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Dachshund: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

Originally from Germany, the Dachshund has been used as a hunting dog both above and below ground for centuries. He belongs to FCI Group 4. This corresponds to Dachshunds with a working test.

Dachshund Dog Breed

Size: 20-33cm
Weight: 7-14kg
FCI Group: 4: Dachshunds
Section: 1: Dachshund
Country of origin: Germany
Colors: cream, black, red, brown, blue, chocolate, black-brown, chocolate-cream
Life expectancy: 12-15 years
Suitable as: hunting, house, and family dog
Sports: dog dancing, retrieving
Personality: Smart, Brave, Devoted, Lively, Playful, Stubborn
Outlet Needs: Medium
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: medium
Maintenance effort: medium
Coat Structure: Short, dense, shiny, smooth, firm, and hard
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: rather yes
Social: medium

Origin and breed history

The dachshunds were particularly appreciated by the famous Napoleon Bonaparte. He liked being pictured with dachshunds. After their death, the dogs were even given a grave next to their ruler. Dachshunds have always been used as hunting dogs. It was a privilege of the nobility to own such four-legged friends. Today’s British Queen Elizabeth II has also professed her love for dachshunds. After the dachshunds could no longer be withheld from the middle class, they took the hearts of all dog lovers in Europe by storm.

Small, short-legged dogs are still extremely popular in Germany and are considered the perfect family dogs. At the Olympic Games in 1972, a dachshund named Waldi was the mascot of the major sporting event. He should show the typical German charm. Unfortunately, the numbers of litters are somewhat declining. This is less due to the breed’s declining popularity than to the fact that there are now a large number of small pedigree dogs that have become popular in German households.

What is a Dachshund?

A dachshund is a breed of dog originally from Germany and recognized by the FCI. The dog has a distinctive body shape with an erect head and a particularly long rump. In addition, there are the small, short legs and the upright tail. The dachshund has been considered the epitome of a German dog for many years and is therefore portrayed in many films from German companions.

Essence & temperament of the Dachshund

Like almost all small dogs, dachshunds have healthy self-confidence. Despite their rather contemplative size, they set the tone and are not impressed by larger conspecifics. Due to their use as dogs for hunting, the agile four-legged friends have a large portion of self-confidence. Dachshunds are considered to be born disrespectful. If you want to train a dachshund, you should definitely have experience and a lot of patience. The dogs are extremely headstrong and do not forgive any mistakes in their upbringing. The animals work independently and prefer to decide for themselves. They love new tasks and are considered the perfect companions, especially for hunters and foresters.

A particularly strong bond can develop between a human and a dachshund, which lasts a dachshund’s life and creates wonderful moments together. Despite their very strong self-confidence, dachshunds are considered to be well-balanced companions who do not react aggressively or even fearfully.

Is a Dachshund dangerous?

Dogs are generally as dangerous as the owners raise them. The dachshunds are not born and are equipped with basic aggressiveness. The animals are self-confident and show it off, but without assuming an aggressive basic position. In order to get the dachshund used to like-minded people, children, and other four-legged friends, it is a good idea to get the animal used to other creatures at an early stage.

The appearance of the Dachshund

Dachshunds are easy to recognize, they have a distinctive build. A muscular, elongated body rises on small and short legs. The erect head has lop ears. Its long back in relation to the body is characteristic. The dogs come in three different sizes, with the dogs usually weighing between 3 and 9 kilograms.

The four-legged friends have a quite varied color palette. There is the long-haired dachshund, which has an extraordinarily silky-soft coat. In contrast, the well-known wire-haired dachshunds have a very wiry coat. In addition, these dogs have small distinctive, and neat beards. The short-haired dachshunds with a smooth, close-fitting coat are also considered to be the most popular. All three coat lengths can be seen in different color nuances. There are single-colored dachshunds in red, yellow, and red-yellow. The two-colored four-legged friends in black and brown or spotted are also common.

How long is a Dachshund?

The animals are usually 35-55 cm long.

Upbringing and keeping the dachshund – this is important to note

Dachshunds are particularly stubborn, have a mind of their own, and can only be trained with a lot of consistency. Small, short-legged dogs are not suitable for beginners. Rather, the owners should have a lot of experience and encourage the dog both mentally and physically. The dogs must enjoy an education in which they are allowed to make their own decisions. This corresponds to a species-appropriate and original dog attitude. Masters and mistresses should set clear rules and act consistently.

Dachshunds learn very quickly and constantly ask for new tasks. Boredom does not suit the dachshund. Dogs will shamelessly exploit mistakes in their upbringing. The hunting instinct is a natural behavior of the dog. If the dogs are not used for hunting, they should at least be offered a good alternative in the form of dog sports. Retrieving is a welcome change for the clever dog and promotes the bond between owner and animal. The small whirlwinds are not suitable for agility.

The sooner the dachshunds get used to other dogs and children, the more sociable the animals are. In principle, the animals are easy to keep with other animals. The breed also has a deep bond with children, provided the children do not see the animal as a toy. Basically, the puppy should already be taught the most basic commands. Older dogs tend to be stubborn and overconfident. With a lot of zeal and a large portion of love, however, even the most stubborn dachshund will hear.

Can Dachshunds stay alone?

Dachshunds can stay alone. The duration depends on the respective upbringing. However, the small dogs should not be left alone at home more than necessary. Rather, the animals long for an all-day program in the midst of the whole family.

