Breed Spotlight: Dachshunds
Dachshunds (pronounced as ‘Daks-hund’) or more commonly known as Sausage Dogs, Daxies or Doxies, have gained a large following in recent years. Belonging to the Hound group, Dachshunds have a distinct appearance with a long body, short legs and adorable floppy ears. The name comes from the German word “Dachs” which means badger and “Hund” which means dog. Hence, Dachshunds are often also referred to as badger dogs.
Their history stretches back to the 15th century, but it wasn’t until the 17th century that they were further developed and refined into the breed we all know and love today. Fast forward to the 21st century, Dachshunds are known for their charming (sometimes comical) personalities and loveable nature, often captured on Instagram and Tiktok.
If you are looking for a loving four-legged companion and want to find out if a Dachshund is the right fit for you, read on to learn more!
The oldest style of Dachshund may have originated from a cross between the German Shorthaired Pointer, a Pinscher, and a Bracke (a type of bloodhound). Over time, the breed evolved and is now recognised as its own breed, registered with organisations like the Kennel Club.
They were originally bred to hunt badgers, hence their name, which translates to ‘badger hound’ in German; this was a necessary task rather than a recreational activity. Badgers were difficult to capture, so they needed dogs that could burrow down the holes and bring back the prey. Due to their small size, fearless and curious nature, they were the perfect breed for the job. Even today, Dachshunds often display their innate digging behaviour from an early age, the remnant of their hunting instincts.
Nowadays, Dachshunds are bred for their adorable appearance, affectionate temperament, and loveable nature. While many Dachshunds no longer engage in hunting activities, their inherent hunting traits can still be observed in their spirited and curious personalities.
Dachshunds can sometimes be labeled as “velcro dogs” due to their strong desire to be close to their humans at all times, they thrive on companionship and can become quite attached. They don’t enjoy being left alone so may experience separation anxiety if left alone for an extended period. You can expect your Dachshund to follow you around the house!
Dachshunds generally get along well with other dogs and enjoy the company of other canines, however, proper introductions and socialisation are important to ensure positive interactions. They are also good with children as they can be patient and gentle, but as with all dogs it’s crucial to teach children how to interact with the dog and supervision is essential.
This breed possesses a vigilant nature and can alert you to any potential threats or unusual activity with it's loud bark. Despite their small size, they can make excellent watchdogs and can be quite protective of their family. Dachshunds can also be fearless to the point of rashness, they may not hesitate to take on much larger animals; it’s important to ensure their safety and provide appropriate training and guidance.
Whilst they are generally friendly, they can be initially wary of strangers and may bark to protect their territory (even if someone is just walking past your house!). Once they become familiar and comfortable, they tend to warm up and make friends.
Overall, Dachshunds are affectionate, intelligent and happy dogs. With proper training, socialisation and love they can make an amazing companion and bring joy and humour to your household.
Lifestyle and Healthcare
Dachshunds require regular exercise to stay fit. While they may not excel at long-distance running or swimming due to their smaller physique, they enjoy walks, engaging in mental stimulation games, and playing with their owners. They are generally healthy dogs with a life expectancy of 12-16 years. However, maintaining a good diet and exercise routine is crucial to their overall health.
It’s important to take precautions with Dachshunds to prevent back injuries. Their elongated body shape can put them at a higher risk for disc damage and conditions such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). It is advised to avoid allowing them to jump excessively or engage in activities that put a strain on their back. Instead carrying them or using ramps for stairs can help minimise the risk of injury.
Their distinctive long ears can make them prone to ear infections or other ear-related issues. Regular ear cleaning and inspection are necessary to maintain good ear health. Weight management is also important for Dachshunds, as they can be prone to weight gain; ensuring they get regular exercise can help prevent this.
When considering getting a Dachshund, it’s crucial to go to a reputable breeder who has conducted essential health tests. These tests typically include patella evaluation, cardiac exams and ophthalmologist exams, among others, to ensure that the puppies are healthy and free from common genetic health issues.
Coat and Grooming
Dachshunds come in two sizes: standard and miniature. Additionally, they have three coat types: smooth, long, and wire-haired. Each coat type requires a different level of grooming.
Smooth-coated Dachshunds have short, sleek fur that requires minimal grooming. A quick wipe-down with a damp cloth or a soft brush is usually sufficient to keep their coat looking neat.
Long-haired Dachshunds on the other hand require more frequent grooming as they can be prone to tangles and matting; regular brushing is essential. The frequency of brushing will vary depending on the thickness of their coat but it is recommended to brush them a few times a week.
Wire-haired Dachshunds have a denser overcoat with a softer undercoat. By clipping their facial features such as their beard and eyebrows, the rest of the body may only be needed quarterly.
Dachshunds are generally quite clean and have minimal body odor, however, regular bathing is necessary to keep them clean and fresh. In terms of shedding, they have a moderate shedding level. Regular brushing can help minimise loose hair around the house (and in your morning coffee!). Nail trimming is an important part of Dachshund grooming. They should be trimmed on a monthly basis to prevent them from becoming too long and causing discomfort or issues with walking.
Training and Socialisation
Like with any breed, early training and socialisation are crucial for Dachshunds. They are also known for their intelligence, they are quick learners and can pick up commands and tricks with relative ease. However, they can also be stubborn at times, so a consistent and patient training approach is necessary.
Positive and reward-based training methods work best with Dachshunds as they respond well to praise and treats. Harsh commands or punishments are not effective with this sensitive breed and can potentially harm the trust and bond between the dog and owner. Due to their history as hunting dogs, they can excel in certain types of training that align with their instincts. Scent work, for example, can be an engaging and rewarding activity for them.
Socialisation is also vital for Dachshunds. Introducing them to various people, animals, and environments from a young age helps them develop confidence. It also encourages positive interactions and reduces the likelihood of fear or aggression toward unfamiliar situations.
How can Paws in Work help?
Without proper socialisation, Dachshunds may grow up to be fearful of certain environments and/or people. Our socialisation programme helps alleviate this by socialising them from as early as 7 weeks old. We are helping them grow up to be confident, happy dogs that are less likely to show aggressive or anxious behaviour later in life. This is all whilst being constantly monitored by trained and experienced staff in a safe controlled environment.
We love working with all breeds of dogs at Paws in Work, and are certainly not breed-bias. However, we only work with ethical reputable breeders who also have the wellbeing of the pups at heart as much as we do.
Get in touch today
We believe that early socialisation for Dachshunds is vital for their development and helps alleviate some of the initial anxiety they may possess. We are always looking for reputable breeders to add to our network for future socialisation.
Have you got a litter of Dachshunds you would like to socialise with Paws in Work? Get in touch today with our breeder team to find out more!