Breed Guide: Dachshund

Dachshund Breed Guide

The Dachshund breed is renowned for its bubbly and active personality. This unique, small little dog has quickly become a favourite among the UK population and around the world. What sets the Dachshund apart from other breeds is that despite its small build, it loves to keep active and could always exercise for as long as his owner desires. However, the Dachshund is renowned for being stubborn, which means as puppies they are not the easiest to house train and this may put first time buyers off the breed.

The Dashchund breed’s homeland is Germany. In Germany they were bred to hunt, and as such the breed loves to find strong scents. There are 6 different types of Daschund and all are very playful and loyal characters that love a family environment, and that is why they are one of the popular breeds in the UK and around the world. 

Key Breed Facts

  • A popular dog breed in the UK and around the world.
  • Nicknames – Sausage dog, Standard Dachshund, Dackel, Teckel and Weenie Dog.
  • Life Span: 12 to 13 years.
  • Weight: 9 - 12 kg.
  • Average Price: £1,250 for KC Registered Dachshunds, and £800 for Non KC Registered Dachshunds.

Characteristics

Positives ✅

  • Loving and loyal breed.
  • Very intelligent, Dachshunds learn from a young age and know how to please their owners.
  • Fun and playful attitude.
  • They like to be entertained, and are very energetic.
  • Dachshunds are very low maintenance dogs.

Negatives ⛔️

  • Not a preferable breed for a first time owner as Dachshunds often do not listen to their owners, and can be quite over-protective if they do not socialise from a young age.
  • Can be hard to housetrain despite their intelligence.
  • The breed can often be quite stubborn.
  • Owners must be careful with puppies, making sure they do not jump up onto anything, or down from anywhere as this could damage the back, or their joints.
  • Dachshunds can easily put on weight if they do not get enough daily exercise.
  • Can be excessive barkers if not taught as a puppy not to bark.
  • Dachshunds can have considerable vet bills due to health concerns sio pet insurance is very important as a Dachshund owner.

History

The Dachshund breed originates from Germany at the beginning of the 15th century. The breed was bred to hunt animals such as rabbits and badgers; which gave it the name Dachshund as it translates to “badger dog”. However, Dachshunds did also hunt much bigger animals. It is interesting to know that there is evidence of similar dogs in Ancient EGypt and in ancient Mexican artworks.

German Dachshund breeders purposefully bred the breed to have low, long bodies so that they were perfect for the hunting role they were used for in the early 18th century. This meant that over time they lost the longer legs and shorter ears, and developed the standard smaller shape with floppy ears that the breed is renowned for today.

In the 19th century the breed was very popular in the UK, with the Prince Consort given Dachshunds by Prince Edward in 1840; with these Dachshunds kept in Windsor Castle. The first Dachshunds show took place in 1859 in England, and continued royal support, including support from Queen Victoria herself allowed for the breed to grow in popularity.

In the late 19th century, Dachshunds also became popular in America, and the Dachshund Club of America was founded in 1895. Through World War I the breed’s popularity fell due to anti-German propaganda, however the breed’s popularity quickly bounced back at the end of the war! During World War II the active campaigning of the Dachshund Club of America prevented the decline of the breed’s popularity through anti-German propaganda for a second time. One such campaign included calling the Dachshund the “Liberty Hounds”. 

In the present day, the Dachshund is popular in the UK, in America, and across the globe, with the American Kennel Club ranking it the 13th most popular breed in the USA and pets4homes ranking the breed 14th in the UK.

Caring

Like all breeds, Dachshunds should be groomed regularly to make sure their coats and skin are maintained, and in good condition. Dachshunds also need regular daily exercise so that they maintain a healthy weight, and stay fit. As with other breeds they should be given high quality food to help with their dietary needs, so that they stay healthy well into their adult years.

Caring for a Dachshund puppy

Dachshund puppies are a bundle of joy, and will need a properly set up home for the first weeks that it is in its new environment. Make sure for the first week there is someone at home to comfort the puppy. Your home should be set up to ensure the puppy cannot roam freely, and cannot chew on any electric wires; this can be done with a child gate or puppy-proofing the house by keeping him locked in a room or two. You could also spend some money on a good quality dog playpen so that your puppy can enjoy himself while being in a safe environment that you can easily manage. You should also have a quiet area for your puppy to go to sleep as puppies often need 21 hours of sleep in any one day. However make sure that this is no ttoo out of the way so the puppies always know their owner is around and that they are safe.

The best way to care for your Dachshund puppy is to housetrain from the very first day. As the owner you should always be wary of when they need the toilet and preferably let them outside to do their business. As Dachshunds are quite hard to train this can often be challenging, but perseverance always succeeds, so with a little effort you will be able to house train your dog to do its business wherever you desire.

Things you'll need for your puppy

As a Dachshund puppy owner you will also need to invest in some new essentials for your new young dog, these should include (but are not limited to):

  • Food and water bowls 
  • A collar of the right size - as Dachshunds are stubborn it is essential you find the right collar, or use a harness, so that your dog is comfortable.
  • A dog friendly play area
  • A child gate if you are finding it hard to keep your puppy in a specific area of your house.
  • Dog toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Dog grooming kit; including shampoo, conditioner and a dog brush.

