Dachshunds: Long, Low, and Ready to Go

Dachshunds: Long, Low, and Ready to Go

The Dachshund, also known as the “wiener dog,” is one of the most unique, recognizable, and beloved dog breeds. Their elongated bodies, short legs, and big personalities have made them a popular choice for families and individuals looking for a small but mighty companion.

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Dachshunds – from their history and characteristics to owning, training, and caring for these little dogs with huge hearts.

The History of Dachshunds

Dachshunds have a long history that traces back some 600 years. They were originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers and other small prey that lived in burrows underground.

Their low, narrow build allowed them to pursue quarry down holes and tunnels easily.

Over time, Dachshunds became popular household pets, though they maintained their excellent hunting skills and instincts. Today, while some Dachshunds still work as hunting dogs, most are beloved family companions known for their devotion, spiritedness, and curiosity.

The American Kennel Club recognizes three different coat varieties and sizes of Dachshunds:

  • Smooth Coat – Short, shiny, sleek coat. Range from 16-32 pounds.
  • Wirehair Coat – Thick, harsh, wiry coat. Range from 16-32 pounds.
  • Longhair Coat – Long, silky coat. Range from 16-32 pounds.
  • Standard Size – Usually 16-32 pounds.
  • Miniature – 11 pounds and under.

No matter their size or coat type, all Dachshunds possess a similar temperament and a special blend of charming and comic antics paired with boldness and bravery.

miniature dachshunds

Dachshund Characteristics and Temperament

Dachshunds are known for being clever, playful, and devoted companions. They form extremely strong bonds with their owners and aim to please them. Here’s an overview of some of the most notable Dachshund traits.

1. Devoted – Dachshunds become very attached to their owners and prefer to always be by their side. This devotion also means they don’t like to be left alone for long stretches.

2. Clownish – Dachshunds have a silly streak and entertaining antics that delight owners. They love showing off tricks and making people laugh.

3. Curious and Playful – These energetic pups enjoy playtime and entertaining themselves by exploring surroundings and investigating anything new or interesting. Sturdy chew toys help keep them happily occupied.

4. Clever – With the ability to quickly learn routines, Dachshunds are rightfully considered intelligent dogs. However, their smarts mean they can be manipulative to get what they want.

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5. Courageous – Though small in stature, Dachshunds possess impressively bold spirits without realizing their own size. They will face off against larger dogs or even deter intruders despite significant size differences. Early socialization helps them learn proper interactions.

6. Determined – If a Dachshund wants something, they will work tirelessly to achieve their goal. This determination applies to everything from nabbing unattended food to escaping fenced yards with persistence and problem-solving.

7. Confident – Dachshunds have a visible self-assuredness reflected in their strutting gaits. They move with pride and may vocalize with bold barks far exceeding what’s expected of their compact bodies.

8. Independent – Dachshunds can be stubborn about minding commands and may ignore owners in pursuit of something they want more. While not aggressive, they can be a challenge to train and handle for inexperienced owners.

dachshunds dog sleeping on owner feed

Owning a Dachshund

Dachshunds make ideal pets for all types of households, from singles to growing families. Their small size makes them a good fit even for smaller homes and apartments.

However, their curious and energetic nature means they do have some specific care requirements to thrive as household companions. Consider these ownership considerations before deciding if a Dachshund is the right breed for you.

1. Exercise Needs – Though short in stature, Dachshunds are active dogs requiring at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily. They love going for walks but should not be over-exerted in hot weather or allowed to jump on and off furniture as this can injure their backs.

2. Mental Stimulation – Clever Dachshunds excel at canine sports and activities providing both physical and mental exercise such as agility, nose work and earthdog trials. Puzzle toys help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors when their minds aren’t sufficiently challenged.

3. Grooming – All Dachshund coats shed somewhat year-round. Smooth and long-haired Dachshunds require weekly brushing to help remove loose hairs and prevent matting. The wire-haired sheds less but needs hand-stripping two to three times yearly.

4. Socialization – Despite their small size, it’s essential to socialize Dachshunds thoroughly with people and other animals. Well-socialized Doxies learn good manners and appropriate interactions and are friendlier pets.

5. Housebreaking – Patience is vital when house-training these independent thinkers. Using crate training and establishing a regular routine makes the process easier than disciplining them. Most Dachshunds can be housebroken with consistency and positive reinforcement within a few months.

6. Barking – Dachshunds will boldly announce visitors or unusual noises. They can become nuisance barkers without enough activity and attention. Dachshund owners need to be comfortable with some yappy vocalizations.

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7. Special Health Considerations – The Dachshund’s signature elongated torso and short rib cage mean they are prone to back injuries if allowed to take high jumps or falls. Their tendency towards obesity compounds risks of back issues.

dachshund stand with white background

Finding a Dachshund Puppy or Rescue

Interested in adding one of these amusing hounds to your home? Dachshund puppies or adult dogs are available for adoption from breeders or rescues.

1. Accredited Breeders – Ensure breeders do health testing and only produce litters occasionally, not as a high-volume business. Expect to pay $1,500 or more per puppy.

