Should You Get the Beloved Dachshund Dog as a Companion?

Whether you call this pooch Doxie, Wiener Dog, Doxen, Doxin, or Sausage Dog, it all refers to the Dachshund that most of us know and love.

This purebred is unique and simply adorable. But like every fido, this Badger Dog has its own qualities and quirks, including specific care requirements.

Smooth-haired Dachshund dog standing on the grass
A Smooth-haired Dachshund

If you want to find out more about Dachshunds, keep scrolling and you might decide to get one later on!

Origin: where did the Dachshund come from?

This is because Dachshunds originated in Germany, where they were used as hunting dogs for badgers and other animals.

Dachshund got its name from the German language where Dachs means badger, and hund means dog. They didn’t only hunt badgers, though.

They would also make their way into foxes dens, and miniature Dachshunds would hunt rabbits and weasels.

Thus, this wiener dog is classified in the hound group and is also known as a scent hound due to their hunting tendencies.

During World War I and World War II, this breed became unpopular in the United States.

During the second war, people believed that anyone with a Dachshund was on the German’s side of the war. The breed, thankfully, came back in popularity quickly after.

This dog breed is so popular today because of its cute complexion, intelligent, and confident personality. Despite their hunting tendencies, they’re loveable and loyal to their humans.

Purebred Dachshunds had to come from somewhere, and when they were initially bred in Germany, the smooth-coated doxie was bred from a miniature French Pointer and a Pinscher.

Let’s take a closer look at what this purebred looks like.

Long-haired Dachshund dog
A Long-haired Dachshund

What does a Weiner dog look like?

The wiener dog can come in many different sizes and varieties, but there are a few traits to look out for to know whether your Dachshund is a purebred or not.

Purebreds should have a long body, long snout, and straight tails.

Aside from their short legs, just about everything that makes up this sausage dog is long.

The Dachshund’s general appearance is distinct from other breeds. Their eyes are almond-shaped and medium in size.

Doxies may be prone to getting some eye infection such as dry eye syndrome or pigmentary keratitis due to too much air exposure to the cornea.

Dachshunds also have a long, muscular neck that is slightly arched at the nape. Their body is also long and firm, with their tail being long and thin, continuing from the spine.

Their forequarters include a barrel-chest, which is overall strong, deep, and muscled. Their shoulder blades are long and robust, with their upper arms being the same length.

The forearms are short but muscular and perfect for digging.

The Dachshund’s hind paws are smaller than their front paws. Each foot is pointed straight, and the balance is equally distributed on the balls of their feet rather than the toes.

Size: How big do Dachshunds get?

Dachshunds come in two typical sizes: standard and miniature. Let’s take a look at the standard Dachshund first.

The standard doxie can grow to be about 8-9 inches, and the average weight is about 16-32 pounds. The Dachshund is considered fully grown at about 12 months old.

Their bones will stop growing, but they’ll continue to put on weight until they’re about 18-24 months old. 

That’s when you’ll need to keep an eye on their weight the most. Anything over 32 pounds for a Dachshund is considered overweight, and they can develop health problems from obesity.

The miniature Dachshund, on the other hand, will grow to be about 5-6 inches and weigh about 11 pounds and under.

Both a standard Dachshund and a miniature Dachshund are an excellent choice for apartment dwellers.

These small dogs can be active indoors and will enjoy walking without much need to run around in a fenced-in yard.

However, they may tend to bark a lot due to their watchdog and hunting nature. So, you’ll need to be mindful of your neighbors.

Dachshund running on the field

The many coat types of Dachshunds

Other than size, the doxie has a few different coat types. The Dachshund can be longhaired, wirehaired, or shorthaired.

Shorthaired Dachshunds have a smooth coat while longhaired doxies have fur that flows almost to the ground.

Wirehaired dogs have a more coarse texture and, like the longhaired pups, will need more grooming than the shorthaired Dachshunds.

In addition to the coat varieties, the Dachshund comes in many different colors and patterns.

Coat colors: how many are there?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are quite a few breed standard colors such as:

  • Black and cream
  • Black and tan
  • Chocolate and cream
  • Chocolate and tan
  • Cream
  • Blue Dachshund (grey)
    • Blue and cream
    • Blue and tan
  • Isabella Dachshund (lilac or fawn)
    • Fawn and cream
    • Fawn and tan
  • Red
  • Wheaten
  • Wild boar

Other colors may include black, chocolate, and fawn. Also, there are some rare colors such as solid black, solid chocolate, or a white coat. 

Coat patterns: what are they?

Aside from coat type and color, Dachshunds can also come in a few different patterns. These patterns, standard from the AKC, include:

  • Brindle
  • Dapple
  • Sable

Other patterns include:

  • Brindle Piebald
  • Double Dapple
  • Piebald

A dapple doxie has a mottled effect on top of their coat color. A double dapple occurs when breeding two dapple Dachshunds together, which may lead to some health problems.

A brindle coat looks as though your doxie will have tiger stripes and usually occurs with red or cream-colored coats.

A sable-patterned coat will occur in only longhaired Dachshunds where their fur is red with a black tip.

