Dachshund Breed Information

Dachshund Breed Information

Being one of the most easily recognizable breeds out there today, the Dachshund is full of personality and energy that can keep you on your toes. Originally bred for hunting badgers, weasels and other burrowing animals, Dachshunds have since become one of the top companion dogs out there.

With standard size Dachshunds weighing up to 30 pounds, and the smaller 12 pound range of the Miniature version being more common, the Dachshund makes a suitable lap dog or couch buddy. Their long body and short legs gives them a comedic look which many people adore and some people are not entirely sure about. But regardless of how you view their physical traits, the personality of a Dachshund can turn anyone into a fan!

These little scent hounds are very intelligent, with a slight stubborn streak. This makes them versatile enough to happily thrive in a wide range of living situations. As a result, their appeal as a household companion is almost second to none!

If you’re looking for a dog in a smaller package, that has plenty of energy and loves being near you at all times, the Dachshund might just be the perfect breed for you.





Space Needed

Large Garden

Life Span

Large Garden

Exercise Required

1 - 2 hours per day


1 - 2 hours per day


Known by a variety of names including doxie, wiener dog, sausage dog, and dotson, the popular Dachshund has had a long and interesting history. Originating in Germany where the name literally translates into “badger dog,” the doxie was bred to be bold and aggressive when entering the burrows of badgers, weasels and even foxes.

Throughout the 1800’s, they were used less and less for hunting and instead became more of a companion animal for royalty and commoners alike. However, during World War 1, the popularity of the breed took a nosedive due to its relation to Germany. Owners of these dogs in the US and UK during the time were often branded as traitors to the country, and the dogs were abused or even killed when found.

While this was the low point for the breed, the hatred towards them didn’t last long. As years went by after World War I, the popularity of the Dachshund started to grow again. Breeders in the United States once again started to obtain dogs from the UK and worked to rebuild the bloodline in the states.

Historical Timeline

  • 1500’s: Illustrations show a similar version of today’s Dachshund chasing badgers and weasels into their burrows.
  • 1879: The first version of the breed standard was written for the Dachshund.
  • 1885: The first Dachshunds were registered with the AKC after several were imported from England into America.
  • 1895: The Dachshund Club of America was first founded.
  • 1972: A Dachshund named Waldi was used as the official mascot for the Summer Olympics in Germany.
  • 1913: The breed was one of the more popular breeds at the Westminster show two years in a row.
  • 1915: The popularity of the breed started to fall during World War 1 due to its German origins and many were killed.
  • Today: Dachshunds are an extremely popular companion breed and are one of the top 10 breeds in many national dog shows.

While the early history of the Dachshund and how it exactly came to be the breed we know today is a bit fuzzy, there is no debating that the breed itself is one of the most beloved smaller dog breeds.

Temperament & Personality

Anyone that has spent any time with a Dachshund will tell you they are lively, curious, energetic little balls of mischief that can make you laugh and sigh in frustration at the same time. Their comedic antics will keep you laughing, but their intelligence and curiosity can get them into trouble when they raid your cabinets or tip over the trash can.

They love small toys that squeak, grunt, or chirp and will spend hours trying to rip them apart. This is plenty of fun for the doxie, but can be frustrating for you when you’re cleaning up little bits of stuffing from all over the room.

Dachshunds are very adaptable dogs, which means they can adjust to a wide range of living conditions. They do exceptionally well in larger homes where they have some room to romp around, but can also fit perfectly well into small apartments as long as they are given daily walks.

Their overall temperament should be lively, entertaining, curious, and energetic. If you are selecting your puppy from the litter, keep an eye out for those traits. Doxie puppies that are acting shy or timid are not a typical personality trait of the breed and may be showing signs of stress or anxiety instead.

When broken down into their coat types, many people find their longhair Dachshunds to be the much calmer and more laid back type of the three. The wirehaired type have terrier in their genetic background so can be full of mischief and energy. The most common coat type of the smooth is said to be an equal mix of both, with a little bit of mischief and energy and an equal measure of calmness when relaxing at home with their humans.

While Dachshunds have loads of energy, it comes in bursts. For some of the time, they can seem like very lazy dogs. However, since obesity can cause spinal issues, it’s important that you encourage your doxie to remain active and playful as often as possible to keep them at a healthy weight.

Aggression Levels

Dachshunds are not aggressive by nature, but can be very much a “one person dog.” This means, if the doxie chooses you as his number one human, he can be somewhat reluctant to give affection to someone else.

This may manifest in nipping at someone who wants to shake your hand or hug you, barking at someone talking to you or coming close to you, or other inappropriate behaviours. It’s important that you teach your doxie limits from an early age. Proper socialization can be done with puppy classes or simply showing the Dachshund that you aren’t going to be abducted by someone coming in for a hug or handshake.