2. Dachshund Rescues – Check regional and national Dachshund rescues and shelters if hoping to adopt an adult or retired breeding dog. Adoption fees typically average from $100-$300.

When selecting a Dachshund puppy:

  • Ask to meet puppies’ parents to assess size and temperament
  • Choose energetic pups showing curiosity and interest their surroundings
  • Avoid fearful, hesitant or especially noisy or bitey puppies
  • Get vet records proving vaccinations, deworming and health examinations
  • Secure proof of health testing on puppy’s parents

No matter their age, properly introducing a Dachshund to kids, other pets and new environments ensures a happy transition as they join your family.

Training and Handling Your Dachshund

Smart, enthusiastic Dachshunds enjoy learning new things but can be challenging to train due to their independent thinking and distraction tendencies.

Establishing yourself as a strong, consistent leader and making training feel like an interactive game keeps sessions positive and productive.

Tips for Training Dachshunds Effectively:

  • Keep sessions brief (5-10 minutes) with highly tasty treats and lots of praise to hold their interest and avoid frustration. You can work up to longer sessions as their skills progress. Incorporate play rewards (tug toys, chasing balls) and food treats to capitalize on their exuberance and fun-loving nature.
  • Use reward-marker training, clicking or using a word like “Yes!” the instant they offer a correct behavior then giving the reward. This style grabs their attention and communicates exactly what earned the treat.
  • Be patient – Dachshunds can be slow to housebreak. Crate training assists the process so you can reward successes and limit accidents.
  • Start socializing early and expose Dachshund puppies to many sounds, environments, and people in calm, positive contexts to build good manners and curb wariness. Well-run puppy kindergarten classes are highly beneficial.
  • Consider advanced training – Energetic Dachshunds thrive learning nose work, tracking, agility or other mentally and physically engaging skills.
  • Invest in obedience training – Even well-bred, pedigreed Dachshunds are independent thinkers less blindly obedient than retriever and shepherds bred expressly for biddability.

Trying to force compliance only worsens stubbornness in this breed. Professional trainers can be instrumental providing owners the handling skills these dogs respond best to.

fat dachshund standing on the grass

Caring for Your Dachshund’s Needs

While small, Dachshunds are larger than life regarding personality and presence. Caring for their unique physical and emotional needs is essential for their health and happiness.

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1. Nutrition – Avoid overfeeding these eagerly hungry hounds. Their tendency towards obesity makes measuring out meals and limiting treats important. Their rapid growth as puppies also requires appropriate nutrition.

2. Dental Care – Brush their teeth weekly to maintain good oral health and prevent periodontal disease. Annual dental cleanings may also be needed as they age.

3. Nail Trimming – Keep nails neatly trimmed every 2-3 weeks so they don’t crack or split. If you can hear them clicking loudly on floors, their nails are too long. Introduce nail care slowly with treats to reduce sensitivity.

4. Physical Activity – Make sure your Dachshund gets at least 30 minutes of sustained exercise like brisk walks daily alongside free play sessions. This helps avoid obesity and relieve energy in positive ways.

5. Mental Stimulation – Rotate puzzle toys, hide treats for them to discover and teach them new skills and tricks to keep their agile minds challenged and prevent boredom based destruction or excessive barking. Food puzzle toys add mental stimulation to mealtimes.

6. Grooming – All Dachshunds shed. Smooth and long-haired varieties need weekly brushing to reduce loose hairs flying around your home. Wirehaired Dachshunds require hand stripping two to three times yearly.

7. Vet Checks – Schedule annual wellness exams to catch health issues early. Vaccinations and parasite prevention keep Dachshunds protected based on your area’s risks. Ask about weight checks and spinal x-rays to monitor for common Dachshund conditions.

8. Safety Precautions – Dachshunds’ long backs are prone to painful and debilitating IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) often caused by obesity, jumping on/off furniture or uncontrolled running and play.

Keeping them lean and providing ramps or steps minimize injury risks. Consider pet insurance due to their increased likelihood of back conditions requiring surgery.

How long do Dachshunds live?

With proper care, Dachshunds average 12-15 years making them one of the longest lived breeds according to AKC data. Some may even reach 17 or more years.

Are Dachshunds good family dogs?

Yes! Despite their small size, Doxies make wonderful family companions when raised with kids and properly supervised. They adore being with their people.

Are Dachshunds easy to potty train?

Dachshunds can be stubborn about housebreaking. Crate training combined with positive reinforcement and fixed feeding/potty break schedules helps the process be less frustrating over their average 16-week training timeline.

Do Dachshunds get along with other pets?

When socialized early and properly, Dachshunds can coexist fine with other dogs and pets. They may be bossy towards timid animals due to their bold nature. Proper supervision ensures safe interactions.

Final words;

Dachshunds may be small dogs but they have huge hearts overflowing with devotion for their beloved people. Their charm and plucky personalities explain why they consistently rank among America’s top ten most popular breeds!

With their comical antics and bold spirit, Dachshunds will make remarkable companions for those ready to welcome their lively energy and loyalty into their home.