Dachshunds are a well known dog breed but do these famously long canines make good family pets?
The breed is easily one of the most recognisable in the world, thanks to their elongated bodies and charming personalities.
Dachshunds come in two different sizes: standard and miniature.
This dog, which originated in Germany, has three different coat types, while Doxies, as they’re called in the United States, have a wide variety of coat colours.
They are ranked 13th in the most popular breeds in the United States.
Dachshund have a number of nicknames in different counties around the world, including sausage dog (United Kingdom), Tecken (France and Germany) and Bassotto (Italy).
In this article, we’ll speak to Winston (@winstonminidachshund), Buddy (@buddythedappleddachshund), Arlo (@arlo.thedachshund), Holly and Hazelnut (@hollyandhazelnut) and Neville (@neville.longbottoms).
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A Brief History Of Dachshund
Dachshunds may be beautiful dogs, but the breed was developed to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, which makes sense given their body type.
The breed was first developed in Germany and some reports suggest Dachshund’s ancestors were first seen in the European state in the 15th century.
Indeed, their ancestors were thought to be called “Dachs Kriecher” (“badger crawler”) or “Dachs Krieger” (“badger warrior”) before the breed was eventually given their current name.
German foresters refined the breed in the 18th and 19th centuries and the breed hunted badgers, foxes and even wild boar, to prove their versatility.
A breed standard came into existence in 1879. The German Dachshund Club was created in 1888. Having arrived in the United States in the mid 1880s, the Dachshund Club of America was founded in 1895.
These adorable German dogs saw their popularity dip during World War I and World War II but it wasn’t long before the breed bounced back from this setback.
What Breeds Were Used To Create The Dachshund?
The standard, short-haired Dachshund is also known as The Smooth. They are believed to have been created using a French pointing breed called Braque and a small terrier-type ratter called the Pinscher. Some believe the French Bassett Hound may have also played a role in the creation of this original breed of Dachshunds.
On the other hand, the long-haired Dachshund is believed to have originated from crosses with spaniels and wirehairs.
Finally, the wire-haired Dachshund is believed to have been a cross between the Smooth Dachshund and wire-haired Pinschers, such as the Schnauzer, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the German Wirehaired Pointer or the Scottish Terrier.
Different Dachshunds Names
Dachshunds are popular around the world and have many different names.
The main names are Dachshund (USA and Germany), Teckel (France/Germany) and Dackel (Germany).
There are other nicknames such as Sausage Dog, Doxin, Doxie, Dotson Dog, Doxin Dog, Datsun Dachie, Daxie Daschie, Dashie Weenie Dog, Weeny Dog, Weenies and Weens.
Across the world they are called by different names, including: Teckel (France/Germany), Dackel (Germany), Doxie (USA), Weenie Dog (USA/South America), Wiener Dog/Hotdog (USA), Sausage Dog (UK/USA/Australia), Salsichinha (Brazil), Bassotto (Italy), Sosis (TR), Perro Salchicha (Spain/Mexico), Worshond (South Africa), Taksis (Latvia), Jamnik (Poland), Tax (Sweden) and Такса (Taksa) (Ukraine).
Standard Dachshunds, which includes Smooth, Wirehair, and Longhair, usually weigh between 16 lbs (7.3 kgs) to 32 lbs (15 kgs). They stand at 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder.
The miniature Dachshund are less than 12 lbs (5.4 kgs), while Weenies stand at 5 to 7 inches.
These popular family dogs continue to be much loved around the world, but their initial function was as a hunting dog. Indeed, in some parts of France, Dachshunds are still used to track badgers and foxes.
Their flap-down ears were purposely bred to prevent these sausage dogs prevent incurring problems in their ear canals when low to the ground and following a scent. According to Wikipedia, the Doxie’s trademark ears are to keep grass seeds, dirt, and other matter from entering the ear canal. Their long, low hanging ears do prevent air circulation, which can be problematic.
However, some Dachshunds can suffer issues with their ears as a result. It isn’t uncommon for these low-hanging ears to develop fungal problems or bacterial infections.
Fleas and ticks can hop onto their floppy ears, leading to the transfer of diseases and other issues.
Another notable feature of the Dachshund are their tails.
They are thought to have two main functions: it is easily visible in long grass when following a scent on a hunt, while it can help Doxies to navigate out of a burrow.
Dachshunds can come with a variety of different coat types and different colours.