Diet of the Dachshund

Dachshunds like to eat and eat a lot. It should therefore be paid attention to the right amount to avoid obesity. A balanced diet plays a key role in this. In addition to the main ingredient meat, minerals and vegetables are also important for a species-appropriate diet. Treats should only be used in moderation. To check the weight, masters, and mistresses should weigh the dachshund regularly. The right choice of dog food should be limited to high quality. Good dog food, whether wet or dry, should not contain grain or sugar.

BARF is a particularly biologically appropriate form of raw feeding. In addition to plenty of fresh meat and offal, the short dogs also get a large portion of vitamin and mineral supplements. This feeding method is tailored to the needs of each animal.

In order to avoid under-or oversupply, keepers should always contact their trusted veterinarian or the breeder. A drinking bowl must always be available for a dog. There are several permanent drinking places within the living area.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

In general, the popular four-legged friends enjoy solid and good health. Nevertheless, the dachshunds also have some breed-typical diseases. The short legs often lead to an early ossification of the legs. In the worst case, this leads to crooked limbs. Due to the unusual proportions of the dog, they are also susceptible to a herniated disc, the so-called “dachshund paralysis”. The dogs can no longer control their hind legs because the nerves are pinched off.

However, these symptoms can be reduced many times over by taking preventive measures. For example, small dogs should never climb stairs. Healthy body weight and a species-appropriate diet also protect the dog.

How old do Dachshunds get?

Dachshunds have a long life expectancy. This depends on several factors. In addition to species-appropriate husbandry, healthy nutrition and a good gene pole also play an important role. On average, dachshunds live to be 15 years old.

Dachshund care

Dachshunds, depending on the length of their fur, require regular grooming. The owners should consult a dog comb several times a week to avoid matting and to make the coat shine. Due to the strong hunting instinct, some undergrowth can get stuck in the hair. The dogs should therefore be examined closely after every walk to avoid vermin.

In addition, the claws should be trimmed regularly and the teeth checked. The dachshunds don’t have to bathe. Coarse dirt can be easily and efficiently removed with a brush. If the fur still needs a bath, then masters and mistresses should always use pure dog shampoo. These clean gently and have no unnecessary fragrances. However, the shampoo must never get into the dog’s face area, otherwise, irritation can still occur.

Dachshund Activities and Training

The particularly clever character heads have a lot of energy and want to be encouraged. They are suitable for long walks and also cut a fine figure on long hikes. However, owners should allow their dogs regular breaks.

A good dog sport is retrieving. The animals love to practice new tricks and look for things. The four-legged friends are considered the perfect companions on foot, but should not be used for jogging or even cycling. Due to their short legs, they are more suitable for a normal walking pace. The dachshund must be given sufficient time to browse and sniff. It is not without reason that most breeders will turn to experienced hunters and rangers when selling their puppies. This professional group offers the dogs a species-appropriate life and meets all the criteria of a fulfilled dachshund life.

Good to know: special features of the Dachshund

Dachshunds are very popular and have already wrapped many around their fingers. The pedigree dogs have become particularly well-known through the series Hausmeister Krause. There the small dogs embody the typical German family dog.

But the elongated dogs also play a leading role in various US films – always with reference to their German origin. Today’s Queen of England has already expressed her love for dachshunds. Dachshunds are incredibly productive and have loads of confidence and confidence. Raising a dachshund is not easy and requires a lot of patience and empathy.

When is a dachshund fully grown?

Dachshunds are considered physically and mentally mature at one year old. Before this time the animals are called young dogs.

Disadvantages of the Dachshund

Dachshunds have little to no respect for other humans and four-legged friends. Due to their incredible willpower, they tend to bark. If the owners are not consistent enough and do not stop the barking early on, the little limbers develop into real barkers that bring the neighbors to their knees. Due to their very short legs and long torso, the animals suffer more from paralysis of the dachshund.

Is the Dachshund right for me?

Dachshunds are good family dogs and enjoy being around young children as well as the elderly. You tend to be balanced and can quickly integrate into existing family structures. Owners who decide to have a puppy should start with a consistent and loving upbringing from day one. This takes a lot of time, especially in the first few weeks. Working people should therefore ask themselves whether they live up to such an attitude. Although the dogs can also be left alone, this must also be trained.

Dachshunds usually live up to 15 years and more. That’s a long time to take responsibility for a smart and active four-legged friend. Owners should ask themselves whether they can take the dog with them on vacation. Thanks to their size, dachshunds are indeed welcome guests in restaurants and hotels. However, if you want to go on vacation by plane, the dogs have to be accommodated differently.

The small dogs make no demands on the size of their new home. Dachshunds can be kept both in a small city apartment and in a large house in the country. The animals are very happy about a sufficiently large property, as this supports their natural drive to sniff out and discover all sorts of things. Potential owners should always convince themselves of the seriousness of the breeder before making a purchase in order to buy a pure and, above all, healthy dog.

Dachshunds are suitable for experienced dog owners. The attitude among hunters and foresters is particularly species-appropriate. There the dogs can fulfill their hunting instinct and receive sufficient mental and physical workload. Working people, in particular, don’t have enough time to keep the dachshund. In order to be able to really keep a dog busy, going for walks together in the morning and in the evening is far from enough.

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