Dachshunds may look cute and cuddly, but they are tirelessly energetic, clever and curious—some might even say “intense.” Always up for a walk, run or a game in the park, they can easily get bored when left to their own devices for too long. Sometimes, that can involve chewing things.
- 16 - 32 pounds
- 7 - 8 inches
Ideal Human Companions
- City dwellers
- Families with older children
- Hunters and outdoorsy types
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- Long and short
- Vigorous and muscular
- Tenacious and high-spirited
- Bold and clever
- Hard workers
- Great players
What They Are Like to Live With
Though very loyal to their owners, Dachshunds can take time to warm up to other people. The benefit, however, is that their (sometimes) relentless barking at the sign of strangers makes them an extremely handy—and compact—guard dog.
Dachshunds, true to their hunting lineage, love the outdoors. With a decent-sized yard to run around, they will frolic: chasing small animals, fervently barking and possibly digging a few holes. They will also be happy in an apartment (they are among the most popular city dogs), but require lots of play, interaction and regular walks to stay in physical and mental shape.
Things You Should Know
Dachshunds are proud and bold. With proper attention, positive reinforcement and training, they will surprise you with a lovable and dependable temperament. They thrive with single people or families with older children. Very young children could lack the necessary patience and maturity required with Dachshunds.
Dachshunds are prone to back problems, due to their long spine and short rib cage. If allowed to jump down from a bed or couch, they can easily slip a disk. For this reason, it is also important to hold them properly, supporting their full frame. (Warning: You’ll find most Dachshunds will resist being picked up).
Also, be sure to ration their food appropriately: Dachshunds can gain weight quickly, causing more back problems and other issues.
A healthy Dachshund can live as long as 16 years, providing years of fun and companionships.
A breed dating back to at least the Middle Ages, Dachshunds—coming from the German dach, which means “badger,” and hund, which means “dog”—were used widely in 17th century Germany as hunting dogs. Their short, sleek frames and an incredible sense of smell allowed them to hunt above ground, below ground and track animals for days at a time. Various sizes were developed over the years—i.e., smaller Dachshunds for hunting foxes and larger Dachshunds for hunting boar—and in 1895 the Dachshund Club of America began to promote the breed in the U.S.
The Look of a Dachshund
The Dachshund “look” is hard to miss: low, long and short with a vigorous and muscular body that somehow stays solid and balanced in spite of its squat frame. Its elongated, convex head is erect and alert with ears that hang low and a pair of friendly oval eyes. The base of the neck slopes down to a protruding chest and a tighter abdomen, and the tail follows the line of the back. Dachshunds come in three varieties— smooth, longhaired and wire-haired—and colors can vary from solids of red, tan or yellow or combinations of chocolate, black and gray (among others).
Talk About Dachshunds
Loyal, energetic and will keep you on your toes
I didn't know anything about Dachshunds when Fang the Wonder Dog came into my life. Neither he nor I knew that they were supposed to be difficult to train to fetch and to housebreak. So Fang and I just did it!
Loyal and energetic, Dachshunds will keep you on your toes as they are also very clever and playful. They love to tease. Going for a walk is probably their favorite thing as the multitude of smells is a delight to the breed's hunting nose. My dogs all love to be held and to cuddle. Sleeping in the big bed is a must, under the covers of course. I think they need to be in a home here they receive a lot of attention and stimulation, where they are challenged as they are very smart and curious. My dogs all like children.
~Kathleen H., owner of a Dachshund
Loyal and loving
Let me first start by saying that if you have a Dachshund in your life YOU are owned by a Dachshund. They are very loyal and very loving to their people and most Dachshunds think they are the size of a Great Dane. They are proud, curious, fearless (in many instances) and they own their people and their homes therefore they must announce any stranger (even if it's just someone walking down the road).
You can't help but love their expressive faces and demeanor even when they have been "bad." Dachshunds are smart but tend to be stubborn, and this can sometimes make housetraining a little challenging. Don't give up on your dog, it usually sinks in really well by 7 months.
Before putting a Dachshund near children, be sure that it is a child-friendly dog; you're pretty safe in that aspect with puppies but be sure to teach even older children the proper way to handle the puppy. Dachshunds are sturdy dogs even though they are prone to back issues and are generally healthy and low maintenance.
Dachshunds are one of the more popular puppy mill dogs so consider adopting instead of buying from an unknown breeder. There are many adoptable Dachshunds for every type of family.
