AKC Hound Group
Short-legged dogs have been known since Roman times, but the first evidence of Dachshunds is from the 1500s. The breed was specialized to go after den animals, particularly badgers, underground. “Dachshund” comes from “dachs,” meaning “badger,” and “hund,” meaning “dog.” The Dachshund is still used as a rabbit and small-game hunter today in some countries, and there are AKC field trials for the breed in the United States. It is also used to trail wounded deer. Today’s Dachshund is mostly prized as a companion dog, however.
The Dachshund is a long, low dog with short, powerful legs and a long tapering muzzle with very strong jaws and teeth. This breed comes in three coat varieties: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired; and in two sizes: standard and miniature (under 11 lbs.). The high-set ears are pendant, with rounded ends. The muzzle is slightly arched, producing a “Roman nose” effect. The sternum (chest bone) is very prominent, with a depression or dimple on either side, providing a powerful front end for underground digging. The front paws may be angled slightly outward. The usual coat colors are solid red, black and tan, chocolate, and wild boar, but brindle, dapple, and piebald are also seen.
- Height: 5 to 9 in.
- Size: Small (standard); Very small (miniature)
- Weight: 16 to 32 lbs. (standard); Under 11 lbs. (miniature)
- Availability: Very popular
- Talents: Hunting, tracking, watchdog, and performing tricks
Use caution when selecting a Dachshund puppy as this is a very popular breed and animals with poor temperaments are being sold. Don’t overfeed, for this breed tends to put on weight quickly. Likes to dig and bark, and has a big bark for his size. Can snap if provoked. Good for older people, as the breed is easy to take care of with almost no grooming needed for the shorthaired variety. Longhaired and wirehaired types need more grooming. Usually no problem with other pets. Prone to spinal-disc problems.
Lively and affectionate. Proud and bold, almost rash. Tenacious. Can be willful and clownish. Curious and mischievous. Very clever. Devoted to his family. Some fanciers feel the longhaired variety is calmer than the other two types. The wirehaired variety is more outgoing and clown-like.
- Children: Best with older, considerate children
- Friendliness: Moderately protective
- Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
- Independence: Moderately independent
- Dominance: Moderate
- Other Pets: Generally good with other pets
- Combativeness: Fairly friendly with other dogs
- Noise: Likes to bark
- Indoors: Fairly active indoors
- Owner: Good for novice owners
- Grooming: Smooth: very little; Long: brushing every few days; Wire: occasional stripping
- Trimming and Stripping: Wire: occasional stripping
- Coat: Short, feathered, or wire
- Shedding: Average
- Exercise: Little
- Jogging: A poor jogging companion
- Apartments: Good
- Outdoor Space: Does all right without a yard
- Climate: Does well in most climates
- Longevity: Moderately long lived (12 to 15 years)