Dachshund Dog Breed at a Glance
The Dachshund dog breed, also known as the Sausage Dog, Weenie Dog, Wiener Dog, Hot Dog, Bassotto, Teckel, Tekkel, Tekkel Doxie, Dachsie, and Worshond, is easily recognizable by its long low-slung body. Its height and shape enables it to easily access a den or a tunnel, thereby helping in hunting underground. While a good dog breed for new owners without much dog ownership experience, it is not the ideal dog for families with children, unless it is raised among them and is provided with lots of pleasant experiences with them. Still, it ranks as the 13th most popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.
Breed Group: Hound
HISTORY of the Dachshund Dog Breed
Originally bred to hunt badgers in Germany, and in fact, the name itself means “badger dog” in German. Dating back to as early as the 15th century, the Dachsie (short-legged, long-bodied dogs with hound-like ears) is illustrated hunting badgers. Some experts believe that their roots date back to ancient Egypt, where short-legged hunting dogs were depicted on burial urns. The breed is the result of a mix of French, German, and English hounds and terriers. The original German Dachshunds were larger than the modern day ones, and while there are many disagreements among experts regarding the exact origins of the breed, they all do agree that the short-haired type is the oldest variety of the three.
The friendly, curious, and spunky Dachshunds are often considered to be lapdogs, but they are true hunting dogs. They can be aggressive, but they are loyal, social, and courageous dogs, and are even cat-friendly, but are also quite stubborn. Their hunting drive and impulse to wander is also high, so be sure to keep them on a leash when out and about.
The biting statistics dating back to 1982 place the Dachshund in the top 30% of dog attacks on humans. In all, 6 attacks causing bodily harm were attributed to the Sausage Dog, 3 of which were children. Also, of the 6 attacks, 1 resulted in death. However, it is highly unlikely that a Dachshund would cause death.
Physical Characteristics of the Dachshund Dog Breed
The short legs and long body of this well-balanced dog with a slightly tapered waistline, along with its alert expression and long floppy ears to protect it from foreign objects, makes it easily recognizable. Its curled tail is also purposeful–it can help the dog come out of a tunnel or den, and it makes the dog visible to hunters. The coat of this small dog breed is can be smooth and short, long and sometimes wavy, or wiry and thick, with a fine undercoat.
The common colors of this breed include black and tan, black and cream, blue and tan, blue and cream, chocolate and tan, chocolate and cream, fawn and tan, fawn and cream, or solid wheaten, wild boar, red, or cream.
The Dachshund weighs between 11 and 32 pounds, depending on the variety. The larger variety weighs between 30 and 35 pounds; the standard smaller dog weighs between 16 and 22 pounds; and the smallest variety weighs about 11 pounds. All varieties stand between 8 and 9 inches tall.
Shedding is minimal, but grooming needs are moderate (see below). It is not a hypoallergenic dog breed and is not known to drool.
HEALTH and CARE of the Dachshund Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Dachshund is between 12 and 14 years, which is the average for medium-sized dogs.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. In general, the Dachshund is a healthy breed but may be at risk for developing:
- IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease)
- Corneal Dystrophy
- Cushing’s Disease
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat)
- Patellar Luxation
Dachshunds do well in apartments, but require lots of daily exercise. A good brisk walk to the park and a game of catch will keep it in shape, and relaxed at home.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. With the average weight of a Dachshund being 22 pounds, feed your dog between 1.5 and 2 cups of kibble each day, but it depends on the Dachsie variety.
Regular grooming is necessary. The smooth coated variety has the least grooming needs, requiring stripping twice a year, whereas the long-haired variety needs regular brushing and the occasional trimming. The wire-haired variety needs weekly brushing.
The AKC officially recognized the Dachshund dog breed in 1885.