Dachshunds are easy to recognize with their long slender body, short legs and perky personality. This loyal family dog has a big heart that gets along well with other pets, kids and strangers. These small dogs were originally bred to hunt so, it’s no surprise they’re courageous watch dogs. If you’re interested in owning this fantastic breed, here’s everything you need to know about Dachshunds.

At A Glance

The Wire-Hair Dachshund other names include: badger dog, weiner dog, sausage dog
Colors: Chocolate, brindle, black or red
Fur patterns: Dapple or solid colored fur
Temperament: Loyal, alert, smart, stubborn and high energy
Height: Miniatures are 5 to 6 inches, standards are 8 to 9 inches
Weight: Miniatures are 11 pounds or less; standards are 16 to 30 pounds
Grooming: Very little grooming is needed
Shedding: The American Kennel Club lists the Dachshund as a moderate shedder.
Hypoallergenic: No, Dachshunds aren’t considered hypoallergenic dogs.
Health problem: Prone to Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), dental problems, obesity and cancer.
Exercise: This breed needs at least 30 minutes to an hour a day

Quick Facts

  • Dachshunds have three types of coats: long, smooth or wire haired.
  • They are bred to be miniatures or standard size.
  • Bred as hunters, Dachshunds love to dig.
  • Of the three different types, the wire-haired Dachshund barks the loudest.
  • You’ll need patience to train this stubborn little dog, but food will motivate them.

History and Origins

Six hundred years ago, the Dachshund breed was created to hunt badgers. Their short legs and long body enabled them to dig deep into a badger den and grab their prey. Dachshund is a German word, meaning “badger hound’ due to their ability to fight badgers. Badgers are members of the weasel family, which are well-known aggressors. Many dogs are intimidated by a badger, but not the small weiner dog. With a courage much bigger than his size, the Dachshund is equipped to fight not only badgers but also skunks, foxes and even wild boars.

In Great Britain in the 1800s, Dachshunds became popular not just for hunting but as a domestic pet. It’s thought that Queen Victoria loved Dachshunds.

This breed arrived in the United States in 1885 with the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially immediately recognizing them. As a national symbol of Germany, they fell out of popularity in the States during World War II as American soldiers deemed them Liberty Hounds. After the war, the AKC changed the breed’s name to Badger Dog, causing their popularity to surge. Today, the Dachshund is considered one of the top ten most popular dog breeds in AKC.

According to Dr. Holly Ramsey, at Dachworld.com, the wire-haired Dachshund was first developed in the1800s when breeders crossed a short haired Dachshund with a terrier such as a Schnauzer or Scottish terrier. This Dachshund has a coarse coat, beard and bushy eyebrows along with the short legs, long back of the regular Dachshund. It’s thought the wire-haired was developed in Germany. You can read more details about what Dr. Ramsey shared about her experiences on dachshunds, especially the long-haired dachshund at Dachworld.com.

Temperament & Personality

The wire-haired Dachshund is the most vocal of the three coat types of Dachshunds. They don’t necessarily bark more, but they can bark louder than their counterparts. Because of their extra loud bark and alertness, they’re protective of their family and property. Another quality of the Dachshund is their high energy. They love to dig and chase balls. They’re smart but known to have a stubborn streak. Dachshunds are adaptable to any type of living situation and they do well living in an apartment. You can safely leave them alone for a short time. Families find them loveable, kid-friendly and not afraid of strangers.


The wire-haired Dachshund looks similar to the other coat type Dachshunds except they have coarse fur, a noticeable beard and thick shaggy eyebrows which are probably inherited from their Schnauzer parentage. They can be red, chocolate, brindle or black. A pin wire-haired Dachshund has a shorter hair on their body with less of a beard and skimpier eyebrows. Pin-wires come from a wire-haired Dachshund being bred with a short haired Dachshund. Other characteristics of the wire-hair Dachshund include:

  • Legs-Short and strong
  • Body-Long, slender and muscular
  • Skin- Looks smooth and elastic, no wrinkling
  • Ears-Long ears that flap when they run. Sometimes they drag the ground.
  • Nose-Keen nose for trailing prey


The good news is that Dachshunds don’t shed that much. You’ll have some hair around your house, but their shedding varies during the year. This little dog stays clean, except when he digs in the yard, but he’s easy to wash and dry quickly. Wire-haired Dachshunds need to have their beards and eyebrows trimmed. Nail trimmings should be done at least once a month.

Training and exercise

Your Dachshund will require patience and repetition to train. This isn’t because he isn’t smart, but because he may be stubborn, preferring to chase a squirrel instead of listening to you. Affection is a great motivator to train your Dachshund, since they love to be petted and praised. Never correct this little dog harshly. They tend to be sensitive, which will defeat your training. Dachshunds need consistent exercise to stay fit. They’re prone to weight gain which can lead to back and leg problems. Dachshunds enjoy:

  • Walking
  • Chasing a ball or stick
  • Teaser toy-This is a toy on the end of a stick. You jiggle the toy so your dog tries to get it. Always use it carefully around your Dachshund and never encourage him to jump to get the toy since this could hurt his legs or back.
  • Hide the toy-Because your dog likes to hunt, you can hide a toy somewhere in your house or backyard. Tell him to find his toy and walk around with him while he looks. Beware: your Dachshund may start digging for the toy.

Health problems

Dachshunds are prone to age-related problems in their spines due to their long back. They’re also prone to eye problems, especially PRA, a degenerative disease that can cause blindness. Because they have such long, flappy ears, they are also prone to ear infections. Dachshunds can live up to 15 years if they’re healthy and active.

Is this breed right for you?

A wire-haired Dachshund could be the right breed for your family. They’re affectionate, smart and energetic. You’d never lack a good watch dog if you own this perky fellow. This little dog with a big heart is worth considering as a sweet pet for you to love.

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