Dachshund: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

The Dachshund, also known as the Doxie Dog, Dotson dog, and Weiner Dog, is a unique breed known for its stretched out appearance.

First used to hunt badgers, the small pups are extremely active and energetic. They love to play, will freely roam, and are active members of any family. Though they can be vocal at times, the dogs tend to mellow out after they walk or run.

The canines can be prone to certain health issues, but they can live for quite a long time if taken care of in the right way.

There are many types of Dachshunds in the world, and they come in various colors. The Brown Dachshund, Black and Tan Dachshund, and Brindle Dachshund are all extremely popular. As are the Miniature Dachshund, Double Dapple Dachshund, and English Cream Dachshund.

Intelligent and stubborn, the breed makes great housepets for all different size homes. They are quick to accept a family, and become extremely loyal following that decision.

Breed Overview

Other Names: Doxin, Wiener Dog, Doxie, Dotson

Origin: Germany

Height: 9 inches

Weight: 16 to 33 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 16 years

Colors: Black, Black & Tan, Chocolate & Tan, Blue & Tan, Tan, Cream, Chocolate & Cream, Red

1. Personality & Temperament

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Dachshunds are some of the most playful dogs on Earth. They love games, and will actively run around for extended periods of time. They love playing fetch, but are not above attacking the broom or jumping around on the couch.

Though they can be calm when tired, it is important to note that the breed needs a lot of activity. Isolating your Dachshund for long periods of time, or not giving them enough exercise, can cause them to become quite destructive. They are quite vocal as well.

The breed is lovable to the point where they will show affection to all members of the family, but they are incredibly stubborn.

Dachshunds, despite their size, are not known to back down from confrontation. That means you need to be patient when it comes to training or similar activities.

2. How to Care for a Dachshund

Nutrition

Dachshunds are small dogs with big appetites. So much so that you must monitor their daily food intake to prevent obesity. It is all about portion control here.

A Dachshund puppy should consume about a half to one cup of quality small dog food per day. Then, once they reach a year in age, you need to adjust their daily intake based on your dog’s weight.

Any balanced diet will serve your Dachshund well. The best foods, listed in this article, tend to be filled with essential vitamins that promote growth. It does not matter if you feed them dry kibble or wet food as long as it’s healthy.

Grooming

Dachshunds only require moderate grooming, with the long haired Dachshund requiring a bit more attention than the short haired variety. Give your pup an occasional rubdown or brushing every week or so, but adjust based on their fur length.

In terms of bathing, you want to get them cleaned every two or so weeks. That frequency largely depends on how much your dog goes outside, and where they run around.

In addition, wipe their ears, trim their nails, and carefully dab away any fluid or excess gunk around their eyes.

Exercise

The breed also needs exercise to thrive. Daily walks, lasting around twenty or thirty minutes, are key when dealing with weiner dogs. However, they also need more vigorous activity mixed in with that routine. Playing in the park or running along a trail are two great examples.

Just be careful about when and how you exercise the breed. Too much running early in life can cause your Dachshund’s bones to develop in an abnormal way. Never fully run them around until they reach a year in age.

As active as Dachshunds are, they are also intelligent. You need to feed their mind with games or puzzles in a way that keeps them interested. Such mental stimulation goes a long way with the breed, and prevents them from becoming destructive.

Training

Dachshunds were first bred as hunting dogs, a past that makes them naturally independent. The headstrong breed is not easy to train, and will actively resist commands if not taught early in life.

House training is very difficult. You need to start crate training, utilizing some of these incredible models, early on. Positive reinforcement is a big part of such steps, and it is something you should always use to highlight good behavior.

As with exercise, Dachshunds need to be challenged during training. The dogs become bored easily, which can derail your efforts. Be active and engaged during all learning sessions.

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3. Common Health Issues of the Dachshund

“How long do Dachshunds live?”. A long time. The Dachshund lifespan ranges from 12 to 16 years, showing they live long, healthy lives. However, as positive as that is, the breed’s unique bone structure does leave the canines susceptible to certain ailments.

Intervertebral Disk Disease

Intervertebral Disk Disease (IDD) is an incredibly common health issue in Dachshunds. The musculoskeletal condition occurs when the vertebrae weaken and potentially stick out into the spinal canal. That can then lead to much more serious problems down the line.

Though not much outside of surgery can be done once a dog gets IDD, there are a few ways to ensure your pup never develops the disorder. Keeping them at a healthy weight is important, as is discouraging them from jumping off of furniture. It also helps to support their spine when holding them.

Dogs with the condition show limping, lameness, no desire to work out, or pain while getting pet. If you notice such symptoms, talk to your vet right away.

Obesity

It is always important to watch your dog’s weight, but with Dachshunds that importance doubles. Extra weight is extremely problematic for the breed because it presses on their spine in a way that leads to slipped or ruptured disks.

Always watch your Doxie Dog’s diet, consider giving them a weight-loss food if needed, and make sure they get plenty of exercises.

Eye Issues

Dachshunds tend to suffer from a range of eye diseases. So much so, that you should always pay attention to your pup’s face when grooming. If you notice anything odd, take them to the vet right away.

The breed is able to contract everything from dry eye to cataracts to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). Out of all eye diseases, PRA is the most problematic because it can lead to blindness if not properly identified.

Keep your dog’s eyes clean by wiping around them with a towel. Trim hair away from the eyelids as well.

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4. Children & Other Pets

Dachshunds are energetic, protective dogs that don’t normally trust strangers. That aggressive nature can make them a bit combative, but they have no problems fitting into a family. In fact, the dogs’ natural pack nature makes them great fits for kids of all ages.

As long as they are treated well, the playful pups will spend hours running around with children. Just never leave them alone with your toddler, as they can be hurt or harmed when picked up incorrectly.

The Dachshund’s stubborn nature makes them distrustful of other dogs, but their pack mentality helps them get along with canines inside the home.

The breed does well with cats and dogs as long as they are roughly the same size. Larger animals can lead to issues and fight for territory. Any animals that your Dachshund can hunt, such as rodents, are a no go as well.

5. The History of the Dachshund

Purebred dachshunds first came about in Germany during the eighteenth century. Though nobody knows what gave rise to the modern breed or current Dachshund mix, historians suspect the canines are a blend of German, French, and English hounds and terriers.

Due to their small size and loyal nature, the dogs were first kept in courts all across Europe. However, their true purpose was to hunt badgers, as their unique shape allowed them to easily tunnel down into holes. They also hunted foxes, rabbits, and boars.

The canines remained in those roles for years until they crossed the ocean to America sometime during the late nineteenth century.

From that point, breeders separated the gene pool into several different varieties. The longhaired, smooth-haired, and wire-haired were all developed for different looks and appearances. Now they are all sought as household pets.

While the breed still has hunting uses across Europe, it is almost exclusively a house pet in America. In fact, the Kennel Club labels it as one of the most popular dogs in the country.

6. The Regular Expenses of Owning a Dachshund

Dachshunds vary wildly in price. Breeders will sell a standard Dachshund for as high as $1000, but that can go down to as low as $200.

7. Dachshund Rescue Groups

There are quite a few groups that work hard to bring wiener dogs into loving homes.

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