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Breed Spotlight: Dachshund

A Dachsund with a flower in its mouth

You can spot one from a kilometer away: The Dachshund is one of the more unique breeds around. With their short legs and big personalities, these wonderful dogs make excellent additions to any family. Just make sure that you give them plenty of exercise and keep them at their recommended weight because they are prone to weight related health problems

Whether you’re looking to adopt a Dachshund or you’re already the proud parent of one of these lovable creature, diving into the longest dog around truly is a treat.

A Looong History of a Wonderful Dog Breed

Dachshunds, also known as wiener dogs, sausage dogs and badger hounds, originated in Germany a few hundred of years ago. They were bred to hunt burrowing animals, especially badgers. Dachshund in German means "badger dog." This unique breed is very popular partly due to their shape and partly because they just love their people!

That Special Doxie Look

Who could ever forget the distinctive look of these weiner dogs? They are one of the most uniquely shaped breeds.

The Long and Short of It

It’s hard to overlook this breed–long and short. Its sausage shape and large front paws make it ideal for descending into burrows after whatever lives underground. They rarely get taller than 9 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 7 to 15 kg. They have a deep chest so they have plenty of room for their lungs and heart. And few things are more endearing than watching their floppy ears bounce up and down as they chase after a tennis ball.

Grooming Your Dachshund

Most have short, smooth coats of black and tan or black and cream. Some have long hair or wiry hair, but these are less common. They tend to be low maintenance when it comes to their coat, so you don’t need to worry much about frequent grooming or sweeping up piles of shed hair.

Dachshunds Have a Lot of Pawsonality

A Dachshund on a colorful boardwalk

Before you bring home a Dachshund, make sure that you are up to the challenge. While they are bright, they are also strong willed–they don’t always do what their pawrents want them to do. So professional help might be needed.


These little dogs make up for size in tenacity and stubbornness. They fear little, which can be good or bad. They rarely back down from dogs 3, 4 and 5 times their size. They have been known to protect their people from large dogs even if it means great bodily harm to themselves. They are brave little dogs.


While very bright, they can be tough to train due to their strong-willed nature. They can be very stubborn. It will take a lot of time and consistency to get them to follow your rules. This even extends to potty training. So you might want to consider working with a trainer from the time that you bring your baby Doxie home.

Generally, the short-haired variety is a little easier to train, so you might want to take that into consideration as you are deciding which pup to share your life with.

Adults, Kids and Other Dogs

It is important to socialise your Doxie early in their life. They can be aggressive to adults and kids that they aren’t used to, so the more people you can introduce them to while they are still pups, the better they will behave as adults.

This is also true of other dogs and family pets. They need to know that other dogs are not threats to them or their family, so get them out to socialise with other dogs while walking or at dog parks while they are young.

If there is a cat in the family when you bring them home, make sure that they spend time together and get used to each other's company. It might not be a good idea to add a cat later–Dachshunds have a strong prey drive, and you might not be able to train that out of them.

Dachshunds Are Busy Little Pups

A Dachshund running in a field

These dogs are definitely not couch potatoes. They are full of energy and need a couple of good walks each day to keep their muscles toned and in good shape. Because of their small size, they do well in apartments and really don’t need a big yard to stay in shape.

Running and jumping are two of their favorite activities, but you shouldn’t encourage them to jump too high or too often. Even though they like to hop up and off couches and beds, it can be hard on their backs. They love games of fetch and your arm will get tired of throwing before they tire of retrieving.

Common Health Concerns for Dachshunds

In general, Doxies are healthy dogs; however, their backs can have problems. Due to their long torso, there is a lot of strain on their spines, so herniated and slipped discs can be an issue.

Strengthening Their Muscles & Keeping Them Trim

Do your best to keep them from jumping too much and on a healthy diet. You might want to provide them with a ramp to the bed or couch and teach them to use it. That will help prevent back problems. And when picking them up, remember to support their tummy. This will also help alleviate back problems.

Regular walks and physical workouts will help keep their core muscles strong, preventing many spine issues. Weight gain can also contribute to spine problems, but a proper diet and good workouts will keep them fit and trim. 

Patellar Luxation

One other problem that you might encounter is patellar luxation–that is a condition where the dog’s kneecap can be dislodged. Most of the time it is a problem caused by genetics, so talk to your breeder about this before you bring a pup home. Depending on the severity, it can be treated by medications and rest for mild cases or surgery for more severe cases. While not very common, it is a condition to be aware of.

Little Sir Barks-a-Lot

While they might be small, they pack a lot of bark. So if you are looking for a quiet canine companion, you need to know that Dachshunds love to bark. A lot! That is just part of their personality–warning you about danger and getting your attention so you will play or cuddle with them. So if you can deal with the barking, they can make a great companion.

The Dachshund: Loving, Long, and Loyal: 

A Dachshund staring off into the distance

Dachshunds can be a loving and loyal addition to your household. They love to hang out with their humans, cuddling, walking, and playing games. They will enjoy every second of time that you can give them. They are very protective of their humans as well, and will be sad every time you leave the house without them.

Dachshunds make great family dogs, just make sure that they are socialised well if there are wee ones around. And make sure that you will be able to give them all the love and attention that they crave. With a longer life expectancy than most dogs, you will have many years to share with your furry companion.