The Dachshund, or as they are more commonly known, especially amongst children, the sausage dog, is an absolute delight of a dog. As journalist H. L Mencken said, they are “half a dog high and a dog and a half long”! A breed that is sure to elicit an “Aww” when they waddle past on their little legs, and capture your heart with their big brown eyes, Dachshunds are becoming ever more popular.
Belonging to the hound group of dogs, they were originally bred to hunt badgers, with the miniature version being bred to hunt rabbits (Dachshund in German means ‘badger dog’). Now though, you are more likely to find them curled up on a sofa being a fantastic lap dog.
- AVG Weight: 16 – 32 lbs
- AVG Height: 8 – 11 inches at the shoulder
- AVG Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Apartment living: Yes
- Level of exercise: High
- Curious and clever
- Affectionate and amusing
- Proud and brave
- Can be jealous and irritable
- Highly agile and athletic
Dachshunds maybe small in stature but they are big in personality. They are absolutely devoted to their families and like a lot of small dogs, can sometimes display jealousy when they feel that the attention is being given to the wrong thing! They can be quite obstinate and stubborn, making them one of the more difficult breeds to housebreak and train.
Dachshunds are quite a noisy breed and enjoy barking, great for sending away vagabonds and marauders but not ideal if you live in close proximity to neighbours.
They are a playful breed, loving nothing more than playtime. The written breed standard sums it up: “the Dachshund is clever, lively, and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault.”
Dachshund Suitable Environment
- Content living in small spaces, as long as they get lots of play time and exercise
- Happy without a back garden, but will need to be taken for long walks
- Preferably with no younger children, Excitable jumping can cause damage to their bones and their tendency towards guarding and jealousy could end in tears.
Dachshund Ideal Owners
Someone who enjoys being around other people would be the ideal owner for a Dachshund, purely because the breed loves to interact with humans and be centre of attention. A Dachshund will love being involved in everyday life so a world of dog friendly beaches, cafes and pubs beckons.
By the same token, Dachshunds can be lazy little fellas, so someone happy to curl up with their furry buddy on the sofa would be great too. Dachshunds do not like being left alone for long periods of time, so would suit an owner who is around a lot to play and pet their dog.
Dachshund Breed Appearance
The ‘wiener dog’ does look like a sausage on legs, it has to be said.
They come in three ‘types’: shorthaired, long haired and wirehaired. Their body is much longer than it is tall and they have a long muzzle. Dachshunds come in an array of colours including black, red, fawn, cream, golden, platinum, brown, tan and blue-grey.
Dachshund Breed History
Dachshunds were originally bred as badger hunters in Germany in the early 1600s. Their shortened legs enabled them to hunt down in burrows where they would fight their prey to the death. They were recognised as a breed by the Kennel Club in 1885 and following a period of dwindling numbers, many dachshunds were imported from Germany to the UK and US after World War I, leading them to be one of the most popular dogs available today.