Wiener dog, hot dog or dachshund—whatever you want to call it, this breed is a whole lot of dog wrapped up in a short body! The dachshund originated in Germany, where they were bred to hunt prey such as badgers (dachshund means “badger dog”). If you know anything about how mean and aggressive badgers are, you should be impressed with the dachshund’s tenacity to chase after one! This is a happy, intelligent, funny and independent breed.
The dachshund’s weight varies by its type: 8lbs (toy), 11lbs (miniature), and over 11lbs (standard). The little pups are 5 to 12 inches tall. The dachshund comes in a smooth coat, long coat and wire-haired coat and comes in a wide variety of colors. There are solid colors, bicolors and tricolors. The most commonly recognized colors are the black and tan and the red. There is also a dapple-colored coat, but they can be prone to genetic defects such as blindness. The long coats are said to be easier to train than others, though they all can be a challenge to train especially when it comes to housebreaking. Barking may be a problem with some. But with consistent, positive training they will be successful household members.
Training is a must! If left alone, this breed can become obstinate, resource guarders, irritable and quick to bite. They may refuse to be handled if not done so early on. This breed should be taught manners in both dog and people relationships. They are generally good with all people, dogs and kids. They’ll behave better with older children simply because of the chance of their back being hurt being mishandled by younger children.
This breed is prone to vertebral disc problems, urinary tract issues, heart disease and diabetes. They need to be walked daily, and they do well living in apartments as well as a house with a yard. They have an instinct to dig, so providing a digging area or making a digging box from a child’s sandbox will help keep them from digging up your prized petunias!
Some famous dachshunds include…Lump, who was owned by Picasso and may have inspired some of his works, and Waldi, who was the first Olympic mascot of the 1972 Olympics in Germany.
Maureen Henderson is a a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and a registered nurse who trains in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. She volunteers at the SPCA TampaBay and Florida Boxer Rescue. Maureen owns five dogs: an 11-year-old lab/chow mix, a one-year-old boxer, a four-year-old and a five-year-old old chihuahua and a four-year-old xoloitzcuintle (who just finished shooting a commercial for Kahlua!) She is the owner of Sit, Down,Stay Dog training where she does private, in-home training and behavior modification.