Preventing Boredom

Due to their intelligence, Dachshunds can get bored easily if not given enough mental stimulation. Durable toys, brain-teaser treat toys, and interaction from you can all help relieve boredom.

When a doxie gets bored, its behaviours can change and become destructive. Digging is one of the ways they will use to relieve boredom which can be disastrous in your backyard but can also ruin carpeting and couch cushions indoors too.

If you need to leave your Dachshund unattended while you work or attend school, it’s important to ensure your home is puppy-proof and secure. A bored doxie can get into all kinds of trouble in the cabinets and pantry if he has access.

Being Around Children

When introduced properly and early on, Dachshunds can be a very good playmate for children, however, they may not be as fond of your child’s friends that visit on occasion. Dachshunds build strong relationships with their close family but will shun outsiders entirely.

When a doxie and children share the same home, be sure your children know how to properly play with the dog. Since they have long backs and short legs, they can be injured if play gets too rough or if a child is holding the dog and drops it. 

Always supervise the interactions between your children and your doxie to ensure both sides enjoy the experience.

Being Around Other Pets

Since Dachshunds were bred for hunting, they can show some behaviours that you might not want around other pets. For example, doxie’s history has them specifically chasing badgers, weasels, rabbits, and foxes. 

If you have a pet ferret, hedgehog, rabbit, guinea pig, or other small mammals, your Dachshund may attempt to show hunting behaviour towards this pet. It’s very important that your new doxie is introduced to other pets in the family from an early age and is taught to tolerate their presence as a member of the pack.

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Dachshunds are a very smart breed, but can also be slightly stubborn. They are independent and don’t always depend on having you around, but this can get them into trouble if they are left unsupervised. 

It’s important to start training your doxie right from the start. Use a positive reinforcement training plan and encourage the behaviours you want to see while ignoring the ones you don’t. Due to their intelligence and emotional sensitivity, Dachshunds don’t do well with scolding or physical punishment.

Being patient with your little hound during training is important. You also need to keep in mind that a Dachshund has a very strong prey drive which helps them maintain focus on certain things. If they see something more interesting in the area, they may lose their focus on you.

Puppy Training & Socialization

As with all breeds, early socialization and puppy training classes can be an excellent way to introduce your new doxie to a wide range of different sights, sounds and smells. It will also give him a chance to meet new people and other dogs and can help him learn to be friendly with everyone he meets.

Dachshunds are not made to be guard dogs, but they can be very much a “one person dog” meaning that you belong to them. As such, they may be a bit “nippy” with someone coming into your space. Early socialization can help nip this issue in the bud and help your doxie grow into a well-rounded individual.


While they might not look like the most active dogs around, Dachshunds love to be active. However, they don’t need to be incredibly active and a simple daily walk can help fill their need to be outside and active.

Due to their physical structure, excessive exercise and activities should be kept to a minimum. While doxie’s can run, they are not able to run for long distances, so if you are looking for a jogging partner a Dachshund may not be the best choice. In addition, swimming is not one of their strongest traits either. If you plan on spending a day at the lake with your favourite wiener dog, be sure he is wearing a flotation device.

Indoor exercise can be done in the form of play with ball toys or rope toys. Always try to limit your dog from getting too rambunctious and jumping onto and off of furniture as this can lead to back injuries. Additionally, homes with a lot of interior stairs should keep the stairs closed off from the Dachshund to prevent him from excessively running up and down them and potentially being injured.

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Food & Nutrition

Dachshunds love to eat, but due to their physical build, an overweight doxie is extremely dangerous for their skeletal structure. The long back is not built to support the weight of a large belly, so it’s up to you to ensure your doxie remains within its proper weight limit and gets ample amounts of exercise to burn off excess calories.

While the amount of food your doxie eats per day will depend on their size, activity level, age, and metabolism, the general recommended daily amount is around 1 cup per day. This should be a high-quality dry kibble broken up into two meals throughout the day.

Table scraps can be offered but should be limited. Dachshunds will try almost anything you offer them, so make sure what you offer is healthy and beneficial. Fruits such as blueberries, apples, and watermelon can be a nice little snack to offer your four-legged friend.

If offering meat such as turkey or chicken, ensure it has very little fat and no cooked bones present. Bones can cause a choking hazard when they splinter, and may even lead to cuts or punctures in the throat or stomach when ingested. 

Optional Supplements

Many Dachshunds can benefit from the addition of vitamins and supplements in their diet. Supplements can be helpful if your dog suffers from skin conditions, joint issues, or other minor ailments. Some of the most commonly offered supplements for Dachshund include:

  • Glucosamine: One of the more popular supplements for doxies, the entire purpose of adding glucosamine is to improve joint health and bone structure. This is especially important for the Dachshund’s long back and short legs.
  • Cod Liver Oil: An excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, fish oil is great for joint health and support. It’s an extremely common supplement for older doxies and can even help reduce the dog’s proclivity to disc degeneration.

