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Dashing Dachshund

The pint size limousine with a jumbo size personality; Dac hshund – the hot dog sausage

Hailing from Germany, the Dachshund is a member of the Hound family. The long sausage shaped body with stubby legs characterizes its unique look and is sheer cuteness overload! Resembling the body of a stretch limousine, the Dachshund is the Rolls Royce amongst the dog breeds. They were initially bred for hunting small game like badgers and other burrowing animals. They draw their lineage from Pinscher, Braque d’Auvergne and possibly the Basset hound. Coat variations were made possible by crossing them with Spaniels and Terriers.

Physical characteristics

Height: Standard – 8 to 9 inches;

Miniature – 5 to 6 inches

Weight: Standard – 16 to 32 lbs;

Miniature – up to 11 lbs.

Build: A long body and short legs.

Features: An extended muzzle with a head that tapers to the end of the nose; large floppy ears and a straight tail.

Coat: Short and smooth, or long and wavy, or thick and short wire haired.

Colors: most commonly black and tan, red or chocolate, dapple pattern.

Life Span

12 to 16 years.

Temperament and Training

Dachshunds are very spirited and smart. They can be quite stubborn and training them can be challenging. Their propensity to bark a lot can become an issue, especially if living in an apartment. Given their small size, their bark is quite loud. If not trained properly, the barking could be incessant. They also like digging a lot and may dig up plants or burrow holes.


The 5 minutes per day per month of age is a good, easy to remember, guide. By 6 months he should be going for a 30-minute walk on the lead each day. By a year old you should be giving your Dachshund a 50 to 60 minute walk every day. Once adult, your Dachshund will take any amount of exercise you care to give. If you over-exercise them before they are fully grown and the growth plates have closed, you risk ending up without-turned front feet and a very “stringy” dog. They need to mature slowly and build muscle-tone. Just because they will walk for miles doesn’t mean they should. (Courtesy – Dachshund Health, UK)


If short haired, you could groom it once or twice a week. The long haired require daily brushing. The wire-haired Dachshunds will need brushing several times a week to keep on top of maintaining their coat’s quality. In addition, since they have dense undercoats, stripping about two times a year is recommended.


Dachshunds tend to have a voracious appetite due to their active nature and may therefore, always seem to be hungry.

Their age, size, medical condition and personal preference will all play a part in deciding their diet. Consult the vet and ensure that they get the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of vitamins and minerals. They need Vitamin D in their food to avoid getting rickets. You might want to add some Omega 3, like DHA or EFA, from fish oils to their food, because some studies have shown that low Omega 3 in the food can make dogs more aggressive. Obesity can be an issue for Dachshunds and their short legs can’t take the extra weight. So be careful with their diet – make sure you aren’t overfeeding them and don’t give them too many treats.

Health issues

The long body of Dachshunds puts stress on their spines and therefore they are prone to IDD (Intervertebral disc disease). This increases the likelihood of their spinal discs bulging when they have back strain or injury. Diabetes, epilepsy and bloat are some of the other medical issues that need attending to. Bloat or GDV (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) typically affects larger dogs but

Daschunds can get it too due to their deep chests. This is when there is excess air in the stomach. It is life-threatening so it’s vital you get your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect they have GDV. Progressive retinal atrophy may lead to blindness.

Double Dapple

Double Dapple is the colour or pattern of a dog that is the result of mating two Dapple Dachshunds together. Double Dapple puppies will always have white markings, usually have blue eyes, but may have one or both dark eyes. There are lethal genes commonly associated with Double Dapple. This could cause varying degrees of vision and hearing loss, including missing eyes or “micro eyes”, blindness and/or deafness. Do not be misled by breeders offering “all colours or rare coloured, Dachshunds such as Double Dapple or Piebald. If in doubt, consult a vet.

Separation anxiety

Dachshunds do suffer from separation anxiety which they exhibit by excessive barking and howling.

Considering getting a Dachshund as a pet?

– Not suitable for being around very small children as they can get quite vocal and snappy if the playing gets boisterous; they do fine with older kids.

– Not recommended if there are other small pets in the house. Their hunting instincts kick in and they may chase and harm smaller pets.

– The Dachshund often has a mind of its own. Be prepared for some stubbornness and attitude while training. If you have got past the minor niggles mentioned above, congratulations on your choice! Dachshunds are quite even-tempered, affectionate and active and make good family pets

– and they come with dollops of cuteness.