The Dachshund dog breed is one of those iconic dog breeds that few if any Americans over the age of two can’t easily recognize!
And while many folks…
Will only be able to “refer” to them as a “wiener dog”, those who have actually had the pleasure of owning one of these awesome critters will surly tell you, Dachshund’s are the “Best”.
Many times, when a dog has a “unique” appear, what with their long-bodies 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 problems 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 actually 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 Dachshund typically between 16 to 32 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 14 years
Dog Breed Classification: Hound group.
The Origins of the Dachshund Dog Breed: A Quick History
Often times, one can learn a lot about “how” a dog will behave as your pet if they understand “why” a particular dog breed came into existence. And in the case of the Dachshund dog breed this is particularly true.
As we all know, Dachshunds have a unique look and while few can deny the fact that there “look” makes them quite possibly the cutest dog out there, few folks actually know “why” a Dachshund looks the way that he does!
Let’s take a moment and look into that, shall we?
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 actually the combination of two different German words “dachs” and “hund”.
You took German in high school or you have a German grandmother, chances are, you didn’t realize that “dachs” actually means badger in German and “hund” means dog. Which definitely 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. In fact, these dogs were used to hunt “den animals” of all shapes and sizes including foxes and wild boar as well.
Now you may be asking…
What is a “den animal”?
Well, a den animal is one that will typically make his or her home out of a hole in the ground.
It makes sense that if you’re a hunter you would like to have a long and lean animal that is able to “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 have to be if you’re the animal that has been tasked with the job of chasing down prey of all sizes into dark holes in the ground!
It’s important 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 smaller 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 that we know and love today. Fortunately, over the years, these dogs also became quite popular “companion” animals as well.
There isn’t quite the demand for “badger hunting” dogs as there once was back in the day. Which 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 in large part doesn’t actually exist any longer yet they remain one of the most popular dog breeds in the World today.
Dachshunds in America
Despite the fact that 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 really began to grow in popularity within the United States.
Once it did become popular, this dog breed has consistently been a favorite among American’s for generation after generation.
Characteristics of Dachshunds
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, the truth is, there are several “versions” of Dachshunds out there some of which you may not be aware of.
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 different sizes.
You can find all these three varieties in two sizes—standard and miniature.
- 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 is one that weighs between 11 to 16 pounds.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, the dog generally appears to be low to ground, long in body and have short legs. The Dachshund should also have robust muscle development and the skin should be quite elastic but not to the point where it actually 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 different colors such as black and cream, black and tan, blue and cream, blue and tan, chocolate and cream, chocolate and tan, cream, fawn, etc.
As you can see, if you do decide that you want to purchase a Dachshund puppy or adopt a Dachshund rescue dog, you’re actually going to have quite a few options to choose from. So, now let’s take a moment and discuss the temperament of the Dachshund dog breed so that you can get a better idea of one of these little guys is going to be “right” for you.
Personality or temperament of a Dachshund
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 of situations.
Needless to say, they can be a little stubborn at times— so don’t be surprised when your Dachshund doesn’t always immediately follow your ever wish and/or command. These guys were bred to be independent hunters capable of making their own decisions on “the fly” which is something that the breed has retained throughout the centuries regardless of what their “modern day” purpose is today.
Dachshunds are known to be fearless and entertaining but, there is something they like more. Their 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 are the mixture of the two.
There are a lot of factors that affect the personality of a dog breed such as heredity, socialization, and training. So one should just assume that they can adopt a particular “type” of Dachshund and know exactly what they’re going to get.
This is why…
If you do choose to adopt a Dachshund, we here at IndulgeYourPet always recommend that you begin your obedience training early and often when it comes to the Dachshund breed. The reason for this is because as we mentioned before, these little guys will have a mind of their own.
They “typically” make a great household pets that are perfect around kids it’s important to begin socializing these little “hunters” early and often.
Health Concerns and Life Expectancy of Dachshunds
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 health 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 “knowledgably” your Dachshund breeder is.
Common conditions that Dachshunds are at risk for will include:
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): Dachshunds especially prone to getting back problems. There are a lot of things that can cause them such as genetics, moving the wrong way, or fall or jump on or off furniture.
- Epilepsy: This dog breed prone to having epileptic seizures. The condition is either developed as a result of 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 mostly affects large dogs however, because of their deep chests, it affects Dachshunds as well. GDV occurs when the stomach is distended with gas and then twists on itself which makes the dog is 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 breeds 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 his or her medical costs!
Now will a pet insurance policy be right 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 in the industry, we would encourage you to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.