Older Dachshunds

Dachshunds are prone to spinal problems, this means when they get a bit older, dogs of this breed can develop arthritis so you should get them regularly checked by your local vet. They can also develop weaker immune systems so it is important to get their health checked regularly. 

Grooming

Dachshunds are great small dogs as they are low maintenance due to their very short fur coats. This means a quick brush every so often is all they need. Owners should recognise that the breed loves physical contact though, so if you have time to give your Dachshund a groom every day, you could develop a lovely bond with your dog, especially if you do this from your Dachshund’s puppy years.

To do this, you should teach your puppy that grooming is a fun experience from an early age so that they always want to be brushed and do not get agitated when you brush them, or clean them. Some grooming equipment that might come in useful include: A slicker/bristle brush, a chamois leather and some good quality dog specific shampoo and conditioner.

Exercise

Despite Dachshund being very small dogs, they do need a lot of daily exercise to keep them pleased and to make sure they do not gain any weight so that they stay healthy. Dachshunds should get a minimum of 1 hour per day. Ideally you should take your dog out on multiple walks a day with a longer 45 min+ walk in the afternoon. A good way to do this is to set up a routine and stick to it. For example, wake up at 6am to walk your dog for 30 minutes before work and then walk your dog for 45 minutes the minute you get back from work in the evening. This will make walking your dog less of a chore and make it feel like walking your dog is a necessary part of your day. If you do not walk your dog enough, on top of weight issues, you can also get unwanted behavioural problems including separation anxiety.

If you have a big garden that is a plus as they can be let outside to use up some of their energy without the need for a long walk. Always make sure that the fencing is very secure as Dachshunds are clever and small dogs so could try and escape if they are in a particular mood.

Training

The best way to care for your Dachshund puppy is to house train them from the very first day. You should teach your Dachshund to respect you (when you say “no!” they should stop!).  As the owner you should also always be wary of when they need the toilet and preferably let them outside to do their business. As Dachshunds are quite hard to train this can often be challenging, but perseverance always succeeds, so with a little effort you will be able to house train your dog to do its business wherever you desire.

You should also train your Dachshund to get on well socially with other strangers and animals. This is done by exposing your dog to strangers and other animals from a young age.

Feeding

When you get your Dachshund from a breeder, they should give you a routine to stick to when feeding your puppy. You should stick to a routine of type of dog food and when your dog is eating to avoid tummy problems. Dachshunds prefer a high quality and varied diet like most dogs, and should be fed 2 to 3 times a day.

Dachshund puppies should be given between 55g and 190g through their early years, depending on weight and size. Then from 11 months onwards (adult) a rough guide is 130kg to 155kg for 9kg Dachshunds, and 152kg to 178kg for 12kg Dachshunds.

Best dog food for a Dachshund-

Dogs need a varied diet just like humans. It is best to have high quality food for the extra vitamins and minerals. Experts suggest dry food over wet food however if your dog doesn't like dry food, wet food is still a good source of energy and nutrients for your dog. Dry food is often cheaper and is easy to be rewarded as a treat which is why it is more widely used. The average cost of food per month to get the best quality food your dog needs will be around £25 a month.

How do I know if my Dachshund is underweight or overweight?

The ideal weight for a standard Dachshund is between 9kg and 12kg. Of course weight depends on the build of a dog but if you can easily feel the ribcage, spine, shoulder blades and hip bones; your dog may be underweight. Your dog may be overweight if you cannot feel his ribs at all, and if you can see rolls of fat on his shoulders or neck. You can weigh your Dachshund on a weighing scale, or at the vets to keep track of any major weight fluctuations.

It is important to keep your Dachshunds weight healthy to avoid serious health problems and so that he is happy. If you think your dog is not a healthy weight, changing the amount of exercise a dog gets, or changing his food quantity will often help; or, you can take him to the vets!

Buying Advice

If you are considering buying a puppy there are many things you need to ask, whether you are a seller or a breeder. General advice for all dogs includes making sure the dog is microchipped and seeing the puppy alongside its mother.

There are also more specific questions a buyer should ask a breeder when buying a Dachshund:

  • Make sure to check all the dog’s documentation e.g. vaccination and microchip records to confirm the dog is from a reputable breeder. Due to the breed's popularity, many amateur breeders try to breed them quickly for a profit with no regard for the puppies welfare.
  • Certain coloured Dachshunds are not desirable. Colours such as blue and lilac are often said to be ‘rare’ by breeders when in fact they should be avoided and reported to authorities. This is because the Kennel Club has strict rules on coat colours as some coloured Dachshunds are often associated with health issues.
  • Always see the puppy before buying so that you cannot be scammed online. You should always visit the Dachshund at the last owners house to make sure they are not scamming, and note their home address just in case.

 

Charlie Warren

Author : Charlie Warren

Number of posts: 3

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