~Michele P., owner of three Dachshunds
The most loyal dogs you'll ever have
I have two mini dachshunds who are the most loyal dogs you can ever have. I have one male that is brown and black and a female that is brown to tan. They are both rescues and are amazing pets.
You do need to be around them frequently as they don't hold their bladder for very long. We're going through a very sad time right now with my female dachshund. She has a pinched vertebrae that has had her lose all feeling her in her back legs and tail. We are looking for help and information on what we can do to help her with this struggle. We really don't want to see her go...
~Stephanie P., owner of two Dachshunds
Dachshunds are just wonderful!
I have a mini black and tan Dachshund that I found out in front of my workplace starving, dehydrated and with no hair on her tail. I brought her home, it's been a year now and she's precious, smart, independent, a cover hog and totally devoted to me.
She's in a home with a 9-year-old Dachshund who is most likely the smartest dog I've seen. He has had back surgery because of a ruptured disc so please take my advice and keep your Doxie's weight down. Also keep them from stairs and high furniture. All of our beds are off the frames to try and prevent future back issues.
~Mayme T., owner of a Dachshund
Older Dachshunds can benefit from a chiropractor
Please look for a chiropractor who will work on dogs in your area - I have a 16-year-old Dachshund that is doing wonderfully and gets her regular adjustments. I have seen dogs that dragged their back legs walk in two weeks. You also may want to consider essential oils to help them deal with pain.
~Cheryl K., owner of a Dachshund and a Dachshund mix
You can't have just one!
Dachshunds are like potato chips - you can't ever just have one! We started with a single black and tan named Sir Edward and now we are the proud parents of a pack of six. We love them and they are so much fun. Eddie goes hunting with me and they are true to their roots. They are faithful and loving and always put a smile on my face.
~Matt W., owner of six Dachshunds
The love of your life
I started with adopting one Doxie at the shelter, and I now have three shelter Doxies. I love each and every one of them. They are so dedicated to you. When I sit on my recliner all three come up take the same spot and "chill out" with me. I am in love. They give me so much love. I live alone now and they have really made my life complete. I fenced in my yard so they can run all they want, but beware THEY ARE DIGGERS! My yard has so many holes in it, and every spring I have to fill them in.
~Nancy S., owner of three Dachshunds
Smart and sweet!
I fell in love with Gary a few years ago when I moved back home. He was my mom's dog. But now we are best friends and when I leave to move out he is going to come with me.
He is so loyal and smart. He NEVER leaves my side. I have surveillance cameras that watch the front of my house and he knows to not only watch them BUT to growl when there is someone outside doing something out of the ordinary! He is that smart! He is also SO sweet! And he NEVER pees in the house. He barks at me to let me know he has to go. He is 6 years old and I hope to have him at least another 9 years. Gary, I love you.
~George Alex U., owner of a Dachshund
A handful, but worth it!
Sammy is the first dog I've ever owned, and let me tell you: She is quite a handful! I mean that in a good way, though. Running and jumping around (w/c I know is bad for her back), she is one unstoppable dog.
Whenever I leave for work, she likes biting my pants of my shoelaces, which I think is her way of expressing that she doesn't want to let me go. But when I get home, I see she's calmly waiting at the door, and starts biting my pants again to show how excited she is to meet me.
Apart from shoes, she also gnaws on the baseboards, her crate, her bed, her toys ... Basically EVERYTHING.
She is also very intelligent. She picks up tricks and commands after a few minutes of training with her. (She forgets them the next time, but if you're a diligent trainer, she'll remember them.)
Sammy is only 7 months old, but she is one very loyal and exceptionally smart puppy! Always curious during walks. I love her to bits!
~Angela R., owner of a Miniature Dachshund
Funny, loyal, and smart
I love my standard/mini dachshund mix, Spivey -- he's the greatest little four-legged buddy I could ever ask for! He's great with kids and loves all the attention.
He's not like most dachs because he was a breeze to train. His favorite place to be is under my arm on the bed. He's often clumsy, and runs into our glass front door -- but his cuteness is unsurpassed!
I use him for hunting and he helps me rehabilitate aggressive dogs. These dogs are amazing. I couldn't imagine life without mine!
~Kitty M., owner of a Dachshund
My Dachshund Is Litterbox Trained
He is so smart! I have heard from so many people that dachshunds are hard to train, but I did not find this to be the case.
This is my first dog, and I am so in love. He loves to be told when he does something right, so training him to go in the litterbox was very easy. My cat is also in love with him and they play with each other all the time. Our family would not be complete without him.
~Emily P., owner of a Dachshund