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The Dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied dog that belongs to the Hound group. This Scent hound originated in Germany where it’s known as Dackel or Teckel, which means badger dog. It was mainly bred to flush out live game such as badgers.
The Dachshund is called Wiener Dog and Sausage Dog because of their appearance. As a canine companion, he is a clever and courageous family dog and wants nothing more than to spend his time with his owners.
Are you thinking of getting a Dachshund puppy? Here is a brief background of the dog that has captured the hearts of each home it graces.
The Dachshund breed originally came from Germany during the 16th century. It was bred to hunt badgers and was prized for its ability to follow scents and determination to dig and hunt burrowing animals. Because of this role, the dog is called in German as the badger (dachs) hound (hund).
The predecessors of the modern-day German Dachshunds were large in size with an average weight that ranges from 13 to 18 kg. They sport smooth coats and come in a wide variety of colours.
As the breed developed, three sizes were created: standard, miniature, and the mid-sized Kaninchen.
The standard-sized Dachshund is a skilled hunting dog that can take down wild boar and badgers whilst its smaller counterparts are more adept at catching foxes and hare. These dogs are classified by measuring the circumference of the chest.
The long-haired variation of the Dachshund breed was developed after the standard breed was crossed with different types of spaniels. The long-haired type is a popular choice for hunting water-loving preys, particularly otters.
In the late 19th century, the wire-haired variety was first created. It is believed to be a cross between a smooth Dachshund and different terriers. These include the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the German Wirehaired Pointer, the Schnauzer, and the Scottish Terrier.
The Dachshund breed was brought to England in 1840 by Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, a British military officer of German parents. Breeders gradually reduced the original Dachshund’s size by about 4.5 kg. This variation is now known as the Miniature Dachshund which was developed in the UK for companionship.
In 1859, Dachshunds became popular dogs after the first-ever dog show was held in England. Queen Victoria helped its ascent to fame, being a huge fan of the breed. World War II, however, saw a decline in the Dachshund population. It had fallen out of favour as a dog with a connection to Germany.
Luckily, few breed enthusiasts helped the breed to survive and regain its popularity in the UK. In 1885, the American Kennel Club officially recognised the Dachshund breed. This was followed by the establishment of the Dachshund Club of America in 1895.
Today, the Dachshund breed is still amongst the most popular small dogs in the UK, with its charming looks and loyal nature.
The Wiener dog has short legs and a long body. It has a compact and well-muscled build and powerful front legs that are paddle-shaped, perfect for digging. It weighs 7-14 kg and stands 20–27 cm.
The Dachshund has a head that is narrowed with an arched skull and a less prominent stop. Its jaws are long and narrow whilst lips are well-stretched to cover its lower jaw. With dark eyes, the Dachshund breed has a complex expression that is almost soulful.
The breed also sports a barrel chest, perfect for a deep and loud bark that is typically a characteristic of large dogs. The Dachshund uses it well as it likes to bark.
The Dachshund comes in three coat varieties: smooth short-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. Accepted colours under the Kennel Club breed standard are black, tan, cream, brindle, chocolate, dapple, shaded red, and silver that is often combined for a two-colour coat.
Are Dachshunds hypoallergenic?
Regardless of the Dachshund coat type, it is considered as non-hypoallergenic. However, they are less likely to trigger allergies. That’s because the breed’s small size makes it produce less dander than larger dog breeds.
If you are prone to allergies but determined to get a Dachshund dog, here are a few things you can do to reduce allergic reactions:
Sausage dogs do shed, but there is a debate as to which coat type sheds more. Smooth-coated ones are thought to shed more than their other two counterparts.
The Dachshund breed is low maintenance, but each of its coat types has different grooming needs. Dachshunds with smooth fur only need a weekly wiping with a towel or brushing with a hound glove.
Those with long coats need daily brushing with a soft bristle brush and then twice a week of brushing with a wire pinned brush. These help in managing and removing tangles. It is also a good idea to trim their hair occasionally to remove the excess hairs in between their pads.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds need brushing at least once or twice a week. Plucking or hand-stripping their coat twice a year is also necessary. Their bushy beards and eyebrows need trimming as well to keep them clean and neat.
Dachshunds are not prone to doggy odours, so only bathe them when necessary. Avoid frequent baths as it can dry their skin and coat and cause skin infections.
It is important to keep an eye on the sausage dog’s droopy ears since they are more prone to bacteria build-up. Clean them using cotton balls and a dog-safe ear solution. Avoid cotton buds as it pushes the dirt further inside the ears instead of removing it.
Be sure to check for signs of ear infections such as inflammation, redness, bad odour, or discharge. Trim its nails weekly to keep them from overgrowing. Daily toothbrushing is a must to prevent the development of periodontal diseases.
Note that most Sausage dogs may not be a fan of rain or cold weather. Since their bodies are low to the ground, they easily get wet or chilly. When you take your dog for a walk during a frosty or windy day, let him wear a waterproof jacket to keep him warm and cosy.
The Dachshund is a lively, intelligent, and loyal dog. It is also determined and courageous to the point of recklessness. It is a big barker that doesn’t hesitate to let owners know if anyone is about.
Although every Dachshund possesses these traits, each type of the breed has unique temperaments. The Long-Haired Dachshund has a laid-back and subdued personality. The Wire-Haired Dachshund is feistier than its long-haired counterpart. It exudes a terrier-like attitude mixed with mischief and clownishness.
The Smooth-Haired Dachshund’s personality falls just in the middle of the scale. It is not as naughty as the Wire-Haired, nor is it as quiet as the Long-Haired variety.
The Weiner dog forms a strong attachment to his owners and loves nothing more than to cuddle. However, when out and about, the Dachshund’s eagerness to hunt remains strong that he neglects to heed commands. Thus, he frequently needs close supervision.
Moreover, the Dachshund breed is known to be one of the most difficult dogs breeds to housebreak. Be sure to ready puppy pads and cleaning supplies. With this said, the Dachshund is more suitable for experienced dog owners.
Dachshund dogs respond well to reward-based training. Thus, do not be stingy in giving them praises and playtime every time they successfully carry out a command.
Rewarding with treats should be done in moderation to prevent weight gain. Never resort to harsh punishments and training methods. Doing so will only lead your dog to become rebellious and wary of you.
Dachshunds are great around children especially if they grew up together. As with any breed, interactions between children and dogs must be supervised. Dachshunds also get on well with other dogs, but small animals are a different matter.
The prey drive of the breed is strong. Thus, this dog should be on a lead, especially during walks as it will likely chase any small animals. Its interactions with other household pets should be monitored as well to prevent accidents. Early socialisation is important so that he grows up to be a well-mannered dog.
Generally, adult Dachshunds require 1/2–1 1/2 cups of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. Make sure to consult the veterinarian when it comes to your Dachshund’s nutritional and calorie needs.
Each dog has its own caloric requirement. How much food they need depends on several factors, including activity level, age, build, metabolism, and size. That said, below is a list of the general calorie requirements an adult Dachshund needs:
Feed Dachshunds with high-protein meat, including beef, chicken, lamb, or fish for muscle growth. Avoid serving food filled with sweeteners and artificial additives to your Dachshund. Dachshund dogs easily gain weight, so monitor the amount you serve every day to avoid overfeeding.
Dachshunds have an average lifespan of 10-15 years. They are generally healthy, but can still suffer from certain medical conditions, these include:
The Dachshund breed is quite prone to back diseases. Study shows that 25% of Dachshunds will develop this condition in their lifetime. One prevalent health issue in the breed is Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD), which causes the spinal discs to become brittle.
The treatment for IVDD for Dachshunds includes oral anti-inflammatory medications and rest for mild cases. If the disease continues to progress, surgery may be recommended.
Dachshunds must have regular exercise to prevent the development of IVDD. Other preventive measures include proper handling of the Dachshund and restricting it from jumping up and down high places.
Dachshunds may also develop Cushing’s Disease. It is clinically known as hyperadrenocorticism, a condition caused by a hormonal imbalance in the adrenal glands.
In Dachshunds with Cushing’s Disease, there is an overproduction of steroid hormone called cortisone, which causes hair loss, weight gain, urinary accidents, and increased hunger and drinking.
Cushing’s Disease in Dachshunds is curable through oral medications. Serious cases of the disease may require the surgical removal of the adrenal glands.
The Dachshund is also prone to developing dental problems. Periodontal diseases are often linked to chondrodysplasia, a genetic abnormality in the cartilage. It pushes the teeth to the crowd in the jaw.
Dachshunds with chondrodysplasia suffer from inflammation and infection as a result of food and plaque trapped in the crevices of the teeth.
To prevent dental issues, have the Dachshunds teeth brushed regularly at home and occasional cleaning by a professional groomer.
The Dachshund is predisposed to several ocular diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). These diseases can slowly deteriorate your dog’s eyesight, which can lead to blindness.
There is no known treatment for cataracts, but supplements can hinder its progression. For glaucoma, medical therapy and in some cases, surgery can get rid of this disease. PRA is uncurable, but gene therapy offers a slither of hope that it can be reversed.
It is advised that you buy a Dachshund puppy from a reputable breeder who carries out health screening for the list of health issues prone to the breed. This lessens the likelihood of your puppy inheriting health problems from its parents. The suggested health tests are eye and knee evaluation.
This Sausage dog has medium energy levels. So, it should have at least thirty to forty minutes of exercise daily. It needs to let off steam to prevent it from getting bored and developing undesirable behaviours. You can walk it around the neighbourhood or play games in the park.
This small hound dog also loves to dig. Prevent it from making holes in your home by providing its own digging space in your garden. Do not forget to give the Dachshund brain-challenging games as well to keep its mind sharp. These can be in the form of puzzle toys, home-made obstacle courses, or hide-and-seek.
Although the Dachshund needs adequate exercise, avoid activities that put pressure on the bones and muscles. These include jumping up and down from furniture or stairs. Having a long back makes the breed highly susceptible to serious back or spine injuries.
Swimming is another activity that should be done with utmost caution. Since the Dachshund is a small dog with a long body and short legs, it isn’t a natural swimmer. Provide your dog with a well-fitted doggy life jacket to keep it safe and afloat on water. Always check that the jacket isn’t loose to avoid it from slipping off and putting your dog at risk of drowning.
Not being a natural swimmer, it is also extremely important to accompany the sausage dog whilst in water. This way, you can provide immediate assistance if any accident occurs.
How much is a Dachshund?
Getting a well-bred Dachshund pedigree puppy can cost between £1,000 and £3,000. Feeding your dog with high-quality dog food costs around £30-£40 a month. Other expenses to consider are daily necessities such as leads, collars, bowls, bed, crate, and toys. The initial cost for all the expenses adds to around £200.
Vet costs including vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters can total approximately £800-£1000 annually.
Pet insurance for a Dachshund can range from £20 for a time-limited cover up to £40 for a lifetime one. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions. In a rough estimation, you will be budgeting around £80–£100 a month for recurring expenses.
Are you sure the Dachshund is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
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Scent Hounds are hunting dogs with a superior sense of smell. They rely on their noses to locate their prey. Today, Scent Hound breeds are not only used in hunting but also in detecting illegal substances, searching for evidence in crime scenes, and finding missing persons in search-and-rescue operations.