While many folks think these pups look like hot dogs, it's really the other way around: hot dogs were originally called Dachshund Sausages! A perfect example of form following function, Dachshunds' long, skinny bodies help them fit into tight badger holes to burrow. In fact, “Dachshund” means “badger dog” in German.
These canine comedians have brilliant noses. Their short legs keep them close to a scent, and their long lean bodies lets them follow prey into tight spaces. Dachshunds are also talented diggers.
Originally from Germany, the miniature version of this pint-sized and medium-energy breed usually stays under 11 pounds and lives an average of 12-16 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Breed Group: Hound
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 5
FAMILY scenthound, terrier, dachshund
AREA OF ORIGIN Germany
DATE OF ORIGIN 1500s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION flushing badgers
TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials, dachshund field trials
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 5-6 Weight: 1-11
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 5-6 Weight: 1-11
OTHER NAME teckel (miniature: zwergteckel)
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Shy
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A MINIATURE DACHSHUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Dachshunds are brave, smart, spunky, and sympathetic dogs who do best with adults. (They can be a bit snappish.) They can be playful and very affectionate. But Dachshunds can be reserved or suspicious with strangers.
WHAT IS MINIATURE DACHSHUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Dachshunds are an active breed and can be athletic. Vigorous indoor games might be enough to wear them out, but they'll benefit from the mental stimulation of regular outdoor walks and sniffs. It's important to keep your Dachshund well exercised, or it might turn those talented paws on your potted plants, couch, or carpets.
This breed is highly vigilant and not especially protective. Dachshunds can be somewhat prone to barking.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A MINIATURE DACHSHUND?
Dachshunds are trainable dogs, though they can also be stubborn and independent-minded. They respond best to food rewards. Start early and be patient and persistent with your pup. This breed is sometimes resistant to potty training.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO MINIATURE DACHSHUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
There are three varieties of Dachshunds' fur: smooth, wire-haired, and long-haired. The smooth variety is relatively easy to care for, and wire-haired Dachshunds don't need much grooming either. A long-haired Dachshund needs regular combing. They are below-average shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO MINIATURE DACHSHUNDS HAVE?
Dachshunds are among the healthiest breeds of dogs. However, their long bodies make them prone to spine injuries, so consider helping your Dachshund onto higher surfaces like couches, car seats, or beds. They also have a tendency toward obesity, so be mindful about meals and snacks.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE MINIATURE DACHSHUNDS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Miniature Dachshunds among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Miniature Dachshund! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A MINIATURE DACHSHUND'S BEST DAY?
Rooting in your petunias would be fine for them, but you may prefer some brain-teaser games and a long walk together around a new park. If your pup insists on digging, consider creating a dig-appropriate place for her, like a dedicated sandbox with a hard bottom.
SHOULD I ADOPT A MINIATURE DACHSHUND?
Dachshunds are good in many environments, including cities — just not Northern ones without warm jackets! These little guys aren't good in the cold. They'll do fine in moderately warm weather, though. They don't need much exercise, but appreciate a trip around the block for proving both physical and mental stimulation. These dogs can be playful and affectionate, and they don't require much grooming. If you're looking for a distinctive breed for your solo lifestyle with a lot of personality and a good sense of humor, the Dachshund might just be your dog.
Have you decided that a Miniature Dachshund is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.