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The Dachshund -  A feisty, comical little companion with personality by the bucketload.

 Dachshunds are probably one of the most recognised breeds in the world, and this breed of dog  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 recognized by the US or UK Kennel Cubs but is recognized by the other 83 countries in the World Canine Federation).

A smooth coated Dachshund sitting down on grassPicture of Toby the smooth coated dachshund courtesy of Jenny Bingham

Dachshund breed dogs are, surprisingly, commonly quoted as being among the most aggressive of breeds. While they are unlikely to inflict much damage to an adult, they could seriously hurt a child that they perceive as a stranger.

Despite their tiny size, these dogs 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.

- Temperament

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 socializing 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 bite, so care is needed not to let children tease or move too quickly around them.

2 Dachshund puppies sitting next to each other on a chairCute puppies!

This breed of dog 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.

A smooth coated Dachshund showing off it's long back, walking in front of a grass backgroundA smooth Dachshund

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.

Separation anxiety is one of the reasons to consider giving a dog Prozac.

I love this video of Madeline, a puppy 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 soul!

Breed History

Dachshunds are originally from Germany,  and the name 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.

You can find out what life with a Dachshund is really like by reading our interview with Jenny about living with her smooth coated Dachshund, Toby. He has some funny little quirks!

There are two theories on how the long haired version came about: 

  1. Dogs had puppies which had slightly longer hair and these were bred to eventually produce a long haired version of the dog.
  2. The smooth haired dachshund was crossed with various breeds of spaniels.

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

Vital Statistics

  • Height (Standard): 20 - 25 cm (8 - 10 inches)
  • Height (Miniature): 13 - 15 cm (5 - 6 inches)
  • Weight (Standard): 7 - 16  kg ( 15  - 35lb)
  • Weight (Miniature):  4 - 5kg ( 9 - 11lb)
  • Life Expectancy: 14 - 16 yrs
  • Available in Smooth Coat, Wire Coat and Long Haired and all three different coat types are available in miniature versions.
A Smooth Coated Dachshund wearing a blue pullover, sitting down and looking up at the camera

image courtesy of


  • Red
  • Black and Tan
  • Chocolate and Tan
  • Cream
  • Dapple (merle in other breeds)
  • Brindle
  • Piebald
  • Isabella (silver/grey)

Ease Of Training

Dachshunds 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 socialized to nip this in the bud.


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.


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. The longer-haired breed will benefit from  FURminator brush.

FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs

We have found that the absolute best way of grooming any long haired dog breed is to use the FURminator grooming tool! We highly recommend this unique brush from Amazon to keep your dog in tip top shape. Click on the image below to find out more...

  • Reduces shedding by up to 90%
  • Stainless steel deShedding edge
  • Remove loose hair from tool easily
  • Ergonomic handle

Check out the Furminator at Amazon!

And the wire haired dogs need brushing a few times a week plus hand stripping twice a year to keep their coat looking respectable.

Health Considerations

Spinal injuries and back problems are an obvious hazard for this little fellow. He has also been known to suffer from:

  • Elbow Malformation
  • Kneecap dislocation
  • Catatracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Retinal Atrophy
  • Diabetes
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease
  • Double Dapple coloured dogs have a high risk of eye and hearing problems
  • Cushing's Syndrome
  • Color Dilution Alopecia
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Dental Issues

Famous Dachshunds

Lump (pron. "Loomp" German for "Rascal") - Picasso's dog

Archie And Amos - Andy Warhol's dogs

Obie - the infamous 77lb (35kg) obese sausage dog.

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