The Dachshund is an intriguing breed, not just for their unique body shape but for their lively and often amusing temperament. Their devotion to those who love them is second to none.
Dachshunds are not only well known as scent dogs where historically they were used to track and kill badgers. Their small long bodies allowed them to enter burrows with great ease and catch their prey. Although these little guys are great show dogs they are not the breed for you if you're looking to do any agility!
Dachshund come in a variety of colours including black and tan, cream, red, dapple, piebald, brindle and sable. Coat types include short haired, longhaired, medium-long, smooth and wired. There are two sizes recognised, standard and miniature although there are some who also recognise the Toy variety. They have a weight range of between 7- 13kg standard, 4-5kg miniature and 3.5-5kg toy. Their height range of between 20 - 27cm, standard, 13-18cm miniature, 30cm toy. They have a life expectancy of 12-15 years.
The Dachshund are prone to a number of health concerns including Spinal disc problems, urinary tract issues, heart disease and Diabetes.
Dachshunds tend to be lively, brave and amusing, they are devoted companions but can be unpredictable at times with strangers and other dogs. Early training is a must for these little guys, puppy school with smaller breeds (big breeds can damage their confidence) They should be well socialised to ensure they don't become timid. This breed is not the easiest to train so you need to be dedicated and consistent.
Dachshunds are great indoor dogs and can be a little precious when it comes to inclement weather but they do tolerate a small backyard stint.
If you're looking for a fun, active, clever, adorable breed then the dachshund could be for you. They do have great stamina so they'll definitely keep you on your toes. Depending on hair type, grooming is either twice a year or for smooths, a regular rub down.
As scent dogs, these guys can be kept occupied by designing enrichment activities that use their natural instinct, the nose!
If your lifestyle suits and you're a committed owner then the dachshund is a great choice. I know, I'm the proud parent of Daphne, our gorgeous miniature dachshund. (She's all over this website!)
All opinions, advice and observations are my own and based on my work as a teacher, facilitator, community development manager and owner and friend to Pixie, Sulu, Woody, Max and Daphne over a lifetime.