The Smooth Dachshunds will usually be black, chocolate, boar, gray/blue or fawn with some tan or cream markings. Some have a merle pattern in their coats, which are a mixture of dark and light colours.
Wirehaired Dachshunds usually come in the boar colour, although this particular version of the breed can come in all the colours listed above.
Finally, the Longhaired Dachshunds can also come in the same colours as the Smooth Dachshunds.
Do Dachshund Shed?
The Smooth Dachshund has short and shiny hair but they still shed. In fact, their coat can secrete a very doggy odor, which some may find off-putting.
Wirehaired Dachshunds shed less than the Smooth and Longhaired Doxies but their coat does require regular clipping to keep it maintained and manageable.
The Longhaired breed of this sausage dog needs regular brushing to ensure the hair doesn’t become tangled or matted.
Winston sheds quite a lot, according to his owner.
As he has a lovely long coat he sheds. But he is a small boy so it is not an issue. He doesn’t need a lot of grooming a brushing every few days is enough.
Buddy’s mom gave us an insight into her grooming routine.
The Longhaired Dachshunds are double coated so they tend to shed more in the summer months and in the winter their coats will get thicker again to help keep them warm. I do all the grooming myself, trimming their paw fur and cutting nails and brushing. It’s very low maintenance. I wear a lot of black clothes and don’t have issues with dog hair everywhere.
Dachshunds require regular grooming to ensure their coat remains healthy. Longhaired Dachshunds will need to be brushed regularly to ensure their hair doesn’t become matted or tangled.
Winston’s mom told us that she needs to brush her Doxie twice a week or so.
As he has a lovely long coat he sheds. But he is a small boy so it is not an issue. He doesn’t need a lot of grooming a brushing every few days is enough.
Dachshund Personality and Temperament
These dogs have an adorable look, but Dachshunds also have charming personalities. This makes them a popular breed across the world. Indeed, they are very playful and love to play with their dog toys.
Not only that, these sausage dogs have a great sense of humour to make them an amusing dog to have in the household. They can get possessive of their toys when there are other dogs at home.
As a rule, Dachshunds do tend to get on with other dogs but some can become jealous if another canine is getting too much attention or is playing with their favourite toys. This is something a good dog trainer can help owners to work on.
Dachshunds do have a reputation for doing things their own way. Indeed, this German breed can be very stubborn dogs, which can leave their owners feeling very infuriated.
It is understandable that this breed can be strong-willed given their primary purpose was to hunt small animals, not obey the commands of humans in the household.
However, this trait can be viewed as a positive. Dachshunds are good problems solvers and will work hard to figure out an issue rather than giving up. Expect them to outthink and outsmart their human owners on occasion!
As with all dogs, it is possible to train these stubborn dogs but you will need to be patient and crucially, consistent.
These Doxies are food motivated, which can help in the training process. Also, it is worth considering an experienced dog trainer or a trip to puppy manners class.
Arlo’s owners shed light on the personality of their Dachshund.
Arlo is the most sweetest little boy, he loves everybody. His eyes are his personality, so human like. They show so much emotion. He knows when you’re sad, loves a good cuddle and if you’re happy. He just wants to play! Arlo loves a good belly rub and zoomies to let some steam off. The world would be an amazing place if everyone had a personality like Arlo.
Proving that every Doxie is different, Hazelnut and Holly’s owner described some of the differences between her two dogs.
Hazelnut is super chill and sweet. She is always ready to cuddle but has some pretty explosive tantrums when she doesn’t get the prime cuddling spot next to mom! Holly definitely has quite the sassy attitude. She runs the house and lets you know when she wants you to do something. She has me (her mom) trained.
Are Dachshunds Easy To Train?
Dachshunds can be pretty smart dogs based upon their relatively high IQ. We asked Holly’s mom how she found the training process.
They are stubborn so they need a LOT of persistence. They are definitely not the easiest dog breed to train but it isn’t impossible.
Are Dachshunds Healthy?
Like a lot of breeds, Dachshunds do come with their fare share of problems. In particular, these elongated dogs suffer from issues with their back.
The number one issue tends to be Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). This problem is hereditary and it is good practice to check with your breeder to see whether your pup’s parents had IVDD.
As a Doxie ages, their discs in their back can lose their flexibility, which results in a susceptibility to back problems. Of course, trauma to the back can also cause the problem. It is important that owners take great care when holding their Dachshunds.
Epilepsy is another illness that is common with the breed. These episodes can vary in severity. The condition is genetic much like IVDD.
