The Dachshund dog breed is one of those iconic dog breeds that few, if any, Americans over two can’t easily recognize! And while many folks will only be able to “refer” to them as a “wiener dog”,”” those who have had the pleasure of owning one of these awesome critters will surely tell you, dDachshund’s are the “Best”.””
Many times, when a dog has a “unique” appearance, what with their long body and short legs, folks will often time “decide” to adopt a pet on “looks” alone.
“Wouldn’t it be fun to own a “wiener dog?”
The problem is that when you “choose” to adopt an animal this way, you can often run into issues later on because sometimes the animal that you find that “matches” what you’re looking for in a pet “appearance-wise” doesn’t match what you’re looking for “behaviorally”.”
This is why…
In this article, we wanted to take a look at what it might be like to own a Dachshund so that if you are considering either purchasing a Dachshund puppy or, better yet, adopting a Dachshund rescue dog, you won’t be disappointed six months from now that you did! So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Dachshund Dog Breed Fast Facts
Country of origin: Germany
Original Purpose: Hunting or “flushing out” small game
Height: Miniature Dachshund will stand 5 to 6 inches
Standard Dachshund will typically stand 8 to 9 inches
Weight: Miniature Dachshund typically less than 11 pounds
Standard Dachshunds typically between 16 to 32 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 14 years
Dog Breed Classification: Hound group.
Origin of the Dachshund Dog Breed
Often, one can learn a lot about “how” a dog will behave as your pet if one understands “why” a particular dog breed existed. And in the case of the Dachshund dog breed, this is particularly true. You see, as we all know, Dachshunds have a unique look, and while few can deny that their “look” makes them quite possibly the cutest dog out there, few folks know “why” a Dachshund looks the way he does!
Country of Origin
The earliest known example of the Dachshund dog breed dates back to the early 1600’s in Germany. At that time, they were given the name “dachshund,” which is the combination of two different German words, “Dachs” and “hand”.” Unless you took German in high school or have a German grandmother, chances are, you didn’t realize that “Dachs” means badger in German and “hund” means dog. This gives us a clue about why these dogs were created.
You see, they were created…
To hunt badgers! But badgers weren’t the only prey that Dachshunds had. These dogs were used to track “den animals” of all shapes and sizes, including foxes and wild boars. Now, you may be asking…
What is a “den animal”?
Well, a den animal will typically make their home out of a hole in the ground. So it makes sense that if you’re a hunter, you would like to have a long and lean animal that can “squeeze” or “fit” into a small hole in the ground and “flush out” the animal that you want to hunt.
Just imagine how “tough” and “brave” you must be if you’re the animal tasked with chasing down prey of all sizes into dark holes in the ground! That said, it’s essential to understand that early Dachshunds varied greatly in size.
- Dachshunds that hunted Badgers and Bores were 30 to 35 pounds in weight.
- Dachshunds used to hunt foxes and deer weighed between 16 to 22 pounds.
- Dachshunds that hunted weasels and hares were more miniature than 12 pounds.
- Dachshunds for hunting bolt cottontail rabbits weighed 5 pounds.
Over the years…
The Dachshund breed was “refined” in Germany, ultimately leaving us with the dog we know and love today. Fortunately, these dogs also became quite popular “companion” animals. After all, there isn’t quite the demand for “badger hunting” dogs as there once was back in the day. It says a lot about how great it is to own one of these dogs when you consider the fact that the original purpose of this animal essentially doesn’t exist any longer, yet they remain one of the most popular dog breeds in the World today.
Dachshunds in America
Even though the Dachshund dog breed has been around for over 400 years and has had its “official” breed standard recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1888, it wasn’t until the mid-1950’s that the breed began to grow in popularity within the United States. But once it did become popular, this dog breed has consistently been a favorite among Americans for generation after generation.
While it might seem a bit silly to “discuss” what a Dachshund looks like because, after all, who doesn’t know what a Dachshund looks like? There are several “versions” of Dachshunds, some of which you may not be aware.
For example, Dachshunds come in the following three varieties:
- Smooth or shorthaired,
That’s not all, though. This popular “half a dog high and a dog and a half long” comes in two sizes.
