These adorable little dogs are placed in the top rankings of popular dogs since the 1950’s. They are known for their long bodies and small legs as well as their lively and courageous personality. Dachshunds are smart but can be difficult to train if things are too repetitive. They can also be stubborn and want to do everything their own way. They were originally used in Germany as hunting dogs for small prey, and those characteristics are still present in these dogs today. This means that you may find your Dachshund chasing after smaller pets and digging holes in the backyard. They are active both inside and out of the house, and can therefore do well in any living environment.
In their place of origin, Germany, these dogs were called badger dogs, as they were bred and used as hunting dogs for small prey. With a goal to create a dog that would be fearless but small enough to dig into badger holes, the foresters from Germany in the 18th and 19th century spent time creating the Dachshund. The smooth variety was the first to come into existence and was the creation of crossing the Braque and the Pinscher, and possibly the French Basset Hound as well. The other types of Dachshunds, the wirehaired and longhaired, were most likely formed by crossing the Dachshund with Spaniels and Terriers respectively. With their long bodies with small, powerful feet for digging, these dogs could make their way into badger holes where they would hunt and kill the badger. They would then use their loud bark to be heard and pulled from the badger hole by the gamesmen. It was in 1800 that the Dachshund began being bred as a companion pet and not a hunting dog. They became a favorite amongst the royal courts in Europe, including the court of Queen Victoria. Due to their growing popularity as a pet, the miniature Dachshund was created. In 1885, this breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club, and the foundation of the German Dachshund Club followed by closely in 1888. The Dachshund Club of America was then founded in 1895. The breed went through some tough times during World War I, as they were associated with Germany. After the end of the war, some Dachshunds were imported from Germany into the United States and the breed began to grow. They went through a similar struggle during World War II, but not as severe. Today, these dogs are known as great family pets in the United States and Great Britain, and are still seen as proper hunting dogs in some areas of Europe.
These cute little dogs come in three varieties: smooth, wirehaired or longhaired. They are also either miniature, tweenie or standard, the miniature type being smallest and standard the largest, with tweenie caught in between. The miniature size weigh 11 pounds and under, standard Dachshunds weigh between 16 and 32 pounds, and the tweenie size is anything in between those weights. They can have a variety of coat colors and patterns, and will also have either brown, light gray, light hazel, green or blue eyes, or in some cases one brown and one blue, depending on their coat. The smooth Dachshunds will have short and shiny hair, whereas the longhaired type will have slightly wavy and long hair. Wirehairs have thick, short and hard overcoats with soft undercoats. They are known for their unique and comedic body type, having short legs paired with long bodies. But don’t let these little legs fool you, they may be small but they are powerful, just like their jaws. The feet are big compared to the legs. These dogs have loose and elastic skin, which help then when tunneling into badger holes. They have an elongated head and a skull that is convex and arched, along with protruding eyebrows. The Dachshunds have long muzzles and oval shaped eyes with a powerful jaw that is robust and has a scissor bite. The big, droopy ears will hang down to the cheeks. The bodies of these dogs have protruding sternums, and abdomens that will be retracted moderately. The tail should be carried straight and in line with the back and spine.
The adorable little Dachshund is very active and will need a moderate amount of play and exercise time per day. They will do well in any environment, including small houses, as long as they get a sufficient amount of time to run and play. If they can’t be taken on a few short walks per day, a good game of fetch would probably be enough to tire them out. Because of their very long backs, they can easily get injured or develop illnesses from jumping up steps or onto high places, like a couch or bed. Getting a ramp would be wise in order to prevent the development of a serious illness. When you pick your dog up, you must support both their back and rear. These dogs respond best to positive motivation, like treats or toys when teaching them new tricks. Keep training sessions fairly short, fun, interesting and free of repetition, and your Dachshund will prove to be a quick learner. If you live somewhere cold, your pooch may need a sweater when going for walks in the winter. Dachshunds can sometimes have a hard time understanding house training, and may require patience and consistency. Using a crate for training them to do their business outside can help as well. These dogs can make great watchdogs, but can be very vocal, which may be a problem if you are planning to live in an apartment or condo. Your Dachshund will shed, like all dogs do, but not excessively. They will not require regular baths, unless they have found themselves a stinky spot to roll in. Wirehaired Dachshunds will need regular brushing and stripping will be required once or twice a year. The longhaired variety will need brushing more frequently to prevent the formation of knots and tangles. They will also need to be bathed more often than the other types, and blow dried afterwards. These dogs have droopy ears that will need to be inspected regularly, as they can be the perfect place for fungus, mites and bacteria to form. To clean your Dachshund's ears, which should be done every week, you can use an ear cleaner to dampen a cotton ball which can be used to wipe the ears. Only go knuckle deep and do not use a cotton swab. The nails will need trimming once or twice a month. If you can hear the nails clicking on the floor as your dog walks, they need to be trimmed. Teeth brushing is also a must. Although daily is best, two or three times a week will be sufficient.