Small Dog Breeds > Dachshund

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Dachshund

The Dachshund is a clever and lively small dog breed with a long body and short legs. It’s a member of the hound family. The dachshund was bred to chase and flush out burrow-dwelling animals, such as badgers. Miniature dachshunds were bred to hunt rabbits and smaller prey. In times past, dachshunds were used to hunt prairie dogs in the American West. Today, the dogs are bred primarily for dog shows and as pets.


Despite their short legs and long bodies, Dachshunds are surprisingly muscular. Their front paws are somewhat large and paddle-shaped. They’re ideal for extensive digging. The dogs also have a deep chest which provides them with increased lung capacity and stamina while hunting prey underground. Their skin is loose enough to not rip when tunneling and their long snout has enhanced odor-sensing abilities.

There are three sizes of Dachsunds: standard, miniature, and kaninchen which means “rabbit” in German. Standard Dachshunds weigh about 16 pounds on average and miniature Dachshunds weigh about 12 pounds. The smallest version, the kaninchen, weighs about 8 pounds.

When hunting, Dachshunds can be stubborn, ferocious and tenacious. Their stubbornness makes them difficult to train but they’re quite playful and loyal and make good pets after they’ve been housebroken.

Dachshunds left alone frequently may suffer from separation anxiety. To relieve this stress, they’ll often chew objects in the owner’s house. When bored or tired, the dogs will take to burrowing in blankets or other items around the house.

The dogs require early training and socialization to prevent them from becoming aggressive and destructive. They thrive with caring owners who understand the dog’s needs for exercise and entertainment. Dachshunds may not be the choice for small children unless the dog is properly trained and introduced to the children. However, they may become aggressive and bite unfamiliar children.

Coat and Color

Dachshunds come in a variety of colors and patterns. They can be single-colored with spots, simply single-colored, or single-colored with any pattern and tan points. Dogs with two colors can be wild boar, chocolate, black, or fawn.

The coats of Dachsunds come in either smooth, long hair, or wire hair with the latter being the most rare. It is not unusual for a Dachshund to have two different-colored eyes. The dogs have a loud bark and can be aggressive toward both strangers and other dogs.

A Dachshund's coat should be brushed regularly. Bathing is required every week or every other week.
Height up to 12" at the withers
Weight 8-16 lbs
Life Span 12-15 years
Temperament Curious, clever, affectionate
Hypoallergenic No
The Dachshund’s long spinal column predisposes them to spinal problems, such as intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). (About 20 to 25 percent of Dachsunds will develop IVDD.) Injury risk is heightened with rough handling, jumping, intense exercise, or obesity. Other health problems include but are not limited to luxating patellas, hearing loss, hereditary epilepsy, dental problems, granulomatous meningoencephalitis, allergies, congenital heart defects and eye conditions.

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