Four Dachshund dogs sitting on the grass

Temperament: is a Dachshund a good family dog?

These little hotdogs will make a great family dog.

They’re loyal and love their humans with all their hearts. They make good house dogs since they can fit in houses as well as apartments.

They’re playful and intelligent, though there might be a couple of things to be wary about.

The doxie will form a bond with one particular person and may often get too attached. They can get jealous or even lonely if they don’t have the attention and affection from their person after a while.

This doesn’t mean a Dachshund won’t fit into your family well, though. If in the right environment, your pup will make a good family dog.

They may be best suited for households that have adults or older children. The wiener dog may get snippy with younger children if their playtime isn’t supervised.

Are Dachshunds aggressive?

These small dogs may get aggressive if they feel threatened or become scared. They don’t take to strangers too well and may not be fans of other dogs or pets in the house.

However, if there are other Dachshunds in the house, then they may get along just fine.

Take a look at this adorable Dachshund family playing, napping, and having a grand old’ time!

Dachshunds have a high prey drive due to their hunting nature.

If brought into a home with other dogs, cats, or other pets, supervision will be needed for a while to ensure they all get along.

If introduced correctly, the doxie will fit right into your home. It will be easier to bring a Dachshund home to other pets rather than introducing new pets to your Dachshund’s territory.

Some people believe female pups are easier to care for than male dogs, but this isn’t always the case. These little dogs have their unique personality from one another.

However, there are some common traits of a female doxie over a male dog.

Females are more independent, stubborn, territorial, and reserved, while males are more affectionate, exuberant, attentive, and food-motivated.

Do Dachshunds bark a lot?

Since the loveable sausage dog will become attached to a specific person, they may get separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Then they may bark a lot due to distress.

Also, Dachshunds love to dig from their hunting background when they used to dig into small animals’ burrows.

If distressed too much, your doxie may become destructive by digging and chewing on the furniture in your absence.

This can easily be avoided through the use of crate training. This will allow your Dachshund to have a safe space inside the house that’s theirs.

With proper crate training, your dog will feel at ease being alone.

With that said, Dachshunds are smart dogs. They’re also pretty stubborn and enjoy being independent playing by their own rules.

Doxies aren’t the easiest breed when it comes to training, and this includes potty training.

Gorgeous long-haired Dachshund dog standing on the grass

Caring for your Wiener dog

One reason Dachshunds can be hard to potty train is the fact that these little dogs are so low to the ground.

During the colder weather, in rain and snow, they may refuse to go outside because they don’t want to get wet – I don’t blame them.

To avoid the cold, doxies enjoy burying themselves underneath blankets and will cuddle up to you. You can find sweaters and waterproof coats for your pup to give them an extra layer of warmth during harsh weather.

The Dachshund is high maintenance in terms of grooming, exercising, and overall care. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should expect to do for your doxie.

How to keep your sausage dog fit

Dachshunds need a moderate amount of exercise each day. They’re energetic pups and were ultimately bred to hunt, so they’re quite active. Despite their short legs and long bodies, doxies love to run and explore.

A Dachshund will need plenty of exercises, whether on multiple walks during the day (some will walk or hike a few miles per day!) or have enough playtime in the back yard, such as a few rounds of fetch.

Doxies are prone to obesity, so allowing them plenty of playtime and exercise time per day will help keep that in check.

Additionally, due to their long back, they’re also prone to spinal injuries, so try to avoid exercise that will strain the spine too much, such as jumps and twists.

Male Dachshund dog portrait

Grooming: do Dachshunds shed?

Depending on whether you have smooth Dachshunds, longhaired doxies, or wirehaired Dachshunds, their grooming needs will differ. Overall, their grooming needs are relatively low maintenance.

They’re easy to groom, but the different coats will require other care. Even their brushing routines will be different.

Shorthaired Dachshunds will need a weekly brushing while longhaired doxies will need daily brushing. Wirehaired pups will need regular brushing as well, more often than once a week but less frequent than daily.

Despite their small size, no matter what type of coat they have, doxies are not hypoallergenic, and they will shed a reasonable amount.

Aside from keeping up with brushing their teeth and trimming their nails, Dachshunds don’t need to be bathed too often.

They don’t smell bad unless they’ve decided to dig in the flowerbeds and roll in something they shouldn’t have.

Keeping the Dachshund well-fed

Feeding your doxie will depend on their weight as well as their activity level. Discuss the right nutritional needs for your pup with your vet.

A common health issue in this dog breed is obesity. Discuss a proper diet, and exercise with your vet will ensure your doxie remains healthy.

You can choose high-quality dry dog food or canned food based on several factors such as small breed adult or puppy, or food made explicitly for Dachshunds.

Food choices for your adult wiener dog may include:

  • Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Small Breed
  • Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Small Breed
  • Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Small Bites
  • Purina Pro Plan Weight Management
  • Purina Dog Chow Little Bites for Small Dogs
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Healthy Weight
  • Royal Canin Dachshund Adult Dog Food

Food choices for your puppy may include:

  • Beneful Healthy Puppy
  • Purina Puppy Chow
  • Purina One SmartBlend Healthy Puppy
  • Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Small Breed Puppy

Little Dachshund dog eating food

Health Issues in Dachshunds to keep in mind

Doxies can’t live a long, happy, and healthy life if given the proper care. They have a unique shape about them with long bodies and short legs, so there are some health issues they may be prone to. Let’s talk about a couple.

