their frame.
This is a breed that absolutely loves to eat, so be sure to invest in quality sourced high protein dog food and low calorie treats to keep them in tip-top shape.
Their elongated frame and low center of gravity make this breed prone to back problems, specifically herniated discs and Intervertebral Disc Disease. Consider investing in dog steps to help them get up and down from the bed/couch easily to make life easier on them and prevent back injuries.
Eye tests should be included as part of the regular physical check-up, especially for "double dapples," or Dachshunds with two different colored eyes, which are prone to hearing and visual problems.
Common Health Issues related to the Dachshund:
- Cushing's Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)
- Granulomatous meningoencephalitis (inflammatory disease of the central nervous system )
- Patellar luxation (dislodging of the kneecap)
- Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Eye conditions
Dachshunds coats can come in a wide variety of shades and beautiful markings, in both long and short-haired varieties. They can also have patterns in their coats, such as dapple (a mottled coat pattern), brindle, sable, and piebald.
Dachshunds with a double-dapple coat can have one eye and one brown eye.
There are three dachshund coat varieties: smooth coat (short hair), long hair, and wire-haired.
The smooth coat requires minimal grooming. The longhaired dachshunds require brushing or combing once or twice weekly, routine brushing keeps their coats tangle-free.
The wirehaired dachshund's coat requires brushing or combing about once a week, with occasional trimming of stray hairs and professional grooming to remove dead hair twice a year.
For these coat types, waterless shampoo is great for keeping them fresh between bathing.
Exercise Needs and Training
Like many small dogs, Doxies are prone to show aggression toward strangers and other dogs, and a loud bark can make the process of training a bit more complicated. Families with small children should only get a sausage dog if they are committed to consistent training and regular socialization as this breed is known for nipping their owners.
However, these are popular dogs for a reason. With good training, you’ll have a lively and cuddly companion with tons of personality.
Dachshunds are intelligent, independent, and playful, but can also be mischievous and stubborn. They aren’t the easiest of breeds to housebreak or train. If you need help teaching your dog, you may want to consider investing in a trainer.
As mentioned above, the Dachshund has some specific needs based on its uniquely shaped frame. You will want to invest in a bed for them that offers adequate support for all stages of life.
What’s the Best Bed for Your Dachshund?
While the miniature might need only the small size, you’ll likely want to invest in the medium size for a standard Doxie. In terms of support, memory foam is ideal to hug their body while delicately cradling their frame. View our full range of dog beds.
The best part about offering them a cuddly bed that they’ll naturally love is that it can help to keep them calm in your absence, which directly works to reduce their anxiety when you’re away.
The truth is, you can’t always be with your Dachshund, so you’ll want to make sure they’re calm and happy while you’re outside of your home.