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Breed Profile

Breed Profile
--Written By Tiami Coleburg
--Co-Written By Karen Harkness


Owner Level:
Suitable for some first time owners.

Average Life Span:
15 years average

Average Weight:
Miniature Dachshund, weigh eleven pounds or less.
Standard Dachshund, weigh sixteen pounds or more

Color And Coat:
There are 6 colors:
Red, black & tan, chocolate, wild boar, gray and fawn, dapple.

There are 3 coat types:
Smooth, wirehaired, long.

Dachshunds are low maintenance and can be groomed at home with ease. They have minor shedding and need minimal grooming.

Typical Health Problems:
Dachshunds are in general a healthy breed. The more frequent health problems are:
  • Disc disease and disc injuries which can result in paralysis. Owners should use caution while handling, and not allow their Dachshund to jump from: Cars, furniture, beds, arms, etc. They also must be kept at a healthy weight. Because of the expense in treating this condition, pet insurance or a savings account for your Dachshund is a good idea. Owners should be very observant of changes in their companion and seek proper medical attention immediately. Just a few of the symptoms of back problems can include: Lack of appetite, stomach distress, hesitation or inability to do something they physically could do before, withdrawal from activity, unexplained squeaks or cries, weakness. If in doubt, get to your Veterinarian for an evaluation and get an x-ray. The faster this is diagnosed and properly treated, the better the outcome.

  • Teeth and gum problems. Owners must keep their dog's teeth clean, as dental problems can cause many other health problems, including: Kidney failure, heart problems, eye and sinus infections. Good dental care also helps reduce unpleasant dog breath. Yearly dental cleaning by a vet and regular brushing is recommended.
The spunky, fearless, little Dachshund are scent hounds. They were originally bred in Germany for hunting Badger. The name, Dachshund, actually means "Badger Dog". They were created with short legs so they could assist in digging fox, badgers, and rabbits out of their dens. To accomplish such tasks, they were bred with a courageous, tough, stick-to-it personality.

In more modern times, Dachshunds have happily taken on the role of companion dog. They are happiest when they are with people. They love to cuddle and be close. If a human lap is not available they like to burrow under blankets. They are very entertaining and tend to be interactive with the people they love. A squeaky toy or ball is a huge source of fun and joy for them. They are very clever and will learn to anticipate your every move. These dogs love to be the star of the show and can keep a room entertained with their antics. They like to be included in walks and can cover good distances with their noses to the ground enjoying all the scents before them.

Why are these dogs typically in animal shelters?
The Dachshund is about the 16th most popular purebred dog in America. For the year 2000, AKC stats showed this breed as having the 4th highest number of newly registered dogs, so they definitely do show up in rescue and shelters. They are well supported by breed rescue groups in many areas. They arrive at shelters and rescue because of the popularity of the breed and for a variety of other reasons:
  • This breed can be difficult to house train. These little dogs are left at shelters by owners frustrated and unprepared for the training process and the unique nature of training this breed.

  • Owners moving.

  • New baby in the house. Small child versus dog conflicts are common with this breed. The dog loses and ends up at the shelter.

  • Owner passes away or enters care facility.

  • Separation anxiety is seen in this breed. The unwilling and unknowledgeable owner often will give up on their needy charge. Separation anxiety is simply that the dog does not want to be alone or without you. Many dogs that exhibit this problem will be the best, most loving companion to humans and are very much worth the extra effort. Some separation anxiety symptoms are: Destructive behaviors, barking, potty training issues. There are many solutions to separation anxiety: More exercise, obedience training, crating, in some extreme cases drug therapy can help. See a trainer, behaviorist and veterinarian.

  • Excessive barking.

  • This breed, because of it's scent hound traits, will show up as a stray. It is not safe to leave these dogs off lead without a fence. They can also burrow and if left unattended in a fenced yard can quickly escape by going to ground.

Who should own this breed?
DachshundDachshunds can have very long lives and deserve to have an owner who is willing to make the commitment of love that they need for the duration. They are not an easy-to-train breed and can be very stubborn. They require a patient, calm, loving owner. Part of owning a Dachshund is just loving them for what they are and enjoying them for who they are. They should be well socialized and go to obedience training. They will not be the star pupil, but both owner and dog will benefit from the experience. Someone who is gone very long hours would probably not be a good match. If you have babies and small children in your future or life, think long and hard about getting a Dachshund, as this breed is not generally good with children. If you are considering a Dachshund, I recommend you contact vets in your area and get price estimates on annual medical care. In addition, find out that if the worst was to happen and your Dachshund was one of the unlucky ones to have back problems, what kind of monies should you have set aside for non-surgical and surgical treatments of those problems.

Is this breed good with children?
Children and dogs should never be left alone and unattended even for a moment. Young children do not have proper dog etiquette and dogs do not understand a child's behavior. This can result in tragedy with any breed of dog. This breed tends to not be recommended for young children. The breed's stubborn, no-nonsense nature can result in conflicts with small children. They are also vulnerable to back injuries if mishandled. Generally responsible, gentle, older children that have reached an age that is able to understand the needs and responsibility of caring for this breed will prove compatible. Like children, each dog is also different in personality, energy and patience levels. So, each dog and child relationship should be considered as individual.

Is this breed good with other dogs in general?
Dachshunds in general do well with other dogs if they have been socialized. If you are away much, they prefer to have a buddy to sit with while they await your return. Dog playmates should be selected with care for compatibility. This breed is prone to back injuries if treated roughly. They can also be rather fearless, so a dog with a more gentle nature is best. Dachshunds generally love other Dachshunds. Spaying/neutering is one of the big keys to having a dog friendly animal.

DachshundHow easy is training and house training with this breed?
Dachshunds are definitely trainable. They are not easy to train. Like humans, each dog's abilities, likes and dislikes will vary. They should be taught with gentle persistence and patience. Good training gives Dachshunds and all dogs the ability to speak the same language with us. The Dachshund is a bright little dog that, when given a task they enjoy, will grasp it quickly. The stubborn nature of the breed makes them resistant to tasks we think are more important than they do. The time required to house train a Dachshund will vary depending on each dog and on the method used. They tend to get the idea if positive methods and consistency in training are used. Crate training seems to be of great assistance for most dogs in house breaking. Dachshunds are not the easiest breed to housebreak and require a consistent schedule and behavior from the owner to develop and maintain this skill.

Socializing this breed?
DachshundSocialization is one of the necessary requirements to successful dog ownership. They should be given the social skills and maintain them on an ongoing basis. This breed enjoys outings of all types and loves to see the world. If socialized they can be a lovely traveling and house companion. A unsocialized Dachshund can exhibit aggression with strangers and be snappy with owners/family. This breed is generally a happy, outgoing, fun-loving, little dog. They are quick to give their love and for the right owner easily win your heart for life.
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