While the above supplements can be helpful for some dogs to live a long, happy, pain-free life, they can be unnecessary for others. Talk with your veterinarian to come up with a specific supplement plan for your individual Dachshund.

Health & Care

Dachshunds are, in general, a very healthy breed. They can live up to 16 years when given proper care and can be a very active and fun members of your family throughout the years.

One of the biggest health concerns with doxies is related to the spine. Slipped discs, compressed discs and other disc diseases can be common in energetic dogs, as well as dogs that are too overweight. 

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Having such a long spine set atop short little legs, Dachshunds are more prone to back problems than some other breeds may be. Disc injury and degeneration can be due to a number of factors including genetics, jumping onto or off of furniture, falling off of furniture, or playing too rough.

Symptoms of disc disease can include partial or total paralysis in the rear legs, the inability to jump or walk up and down stairs, and loss of bladder or bowel control. If you notice any of these signs in your doxie, it’s important to talk with your vet to determine a course of treatment.

Treatment can be as simple as limiting movement and access to jumping onto furniture or may require surgery and your doxie ending up in a wheelchair made for small dogs. You may also see positive results when contacting dog-specific chiropractors, physical therapists, or acupuncturists. 

Hearing Loss and Deafness

While deafness is not common in the breed itself, it can be a regular occurrence in a certain colouration. Double dapple and some merle colourations have genetics that leads to hearing loss or deafness from birth or an early age.

Many breeders that work with these colourations will test their breeding stock and all puppies for their hearing abilities. If you are considering adding a double dapple, merle or white-coloured doxie to your family, be sure you ask the breeder if they have tested their dogs’ hearing abilities.

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Dachshunds come in three coat types; smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired. Each coat type requires a slightly different care routine when it comes to brushing and bathing. Overall, however, doxies are very low-maintenance dogs and can be great for someone that doesn’t have the time or interest in spending hours brushing out a coat.

For the smooth-coated type, their short hairs can look perfectly sleek and clean with just a simple wipe down with a moist cloth or glove. Brushing should be done regularly to prevent excessive shedding all over the furniture, but this takes only a few minutes and can be done with a glove brush or a soft bristle brush.

Since the smooth-coated type has such short and fine hairs, they will not be able to properly remain warm in the winter. If you live in a cold climate, it’s important to get your four-legged friend a nice warm sweater to wear when they go outside.

Long Haired types will need more regular brushing to prevent heavy shedding and matting of the coat. Monthly brushing is recommended, though a quick weekly brushing is excellent for exceptionally long coats. You may need to consider trimming up the fringe so it doesn’t drag the ground as much, as well as the private areas so they remain clean.

A wirehaired doxie’s coat should be hand stripped every few months to keep the coat looking its best. This is a quick and simple process that won’t take much time, making the wirehaired Dachshund a great option for someone that simply doesn’t have time to maintain a longer and more luxurious coat.


Dachshunds will not normally need bathing unless they get into something they shouldn’t such as mud or something smelly. Since they come in three coat types, the long-haired doxie may need regular bathing to ensure their coat and skin remain healthy.

The smooth coat and wirehaired coat won’t need regular bathing, however a monthly bath can help remove excess dead skin cells, shed hair, and help balance the pH of their skin for a healthier body overall.

Tooth Care

Brushing your dog’s teeth is a great way to prevent tartar and plaque buildup. It promotes good gum health as well and can prevent many dental issues over time.

Try using a dog-specific toothpaste and soft bristle brush to clean their teeth on a regular basis. While some veterinarians and groomers recommend daily brushing, some dogs simply won’t tolerate it this often and weekly brushing is best. 

Ear Care

Like all dogs with droopy ears, you will need to ensure the inside of the ear remains dry and clean. Moistness in the ears can lead to fungus infections, bacterial growth, and other issues.

Keep your doxie’s ears clean by using a dog-specific ear cleaner once a week to thoroughly wipe the inner ear and underside of the floppy ears too. This will not only help remove excess build up like dirt and shed skin but can also put a quick stop to bacterial or fungal issues that may just be starting.

Toenail Clipping

If you hear a slight tip-tap on the floor when your doxie walks, it might be time to trim their toenails. This should normally be done at least once a month, though twice a month is even better if your dog will allow it.

Try to introduce your Dachshund to toenail trimming at a young age. This can make the whole process easier and less stressful. If your doxie is foot-shy, spend some time picking up and touching the feet and each toe so they learn to tolerate the process.

Learn More About Dachshunds