German for “badger dog,” the Dachshund was originally bred to flush out badgers from burrows or hunt smaller prey like rabbits. As one of the top 10 breeds in the U.S., they are the only breed to hunt both above and below ground.
There are three different types of coat types found in the Dachshund breed. These include the shorthaired, the wirehaired and the longhaired. There are also three different sizes from the small miniature through the toy and up to the standard. “Tweenies” are an in-between size of a standard and a miniature. The toy Dachshund measures up to 12 inches at the shoulder and less than 8 pounds, the miniature comes in at up to 7 inches and 11 pounds and the standard is up to 11 inches and over 11 pounds. All have that traditional long, low slung body that is such as standard of the breed.
Their long spine can be a health concern for some Dachshunds. The breed, like many of the other long backed dogs, should not be encouraged to jump up or down because of the possibility of spinal injury. In addition the breed is prone to Dachshund paralysis, a spinal disc problem, which can cause full paralysis if not treated at the initial symptoms. Talk to your vet if you notice any change in the dog’s ability to move or any pain or sensitivity along the back or hindquarters.
Coat colors range from solid colors through to brindles, bicolors, tricolors, merles and dapples. Sometimes the dog may actually have more than one different color pattern which can make them very difficult to describe for registration purposes. Coat care and maintenance depends on the type with longhaired varieties requiring the most grooming.
The Dachshund is an avid hunter and burrower, so it is important to keep fences strong and intact. They can be very independent at times and, although very intelligent, they can be a bit challenging to train and housebreak. They can be trained for the Dachshund Races held in Buda, Texas.
The Dachshund is a great indoor dog and does well in apartments provided they have time to get out and run and explore. They are excellent watchdogs and will bark to let you know if strangers are near. With socialization they are friendly dogs that get along with people, cats and other dogs but they also can show some very marked terrier like characteristics and be protective of their people, places and things.