Intelligent and lively, dachshunds are generally very sociable and affectionate, although they can be quite vocal if not trained properly.
Their shape is easily identifiable, but they don't so much have long bodies as short legs. They come in 6 different varieties:
- There are 3 different coat types: smooth, long and wire;
- Two different sizes: standard and miniature.
each coat type can be in either size.
The standards should be up to 26lbs in weight, whereas the minis are 10 - 11 lbs. There are three main colours: black / tan, red and chocolate / tan although there can also be dapples and brindles too.
Originally bred for hunting, the standards went to ground for badger and fox and the miniatures for rabbit and vermin. They have an excellent sense of smell so are also used for tracking wounded game. Like all hounds, they can get distracted by scents when off lead so training for a good recall is important. They need plenty of mental stimulation and exercise otherwise they can be noisy and destructive. Not naturally obedient, with persistence they are trainable and tend to respond well to food rewards. Minis can often take longer to house-train.
They are very good with people and children, but are likely to chase and harm small furries, although they will generally tolerate animals they've been brought up with. It's important not to over-exercise puppies because of the strain this would put on their joints and developing bones, but once adult, they are surprisingly active for their shape and they enjoy exercise.
A wire coat needs the most attention as it needs hand-stripping. The other coat types need brushing too; the long-haired varieties also requiring regular attention.
They can suffer from back problems, but there is currently no preventative health test for this. It is advisable to not encourage them to run up and down stairs, or jump on or off furniture because of the stress this can put on their spine. There is an eye condition in the minis called cord1 PRA which breeders should use a DNA test for. Mini Wires should be DNA tested for Lafora Disease, a form of epilepsy.
For the most up-to-date health information and advice for buyers and owners, please visit www.dachshundbreedcouncil.org.uk
Watch our videos about some of the dog breeds in the Hound group