Joint problems

One of the most common medical issues a Dachshund can have is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).

Many things can cause back injuries for your Dachshund, including jumping off of furniture, them being held wrong, or your pup becoming overweight.

IVDD will cause back problems for our loveable sausage dog, but medication and chiropractors for dogs may help.

Also, Dachshunds may be prone to patellar luxation, which is when their kneecap moves out of place. Mixed with their short legs, long bodies, and energy levels, patella issues may occur.

Eyes and ears

A degenerative eye disorder known as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can eventually cause blindness in doxies. Other eye problems that can occur are glaucoma and cataracts.

Deafness isn’t too common in this dog breed, but it can occur in double dapple Dachshunds. Like most other breeds with drooping ears, this dog may also get ear infections.

Epilepsy

It may not always be known why your pup is having seizures, but Epilepsy in Dachshunds is thought to be a genetic condition in this breed. This can be treated with medication.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)

Also known as Bloat or Torsion, this is a life-threatening medical condition. It can happen in these little dogs because of their deep chests.

This occurs when there is too much air or gas inside your pup’s stomach, and they’re not able to get rid of it.

This is life-threatening. If it occurs, you’ll need to take your pup to the vet immediately. 

Sick Dachshund dog wearing cone collar
Image source

Cushing’s disease

This happens when your pup’s body produces too much of the hormone cortisol. This can be treated with medication or surgery.

If your Dachshund urinates more frequently and is drinking a lot, then it’s time to check with your vet.

Canine diabetes mellitus and obesity

We’ve mentioned how Dachshunds are prone to weight gain if they do not eat properly and get enough exercise. Their stout bodies may be hard to keep in check.

Through this, though, they may also get diabetes. This is treatable with insulin but can be easily avoided with the proper nutrition and exercise routine.

Health screenings

Aside from taking your doxie to the vet regularly, there are a few health screenings you can get to catch some of these health issues before they happen, such as:

  • Cardiac exam
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Patella evaluation

What’s the life span of the Dachshund?

With proper care, diet, and exercise, Dachshunds can live to be about 12-16 years old. However, according to the world record, many doxies in the top 23 dogs live the longest.

These pups lived to be 20- and 21-yeard-old, respectively.

After living such a long life, most Dachshunds die from cancer, heart disease, liver disease, or kidney disease.

How much is a Dachshund puppy?

Depending on where you are in the world, Dachshund puppies will vary in price.

However, in the United States, you can expect to pay up to $4,000. This will also depend on whether you go to a pet shop, a breeder, or a shelter.

Two smooth-haired Dachshund puppies

Shelters are cheaper, while pet shops are more expensive, with breeders being in the middle.

Dachshunds can be a hefty weight on your wallet, but they’re well worth it.

Doxies get along well with one another, and they’re so cute. Who wouldn’t want more than one? Litters can have around 4-8 puppies at a time.

Dachshunds can be expensive for a few reasons. One, it’s a popular breed, and purebred puppies cost a coin.

This breed is also prone to a few different health issues, and the medical costs between possible surgery, medications, and general vet visits may cost anywhere in the thousands.

Back surgery, for example, can cost between $5,000 and $7,000.

Don’t let this discourage you, though. The doxie is a wonderful pup to add to your home, and with the proper care, they’ll live long, happy, and healthy lives. 

How to choose a reputable breeder for Dachshunds

There are many enthusiasts of the doxie breed out there, and there are plenty of breeders should you want to add this adorable pup to your home.

When searching for a reputable breeder, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • They are knowledgeable about Dachshunds
  • They select healthy parents to breed
  • They know the puppies’ family tree and where the parents and grandparents came from
  • They are selective of where the puppies find a home
  • They will talk to you and get to know you

On the other hand, here are some red flags to look out for in a breeder:

  • They’ll sell the puppies to you before they turn eight weeks old
  • They sell to you before they meet you and get to know you
  • They don’t let you meet at least one of the parents of the puppies
  • They haven’t socialized the puppies with people

There are many different breeders for Dachshunds, but an excellent place to start is the Dachshund Club of America. You can also check the AKC for breeders as well.

Adopt, don’t shop: Dachshund rescues

There are plenty of dogs that don’t have a home right now, so you can look at shelters and rescues for Dachshunds instead of going to a breeder or pet store.

Here are some good rescues to try:

Who should get a wiener dog?

Happy Wiener dog running outside

The loveable doxie will be a great addition to any home with mostly adults who can be home for a fair amount of the day. They’ll love and cherish you always and will have great fun on hikes and long walks.

Do you think the Dachshund is the right breed for you? Let us know in the comments!

Further reading: Dachshund Mixes

  • Dorgi: Corgi and Dachshund mix
  • Dorkie: Yorkshire Terrier and Dachshund mix
  • Golden dox: Golden Retriever and Dachshund mix

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