Dachshund

Dachshunds are lovable, independent little dogs with a distinctive, long body and short legs. They have an independent but loyal nature and a bright personality.
Recommended forSingles and families
Breed ClassificationHound
Other namesDoxie, sausage dog
Lifespan14-16 years
SizeSmall
TemperamentAffectionate, independent, loyal, brave
IntelligenceAbove average
Tendency to barkHigh
Maintenance LevelMedium
Health RiskThis breed has an around average probability of having health issues in its lifetime, hence it is one of the more affordable breeds to insure.

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Dachshund dog breed Bow Wow Meow

Breed history of Dachshunds

The Dachshund emanated from Germany where they were known as “badger dogs”.  In fact the word ‘dachs’ translate to badger and the word ‘hund’ means dog in German. There are illustrations of Dachshunds dating back to the 15th Century. There are also documents that talk about the breed of dog called the earth dog, dachsel and badger creeper.

Because of their low, flat body, Dachshunds were used for hunting foxes as they could crawl into their dens.  At the time, the size of the Dachshund varied and larger dogs were used to catch badgers and track wild boar and the smaller dogs were used to hunt foxes and deer and sometimes rabbits. The dog became known as the ‘Teckel’ to German foresters during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The breed was refined in Germany over a number of years. Although it has never been firmly established which breed or breeds were used to develop the Dachshund, it is speculated that the smooth-haired breed was created by crossing the Braque, the Pinscher and a small terrier. Some believe that the French Basset Hound was also considered to be part of the Dachshund’s heritage. Dachshunds with long coats were thought to have developed by crossing the dogs with spaniels and the wired-haired Dachshunds most likely emanated from crossing the dog with wire-haired terriers.

During the 1800’s, Dachshunds breeders began to breed them for pets rather than as hunters. They were loved by the people of Great Britain and were a favourite of Queen Victoria.  Their popularity resulted in the breeding of smaller Dachshunds, resulting in the Standard-sized and Miniature Dachshund that we know today.

During World Wars 1 and II, the Dachshund’s popularity floundered in the United Kingdom because of their association with Germany. They regained popularity in the 1950’s and have remained popular around the world ever since, including Australia.

Physical description of Dachshunds

The Dachshund is a small, long-bodied dog with short, muscular legs. They have a long muzzle and almond shaped eyes that can either be dark red or black-brown. Dachshunds come in two sizes: Standard and Miniature.

There are three varieties of Dachshund coat types: smooth-haired, long-haired and wire-haired. The smooth-haired Dachshund’s coat is short, dense, sleek and shiny and is probably the best known, having been popularised in the media. The long-haired coat is soft and straight or slightly wavy, being longer under the neck, the underparts of the body and behind the legs where it forms abundant feathering, and on the tail  where it forms a flag. The wire-haired Dachshund has a close-fitting, straight, harsh double coat with a goatee beard and bushy eyebrows.

Dachshunds can come in a variety of colours including red or cream, black and chocolate, dapple, sable, piebald, brindle, and wild boar. Short-haired Dachshunds are usually black, chocolate, wild boar, grey or fawn with tan or cream markings.

Weight range9 to 12 kg
Height range20 to 27 cm
ColoursAll colours except white. The dominant color in the breed is red, followed by black and tan.
Coat lengthShort or medium

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Dachshund personality and temperament

Despite its independent nature, Dachshunds make great family pets and devoted, loyal companions. They also make wonderful pets for older people as they don’t require a huge amount of exercise.

Doxies, as they are affectionately known, have loveable temperament and a bright personality. They love nothing more than curling up under a blanket with their owners. Because they are very social, they want to be with their humans having regular interaction with them, and don’t do well as outdoor dogs.

Being lively and vigilant, with a big-dog bark, Dachshunds make excellent watchdogs. Bred to be an independent hunter of dangerous prey, they can be brave to the point of rashness, with a big attitude and stubbornness to match. They can be standoffish towards strangers and may growl or bark at them.

Dachshunds don’t need a lot of space and make ideal apartment dogs as long as they can get the attention and exercise they need. Leaving a Dachshund for alone for long periods of time can lead to them becoming anxious and vocal.

Wake up call. Dog(dachund) wakes up the sleeping boy.

Dachshunds with kids and other pets

Dachshunds are very tolerant and loyal to children within their family. While they are suitable for families, Dachshunds may not be the best pets for families with small children, however, because their long backs can easily be injured if they are not handled with care.

Well-trained Dachshunds usually get along fine with well-behaved children. Otherwise, they may be aggressive and bite an unfamiliar child, especially one that moves quickly around them or teases them.

Dachshunds are pack animals who need to have regular companionship and they enjoy the company of other dogs, particularly that of other Dachshunds.

Dachshund Exercise

Dachshund training and exercise

Dachshunds’ bodies are not built for distance running, leaping, or strenuous swimming, but nevertheless, these tireless hounds thrive on exercise and do require a daily walk. They make suitable companions for older people as they don’t require an exessive amount of exercise. It’s recommended to keep them on the lead during walks because they have a strong hunting drive and are likely to take off if they catch a scent.

