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10 Vet-Approved Dachshund Facts & Information

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

shiny black dachshund

10 Vet-Approved Dachshund Facts & Information


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Dachshunds are adorable dogs that typically make great family pets. Their determination and confidence are admirable, and their long bodies and short little legs make them ever so lovable. There are so many things to learn about this breed, and here, we focus on 10 Dachshund facts that may surprise you!

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The 10 Facts About Dachshunds

1. They Come in Two Sizes

Breeders have developed two sizes of Dachshund: Miniature and Standard. The Miniature Dachshund weighs less than 11 pounds, while the Standard weighs up to 35 pounds.

group of dachshund dogs
Image Credit: 4sally scott, Shutterstock

2. Dachshunds Were Originally Meant to Be Badger Hunters

The name of this breed gives us a clue as to why they were developed in the first place. In German, Dachshund means badger dog. Their short legs keep them close to the ground so they can better track the scent while on the hunt. Their long, narrow bodies enable them to enter tight spaces and burrows where badgers might run to for cover from predators (or already be sleeping in).

3. They Were Once Rebranded

Dachshunds were temporarily rebranded the “badger dog” or “liberty hounds” in the United States during World Wars I and II, but it didn’t stick. The reason for the rebranding in the first place was because Dachshunds were associated with Germany at the time.

As a result, the popularity of the Dachshund declined in the United States. The American Kennel Club tried to rectify the situation by renaming the breed. Although it was not successful, this breed eventually regained popularity and is beloved throughout the country today.

dog trainer doing hand signal to a dachshund dog
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

4. A Dachshund Was Britain’s First Cloned Dog

A Dachshund named Winnie has the distinction of being the first successfully cloned canine in Britain.1 Winnie’s owner, Rebecca Smith, entered a contest to have her dog cloned (otherwise, the procedure would have cost approximately £60,000). After scientists obtained a basic skin sample from Winnie, they created a dog that they referred to as “Mini Winnie.” Rebecca claimed that the dog looked exactly like Winnie did when she was a puppy. The clone is expected to enjoy a long and fulfilled life.

5. They Have Their Own Racing Events

Sometime in the 1970s, Australia became the home of the first Dachshund races. The events have since become popular in various parts of the world. For instance, California started an annual event called the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals in 1995, and the event is still going strong today.2 The sport isn’t a serious one, so the events are typically about fun and fanfare rather than true competition.

Wire-haired Dachshund outside
Image Credit: Salofoto, Pixabay

6. Waldi the Dachshund Was the First Olympic Summer Games Mascot

The first mascot of the Olympic Summer Games was a Dachshund named Waldi.3 Elena Winschermann created the fictional character to resemble and honor the breed. Waldi the mascot has a light blue head and tail and a striped body that includes three of the six Olympic colors. The orange middle band and extra-long tail stand out in particular.

7. They Can Have One of Three Different Coat Types

A Dachshund might inherit one of three different types of hair coats: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired. Once, every Dachshund had a smooth coat, which is perhaps why that type is still the most popular today. It is thought that breeders crossbred Dachshunds with other dog types to create the other two coats.

dachshund dog looks sick lying on its owner
Image Credit: Leka Sergeeva, Shutterstock

8. They Are Determined and Fearless

Dachshunds are bred as hunters, so although they are small in size, they are big on taking down their prey. They are fearless and determined, which makes them formidable to animals like badgers, gophers, and rats. However, their tenacity can get them in trouble if they face off with a larger dog breed that wants to fight back.

9. Their Coats Can Have Many Different Colors and Markings

Although the average person may think of a Dachshund as a brown dog, this breed actually comes in a variety of at least 15 different coat colors. Some have white bellies, while others have tan ones. Some have spots, while others have none. No matter their coat color and/or pattern, though, all Dachshunds have the same long bodies and short legs.

Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

10. Dachshunds Love to Dig

Since Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers, they have a natural instinct to dig into the ground. Therefore, they can ruin a garden and other landscape features if not supervised. They can also dig their way out of a fenced yard by passing underneath the fence line. A human companion should always supervise this dog when they are spending time outdoors.

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Considerations to Make If You’re Thinking of Getting a Dachshund

If you are considering adopting a Dachshund for your household, consider the following points:
  • They’re Strong-Willed — Training can be a challenge but it isn’t impossible. Therefore, owners must be determined and strong-willed themselves if they want their Dachshunds to behave well at home and in social situations.
  • They Have Plenty of Energy — For small dogs, Dachshunds have a large amount of energy that must be unleashed to ensure health and happiness. Every Dachshund should have at least a brisk 30-minute walk each day. These dogs also love hiking, swimming at the lake or beach, camping, and playing games of fetch in the yard or at the park.
  • They Tend to Be Talkative — The typical Dachshund is not afraid to be vocal. They love to communicate and may bark as much as it takes to get attention. This may have to do with their instinctive tendency to bark when close to prey while hunting.
  • They Have a High Prey Drive — Even though they are a small dog breed, they can have a high prey drive that can be a problem if you live with small pets like ferrets, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Some Dachshunds do not even get along with cats, as they think of them as prey.

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Dachshunds are cute little dogs that many dog lovers adore. They are sleek and small yet mighty and determined, which makes them a great fit for many types of households. The facts that you have just learned about the breed should shed light on whether this is the right dog for your family and household environment.

Featured Image Credit: NORRIE3699, Shutterstock

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