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Dachshunds Breed Description
Information Provided by Ian Seath of


The origins of the Dachshund can be traced back to working dogs that could go to ground after game such as badgers. Today, the breed, which is characterised as "long, low and level", is popular both as a show dog and pet.

In the UK, Dachshunds come in two sizes - Standard and Miniature - and three coats - Smooth-haired, Long-haired and Wire-haired. Standards should weigh 20 - 26 lbs and Miniatures 10 - 11 lbs. However, many Standards are bigger than this ideal weight.

Dachshunds are still used by some people for working; typically tracking fallen deer, and these are often called Teckels. They tend to be slighter in body and longer in the leg than "show" Dachshunds, but are highly regarded for their working ability and "good noses".

Coat & Colours:

Smooth-haireds are the "traditionally recognised" Dachshund. Their coats are short and dense, with a velvet texture and require little maintenance. Long-haireds are the "glamour kids", with feathering on their ears and tails and long, silky body coats. These coats need regular grooming to keep them tidy and to avoid matting. Wire-haireds are the "rugged workmen", with harsh body hair, beards and eyebrows. Depending on the texture of the coat, which can range from "pin-wire" to "hairy", they may need to be hand-stripped (never clipped) two or three times a year.

Smooth-haired - most common colours are Black & Tan and Red. Chocolate and Dapple are also possible.
Long-haired - most common colours are Black & Tan, Red (ranging from Cream to Shaded Red) and Silver Dapple. Brindle (tiger-striped) also occurs.
Wire-haired - most common colours are Brindle and Red. Chocolate and Dapple also occur. Note that Brindle in Wires means the individual hairs are striped, giving an overall grizzle/grey appearance, as opposed to the tiger-stripe appearance found in Long-haired Brindles.

Living with A Dachshund:

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 generally make good family pets, but they are noisy! They are not noted for their obedience, but can be trained, given persistence by the owner. However, they do like "to get their noses down" when off the lead and can "go deaf" when it suits them.

As a generalisation, Wires are the most extrovert and active, Standard Longs are the most reserved and aloof, and Standard Smooths are perhaps more "one-person" dogs. All the Miniatures make ideal pets for someone who is maybe less active and who wants a small, but affectionate companion.

Health Issues:

Dachshunds generally suffer from few health problems, provided they are kept well exercised, fit and fed on a healthy, balanced diet.

Because of their long backs, there is obviously a greater risk of slipped disk problems than in a "normal" shaped dog. However, such problems are best avoided by keeping the dog fit and not allowing it to become overweight or to run up and down stairs, which clearly will put extra stress on the back.

Mini-Longs should be tested for P.R.A. (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) which is an inherited condition causing degenerative disease of the retina and leading to blindness.

Always consult a Vet if you have any concerns about a puppy you intend to purchase, or health problems with an older dog.

Breed Club Secretaries will also be able to provide up-to-date advice on any current or emerging health concerns in any of the Dachshund breeds.

Breed Photos

Smooth-haired Dachshund Long-haired Dachshund Wire-haired Dachshund

Miniature Smooth-haired Dachshund

Miniature Long-haired Dachshund

Miniature Wire-haired Dachshund

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