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Dachshund 101

Standard Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers. Miniature Dachshunds were bred to hunt smaller game. The name Dachshund means “badger dog,” badger is “dachs” and hound is “hund”. They are classified as hound dogs and they originated in Germany. They are also called Teckel and Dackel.

In North America, they are often referred to as doxie, wiener dog, sausage dog, weenie and other similar variations.

If you’ve been considering adding a Dachshund to your family here are the things you should know.

Types

Dachshunds come in 3 different sizes, 3 different coats, a multitude of colors and patterns.

Size

Standard Dachshunds are the largest weighing between 16 lbs and 32 lbs.
Tweenies Weighing over 11lbs but under 16lbs.
Miniature Dachshunds weigh under 11lbs.

It can happen that two Miniature Dachshunds breed a Standard Dachshund and vice-versa. Generally speaking, it is hard to determine with accuracy how much your puppy will weigh as an adult. A good indicator is multiplying a three-month-olds weight by two and adding a couple of pounds.

Coat

Most people immediately think of a smooth Dachshund when they think of a typical dachshund. A smooth hair Dachshund has a short and shiny coat. They require very little grooming but they are known to have the most odor.

Longhaired Dachshunds have a beautiful long coat. The length of the coat will be different for each dog. Some have long fluffy hair while others may have medium-long hair. However, one thing they all have is fluffy ears, elbows and chest hair. They require regular brushing.

Wirehaired Dachshunds have wiry, short, thick, rough coats with bushy eyebrows and a beard. They require regular grooming to avoid matting and knots.

Colors & Paterns

Dachshunds can be red, cream, black, black and tan, black and cream, chocolate and tan, chocolate and cream, chocolate, wildboar, wheaten, blue (dilution of black) or Isabella (dilution of chocolate).
They can have dapple, brindle, sable or piebald patterns.

Red is the most familiar color for a Dachshund and can occur in all coat types. They can be any shade of red from blonde to deep dark mahogany. They have black eyes, black nose, and black nails. 

EE red/ diluted red has a pink/liver color nose and nails but otherwise, looks like a regular red and can appear in all coat types.

Cream-colored dachshunds are only smooth or longhaired. They are a yellowish blond color with a black nose and nails.

EE cream/ diluted cream has a pink/liver color nose and nails but otherwise, looks like a regular cream. Only smooth and longhaired will have this color.

Solid black is the rarest coat of dachshunds there is. It can occur only in smooth or longhaired Dachshunds.

Black and tan Dachshunds will be black all over with tan points. They have black eyes, black nose, and black nails. This color can be found in all three coats.

Black and cream colored Dachshunds can be either smooth or longhaired. They are black all over with cream points and a black nose.

Solid chocolate can be seen in all coat types. They are dark chocolate brown all over without any tan points and have a brown to light brown eyes, nose, and nails.

Chocolate and tan A chocolate and cream Dachshund will be chocolate all over with tan points. They will have light brown eyes and on occasion green to hazel eyes, brown to light brown nose. This color can be seen in all coat types.

Chocolate and cream can appear only in smooth or longhair. A chocolate and cream Dachshund will be chocolate all over with cream points. They will have light brown eyes and on occasion green to hazel eyes, brown to light brown nose.

Wheaten unique to wired haired Dachshunds, colors range from a dingy looking white to a butter color.

Solid Isabella, Isabella and tan, Isabella and cream can be seen in all coat types. Isabella is a dilute version of chocolate brown. They often looks silvery/tan or silvery/grey or even silvery/blue.

Solid blue, blue and tan is actually a dilute form of black. It can take on more of a blue/steel grey tone or a lavender/grey tone. They will have gray eyes, gray nose. This is seen in all coat types.

Brindle is a striped pattern.

Dapple is light and dark patches.

Sable/wildboar is self-color with an overlaid darker color.

Piebald is irregular patches of two colors.

The Dapple, Double Dapple and Piebald (white) dachshund patterns have been linked to several serious health issues. Such as missing eyes, eye size blindness, deafness, seizures and various skin disorders.

Blue and Isabella are known to have skin allergies, skin sensitivity, sunburn, thinning coat and skin infections.

Health & Lifespan

The average lifespan of a dachshund is 14-16 years old.
Rocky a Dachshund from California lived until the age of 25.

