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Dachshund

The alert and energetic Dachshund – or Doxie, Wiener dog, Sausage dog, hot dog, will shower you with love while keeping you on your toes!

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Animalia Team
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    Country of Origin

    Germany

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    Breed Group

    Hound dogs

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    Height

    Male 11-19 In

    Female 10-18 In

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    Weight

    Male 11-32 Ib

    Female 9-30 Ib

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    Life Span

    12-16 years

In a Nutshell

Witty journalist and renowned literary critic, H. L. Mencken described the Doxie as “half a dog high and a dog and a half long.” Why? These drop-eared pooches are goofy and adorable yet strong enough to stand up to a badger. That is how they got their name – “Dachs,” meaning badger, and “hund,” meaning dog. While they’re still keen diggers (fence in your yard and reinforce the base) and burrowers (especially into blankets in bed), modern Doxies are more lap dogs than Lancelot. 

 

 

Life With a Dachshund

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Energy level

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Trainability Level

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Amount of Shedding

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Tendency of Barking

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Exercise Needs

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    Home Alone

    Consider working from home

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    Living Arrangements

    Apartment will do

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    Kid Friendly

    Yes

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    Pet Friendly

    Yes

Looks & Personality

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Loved worldwide for its stout and short form and overall cuteness, the Dachshund is a small hunting hound with a big persona. Bred in Germany as diggers, the Doxie stands far longer than tall. The breed comes with smooth, longhair, and wirehair coats in standard or mini sizes.

 

Their heads are oversized and sloped into a distinctive Roman nose that helps them pick up scents on the ground while walking with their heads up. They have intelligent and sweet eyes, long ears outlining their face, wrinkled skin folds, stubby legs, and a thick, straight tail to round it all off. 

 

Dachshunds have complex facial expressions and soulful eyes. Their lungs are large for their size and have barrel-like chests. As such, they have a much bigger dog’s deep, loud bark. Smooth Doxies are the most popular type in the US. Their coats are shiny and short and only need a little grooming. They need a sweater in winter if you live in a cold weather area. The most common coat colors are red, cream, Isabella (fawn) and tan, chocolate and tan, black and tan, black and cream, and blue and tan. Some also can have patterns on their coats, such as piebald, a mottled pattern (dapple), sable, and brindle. The breed is low-odor, low-shedding, and remains clean despite time spent outside. 

 

Dachshunds are an excellent addition to a family, ranking them among the most popular breeds since the 1950s. They are lively, and you cannot help but smile when you see them confidently and boldly carrying their muscular, long body on their short legs. They can be stubborn as they’re intelligent and have their own rules about playtime. Still, their bonuses are many, from their independent personality to their loyalty and huge heart. At home, they love to try to help you do things like tying your shoe laces.

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A tip from a vet

Prevent your Dachshund from jumping on and off furniture or into and out of the car, as it can lead to slipped discs and hip damage. They may need ramps or steps up to furniture to prevent jumping and may need to be lifted often. Also, their floppy ears can get infected, so keep an eye on them. Oh, and when going out for a walk, always use a leash as if anything catches your Dachshund’s attention, they’ll just run for it, no matter how many crowded roads they’ll have to pass on their way.
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A tip from a trainer

Despite a reputation as being mischievous and stubborn, Dachshunds can take obedience training as they love working for a reward. They have patience and consistency and training with treats and toys brings quicker success. As with all dogs, it is best to start training young. Also, since a Dach often gets attached to a single family member, training will help if they become jealous of your attention to others.
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Did You Know

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    Because of their practically comical look, Doxies have long been a favorite theme of toy makers and cartoonists.

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    Passau, Germany, has a museum dedicated to the breed founded by expert florists and Dachshund lovers Oliver Storz and Seppi Küblbeck. The Dackelmuseum Kleine Residenz (Dachshund Museum Small Residence) features a collection of over 4,500 sausage dog-related items.

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    Dachshunds were briefly called badger dogs in a post-WWII marketing effort before reverting to German names.

In The News

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A Dachshund called Fred was the much-referenced pooch of US writer E.B. White who was famous for his children’s books like Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web. White wrote the following astute statement on his relationship with Fred and owning a Dachshund: "Being the owner of Dachshunds, to me, a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Someday, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can't be trained and shouldn't be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command. When I address Fred, I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he wants to do."

Famous Dachshund Owners

Kirstin Dunst, Ashley Olssen, Adele, Clint Eastwood, David Bowie, David Hasselhoff, Josh Duhamel, Andy Warhol, Gary Cooper

The History Behind the Breed

Dachshunds were hunting dogs that appeared in Germany around 600 years ago. The breed's long, slender body and courageous and clever personality made them a daunting opponent for badgers, hares, and foxes. Some authorities on the breed say there were packs of larger Dachshunds that were used for wild boar hunting. The Dachshund began transitioning to household pets in the 1800s. No longer fighting badgers to the death, this version of the breed became smaller in size, but their prominent personalities stayed. The spunky Dachshund quickly won over the people's hearts, including Queen Victoria, and made its debut in America at the end of the 19th century, quickly becoming a household favorite. Unfortunately, their popularity dropped during the world wars as they were often seen as a direct portrayal of Germany. However, they surged again in the ’50s and have been a fan favorite. While mainly kept as pets in the US, doxies are still used for hunting in Europe.

If a Dachshund Could Talk…

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“I'm cute as a button, but I'm brave. Timid? That’s not in my vocabulary!”

A Quick Anatomy Lesson

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Like all dog breeds, Dachshunds develop some health problems more often than other types of dogs. In particular, Dachshunds are prone to develop back problems, canine cancer, seizures, or heart problems, according to a survey conducted by the UK Kennel Club.

Common Health Problems

What about your Dachshund?