AVERAGE SIZE OF ADULT: Very Small
EXERCISE REQUIREMENT: Medium
GROOMING REQUIREMENT: Medium
AVERAGE LIFESPAN: 12-14 years
Short-legged dogs have a long history, with references to Dacksels going back to 16th century sources. The modern name, Dachshund, is a straightforward translation from the German. Badger (dachs) Dog (hund), coming together to create ‘Badgerdog’. In Germany they are known as Teckels.
These dogs were originally bred, as the name suggests, to follow quarry into their burrows, pulling the prey out and killing them. Modern descendants of the breed can still exhibit behaviours from the past. One of the more interesting ones is ‘denning’ – living in a tight enclosed space. That’s why they can be found burrowing under blankets and towels to create a den-like environment while taking a well-earned nap after a long day playing.
What’s the difference between the Standard and the Miniature Dachshund?
In the UK, the Dachshund comes in six varieties. There are two sizes, Standard and Miniature. The Standard weighs in at around 11kg, with the Miniature coming in at around half of that weight. The Standard size is considered to be the more robust of the two and therefore suited to families with children. For more information on coat varieties see the answer below.
How many varieties of coat does the Dachshund come in?
In the UK there are three distinct types of coat – smooth, long and wired. Smooth-haired Dachshund dogs require little maintenance and generally come in black, tan, red, chocolate/tan and dapple. Long-haired dogs require more grooming and commonly come in black and tan, red, chocolate tan and silver dapple. Dachshund puppies with wired-haired coats need regular stripping (at least twice a year) and come in brindle and red, chocolate/tan and dapple.
Do Dachshunds have health problems?
This is a healthy breed. However, because of the distinctive body shape, some dogs can suffer from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). There are obvious signs to look out for and avoid when buying a puppy. Steer clear of the offspring of adult dogs with exaggerated length and particularly short legs. Keeping weight within the recommended levels and discouraging sprints up and down stairs all help to minimise potential problems.
Responsible breeders will carry out tests on their stock to ‘select out’ potential inherited conditions. Breed club secretaries are always on hand to help point potential purchasers towards breeders that follow ethical guidelines.
Do Dachshunds need a lot of exercising?
One hour of exercise a day should suffice. An exercised dog will be mentally more alert and less likely to develop negative behaviours such as barking.
Beware of exercising your Dachshund puppy too much, as at a young age they are still growing and you may damage the puppy.
Do Dachshunds make good pets?
Despite their size, Dachshunds are outgoing and bold characters. They do have a reputation for being barkers, something that needs to be addressed while young. The Miniatures are more suited to quieter households and do not require as much exercise as the Standard size dogs.
How do I find the right Dachshund puppy?
Dachshunds have become very popular pets, which attracts unscrupulous individuals just interested in making money. When looking around, be sure to ask the breeder lots of questions. They should be very knowledgeable about the breed and the recommended health tests that are advised by the Kennel Club. If they seem unsure keep well clear. In return, expect the breeder to be interested in the purchaser’s intentions and suitability. They will want to feel confident that the puppy is going to a good home. Always visit the puppy and see how it interacts with the mother and their siblings. A healthy puppy should be a good weight, not pot-bellied, with no sign of disease. Coughs, runny noses and eyes are all signs of trouble. Housing conditions should be spotless and look for happy puppies ready to play and be handled.
Should I buy a dog or bitch Dachshund?
This is down to personal preference – there is little difference in terms of size or temperament between the two. Females obviously have particular physiological traits. They come into season twice a year and can be prone to false pregnancies, coming into milk and exhibiting behaviours associated with real pregnancies.
Many owners choose to spay or neuter their pets. While these procedures can be carried out at very early age, it’s best to consult with both the breeder and vet to establish an optimum time for the operations. Recent research has shown that that there may be health benefits to leaving the decision until after the dog has passed through puberty. Health conditions that might be positively reduced by choosing this route include the possible reduction in certain cancers. Most owners however choose to neuter or spay because they want to avoid unplanned litters and in male dogs there is evidence that it decreases aggressive tendencies.
Any procedure at the vets should not be undertaken lightly. Some veterinary clinics will insist on keeping your pet overnight after spaying. There may be post-surgery discomfort and pain medication is often provided. Activity should be restricted for up to 10 days while healing takes place.
Adopting a Dachshund and Other Organisations
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