Originating in Germany where he is known as the Teckel (badger dog) the Dachshund, is still used for both tracking wounded game such as deer, and for going to ground after badger or rabbits. In his native country there are three sizes: standard, miniature and Kaninchen (rabbit dog) all defined by measuring the circumference of the chest.
In the UK there are two sizes with miniatures preferably weighing under 5 kilograms.
There are three coat types in each variety: the Smooth haired, the Long haired and the Wirehaired and the six varieties all share the same breed standard, divided by size and coat
Standard and miniature dachshunds
Dachshunds are fun, friendly characters but they are also strong-willed and take time and commitment. They may be small but they need mental stimulation and exercise or they can become noisy and destructive.
Dachshunds are active dogs and will take as much exercise as you can give them. They are, however, just as happy curled up on your lap, snoozing. They are loyal companions and make good family pets. They are not noted for their obedience but, with patience and persistence by the owner, they can be trained. However, they are Hounds and when they are off the lead, if they get a scent, they can “go deaf” when it suits them. As a generalisation, Wires are the most extrovert and active, Standard Longs are the most laid-back, and Standard Smooths are perhaps more “one person” or “one family” dogs. All the Miniatures make ideal pets for someone who is less active and who wants a small but affectionate companion
Mini Wire Dachshunds can suffer from a particular form of epilepsy called Lafora Disease and there is a DNA screening test available. 4% of dogs in general, suffer from epilepsy. At the moment, we have no quantified evidence of epilepsy in UK Dachshunds, although it has been reported in Mini Longs and Standard Wires.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA - cord 1)
PRA is a group of genetic diseases similar to retinitis pigmentosa in humans, it is characterized by the bilateral degeneration of the retina, causing progressive vision loss culminating in blindness.
Dachshunds, being a "dwarf" breed, have a condition known as CHONDRODYSTROPHY - “chondro” means cartilage and “dystrophy” means disorder. Chondrodystrophy refers to the abnormal development of bone from a cartilage skeleton during growth from a puppy to an adult. The long bones of the body tend to be affected the most and this results in short limbs. It is “genetically programmed” in dwarf breeds such as Dachshunds. Discs have an outer fibrous capsule (annulus) and inner gel nucleus. Discs degenerate with age in all animals – they lose water, become more fibrous and sometimes mineralised (calcified). The fibrous annulus can also rupture. Degeneration takes place much earlier in chondrodystrophic breeds, i.e. from 12-18 months, compared with 6-8 years in nonchondrodystrophic breeds. Disc disease can and does happen at any age. Also known as: Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
Reducing the risk of injury While there is not much that can be done to prevent disc degeneration, there are things you can try to do to reduce the risk of injury:
- Regular exercise -
- Build up gradually from puppyhood to 12 months; 5 minutes of “formal” exercise per day per month of age
- Keep in fit, well-muscled condition, as Dachshunds were meant to be; adults require 45-60 minutes of mixed exercise per day (free-running and on-lead)
- Being overweight can put more stress on the spine, as well as leading to other potential health problems Lift your Dachshund using two hands, one supporting the chest and one supporting the back
Are You Ready For A Dog?
Dog ownership is a decision that brings many rewards with it. These can include a healthier lifestyle, improved sociability and sense of community, as well as companionship.
To ensure that you are able to enjoy these benefits it is essential that you ask yourself the following questions before getting a puppy or dog:
- Can I afford to have a dog? Ongoing expenses such as food, veterinary fees and canine insurance can cost roughly £25 a week.
- Can I make a lifelong commitment to a dog? A dog's average life span is 12 years.
- Is my home big enough to house a dog?
- Do I really want to exercise a dog every day?
- Will there be someone at home for a dog? Dogs get lonely just like humans.
- Will I find time to train, groom and generally care for a dog?
- Will I be able to answer YES to these questions every day of the year?
If you have answered 'NO' to any of the above, you should think again before getting a dog.