It is essential that Dachshunds get regular exercise not only to stay fit, but also to build strong muscles that will support and protect their back. To avoid injury to its back, never allow a Dachshund to run up and down stairs or jump on or off furniture or other high places.

Dachshunds are very intelligent but are also independent and often stubborn, so they can be challenging to train. Patience and persistence are key. They love to give and receive affection, and do best with positive, reward-based training. Being sensitive creatures, they will not react well to harsh commands or punishment.

Energy levelHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium

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Red smooth-haired dachshund on green grass

Dachshund feeding and nutrition

Dachshunds should do well on a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level.

This breed is prone to weight problems, particularly if overfed and/or under-exercised. They love food and tend to want to eat anything in sight. However, it is extremely important that the Dachshund does not become overweight. This is not only because of general health reasons, but also to avoid straining the Dachshund’s long back by carrying excess weight around, which can lead to spinal injuries.

Be vigilant in monitoring your Dachshund’s calorie consumption and weight level and only provide the recommended portion size at meal times. Keep foodstuffs well out of the dog’s reach, and be aware that treats and table scraps can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Always check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

Dachshund Puppies on the sandy background

Dachshund care and grooming

Dachshunds’ grooming needs vary depending on their coat type. The smooth-haired coat doesn’t require much mored than a weekly brush and/or a wipe with a towel to maintain. The long-haired coat requires more frequent brushing, depending on the thickness of the coat, to keep it in top condition. For the wire-haired coat, plucking or hand-stripping several times a year will keep it looking its best, and maintenance between groomings of occasional trimming of the beard and eyebrows and weekly or twice weekly brushing or combing.

All coat types are moderate shedders, relatively clean, and have little or no body odour. The breed’s pendulous ears make them susceptible to ear infections, and should therefore be cleaned weekly.

Health issues for Dachshunds

  • Intervertebral Disc Disorder (IVDD) is a condition that occurs when the discs between the vertebra become damaged.. In dogs, there are two primary disorders that can affect the intervertebral discs, namely, a herniated disc or intervertebral disc disease. In these conditions, the disc or discs can become displaced, deteriorated, collapsed, bulging or protruding, causing pain and neurological problems. Hansen Type I IVDD is an acute, progressive chondroid (cartilage) degeneration of the disc that commonly affects the Dachshund, with Miniature Dachshunds having a lifetime prevalence of about 20%.
  • Epilepsy, a general term for neurological disorders that bring on sudden and repeated seizures, can occur in Dachshunds; it can either be hereditary or the result of a knock to the head.  Symptoms can vary depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the seizures. Epilepsy is typically a chronic disease requiring life-long treatment and care.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy refers to a family of inherited eye conditions which lead to the gradual deterioration of the retina, causing first night blindness, then full blindness. There is no cure, but many dogs adapt easily to the loss of sight and can lead relatively normal lives, as long as their environment does not change too drastically.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, also known as bloat, is a potentially deadly condition. Risk is increased if the dog is fed one large meal a day, eats quickly, drinks large amounts of water or exercises after eating. The stomach twists, making the dog unable to belch or vomit to get rid of excess air, and as a result the blood supply to the heart is impaired. Unless immediately attended to, the dog may die. Symptoms of bloat include a distended belly, excessive drooling, dry having, restlessness, exhaustion, weakness and a quick heart rate.
  • Cushings Disease, orHyperadrenocorticism, is one of the most common endocrine disorders that affects dogs. Characterised primarily by overproduction of the hormone cortisol, this condition can occur as the result of an imbalance in the pituitary or adrenal gland or when the dog has too much cortisol as the result of other conditions.  The symptoms of this disease include excess urination and excess drinking.
  • Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when the body cannot regulate blood levels. Diabetes in dogs is classified as Type 1 or Type 2, as it is for humans. Affected dogs do not lose their appetite, but will often lose weight, urinate a lot and get thirsty often. It is treated with a special diet and insulin.

Not all conditions are covered by Pet Insurance. For details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.

Pet Talk

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Dachshund facts!

  • The oldest Dachshund recorded lived to 23 years old.
  • The nickname in Australia for the Dachshund is the ‘sausage dog’.
  • With their excellent scenting ability, Dachshunds can track a scent that is more than a week old.
  • Their powerful front paws make them great diggers, so in the garden they require secure fencing right to or below ground level.
  • They will eat almost anything so be sure to removee any toxic plants from the garden or house.
  • Their hunting instincts makes them susceptible to snakes and cane toads in areas where these are found.
  • They have very powerful jaws so never give them soft or squeaky toys to chew, as they will devour them in record time.

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MORE INFORMATION

The Dachshund Club of Queensland:   https://dachshundclub.com.au/

The Dachshund Club of NSW Inc:   http://www.dachshundclub.org.au/

The Dachshund Club of Victoria Inc: http://www.dachshundaustralia.org.au/

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