All about Dachshunds

About This Breed

The Dachshund originated in the 16th century, where it was bred and used to hunt badgers and foxes. More recent in history, it has become a popular companion breed.

To learn more about the breed and meet other Dachshund lovers, check out our Dachshund Den group in the Pet360 community.

Physical Characteristics

COLOR(S)

The breed is most commonly seen in red, black and tan, blue, and fawn.

COAT
The coat can be short, long or wire.

Personality and Temperament

DACHSHUND ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate to High

POSITIVES

The Dachshund loves to play. It is also smart and quick to learn.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

The breed has been known to bark a lot, and can be aggressive to strangers. 

Care

IDEAL LIVING CONDITIONS

The Dachshund fares well in the city or the country.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The breed requires daily exercise and regular grooming if it is of the long hair type. 

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Dachshunds:

  • Back and disc problems
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Kidney Disease

History and Background

First mentioned in 18th-century dog books, the Dachshund breed was referred to as the Badger Dog, Little Burrow Dog, Dacksel or "low crooked legged" breed. The word Dachshund is German, literally meaning "badger hound." This name was given to them because they were used for the extermination of badgers, although they were also very useful for hunting other prey, such as foxes and rabbits, because of their ability to enter burrows to catch them. Used in numbers, the breed was also used to hunt boar. Their courageous fight to the finish attitude make them worthy opponents, but their apparent lack of self-awareness concerning size can lead them into situations where they are at a distinct disadvantage.

The breed has three sizes (although the larger sizes are combined as one size for breed standard and show purposes). The large or standard Dachshund is from 16 to 35 pounds, and the smaller, miniature Dachshund is less than 11 pounds. The smooth coated Dachshund, specifically, was first developed by crossing the Bracke French pointer and the vermin-killing Pinscher. Meanwhile, the long-haired version is thought to have been the result of crossbreeding between the smooth Dachshund, the German Stoberhund and spaniels. And the wire-coated Dachshunds which were developed in the late 1800s, was a mix of smooth Dachshunds with Dandie Dinmont Terrier and German Wire-haired Pinschers. These three varieties were excellent hunters in their respective climatic conditions and terrain, and were all very strong and powerful dogs that hunted small mammals, foxes, and badgers.

Prior to the 20th century, small Dachshunds, produced by crossing Pinschers and toy terriers, were used for chasing small quarry-like rabbits. However, these miniatures types lacked Dachshund proportion.

Strict criteria were taken up for the breed by 1910, and each variety was crossed with various kinds of breeds to get only the best results. Wartime brought some amount of ill repute to the German borne Dachshund, leading to brief declines in popularity, but there have always remained those who have returned the breed's steadfastness and loyalty with the like, and it has continued to grow in popularity, standing tall as one of the most popular companion dogs in the U.S.

Visit Adopt-a-Pet.com to find an adoptable Dachshund in your area!