A feisty, comical little companion with personality by the bucketload.
Picture of Toby the smooth coated dachshund courtesy of Jenny Bingham
Probably one of the most recognised breeds in the world, the Dachshund comes in six varieties - Long Haired, Short Haired and Wire Haired and all three of these varieties come in Standard size and Miniature size. (There is also a third size - "Rabbit", which is not recognised by the US or UK Kennel Cubs but is recognised by the other 83 countries in the World Canine Federation)
|Friendliness Towards Strangers|
|Good with Children|
|Good with Other Dogs|
|Ease of Training|
|Watch Dog Ability|
Despite their tiny size, Dachshunds are brave, alert and playful little companions They are great watchdogs but also great for getting cuddles and having fun with.
The different coat varieties have very similar personalities although the long haired tends to be slightly more relaxed and laid back and the wire haired a little more clownish and fun.
Although they were bred for life in the country, life in the town seems to fit them well also as they are very adaptable. The miniature versions especially can be apartment dogs as long as they can be taken out for walks daily.
They can be a little feisty and stubborn so make sure you stand your ground with them otherwise they'll be walking all over you!
flickr images courtesy of Howard O. Young
They are friendly to other dogs and love socialising with them however they also have a strong prey drive so need to be taught that any other household pets such as cats or rabbits are not to be chased.
These little "Sausage Dogs" get on well with children too although children need to be shown the correct way to lift a dachshund so as not to hurt its back. For this reason, slightly older children are recommended. Jealous or frightened dogs have been known to nip so care is needed not to let children tease or move too quickly around them.
Dachshunds should be discouraged from jumping and from over-exerting themselves as they may well damage their long back in the process. And they love to dig so make sure your back yard is well secure and that they have a nice cosy blanket to burrow into at night.
They dislike being left alone for long periods of time and may whine until they get some company. They have even been known to suffer from Separation Anxiety.
I love this video of Madeline, a Dachshund pup having a great time playing with a crab on the beach.
Not sure the crab is having such a good time though!
Her little face at the end when the crab scurries off into the sea - she looks so disappointed that her fun is over, poor wee soul.
The Dachshund's origins are German and literally means "Badger Dog". The Standard variety was bred to hunt and dig out badgers and the miniature variety was used for rabbits, stoats and rodents.
They were very popular with Royalty and even got the Royal stamp of approval from Queen Victoria!
The first of the three varieties was the smooth haired dachshund. From this came the other two varieties.
There are two theories on how the long haired version came about:
The wire haired version came about in the late 19th century and is probably the result of a crossing between the smooth coated version and a few wire or hard haired terriers.
No longer used for hunting, these little fellows have transited smoothly into the role of a companion dog.
flickr image courtesy of slwilson1984
image courtesy of 3doxies.com
Dachshund have a reputation of being slightly difficult to house-break. This can be helped with patient training and using positive methods to reward your dog when he gets it right.
He's never going to win first prize in formal obedience trials but he can be trained to a perfectly acceptable level provided you are kind, firm and consistent. Don't let him walk all over you!
They can be slightly aggressive towards strangers so they need to be properly socialised to nip this in the bud.
flickr image thanks to Soggydan
Sausage dogs are excessive barkers who's bark is surprisingly big for their size. Although, the miniature versions can be particularly shrill at times.
All versions will alert you to any strangers approaching your property and will more than likely try to take on the intruder as they have no concept of their size.
Long-haired, wire-haired and smooth coated dachshunds courtesy of Tobyotter on flickr
Smooth haired varieties need very little maintenance - a weekly brush to remove dead hairs is all he needs.
His longer haired counterpart requires brushing every two or three days to stay on top of any matting, tangling, mud or twigs brought in from the garden.
And the wire haired dogs need brushing a few times a week plus hand stripping twice a year to keep their coat looking respectable.
flickr image from chloeodiemolly
Spinal injuries and back problems are an obvious hazard for this little fellow. He has also been known to suffer from:
Lump (pron. "Loomp" German for "Rascal") - Picasso's dog
Archie And Amos - Andy Warhol's dogs
Obie - the infamous 77lb (35kg) obese sausage dog
You could find out about other Dog Breeds in the A To Z List with photos or perhaps you'd like to check out the other 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds? (the Dachshund is in there but I'm not telling you which number!)