Due to their deep chests, Dachshunds can be susceptible to Gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloating or torsion). This is a problem that is commonly found in larger dogs, but Doxies can suffer from GDV due to their build.
Other health problems to consider with Dachshunds are Cushings Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism), Canine Diabetes Mellitus (DM), Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and deafness.
Buddy’s mom had a word of warning for potential Dachshund owners.
I will always get Dachshunds and I knew the main things about them like IVDD being a common health issue, but the coat colours you should avoid (dilutes & double dapples) which we don’t own any of, but continue to be bought and have health issues. I do wish people would do more research on any kind of breed before getting them.
Do Dachshunds Need A Lot Of Exercise?
While a Dachshund doesn’t need as much exercise as some dogs, the breed does benefit from a consistent and regular program of walking and playtime at the dog park.
A Doxie puppy should slowly build up its exercise up until the age of one. A young dog needs time to build up its muscles and strength. It is a good idea to go for on-the-leash walks.
According to Dachshund IVDD, there is a theory that fitter and stronger Dachshunds are less susceptible to succumbing to Intervertebral Disc Disease. Therefore, it could be a good idea to keep them well exercised and healthy.
Do Dachshunds Like To Cuddle?
Dachshunds can make great companion pets who like to be around their owners as much as possible.
Here’s what Arlo had to say about this.
I can’t speak for all Dachshunds, but I know my two do. Arlo loves a good snuggle cuddle, Leia just wants to be in your lap every 2 minutes.
Do Dachshunds Get Along With Other Dogs?
Dachshunds can get along with other dogs provided they’ve had proper socialization. Having said that, each Doxie can be different.
Winston gets along with dogs of all different sizes.
Yes – he loves to play with other dogs. And despite his size, he can hold his own in all sorts of dog situations.
Do Dachshund Suffer From Separation Anxiety?
Like Alaskan Klee Kai, some Dachshunds do suffer from separation anxiety.
According to Wikipedia, this is defined as “a condition in which a dog exhibits distress and behavior problems when separated from its handler”. Basically, it can be like a panic attack, dogs can start to cry, howl, scream, whimper and even urinate when left alone at home. While some pups do better in a cage to feel safer, there is no quick fix to this problem.
Leaving the television or radio on can help, while some dogs prone to separation anxiety can do well with an oil diffuser to ease their jangling nerves.
Arlo is an example of a Doxie who suffers from separation anxiety.
I’ve found that Dachshunds are pack animals. Arlo was always up to mischief when he was left alone. He would chew things, pee on things. The biggest issue we had of being left alone was the crying. He would cry for hours.
Are Dachshunds Expensive?
There are Standard Dachshunds and Miniature Dachshunds but they differ in price.
The larger Doxies can cost between $500 and $700 but Standard Dachshunds can cost more money depending on their coat colour.
Miniature Dachshund puppies can cost as little as $250 but could rise to $3000 with breeders.
Neville’s parents revealed that they saved up for a bit before getting their Doxie.
Neville had been named for years before we had him so it was just a case of finding him! The realistic answer of how we ended up with Neville was the price. Dachshunds may be small but the price can be big! I often joke that because he’s crossed Miniature/Standard and not KC Registered we bought a cheap knock off!
Do Dachshunds Make Good Family Pets?
Dachshunds make good family pets, given this breed tend to get on with most other dogs. These German dogs are very loyal to their owners and the sausage dogs make great companions. Dachshunds are also good watch dogs but given their size, don’t act as guard dogs.
These little bundles of joy do well with children, but of course, kids should be taught to treat these dogs with care to avoid problems. Of course, persistent training will help to make a great family pet.
Doxies can be suspicious of strangers. Like with all young dogs, it is a good idea to socialise your puppy as much as possible in the early months, whether it be puppy manners class or with other young dogs with up to date shots.
Buddy’s mom provided with an insight into how her Doxies interact with family members, including kids.
I believe Dachshunds brought up around kids can make fabulous family pets. Beau who wasn’t really around any kids growing up can feel unsure around kids when they run around lots, but Buddy’s favourite person is our family is our five-year old nephew who he follows around and would play with all day if he could.
Arlo’s mom explained why she feels Doxies would be good family pets.
I like to think so. They’re a bag full of fun, and they are very protective.
Do Dachshunds Bark A Lot?
