Dachshund Dog Breed

Dog Group: Hound Group

Class: Hound


Dachshund Dog Breed

The Dachshund is a sturdy, well-built little dog, with a long body and short, stout leg. The head of the Dachshund is also long, as is its muzzle. With its oval dark-red or dark-brown eyes, the Dachshund has both an intelligent and friendly expression.

This breed has quite long ears that frame the face and the coat comes in three variations: short-haired, wired-haired and long-haired.

The long-haired Dachshund has a very soft, straight or slightly wavy coat; the wire-haired Dachshund has a short, straight, and quite bristly coat; the standard Dachshund has a very smooth, short, dense coat. There is something almost regal about the appearance of the Dachshund, and it carries itself very confidently.


The Dachshund is a lively dog with many entertaining and enjoyable traits. This breed is generally curious and can be quite strong-minded and cheeky. However, the Dachshund is also a very loving and affectionate dog, and will shower its family with attention. The Dachshund has been known to have a jealous streak, and although this breed is generally compatible with other pets and children, they can be short-tempered or bossy and may snap or bite. Therefore, this breed may be better for families with older children rather than very young kids. The ‘Toy’ Dachshund in particular is thought to be more suited to families with older children. The determined and somewhat obstinate streak in the personality of a Dachshund can mean that training may become quite difficult and this type of dog may become difficult to handle, particularly for the inexperienced.

Height and Weight

The height and weight of the Dachshund depends upon the variation of the dog. The ‘Toy’ or ‘Rabbit’ variation grows to approximately twelve inches and will weigh around eight pounds. The ‘Miniature’ or ‘Dwarf’ variation will grow to around fourteen inches and weigh approximately nine pounds. The normal (standard) variation should grow up to around sixteen inches on average, and will weight up to approximately twenty pounds.

Common Health and Behavioral Problems

The Dachshund can suffer from paralysis, which can result from a spinal disc disorder and will mean that the dog develops an inability to walk. Heart disease and diabetes are also possible issues, and the risk of a Dachshund getting these disorders may be increased by the breed’s tendency to pile on weight unless properly monitored. Urinary tract infections also pose a risk for the Dachshund.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Dachshund is a lively breed and will happily play indoors, which means that you can consider this type of dog if you live in an apartment or a home with little or no garden facility. However, you must still ensure that they get plenty of exercise and fresh air in the way of walks.

Exercise Requirements

The energy and lively nature of the Dachshund means that he will enjoy play and exercise immensely, and should be encouraged to take regular exercise. If you don’t have a garden or yard in which your Dachshund can play and exercise, then you must ensure that he is taken for regular walks and to the local park to indulge in some interactive play. Another reason to ensure that your Dachshund receives regular exercise is that he can otherwise quickly gain weight, which can add to the risk of common health problems associated with the spine, heart and blood sugar. You should also bear in mind the risk of spinal damage when exercising your Dachshund, and avoid any exercise that can cause or exacerbate spinal problems.

Diet and Nutrition

You must be careful with regards to the diet of your Dachshund. The tendency for this breed to gain weight quickly means that portions and frequency of feeding must be closely monitored, otherwise you could end up with a lazy, obese Dachshund with a myriad of related health problems.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Dachshund is generally around twelve to fifteen years. However, there are other contributory factors with the life expectancy of each individual Dachshund, such as health issues and weight. Proper diet and exercise can help to minimize on potential health problems, which an in turn help to keep life expectancy at a maximum.

Grooming Requirements

The grooming requirements of the Dachshund depend upon which variation of Dachshund you own. A standard Dachshund should have his coat regularly rubbed down with a damp cloth to keep his coat fresh and smooth, and minimize on shedding. A bristle brush is usually suitable for the Dachshund, and you can also buy dry shampoo for occasional use as well. The wire-haired Dachshund should be taken to a professional groomer every six months or so for a coat trim. Long-haired Dachshunds should be brushed daily to maintain the coat and minimize on shedding.


The Dachshund originated in Germany centuries ago, and was used as a hunting dog to seek out badgers and hares (the ‘Dachs’ in Dachshund is German for ‘badger’). The Dachshund had keen and impressive digging skills, which made them perfect for hunting dogs. Even today’s Dachshund is a keen and persistent digger. The breed was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

Secrets to Dog Training: Consultation

Secrets to Dog Training offers a free consultation with every order! Here is one submitted by Sally about her dog Bailey a miniature dachshund...

Sally's Consultation

Dear Daniel,

I'm having a problem with my dog Bailey. He is a miniature dachshund about 4 years old. We got him from a shelter a year ago this January.

