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BaxterBoo Blog
March 18, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Dachshund

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  • Height: Standard 8"- 11”, Miniature 5"-7"
  • Weight: Standard over 11 pounds (averaging 16 pounds), Miniature is less than 11 pounds
  • Historical function: Badger and rabbit hunter
  • Modern function: Companion
  • AKC classification: Hound

Wire-haired Dachshund

Physical Characteristics:

The Dachshund is available in three varieties: The short-haired, the long-haired, and the wire-haired Dachshund. The AKC only recognizes the standard and miniature sizes, but there some groups also recognize a toy version. The Dachshunds have been described as being half a dog high and a dog and a half long, which makes this breed easy to identify. The legs are stubby but the front paws are pronounced, enabling them to dig well to get after burrowing creatures.

History of the Breed:

The Dachshund was developed in Germany as a hunter of badgers and rabbits. Typically the dog would burrow underneath the burrow of the targeted animal and catch the creature by surprise, fighting until death.


The Dachshund can be tricky to train and may be prone to aggression if not taught their proper place in the family. This is not surprising as they were bred to be independent hunters of an aggressive prey (badgers.) The modern Dachshund has been bred more towards companionship as opposed to hunting, so well-socialized dogs are delightful members of the family.

  • Best suited for: Families with older children. Not to be trusted with pet rodents.
  • Preferred living conditions: These dogs do best with firm, consistent leadership with a daily walk to be on their best behavior.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Moderate shedding. Long-haired requires daily brushing. Wire-hair requires professional grooming twice yearly.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk. These dogs have a surprising amount of stamina.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to spinal problems including lameness. Do not allow this dog to jump up and down off of furniture and in and out of cars.

Breed Club Links: Dachshund Club of America Perfect Pairings:  We recommend a harness to protect this dog's spine!

Have any stories about a Dachshund? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Dan Bennett.

Wire-haired Dachshund photo courtesy of Wikipedia creative commons.

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