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Lively, intelligent and brave, Dachshunds thrive with pet parents who can provide them with love, attention and daily, relaxing walks. They'll thrive if they get mental challenges through puzzle games or scent-tracking sports and make wonderful companions for those willing to dedicate time to their care and training.
Dachshunds may look playful and cute, but their little hearts carry the bravery of a strong soldier. They’re loyal to a fault to their human family, but they don’t always get along so well with other dogs or cats.
Because of their fragile backs and protective personalities, they do better in homes without young kids and babies. A child who plays too roughly could seriously injure your Doxie, so early socialization, training and supervision with small kids and babies are important.
These small-sized but confident pups love to bark, so while they can be just fine in a small or large home, they might not be the best choice for apartment living. And if you have a yard, be warned: Dachshunds were bred to keep badgers off property, so they’ll chase any small animals in your yard and may dig a few holes to search for critters underground.
Dachshunds are smart problem solvers who might figure out a way to get at your uneaten food if you leave it out too long. While they aren’t couch potatoes, they also aren’t hyperactive; they’ll enjoy a moderate walk with you every day.
In the right home, these sausage dogs are a joy. Be ready for quite a few laughs when you have a playful Dachshund. They might even steal the socks right off your feet from time to time.
How to Care for a Dachshund
Dachshunds are playful and adorable, but they must be handled with care due to their fragile spines. They don’t need to be bathed often, but their bellies may need more frequent brushing because their bodies are so close to the ground and can pick up stickers or burrs. Because they may be quicker to bite than some other dog breeds, it’s important to not only introduce Dachshunds slowly to anyone new but also provide early socialization, training and supervision with small kids and babies. These family dogs are happiest with scent-focused games to play and loving humans to relax with in a quiet home.
Dachshunds have a lifespan of 12-16 years, but the breed does have a few health issues you’ll want to watch for. To reduce the odds of health problems, work with a Dachshund breeder who screens for these issues and ask to see the test results of the litter and parents you’re considering.
- Back Issues: Dachshunds are prone to back problems that can lead to paralysis if not treated promptly. This includes intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), caused by a bulging or slipped disc. As many as 25 percent of Dachshunds may have IVDD at some point. If you notice any change in your dog’s movement or trouble walking, talk to your veterinarian right away. Depending on the severity, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory may be all that’s needed. There are several steps you can take to help safeguard your Dachshund’s back: Avoid any rough play or jumping; always carry your dog by supporting their hind end with one hand and chest with the other; keep them a lean, healthy weight; and set up ramps or stairs, so they don’t have to jump on the furniture.
- Bloat: Dachshunds can develop gastric torsion or bloat, where the stomach twists on itself. Symptoms can include being in pain, pacing, drooling, trying to throw up but not being able to or licking their lips. This can come on fast, and it is life-threatening, so you’ll need to get your dog to a veterinarian quickly if you notice symptoms.
- Deafness: If your Dachshund’s parents are both dapples (the coat is mottled with patches of color), your pup has a greater chance of being deaf. While there is no cure, deaf pups can live a very happy life.
- Luxating Patella: This occurs when a kneecap slips out of its normal position. You may notice this issue if your dog does a little skip sometimes when walking. Some dogs may not need any treatment, while others may need surgery, depending on the severity. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help prevent this issue.
- Epilepsy: Dachshunds can also have epilepsy, which is typically a genetic issue. Medications may be needed for more severe cases. Breeders will screen for this issue to prevent passing the condition on to future generations of Doxies.
- Eye Problems: Dachshunds can have eye problems, including cataracts, glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). All three can cause blindness. Cataracts and glaucoma may be treated with surgery. PRA is not treatable; however, most dogs adjust to life with vision loss. Your veterinarian can watch for these issues, and breeders may be able to screen for them.
Dachshunds’ origin dates back more than 600 years ago to Germany where they were bred to hunt badgers. In fact, their name is German for “badger dog.” Their narrow, low-to-the-ground body is perfect for digging into badger tunnels, and their confident, brave personalities make them mighty hunters. They were also bred to have a loud bark to alert their humans whenever they found badgers underground. Sometimes, packs of Dachshunds were used for hunting wild boar.
Doxies were bred for three different types of coats depending on their climate. Their original coat was short and smooth. Some were bred to have longer coats for colder climates, and others were bred to have wiry coats to help them avoid thorns when they worked in regions with brier patches.
Dachshunds were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. But during World War I, they were used in German propaganda. As a result, the AKC temporarily rebranded them as Badger Dogs or Liberty Pups in the United States. Today, they’re widely beloved dogs. There are numerous clubs dedicated to them, including the Dachshund Club of America.
Where is the best place to find a Dachshund puppy today? You can find a list of reputable breeders on the American Kennel Club’s website. The average Dachshund price can be anywhere from $200 to more than $3,500 for a Dachshund puppy, depending on the breeder, pedigree papers and health screenings. Dachshund rescue organizations and local shelters can also help you find a purebred to adopt. You can also search Chewy’s database of adoptable dogs in your area.
Are Dachshunds hypoallergenic?
No, Dachshunds are not hypoallergenic. However, short-haired Dachshunds tend to have less dander than the other two coat varieties, so they may cause fewer allergies in people allergic to dander. But “allergy-free” is not a Dachshund trait.
How do you pronounce Dachshund?
The word “Dachshund” is pronounced dahk-suhnd. In German, “dachs” means badger and “hund” means dog. The letters “chs” are pronounced like “ks” (as in the sound you’d make to imitate crashing cymbals).
Are Dachshunds smart?
Yes, Dachshunds are definitely smart. They are great at solving problems and would love puzzle toys to play with every day. However, they can also be stubborn, which can sometimes cause them to take a little more time to be trained.
What are the most common Dachshund mixes?
- Dachshund-Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie)
- Dachshund-Pit Bull mix (Dox-Bull or Doxiebull)
- Dachshund-Corgi mix (Dorgi)
- Dachshund-Labrador mix (Dachsador)
- Dachshund-Poodle mix (Doxiepoo)
- Dachshund-Golden Retriever mix (Golden Dox)
Note: These are not purebred dogs but mixed breeds.
Dachshunds are brave warriors in little bodies. Sure, they need a little extra TLC because of their fragile backs, but it’s worth it to have such a loving, loyal companion. They thrive best in households that can provide lots of opportunities for mental challenges to keep their sharp minds entertained. They’d love to go outside with you for a walk during the day and then snuggle up together at night.
Expert input provided by veterinarian Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM, who writes the Not a Bully website, and dog trainer and behavior consultant Irith Bloom, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, CDBC, owner of The Sophisticated Dog, LLC, in Los Angeles.
Breed characteristic ratings provided by veterinarian Dr. Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ, a veterinarian at Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital in Greeley, Colorado; Bloom; and certified animal behavior consultant Amy Shojai, CABC, in Sherman, Texas.
The health content was medically reviewed by Chewy vets.
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