You can find all these three varieties in standard and miniature sizes.
- Miniature Dachshunds are smaller in size and weigh under 11 pounds when they’re fully grown.
- Standard Dachshunds weigh between 16 to 32 pounds as adults
A tweenie Dachshund weighs between 11 to 16 pounds.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, the dog generally appears low to the ground, long in body, and has short legs. The Dachshund should also have robust muscle development, and the skin should be pretty elastic but not to the point where it wrinkles. The dog should also be well-balanced and carry his head boldly and confidently.
Let’s look into the colors now!
The breed comes in several colors: black and cream, black and tan, blue and cream, blue and tan, chocolate and cream, chocolate and tan, cream, fawn, etc. So, as you can see, if you decide to purchase a Dachshund puppy or adopt a rescue dog, you’rell have quite a few options. So, let’s take a moment and discuss the temperament of the Dachshund dog breed so that you can better understand whether one of these little guys will be “right” for you.
Personality or Temperament
Dachshunds are courageous, lively, and clever little dogs. After all, these little guys were initially bred to be tough and persevere even in the most threatening situations. They can be a little stubborn at times— so don’t be surprised when your Dachshund doesn’t always immediately follow your wish and command. These guys were bred to be independent hunters capable of making their own decisions on “the fly,” which the breed has retained throughout the centuries regardless of their “modern-day” purpose.
Dachshunds are known to be fearless and entertaining, but there is something they like more. They’re also known for their unconditional love of their owners! But not all Dachshunds will behave the same. And in some cases, the personality of Dachshunds is sometimes related to the dog’s coat:
- Wirehairs are a little mischievous and troublemakers because they get it from their Terrier ancestors.
- Longhairs tend to be a bit more quiet and calm.
- Smooth is the mixture of the two.
Additionally, many factors affect the personality of a dog breed, such as heredity, socialization, and training. So, one should assume they can adopt a particular “type” of Dachshund and know precisely what they will get.
This is why…
If you choose to adopt a Dachshund, we here at IndulgeYourPet always recommend that you begin your obedience training regarding the Dachshund breed early and often. This is because, as we mentioned before, these little guys will have a mind. And while they “typically” make great household pets that are perfect around kids, it’s important to begin socializing these little “hunters” early and often.
Potential Health Concerns
Unfortunately, the Dachshund dog breed can be prone to suffering from a variety of different health concerns, which is why if you do decide to adopt a Dachshund, you’re going to want to be sure that you only work with a reputable dog breeder that is willing to “guarantee” the health of your animal. You’ll also want to be able to see the parents of your puppy to be sure that both mother and father are healthy, as well as discuss some of the following health issues that the Dachshund dog breed is at risk of developing so that you can determine or yourself about how “knowledgeable” your Dachshund breeder is.
Common conditions that Dachshunds are at risk for will include:
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): Dachshunds are especially prone to getting back problems. Many things can cause them, such as genetics, moving the wrong way, or falling or jumping on or off furniture.
- Epilepsy: This dog breed is prone to having epileptic seizures. The condition is either developed due to a fall or blow to the head or genetics.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): This degenerative eye disorder can eventually cause blindness. The good thing is that you can detect PRA years before the dog shows any signs of blindness.
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV): This life-threatening condition mainly affects large dogs; however, because of their deep chests, it also affects Dachshunds. GDV occurs when the stomach is distended with gas and then twists on itself, making the dog unable to vomit or belch. This is a medical emergency. Without immediate medical attention, your Dachshund can even die.
- Cushing’s Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism): Excessive production of cortisol can cause Cushing’s disease in dogs. Common signs include excess urination and drinking.
Because the Dachshund dog breed isn’t the “healthiest” dog breed in the world, we here at IndulgeYourPet would also recommend that you take a moment and consider possibly purchasing a pet insurance policy for your new buddy. This way, if you do “encounter” a medical issue with your dog later in life, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of their medical costs!
Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?
No, of course not. But until you know what a policy might cost you, how will you know that one isn’t right for you and your pet?
For more information about who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies, we encourage you to check out our article in our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies.