If you’re on the hunt for a loyal and affectionate companion, look no further than the delightful Dachshund. This breed has captured hearts for generations, and it’s not hard to see why! Here’s everything you need to know about these charming and cuddly pups before making one a part of your family.
Basic Characteristics of Dachshunds
Dachshunds are the perfect size for a cuddly companion, with females standing at around 8 to 9 inches tall and males reaching up to 10 to 11 inches. They typically weigh between 9 to 32 lbs., depending on their specific breed and gender. (The miniature versions will, of course, be quite a bit smaller.) Their sturdy and compact build was originally bred for hunting, but they also make great snuggle buddies for relaxing at home. With an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, pet parents of dachshunds can look forward to many years of fun and loving companionship with these delightful pups.
While many people are familiar with Dachshunds, not everyone knows about the fascinating history of this breed. Dachshunds originated in Germany over 500 years ago, where they were bred to hunt badgers and other burrowing animals. Today, there are two main varieties of dachshunds: the standard and the miniature.
Despite their differences in size, they still share the same characteristic elongated bodies and short legs that make them instantly recognizable. Dachshunds are also known for their keen sense of smell, which continues to be utilized in hunting and tracking activities.
Other names that Dachshunds go by are Doxie, Low Rider, Wiener Dog, Weenie, Sausage Dog, Dackel, Badger Dog, Hound, and Hot Dog, to name a few!
Grooming and Varieties of Doxies
Dachshunds are known for their distinctive coats, which come in a wide array of colors and patterns. These lovable pups can have coats that are solid in color, including red, black, cream, and chocolate. They can also have coats that are dappled, brindle, or piebald. Some dachshunds also have a combination of these patterns. With so many different coat variations, these pups are sure to catch the eye and steal the heart of anyone who encounters them!
Weenies with longer-haired coats require regular brushing to keep them looking their best and to keep their long hair free from tangles and mats. Dachshunds also have long, floppy ears that need special attention to avoid infections or injuries. Their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent any buildup of wax or debris.
Also, Dachshunds need regular baths to keep their coat and skin healthy, but it’s important to use a high-quality dog shampoo that won’t irritate their sensitive skin. It’s important to rinse them thoroughly to avoid any soap residue that can cause discomfort or allergies, as skin issues are a common occurrence in many Dachshunds.
Dachshunds may be small in size, but don’t let that fool you! These pups are known for their fearless nature and are always ready to take on bigger animals. However, they can be a bit standoffish with strangers and other dogs.
As loyal companions and watchful protectors, they make great family dogs. And, if they’re treated well, they’re fantastic with children, too! However, they can be a bit stubborn when it comes to training, and most members of the breed tend to have their own unique personalities. Especially when it comes to the variations within the breed, some pet parents claim that long-haired Dachshund tends to be a bit more laid-back, while wire-haired ones are considered more extroverted and goofy.
As a word of caution, since dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs, they’re natural diggers. They can also be pretty vocal, too. Dachshunds can sometimes get out of hand with their destructive tendencies, but plenty of attention, exercise, and positive stimulation should keep your pup happy and a bit less troublesome.
Exercising Your Dachshund
Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers, rabbits, and other small prey, and they still retain a high prey drive. This means they can have a lot of energy that needs to be expended through exercise and playtime. However, they are a small breed, so their exercise needs can be met with a moderate amount of physical activity each day. Dachshunds love to go on walks with their favorite humans and will happily play fetch or engage in other games. They can also get exercise by playing with other pets in the household or visiting a local dog park.
Obesity is a problem for Dachshunds and can pose some serious health risks for members of this breed. It’s important to provide them with healthy, veterinarian-recommended dog food to meet their specific age and size needs. Table scraps and excessive amounts of treats should be avoided. If you’re unsure of what the best option for your specific pup may be, your veterinarian will be glad to help you find the best possible choice.
Dachshunds are susceptible to certain health issues. One of the top concerns of this elongated breed is disk problems in their back. This makes it essential to keep your pup’s weight well-managed and also avoid having them jump off or up onto furniture due to the significant risk of injury. Those who have homes with a lot of stairs are also recommended against bringing members of this breed into such a risky environment.
Intervertebral Disc Disease is another back-related issue that will affect 1 in 4 members of this breed and lead to significant amounts of pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis in some cases. This condition is especially likely to develop in those that are neutered before the age of 12 months.
In addition to disk-related problems and injuries, Dachshunds are also associated with difficulties such as various eye conditions (such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy), skin problems, obesity, knee dislocation (patella luxation), hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism. This makes it all the more important to ensure you provide your Dachshund with the best possible diet and home environment, size-appropriate exercise, and regular visits to the vet to address any potential health problems.
Bringing Your New Dachshund Home
For those looking for a loving companion but worried about space, the Dachshund’s smaller size may make them a great choice for those living in apartments or smaller living spaces, but they will still need their exercise to keep their little bodies healthy and muscular enough to support their long backs. While they do enjoy exercise, they do not require a large yard or any notable extensive training like other breeds. Dachshunds should also never be raised as outside dogs, as they thrive being indoors and right alongside their favorite family members.
When adopting a Doxie from a breeder, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $400 and $1,100 for normal-sized pups and $400 to $3,000 for the miniature-sized versions of this breed. It’s essential to find a reputable breeder that can guarantee the best possible health of your new pal as well as provide answers to any questions you may have regarding temperament, health concerns, or other aspects of raising a Dachshund that may be determined by their kin.
If you’re unsure of where to begin on your hunt for your new Dachshund companion, you should definitely check out the Dachshund Rescue List along with Dachshund Station’s list of rescues across the country to pair you with a pup in need that may just be the perfect fit for your home.
Here at Space Coast Pet Services, we’ve got you covered when your new Doxie pup or grown fur baby comes home, whether it’s for pet sitting, in-home pet visits, or walking. Space Coast provides care for all breeds and sizes of dogs, so your new little Dachshund will fit right in.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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