Breed Highlight: Dachshund

Dachshunds may be the smallest of hounds, but they have the biggest spirit. The distinctive shape of the Dachshund first catches the eye, but people who know him appreciate his character, intelligence, hunting spirit and absolute devotion to his people. This breed is commonly referred to as as the wiener dog.

The Dachshund (Wiener Dog)

Vital Stats of the Dachshund

  • Dog breed group: Hound
  • Height: Miniature – 5 to 6 inches at the shoulder; Standard – 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: Miniature – 11 pounds and under; Standard – 16 to 32 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Physical Characteristics of Dachshunds

Dachshunds are low to the ground with a long body and short legs. They have a robust muscular development and elastic skin with pliable without excessive wrinkling. This breed is well-balanced with bold and confident head carriage and an intelligent, alert facial expression.

The hunting spirit, good nose, loud tongue and distinctive building makes them well-fitted for below-ground work and for beating the bush. The keen nose gives Dachshunds an advantage over most other breeds for trailing.

The Dachshund’s Personality

The Dachshund is known for being determined. The breed standard describes him as clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness. Mini Dachshunds are no less determined simply because they are smaller.

While this breed should be brave and fearless, each type has a distinct personality. In temperament, the wire-haired Dachshunds are terrier-like, with a clownish attitude and a propensity for getting into trouble. However, long-haired Dachshunds tend to have a softer temperament to match their silky coats. While they are quiet and elegant, with a somewhat more biddable personality, they are just as active as smooth or wire-haired Dachshunds. Smooth haired Dachshunds are mischievous, but not nearly as wild and crazy and the wire and not as quiet as the long hair.

Caring for Dachshunds

This breed has a lot of stamina and energy. They love to take a walk or play outdoors with other dogs, and they like to hunt and dig. Dachshunds are also active inside the house and can do well in small living quarters so long as they get a moderate amount of exercise. Make sure to train him young to use ramps to access couches, beds and other high surfaces to prevent back injuries.

Make sure to train him young to use ramps to access couches, beds and other high surfaces to prevent back injuries. They have long, low-slung spines, so normal canine behavior like jumping off the couch may result in a slipped, pinched, herniated or ruptured disc. Depending on where the disc injury is, it can have an effect on the front and/or rear limbs. Also, it could potentially affect the dog’s ability to urinate or defecate. If your Dachshund is having difficulty walking, or appears to be in pain, contact All Pets Veterinary Medical Center immediately. While surgery may not be necessary, prompt surgery can help prevent the permanent loss of limb function.

Health of Dachshunds

Similar to other deep-chested breeds, Dachshunds are prone to bloat. This can result in gastric torsion if the stomach twists around and cuts off the blood supply. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as the following:

  • restlessness and pacing
  • drooling
  • pale gums and lip licking
  • trying throw up but without bringing anything up
  • any signs of pain

This requires immediate veterinary surgery, and most dogs that have bloated once will bloat again. Therefore, it is wise to have a procedure known as “stomach tacking” to help prevent the stomach from twisting in the future.

History of the Dachshunds

The Dachshund origins are in Germany. Known as the badger dog because dachs means badger and hund means dog. Illustrations of dogs resembling this breed date back to the 15th century, and documents from the 16th century mention the “earth dog,” “badger creeper,” and “dachsel.” Not only did Dachshunds prey on badgers, but they were also used on den animals, such as foxes and packs of Dachshunds trailed wild boar.

In 1879, a breed standard was written, and the German Dachshund Club was founded nine years later. By 1885, this breed had made it to America, and 11 were registered with the American Kennel Club that year. Dash was the name of the first Dachshund. In 1895, the Dachshund Club of America was founded.


For more information on the Dachshund (wiener dog) or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!

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