The breed have a very distinctive sharp bark. This can happen when approached by strangers or if there is an unknown source of noise. As a result, the sausage dogs make good watchdogs. If your Doxie is an excessive barker, it could be a good idea to contact an experienced and respected dog trainer.
Here’s what Holly and Hazelnut had to say on this topic.
Dachshunds are definitely barkers but they always bark for a reason. They never bark just to bark. They bark with a purpose and are not yappy.
They can live a long time. The average lifespan of a Dachshund is between 14 and 16 years. While some Doxies can live to around 11 or 12, the sausage dogs can also reach the age of 20.
Are Dachshunds Fussy Eaters?
Just like any breed of dog, Dachshunds require a balanced and complete diet. Based upon our experience, we really believe in dog food delivery companies who provide freshly prepared meals delivered direct to your doorstep. You can check out our top dog food delivery recommendations.
Dachshunds, just like any other breed or mix, can be highly food motivated or fussy. Either way, they’ll benefit from balanced and complete meals.
Buddy’s mom told us about her pack and their diet.
We have two fussy eaters – Buddy & Stella. They’re both raw fed complete diets they do eat but just at there own speed. Dulcie is also fed raw but she eats hers in seconds and we even need a slow feeding bowl. Beau unfortunately has a protein (chicken & beef) allergy so is fed coldpressed chicken kibble alongside some some cooked duck sausage. All also are given salmon oil supplements and joint care.
Winston is also a fussy eater.
In his first year, Winston would be a great eater. Unfortunately after the first year something happened and now he is a bit fussy. He gets excited with new food but gets bored of it fast. So it is always a guessing game if he will be happy with his dinner and what else we can try.
Famous Dachshund Owners
Given Dachshunds are the 13th most popular dog in the United States, you won’t be surprised to learn that there are quite a few celebrities who have little sausage pooches.
British pop sensation Adele has a Dachshund pup called Louis. The Smooth Coated Doxie was born on the night Adele attended a Britney Spears concert, which almost resulted in the Londoner calling her cute little dog, Britney.
Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Elizabeth II are two famous leaders who have also owned Dachshunds.
Waldi the Dachshund was the first Olympic mascot that was a dog in Munich, Germany in 1972.
Dachshunds On Instagram To Follow
If you want to learn more about Dachshunds, you may find it useful to speak to current owners of the breed on Instagram. They’re usually helpful and forthcoming with advice. Here are some Doxies on Instagram to check out.
Advice From Dachshund Owners
Arlo: Please do your research before welcoming a Doxie into the family, for IVDD, health issues, background on “dapple”. Get pet insurance!!!! I’ve had Arlo insured since we got him, so if anything were to happen we are partially covered. Dachshunds are cute, and a great joy but they do need maintenance.
Neville: As with any breed… do your research! Make sure you’re choosing the right dog for you and your family. Yes, they are cute but at the end of the day they’re dogs. They take a lot of time and effort to look after.
Are Dachshunds Good Dogs For First-Time Owners?
Holly and Hazelnut: I would only recommend Dachshunds to a first time dog owner if they have the time to train them. If you are planning on leaving them at home all day in the beginning while you’re at work, they’re probably not the breed for you.
While you can pay between $200 and $3000 for a Dachshund puppy, you may want to consider the adoption route. Of course, it is worth checking your local animal rescue shelter to see if there any of these small little dogs looking for a forever home. You can also look to find a Dachshund Rescue online.
Dachshund Harness And Sweater
Given a Doxie’s tendency to suffer from back problems, it is advisable to search out a comfortable harness to walk the sausage dog. Given their unique body types, it is important to do research and find a harness that best suits your Doxie’s needs. Indeed, a good harness can help to reduce the strain on their neck and redistributes it across their body.
Sweaters are also popular among owners of Dachshunds. Given their deep chests, there has been a growing Instagram trend that sees this breed wear sweaters on the social media website. Indeed, there are a vast array of options for Dachshund owners.
Dachshunds remain one of the world’s most popular breeds due to their unique appearance and loving nature. If you decide to bring home a Doxie, you will be getting a caring dog that will become a great companion dog for pet owners. They generally do well with other dogs and young children, although plenty of socialisation is recommended.
One big consideration with this breed is their susceptibility to suffering back problems. It is good practice to ask your breeder about the pup’s parents before bringing your sausage dog to its forever home.
Considering the variety of sizes, coat colours and coat types, there are around 500 different types of Dachshunds to choose from, so potential owners have plenty of choice.