Dachshund Dog Breed
Country of Origin: Germany
Height: Standard—14–18 inches [est.]/miniature—up to 14 inches [est.]
Weight: Standard—16–32 pounds/miniature—up to 11 pounds
Coat: Longhaired—Double coat with sleek, soft, glistening, straight or slightly wavy outercoat/smooth—short, dense, shiny, smooth fitting/ wirehaired—double coat with uniform short, thick, harsh outercoat and finer, shorter-haired undercoat; beard
Colors: One-colored—red, cream/two-colored—black, chocolate, wild boar, gray, fawn, all with tan or cream markings/dappled [AKC]|one-colored—red, red-yellow, yellow/two-colored—deep black, brown, gray, white with brown or yellow markings/dappled [UKC]
Other Names: Dackel; Normalgrösse (Standard); Normalschlag (Standard); Teckel; Zwerg (Miniature); Zwergteckel (Miniature)
Registries (With Group): Standard and Miniature—AKC (Hound); UKC (Scenthound)
Origin and History
The Dachshund was developed in Germany to be a dog who hunted close to the hunter, much like the Basset Hound in France. They are descended from the German schweisshund, of which they are a shorter-legged version. The Dachshund was also crossed with terrier and spaniel breeds to not only gain certain hunting qualities but also the wirehaired and longhaired coat types. He is a true hunting hound—the German word dachs means “badger,” another animal with a sturdy body on short, crooked legs.
Dachshunds have been helping hunters and families since the Middle Ages, doing everything from tracking and going to ground for game to protecting the homestead. The standard Dachshund was primarily bred as a tracker, and he was used to hunt badgers and wild boars. The miniature was largely bred down from the standard to hunt rabbits and go to ground.
Lively, alert, comic, and kind, the Dachshund is a companion who may be short of leg but is not short of personality. He is still a talented hunter the world over, and those instincts are clearly visible in his love of digging and chasing after backyard prey—even groundhogs. When threatened or suspicious, he is a great protector of his family, whom he loves.
The Dachshund is an active and inquisitive hound who is curious about everything. This desire must be expressed and fulfilled in several daily walks—preferably long but not strenuous ones. He is built to hunt and can handle rough terrain and the vigor of a good dig. But he is not bred for long, sustained periods of exercise, and when his work (or walk) is done, he is ready to nap.
The longhaired Dachshund’s fine fur can knot and mat if not brushed regularly.
Of the Dachshund’s three coat varieties, the smooth coat is the easiest to care for—a quick going-over with a hound glove, soft brush, and damp cloth will leave him sleek and shiny. The wirehaired needs the most grooming attention, as the coarse hairs must be trimmed and kept neat, ideally by a professional groomer. Regardless of coat type, the breed’s long ears are prone to infection and so must be checked often.
The average life span of the Dachshund is 12 to 14 years.
Dachshunds are scenthounds and therefore easily distracted by scents all around them. Considering how far away they are from their vocal source of direction (humans) to begin with, it’s no wonder they can seem unresponsive to training. As first-rate companions, they do want to please, and an upbeat, positive approach to training—along with persistence—will win them over to doing what is asked of them. Sports or activities that involve repeated jumping are not the best for Dachshunds because of the back problems that can develop.
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