Breed Rating (2 Reviews)
Dachshunds first appear in the historical record in the 16th century. The name comes from the German Dachs, meaning badger, and Hund, meaning dog (the same as the English word “hound”). The short-legged dogs were bred to hunt badgers in their sets – and given the ferocity of a cornered badger, this called for a very feisty and strong little dog. They were also used for killing foxes and rabbits underground. In Germany they are usually called 'Dackel', and are commonly nicknamed Sausage dogs in the English-speaking world.
Dachshunds are playful, brave, and feisty. They like to keep busy and love exercise – in spite of those very short legs. As long as they are socialized early, they make good family pets, but they always need treating with respect, as they are not bred to be cuddly lapdogs. Most Dachshunds are wary of strangers. True to their tunnelling origins, they love to tunnel under blankets and duvets. Their loud bark and alert nature makes them good watch dogs. They’re always on the lookout, and will want to be involved with everything you’re doing. Dachshunds put on weight easily, and they’re very greedy, so you need to go easy on the treats.
This is a naturally stubborn breed, which makes training a challenge. It's not that the dog doesn’t understand, it’s just that they are just fiercely independent. They will tend to bond mainly with one person, but will still be happy in the wider family setting. Boundaries need to be set for this dog from an early age, to keep their more aggressive tendencies in check. Dachshunds enjoy the company of other dogs, especially other Dachshunds. In parks, they should be walked on a lead and only allowed full freedom in an enclosed area (your garden, for example). Their hunting instinct makes them very unreliable when it comes to recall.
It’s amazing how quickly those short legs can propel the Sausage dog from A to B! They are also geniuses at finding the smallest gap in a fence or hedge and running away to explore. They need a fair amount of exercise daily, but a moderate walk each day and lots of ball chasing in the garden is sufficient. They are famously aggressive and “snappy” to strange dogs, so, again, socializing is vital.
E. B White, the author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, had a pet Dachshund, Fred. Capturing the independent, and sometimes contrarian nature of the breed, he wrote: "When I address him, I never raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him to do something he wants to do..."
There are three varieties: Smooth coated (shorthair), Long coated, and Wire coated.
Dachshunds are affectionate, independent, and courageous to a fault. They are very loving towards their family, super-loyal to their main carer, and are fine with children as long as they are treated with respect.
Early socialization with other dogs and people in general is necessary to ensure they become well rounded dogs. Dachshunds tend not to rub along with cats, even if they are introduced to them as puppies, but some individuals buck this trends. They are loud barkers and make great watchdogs
Dachshunds can suffer with back problems, usually disk related. They are also prone to canine hip dysplasia (CHD), intervertebral disk disease (pressure on spinal cord which can cause paralysis), patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap), and obesity.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 11 - 15
- Weight: 10 - 34 pounds
- Height: 8 - 9"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Hound
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour