If you're looking for a playful little companion, then the Dachshund might just be for you! They pack tons of personality in their little bodies. Here's everything you need to know about one of Australia's favourite breeds.
- Size: Small dog (7.3-15kg)
- Coat: Compared to other dogs, they're moderate shedders. They have short or long hair!
- Energy: Have lots of energy. They love walks, playing outdoors and enjoy hunting and digging. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
- Lifespan: 12-16 years
- Country of origin: Germany
- Breed type: They were bred from a mixture of German, French and English hounds and terriers.
- Temperament: Dachshunds are playful but can be stubborn.
- Other names: Wiener dog, badger dog, sausage dog
- Great breed for: Families with kids, Apartment dogs
What is a Dachshund?
Dachshunds are short-legged and long-bodied, hound-type dogs. They either have smooth hair, wire hair or long hair! They were originally bred to sense little game with their noses. They also chase and flush out badgers, rabbits and even mice. In parts of the states, they have also managed to track wounded deer and hunt prairie dogs. These little guys definitely pack a punch. They come from Germany and the term Dachshund translates to "badger dog." They are now viewed as a symbol of Germany (and a cute one at that).
What do Dachshunds look like?
Dachshunds have long bodies and stubby legs. Their paws are quite large, which allow them to burrow in the ground for animals. There are three different Dachshund coats: smooth coat (short haired), long haired and wirehaired. Dachshunds vary in colours including red, cream, tan, merle, sable, brindle, chocolate, black and blue. A full-grown Dachshund weighs about 7-15kg while the mini Dachshunds weigh about 5.4kg. When standing, they're about 13''-14.5'' inches!
What makes Dachshunds special?
Like many little dogs, Dachshunds like to think they're one of the big guys! They're fearless and have a big personality. Both Picasso and Warhol had Dachshunds as companions! Picasso even featured him in a few of his art pieces. They've been treasured by humans for hundreds of years. Some Dachshunds owners have said there are different personalities among the three types. For example, the long-haired Dachshunds have been reported to be calmer than the smooth-coat!
How often do I need to groom my Dachshund?
Depending on the Dachshund you have, grooming will vary. The long-haired need daily brushing to avoid knots and tangles while the short-haired needs a good brush one a week. Long-haired Dachshunds pick up dirt easily and the fur around their ears can get easily matted. For these guys, brush from the root of the hair until the end. Be careful of their skin when you brush through their fur. For brushes, it's recommended you use a bristle or pin brush. You can take your long-haired Dachshund to a professional every few months for a nice trim!
How often should I walk my Dachshund?
Ideally you should walk your Dachshund every day for at least 30-60 minutes. These little guys have lots of energy and inherently want to chase and play. If you have a yard at home, you can also play with your Dachshund by using balls and other toys.
How do I train my Dachshund?
Dachshunds have a stubborn side so it's important to stay patient and positive. Your pup needs to know who is in charge. You can start by using positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats and a positive tone! Stay consistent is the best way to see results. PetCloud offers dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. One of their trainers will come to your home and use positive reinforcement techniques in line with RSPCA guidance to teach your puppy.
Where can I I find Pet Sitters for my Dachshund?
Dachshunds are best suited to stay with Pet Sitters who have no stairs, and have no gaps underneath their fence in the backyard.
Rapidfire Dachshund Questions
How long will my Dachshund live?
The typical lifespan for a Dachshund is 12-16 years.
Can my Dachshund be left alone during the day?
Dachshunds are pack animals so they start feeling anxious, lonely and bored after more than 4 hours alone. If you do need to work or run errands during the day, it's better to have Dachshunds in pairs. They can entertain one another with less human involvement.
Are Dachshunds "barkers"?
Dachshunds love to bark. When they're not barking, they're usually barking. They can be very sensitive so when their environment changes, it can result in excessive barking. You can train your Dachshund to stop when you say certain commands. This takes time and patience, but it's doable! Hiring a dog walker to help with a frequent program of dog walks will keep your dachshund feeling happy and relaxed and less prone to barking.
What kind of health risks do Dachshunds face?
Dachshunds are prone to spinal issues, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD).
What is IVDD?
IVDD is Intervertebral Disc Degeneration is commonly referred to as intervertebral disc disease, but to be clear, it is a genetic disorder that causes a disease process in the intervertebral discs of the spinal cord. Over time the discs begin to dry out and is more or less replaced with cartilage which sometimes leads to calcification. It’s actually the genetics of the short legs, not the long backs of dachshunds, that pre-disposes them to IVDD. IVDD affects 19 to 24% of Dachshunds (1 in every 4) ,1-2 times more than any other breed. Injuries in this area are more common with obesity, rough handling or exercise. To treat this problem, your Dachshund can take chronic pain medications like tramadol, or water therapy. Read about this adorable dachshund on wheels with IVDD.
How to avoid IVDD?
Your pup may not be able to avoid IVDD, but you can decrease the liklihood of this happening by:
- Prevent obesity by giving them a diet advised by a Vet.
- Reduce High Impact Activities (see below "Activities that Dachshunds should Avoid")
- Use Dog Crating to create a safe resting place.
- Walk them with a harness
- Avoid Breeding - Only responsible Breeders who do genetic testing and have a working group with Vets should do breeding with this dog.
- Use Careful Handling - avoid being rough with your pup, carry them downstairs, or teach them to use ramps if you allow them to sleep on your bed or couch.
Activities that Dachshunds should Avoid
- Jumping up and down on furniture: lounges, beds etc
- Going up and down stairs
- High speed running
- Pulling heavy things or playing tug-of-war.
- Wrestling with other pets or people
Where can I get my Dachshund?
Now that you're ready to find your own Dachshund, you have a couple of options. You can adopt or buy one! Adoption is a great way to give a dog a chance at a new home. Be sure to check out the RSPCA's adoption guide for more information.
If you're wanting to buy your Dachshund from a breeder, make sure they're a responsible breeder and not supporting puppy mills. The RSPCA also has a handy guide for finding the right breeder.