All about the dachshund

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more
  • The dachshund dog breed originated in Germany, where it was bred to hunt badger, and is still used in its native country for tracking wounded game. While in Germany, there are three sizes: standard, miniature and the even smaller “kaninchen” (rabbit dog), in the UK there is just the standard and miniature. Dachshunds come in three coat types: smooth, long and wire-haired.

    The dachshund, with its distinctive long body and short legs, holds a unique and endearing charm. Renowned for their playful and affectionate nature, these diminutive hounds are compact in size but big in personality. Their lively disposition and boundless energy make them delightful companions, always ready for a game or a cuddle. Dachshunds also possess a keen sense of loyalty, forging strong bonds with their owners, which contributes to their popularity as wonderful family pets, with the minature shorthaired coming in at number four of the most popular dog breeds in the UK.

    Beyond their charming personalities, dachshunds boast a rich history and iconic appearance that adds to their appeal. Their roots being bred as a hunting dog give them their distinctive shape, which allowed them to pursue game in narrow burrows. Today, their “sausage dog” look, with the elongated body and soulful eyes, have become iconic. This blend of charisma and history make them irresistibly charming and undeniably cute!

    Dachshund dog breed: a miniature dachshund jumping out on a walk

    Dachshunds may not be built for speed, but they have plenty of energy and tenacity

    Dachshund dog breed: fact file

    Size: small or medium (miniature and standard) – and featured in our list of the smallest dog breeds

    Daily exercise: up to an hour

    Coat: smooth, long or wire-haired, sheds.

    Colours: red, black/chocolate or dapple in all varieties. Then there are colours which are specific to certain varieties, such as cream (only in miniature smooth and long-haired), or brindle (only in standard or miniature smooth-haired or miniature long-haired). Wire-haired may be wild board or chocolate wild boar.

    Usually dark eyes, occasionally lighter with chocolate coats, or wall eyes with mottle coat.

    Lifespan: more than 12 years

    Bark: a big-dog bark in a small package

    History: bred originally in Germany where is is called the Teckel, or badger, dog, on account of their job as badger hunters. Their elongated shape makes them ideal for pursuing prey down burrows – or setts.

    Distinctive features: nicknamed the “sausage dog” on account of their long body and short legs. They typically have a bold, defiant carriage of head and an intelligent expression. A long, strong jaw, and excellent nose.

    Temperament: intelligent, lively, and brave with the occasional stubborn streak. They are faithful, friendly and adaptable in the home.

    Things to consider: due to a dachshund’s proportionally long back, they can suffer disc damage. Therefore be vigilant about obesity, as they may need help to lose weight to minimise pressure on the spine. To avoid injury, don’t allow them to run up and down stairs or jump on or off furniture – instead investigate the best pet stairs.

    As with most dogs with drop ears, you need to know how to clean your dog’s ears and be watchful for potential ear infections.

    For the miniatures, a small breed puppy food is advisable, and one of the best dog beds for small dogs.

    Training: they have an excellent sense of smell as well as a strong prey drive, so if they are on the scent of something appealing it can be a challenge to get them focused on you. Patience and consistency are key, and as they love attention and affirmation, rewards-based training tends to work well.

    Complete Guide to Miniature Dachshunds | Amazon.co.uk
    Using interviews with several top Miniature Dachshund breeders, author David Anderson has created an in-depth look at what it really takes to successfully live with, raise, and train a miniature dachshund.

    View Deal

    Complete Guide to Dachshunds | Amazon.co.uk
    This books is your road map to unlocking your Doxie’s potential. You’ll learn what to do and what not to do to ensure your canine companion’s continuing good health, as well as tips and techniques for training the stubborn dachshund.

    View Deal

    Wisdom Panel DNA collection kit | Amazon.co.uk
    Find out what breed your dog is with this kit that gives you everything you need to collect your dogs DNA and send it off. Includes a pre-paid envelope if you’re in the UK.

    View Deal

    You may also enjoy reading…

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...