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Dachshund - Small Breed Dog Profile

Updated: Feb 21

black and tan Dachshund on a chair

At Mary Puppins luxury dog home boarding, we have many Dachshunds come to stay for their doggy holidays. They are always a playful and fun small breed dog to have stay.

Dachshund: A Small Breed Dog with a Big Personality

Consider a dachshund if you are looking for a loyal, lively and adorable companion. These small dogs have a long history and distinctive appearance, making them stand out.

This article will explore the origin, purpose, characteristics, grooming, exercise, health and more of this popular breed.


“Dachshunds are burrowers by nature and are likely to burrow in blankets and other items around the house when bored or tired.” - PetMD


What is the origin of the Dachshund?

The Dachshund, which means "badger dog" in German, dates back to the 15th century.

They were initially bred to hunt badgers and other small animals that live in burrows. Their long, low body lets them enter and manoeuvre in narrow tunnels.

They also have a keen sense of smell and a strong prey drive.

The American Kennel Club recognised the Dachshund in 1885, and has since become one of the most beloved breeds in the world.

What is the Dachshund bred to do?

The Dachshund is still used for hunting in some parts of the world, but most are kept as pets. They are versatile dogs that can adapt to different lifestyles and environments.

They are suitable for apartment living as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

They are also great family dogs that enjoy playing with children and other pets.

However, they can be stubborn and independent, so they need consistent training and socialisation from an early age.

What are the physical characteristics of the Dachshund?

The Dachshund comes in three varieties: smooth-haired, wire-haired and long-haired. They also come in two sizes: standard and miniature.

The standard Dachshund weighs between 16 and 32 pounds and measures between 8 and 9 inches at the shoulder.

The miniature Dachshund weighs less than 11 pounds and measures between 5 and 6 inches at the shoulder.

The Dachshund has a long, muscular body with short legs and a curved tail. The head is elongated with a pointed muzzle and floppy ears.

The eyes are dark and almond-shaped. The coat can be of any colour or pattern, but the most common are red, black and tan, chocolate and tan, or dapple (merle).

What are the personality traits of the Dachshund?

The Dachshund is a dog with a big personality. They are intelligent, curious, brave and loyal. They love to explore new places and sniff out new scents.

They are also playful, affectionate and eager to please their owners. They can be clownish and entertaining but also stubborn and willful.

They need firm but gentle guidance to learn good manners and obedience. They can also be vocal and bark at strangers or anything that catches their attention.

They protect their family and territory but can be friendly with people and animals they know well.

Dachshund Grooming Requirements

Low grooming needs with a short coat. Occasional brushing is sufficient.

The Dachshund's grooming needs depend on the coat type they have.

The smooth-haired variety requires minimal grooming, just regular brushing to remove loose hair and dirt.

The wire-haired variety needs more frequent brushing to prevent mats and tangles and occasional trimming to maintain the characteristic beard and eyebrows.

The long-haired variety needs daily brushing to keep the coat shiny and smooth and regular trim around the ears, feet and tail.

All types need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care.

Dachshund Exercise Requirements

Dachshunds have moderate exercise needs; Dachshunds enjoy play and short walks.

The Dachshund may be small, but they are energetic and active dogs that need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy.

They enjoy walks, hikes, games of fetch or tug-of-war, or chasing after toys or balls.

However, they should not be allowed to jump from high places or run up or down stairs, as this can cause injury to their backs or legs.

They should also be kept on a leash or in a fenced area when outdoors, as they can easily wander off or chase after prey.

Dachshund Characteristics

Dachshunds are curious, brave, and known for their long body and short legs. Good with families.

The Dachshund is a dog that has many appealing qualities for potential owners. Some of them are:

- They are adaptable to different living situations

- They are loyal and devoted to their family

- They are intelligent and trainable

- They are fun-loving and playful

- They are alert and watchful

- They are courageous and tenacious

Dachshund Age Range

Dachshunds typically live between 12 to 16 years. However, some factors such as genetics, health conditions, diet, exercise and care can affect their longevity.

Dachshund Measurements

Dachshunds are typically: Height: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm); Weight: 11-32 pounds (5-14.5 kg).

The standard Dachshund has a height of 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder and a weight of 16 to 32 pounds.

The miniature Dachshund has a height of 5 to 6 inches at the shoulder and a weight of less than 11 pounds.

What are the health issues of the Dachshund?

The Dachshund is a generally healthy breed, but they can be prone to some health problems, such as:

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

This condition affects the spinal discs, causing them to bulge or rupture and compress the spinal cord.

It can result in pain, weakness, paralysis, or bladder or bowel control loss.

The Dachshund's long back and short legs make them more susceptible to this condition. Treatment can include medication, surgery or physical therapy.


This is a common problem among dachshunds, as they tend to overeat and under-exercise.

Obesity can lead to various health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, joint or respiratory problems.

Owners should monitor their Dachshund's weight and feed them a balanced diet with appropriate portions.

They should also provide them with regular exercise and avoid giving them too many treats or table scraps.

Dental problems

The Dachshund's small mouth and crowded teeth make them more prone to dental issues, such as plaque, tartar, gingivitis or tooth decay.

These can cause bad breath, pain, infection or tooth loss. Owners should brush their Dachshund's teeth regularly and take them to the vet for dental check-ups and cleaning.

Eye problems

The Dachshund can suffer from various eye problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) or dry eye.

These can cause vision loss, irritation or blindness.

Owners should check their Dachshund's eyes regularly and take them to the vet if they notice any signs of trouble, such as redness, discharge, cloudiness or squinting.

The Dachshund is a small breed of dog with a big personality. They are loyal, lively and adorable companions that can bring joy and laughter to any home.

However, they also have some special needs and challenges that owners should be aware of and prepared for.

If you want to own a dachshund, do your research and find a reputable breeder or rescue organisation.

You must also provide your Dachshund with proper care, training, socialisation, grooming, exercise and health checks. If you do so, you will have a wonderful friend for life.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

BOOK NOW via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

Mary Puppins Cheshire

Mary Puppins, Dachshund

mary puppins expert small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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