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The Dachshund is a scent hound dog originating from Germany. In German, their name means Badger dog as they were bred to hunt small animals like badgers, rabbits, and foxes. It’s unknown how long this breed has been around, but it is most likely since the 18th century.
Although some still serve as hunting dogs, the Dachshund is a popular companion animal adored for its entertaining nature and cute “hot dog” appearance. They’ve picked up many nicknames throughout the years, too, such as Doxie, wiener dog or sausage dog for their distinctive long body and short, stubby legs.
Meet the Dachshund
The standard Dachshund can weigh between 16 and 32 pounds but will never stand more than 8 or 9 inches tall. They have long, muscular bodies with distinctive short and stubby legs and large, paddle-shaped front paws, giving them an utterly disproportionate appearance. However, their unique body shape makes them so good at digging and hunting tunnel animals.
Dachshunds have deep, barrel-like chests for increased lung capacity, long noses for an excellent sense of smell, and curved tails to help spot them while burrowing. Another distinctive feature of Doxies is their flappy drop-down ears that also serve a purpose, to keep dirt and grass seeds out of the ear canal while they are digging.
Standard Dachshunds come in three varieties; smooth (short haired), wire-haired and longhaired. Smooth is the most popular variety, featuring short, shiny coats that require minimal grooming. However, this type of Dachshund is the most sensitive to the cold, and they need to wear a dog sweater if living in a cold climate.
Long Haired Doxies have long and sleek coats that can be slightly wavy. This variety has much higher grooming needs as their hair can easily matt, especially around their elbows and ears. Therefore, if you choose a longhaired Dachshund, you’ll need to brush them every day. Finally, wire-haired Dachshunds have thick, wiry, short coats that feel much rougher than the other two types. They have bushy eyebrows and a beard and need regular brushing, although not as much as the longhaired Doxies.
The most common coat colours are wild boar, a mix of black, brown, and grey, black and tan, and various shades of red. Cream, black and cream, tan, chocolate and tan, and fawn are all possible shades, as are patterns like dapple, brindle, sable, and piebald.
The temperament of a Dachshund
Dachshunds have lively, animated characters with a playful nature. However, they also have an affectionate side and love to cuddle, making them fab companion animals and even therapy dogs. Some people believe that Longhaired Dachshunds have a more docile temperament than the Smooth or Wirehair varieties, who are more mischievous.
Doxies are intelligent canines but can be stubborn, choosing to make their own rules instead of following yours. However, they are confident and courageous animals, and because of their hunting origins, they have a strong desire to seek out and catch small animals. Therefore, they should not be allowed to roam. Also, because they are very good at digging and burying, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure your garden is securely enclosed.
Dachshunds develop very close bonds with their owners but can particularly attach themselves to one person in the home. As a result, they can become jealous if their favourite person gives attention to someone else, so socialisation and training are essential. They love to be around their humans; thus, this breed can develop separation anxiety, too.
Their large lungs allow them to bark much deeper and louder than other dogs their size, and they are pretty vocal. Moreover, Doxies can become snappy when irritated or threatened if their owners do not train them well.
10 reasons to add a Dachshund to your family
- They have a unique appearance - The Doxie’s cute hot dog shape makes them stand out from other canines.
- They have adorable expressions - Their round, soulful eyes and floppy ears result in them displaying a wide range of visual emotions.
- They will devote themselves to you - This breed is extremely loyal and protective of their owners and will spend their days by your side.
- They are cuddly - Their loving nature and small size make them fantastic snuggle buddies.
- They are perfect for single people - If you live on your own, a Doxie is an ideal companion. This loyal hound will prevent you from ever feeling lonely.
- They are adaptable to different living environments - These dogs do well in houses or flats of any size as they do not require much space.
- They come in three coat types - You can choose whether you want a fluffy, curly, or easy to groom pup.
- They are entertaining to watch - Dachshunds can be pretty goofy when they play, which is often hilarious to see.
- They love adventures - Doxies love to explore new places where they can follow unfamiliar scents and discover new things.
- They are full of confidence - Doxies don’t let their size hold them back. They have big, courageous hearts and are not scared to take up space in the world.
Best homes for a Dachshund
In one aspect, these dogs are well-suited to living in an apartment or flat as they are small and do not necessarily need a garden. Although they are energetic, they are happy to play indoors as long as they have plenty of toys. However, as they are loud for small dogs, you might want to reconsider this if you live very close to others.
Dachshunds are one-person dogs, so they usually do best with single people. However, they are adaptable, so there is no reason they cannot do well with a couple or family. They enjoy walks but do not need lots of exercise.
The main concern with this breed is how they respond to being left alone. Many will become anxious, leading to destructive behaviours, so they will surely be happier with an owner who works from home or a retiree. They can get along fine with children and other dogs, but it can be more complicated with cats. Some Doxies will be friendly towards felines, but others will require thorough training and a lengthy introduction.