One in four will have IVDD which is Intervertebral Disc Disease. They are prone to back injuries due to their short legs and long spine. A good way to prevent this is by getting a ramp for your couch and bed so that they don’t have to jump.

They are prone to obesity and it puts them more at risk for IVDD and other illnesses. It is important to feed them on a schedule and not to overfeed them.

A few other illnesses like seizures, dental diseases and Cushing’s disease are somewhat common amongst Dachshunds.

Personality

Every Dachshund has its own personality and different traits but there are some general traits that most Teckels share.

With most Dachshunds, you should be ready to never be alone again because they are pack animals. Dachshunds are very social and can be unhappy when bored and alone. In most cases, they will have one favorite person in the household and they will want to be with that person all the time and want to cuddle. They are as loyal as they come. Most people end up sharing their beds with their Dachshunds because most are nearly impossible to crate train. Something to watch out for is that they are very protective of their favorite person and that can sometimes turn into jealousy which can lead to aggressive behavior.

They will have you laughing constantly with their antics.
If you’re watching tv, you will surely have your Dachshunds hanging around you in a funny way, on your shoulder, or burrowed under a blanket close by. They are little clowns, expect the unexpected and lots of laughs. They are very intelligent and can be mischievous.

If they don’t like the weather outside they will refuse to walk and they are very stubborn so once they’ve decided they won’t be walking they won’t walk. They are low to the ground so they are more sensitive to weather conditions. Some can not tolerate the heat while others the rain and cold.

They are known to bark a lot and they have a much bigger bark than you’d expect from a little dog. Not all Dachshunds bark at the drop of a hat of course. But they were bred to be hunting dogs and it is part of their nature to alert their owners when they feel it’s needed.

They are fearless because they were bred to hunt badgers and badgers are no joke. Dachsunds have the personality of a big dog because they don’t know they’re small. While they are cuddly and love being on your lap they are not lapdogs. An adult Standard Dachshund needs at least 60 minutes of exercise a day while a miniature needs at least 30 minutes a day.

The reason they are prone to obesity is that they love food as much as they love cuddles. They will eat as much food as you give them. They are ruled by their belly and their nose.

Training

Some people believe that your Dachshund will train you and not the other way around because they are notoriously stubborn. The reality is that training a dachshund can be easy or it can be difficult. It will largely depend on your patience and consistency. They are very smart and food motivated. Which means that you can bribe them with treats to train them most of the time. They are also clever enough to get you to do whatever they want you to do.

Dachshund owners will say that the three most challenging aspects of training a Teckel are potty training, separation anxiety and barking. There are exceptions but these tend to be the most difficult amongst the majority. There are many resources online to help with those issues.

Essentials

As with any dog, you will need a few things to get started and then you will learn as you go to see what your Dachshund likes.

Most harnesses will not fit your new Dachshund puppy. The easiest and best option is a step in harnesses for cats. Any brand will do, your puppy will grow in a couple of months and you will need a new one anyway. Simple and functional is the best.

Feeding high-quality food is essential. Many Dachshund owners swear by the raw food diet.
Not everyone is willing to go down the raw food diet route and there are many good quality kibble brands like Merrick, Castor and Pollux, Open Farm, Fromm, Orijen, Wellness, Taste of The Wild, Farmina and Acana. Just to name a few.
There is also the option of freeze-dried food which is said to be the next best thing after raw food. Some trustworthy brands are Primal, The Honest Kitchen, Orijen, Open Farm and Zeal. These foods tend to have higher fat content which is something to keep an eye on if your dog is prone to gaining weight easily.

Low calories training treats are essential. Ideally, treats should be as small as possible and have minimal ingredients. Crumps freeze-dried beef liver training treats are the perfect size for a Dachshund puppy. There are other brands that have small training treats but Crumps is the easiest to find.

Chew toys can be confusing because you want one that is safe and doesn’t have too many calories. For those reasons, Gorilla chews are the best because they are made of solid Java Wood and don’t splinter.

Most Dachshunds love cozy sleepers or cave type beds made for cats. The best advice you can get is always to buy your dog bed in person. You won’t know which kind your dog likes most until you try one out.

Dachshunds are amazing dogs, the majority of owners will say they’re like potato chips and you can’t just have one. It is almost impossible not to fall in love with them. They aren’t for everyone and they do come with their set of challenges but with love and patience, you can overcome them.