Although probably around for much longer, the first written evidence of the Dachshund isn't until the 16th century. The name comes from the German 'Dachs - badger and 'Hund' - dog. The dogs were bred to follow badgers into the set, drag them out and kill them. It would also catch and kill foxes and rabbits. Their bodies are long, with muscular legs and large front paws, well adapted to tunnels to help them get to their prey. In Germany they are more commonly known as a 'Dackel' and are often called Sausage dogs around the world. The Dachshund comes in three varieties, smooth coated (shorthair), Long Coated and Wire coat.
Dachshunds are playful, bold and tenacious. They like to keep busy and are always up for an adventure. They are good with families and children, provided they get respect, but are wary of strangers. They love to tunnel under blankets and duvets. For such a small dog they have a loud bark and make good watch dogs. They notice everything and will want to be involved. Dachshunds are generally quite stubborn and training is a challenge. It's not that they don't understand; they are just fiercely independent. The breed tends to bond with one person (usually the main carer), but will be happy in a family setting. They need boundaries to be set from a young age to keep them in check. Some say that training is pointless, but they are an intelligent breed and can learn, when they want to. Dachshunds like company of other dogs, especially other Dachshunds. Due to their prey instinct, it is best to walk them on a lead or in an enclosed area. For dogs with such short legs, they can move surprisingly quickly and will find the smallest gap in a fence to explore. They need a fair amount of exercise daily, but a walk a day and lots of ball chasing in the garden is fine. They can be snappy with strange dogs, so socialising is vital with this breed. Dachshunds can suffer with back problems, usually disk related. They also put on weight easily, so be strict with the treats.
A lovely quote by E. B White on his Dachshund, Fred - "When I address him, I never raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him to do something he wants to do...."
Dachshunds have a brave and loving temperament. Bred to hunt badger and fox underground you shouldn't underestimate this small but courageous dog. They are very loving towards their family and will be fine with respectable children.
Early socialisation with both other dogs and people is important to ensure they become well rounded dogs. This breed may not be suitable for a house with cats although some individuals will be fine. Surprisingly loud barkers they can also make good watchdogs.
Health problems that may affect Dachshunds include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), intervertebral disk disease (pressure on spinal cord which can cause paralysis), patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap) and obesity.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 11 - 15
- Weight: 4.5 - 15
- Height: 8 - 9"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Hound
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour
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