He just started in September this habit of pooping in the house, always in an area where we wouldn't see it. We suspect that he started this habit because the rainy season started here in Oregon, and he hates to go in the grass (which isn't too tall, but since he's a miniature dachshund, it's tall enough to touch his knee's, and the grass is very wet). He won't pee however in the house, because he's willing to pee on the patio furniture instead of the grass, but not willing to poop on the patio, he has to do that inside for some reason.

So, also we try and keep our eyes on him to catch him trying to poop in the house, but he's such a sneaky dog, I’ve never once caught him in the act. I'll be watching him all day, and answer the phone for a second, and he's already pooped somewhere in that minute.

We've tried (cause we saw it on the Newlyweds show with Nick and Jessica Simpson and their dog daisy) putting a fence that we can make a circle out of and put it around his poop and make him sit in the cage with his poop. But we've only tried that a few times.

The biggest problem we have is catching him in the act. It has become a daily thing, with him pooping in the house, it started out gradual, but now it happens everyday.

Please Help!!!

Thanks in advanced,

Sally Tripp

Secrets to Dog Training Reply:

Hi Sally,

Thanks for your email regarding your 4 year old mini dachshund. Problems with dog’s toileting inside can become very annoying and very frustrating very quickly! There are several methods you can try however and I will outline these here.

Firstly I would like to briefly comment on the way you react to him when he poops inside. The two areas he poops need to be covered up somehow. I am very surprised neutralizer didn’t work in helping prevent him for toileting in this area. You may like to try putting an object on these areas (such as a pot plant or something appropriate for the area he is using). You could also try feeding your dog in these areas. Because dogs generally hate eating in the same area they poop, this should have an effect on him – however your dog sounds pretty determined not to poop outside!! I would recommend re-housetraining him to some extent. This is very hard to do of course when he is already toileting outside and is very clever to know to wait for you to turn your back before he poops inside. Only punish your dog when you catch him in the act of pooping, or when you believe he has finished pooping in the last 10 – 15 seconds. Punishing him after this time will not get through to him as he will most likely not associate the punishment with the act of pooping inside. It does make it hard I know. You exactly correct for not rubbing your dog’s face in his poop, but I also definitely would discourage you from putting your dog in a cage with its poop also. Do not continue with this method.

Whenever you catch Bailey in the act of pooping inside (which may not be very often – but when you do..) be sure to use a loud guttural voice to say “AAAAH” so that he knows what he is doing at that particular time is wrong. Further to this, when you do take him outside and watch him like a hawk until he poops, go CRAZY when he finally does. Give him PLENTY of vocal encouragement and rewards for doing so and perhaps even give him a special treat like some yummy food or even a walk. If you manage to catch Bailey in the act enough times and reward him when you see him poop enough times, you should eventually break through to him what is right and wrong. It may also be useful to find a particular area outside that isn’t wet. Do you have any sort of sheltered area out the back? If you can identify an area Bailey does poop on outside when you watch him closely, always lead him out to this spot and always reward him in this spot. If it is difficult to get Bailey to poop anywhere outside, you may want to consider using a litter pan with newspaper in the bottom and teaching him to poop in this somewhere outside undercover – say in a carport, old shed or somewhere with some shelter or away from wet grass. Obviously it would be ideal to get Bailey to poop on the patio. If you constantly take Bailey out to this spot and wait and reward him when he does poop here you may eventually be able to convince him to always poop here. Again the litter pan on the patio may help encourage him to this spot.

A back up option is always available and that is to train Bailey to poop inside in a certain area on a litter tray that has absorbable paper (i.e. newspaper) in the bottom of it. This can be done by taking Bailey to this spot at times he is likely to poop (after exercise and mealtimes as well as in the mornings and before bedtime). It is much more preferable of course to use persistence, consistency and patience until he realizes that pooping inside is not acceptable and is a behavior he will get reprimanding for as well as being rewarded for pooping outside in a particular area, rather than giving in to let him poop inside in a controlled manner. However if you are at your wits end and want an immediate result this may help. Even using a litter tray in the two areas he poops in now may be a very short term answer. However I believe you should be patient and try and retrain Bailey into pooping outside again.

A desired result will come to you if you use the right tone of voice for punishing Bailey and the most appropriate reward to get a response from him. Avoid putting feces in to the crate with Bailey. This will not help the situation or teach him anything.

Best of luck with Bailey – he sounds like a lovely dog despite this small problem. Remember the key to your success will be doing all that is possible to try and catch him in the act to tell him off. I realize this is a lot easier said than done, but it will be important in your case. The rewarding of him pooping outside will also be very important. Let us know how you get on in the months ahead.

Kind regards,

Daniel Stevens, The Secrets to Dog Training Team

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About The Author

Daniel Stevens is the renowned dog trainer and author of Secrets to Dog Training: STOP Dog Behavior Problems!, one of the leading dog training guides on the market today selling over 25,743 copies (and counting). He currently heads the Kingdom of Pets dog training team.