Dachshund Puppy Facts

Did you just bring home a new Dachshund puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

Dogs with features common to this breed were known to exist in ancient Egypt but it's generally accepted that the modern breed originated in Germany in 1600s.

When it was first created, the goal was to develop a breed that could be used to hunt badgers. The original breed was much larger than the modern Dachshund, with dogs weighting between 30 and 40 lbs. Later, a smaller version was created to hunt hare and other small prey.

While I can't say for sure what breeds played a role in its development, the Dachshund includes some characteristics of French, German and English hounds and terriers.

The name "dachshund" comes from 2 German words -- Dachs (badger) and Hund (hound). But despite the breed name having German origin, these dogs are also known in Germany by names Dackel and Tackel. The latter is used for formally certified tracking and hunting dogs.

Because of their long and narrow build, they are sometimes nicknamed hot dog or wiener dog. Another common nickname for these dogs is Doxie.

The short legs and elongated body allow the Dachshund to dig earth and follow its prey into burrows. Despite its small size, this is a very courageous dog that will not hesitate to fight, sometimes to the death, with the vicious badgers.


A Chihuahua Dachshund mix, not one of the more traditional crosses, is known as "Cheewenie"!

The breed first appeared in the United States in the late 1800s and was recognized by AKC in 1885.

Physical Characteristics of Dachshund Puppies

There are several breeds that can't be mistaken for another breed. This is one of them. It's most recognizable features are short legs and elongated body.

Dachshunds come in 2 sizes -- miniature and standard, and each one can have one of 3 coat varieties (more on coat a little later). Actually, there is a third one -- kaninchen (rabbit size), but it's not recognized by most clubs in the United States and Great Britain.

Regardless of its size, these dogs are low to ground with long and muscular bodies and necks.

The head appears long and tapers to the tip of the nose. The eyes are of medium size and almond-shaped. The ears are long and hang low toward the cheeks. The tail appears as an extension of spine. The legs are short and muscular.

Dachshund skin is very elastic and without excessive wrinkling and is covered by one of three coat varieties -- smooth (short hair), longhaired, and wirehaired.

Smooth Coat

The smooth-haired variety has short, smooth, and shiny hair, tender ears, and tapered, well haired (but not too hairy) tail.

The hair can be...

  • One Colored -- the color is not important but some of the dominant colors are several variations of red, black, brown, isabella (tan or fawn), and cream.
  • Bi-color -- the most common color combinations include black (base color) and tan, chocolate (base color) and tan, black (base color) and cream, chocolate (base color) and cream, blue (base color) and cream, and blue (base color) and tan. A small amount of white on chest is also acceptable.
  • Dappled -- this pattern is expressed with lighter-colored areas contrasting with the darker base color. Neither the light nor the dark color should predominate.
  • Brindle -- with this pattern, dark stripes occur over the entire body. In some dogs the pattern may be visible only in the tan points.

Longhaired Coat

The slightly wavy hair is sleek and glistening. It's longest under the neck, the underside of the body, behind the legs, the ears, and the tail. The coat comes in same colors as I just described above.

Wirehaired Coat

With the exception of jaw, eyebrows, and ears, the whole body is covered with a uniform short, thick, and rough outer coat and softer, shorter undercoat. Facial features include a beard and eyebrows. On the ears the hair is somewhat shorter than on the rest of the body.

The most common colors are wild boar, black and tan, and various shades of red.

    Height Weight
  Male 8 to 11 inches (standard) * 15 to 28 pounds (standard)
    5 to 7 inches (miniature) * < 11 pounds (miniature)
    < 7 inches (kaninchen) * 8 to 10 pounds (kaninchen)
  Female 8 to 11 inches (standard) * 15 to 28 pounds (standard)
    5 to 7 inches (miniature) * < 11 pounds (miniature)
    < 7 inches (kaninchen) * 8 to 10 pounds (kaninchen)

* There is no height standard


Doxies are playful, curious, and clever. They are affectionate towards their families and OK with other pets, especially when raised with them, but are predisposed to chasing small animals and birds. They can also take over the house unless you establish yourself as the "leader of the pack".

Despite its small size, the Dachshund is a very courageous dog that will not hesitate to take on a much larger opponent.

Some dogs may be stubborn and difficult to train and housebreak. Consistency and lots of patience on your part is a must for dealing with them.

Other behavioral problems may include puppy separation anxiety, excessive barking, snapping and biting, jealousy, and refusal to be handled. Some of these behaviors are not unique to Dachshunds; they are common to many smaller breeds.

Another behavior you may find annoying is its love for digging. Learn more about how to stop dog from digging.

Some say this is not the best breed for families with small children, but a properly trained Dachshund and a well behaved child will get along just fine.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

These dogs are very adaptable and will do equally well in suburban and city apartment settings.   

If you have small children, explain to them that rough play is dangerous to your pet's health.

Some Dachshund breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

This is a moderately active breed and requires daily exercise. But due to its predisposition to back problem, avoid any intense exercise, including jumping and rough play.

At a minimum, take your pet for one or two walks every day.


This breed is an average shedder. The amount of grooming will depend on the coat type.

The smooth-haired variety requires the least grooming -- brushing with a soft bristle brush and a rubdown with a damp cloth a couple of times a week is all that's needed.

The wirehaired and longhaired Dachshunds need more frequent brushing -- several times per week for a wirehaired and daily for longhaired. The longhaireds also require regular combing.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, the Dachshund is susceptible to complications caused by parasites such as dog ticks, fleas, and puppy worms, including tapeworms, roundworms, and heartworms.

Other health problems common to this breed include epilepsy, hypothyroidism, bloating, and spinal disease. The breed also has a tendency to gain too much weight, putting even more stress on its back.

For more information about dog diseases and health, visit dog health problems.

To reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems, buy only from reputable Dachshund breeders (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for Dachshund puppies is 11 to 15 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Dachshund rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Dachshund Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.

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