The Dachshund is one of the most easily recognizable dog breeds of the modern era. Known for their trademark long bodies and short legs, Dachshunds are often affectionately referred to as wiener dogs or sausage dogs.
Among the hundreds of breeds that exist in the world today, the Dachshund is undoubtedly one of the most sought after and is currently ranked at 13 on the American Kennel Club’s “Most Popular Dog Breeds” list. While the modern Dachshund is cherished as a family pet, appealing through its manageable size, and peculiar but charming figure, these dogs historically served a very different function. With origins that can be traced back to at least the 16th century in Germany, where the name Dachshund translates to “badger dog”, this breed has a rich past that some may find surprising.
The original Dachshunds were slightly larger than their modern relatives, and were coveted for their prowess in hunting, and tracking. Though they were generally utilized against smaller animals, they were sometimes deployed to take down larger and more aggressive game. As difficult as it may be to imagine, their success hunting wild boar in packs is well documented. In the 21st century, it’s likely that many will find humor in this scenario, but it pays to remember that over the past few centuries breeders have by and large shifted their focus from utility to aesthetics. Despite the physical transformations that have taken place over time, the temperament of the breed remains true to its roots. Owners will find that their Dachshund is playful and alert. Most Dachshunds have a friendly personality, but it is not uncommon for some to bark or display slightly standoffish behavior with new people or animals. Most of the time the foreign person or animal will be accepted after a short period. The breed is generally intelligent, courageous, and loyal, but can develop temperament issues if raised improperly. To ensure the Dachshund becomes a loyal and loving addition to its new family, introduction as a young puppy is recommended.
Initially, Dachshund puppies may be very sensitive to their new environment, so affection and patience are essential. It’s best to begin creating routines for meals and using the bathroom right away. If possible, Dachshunds should be fed a high-quality food with enough protein and mostly whole ingredients. Until a puppy is around 3 - 4 months it is generally accepted that they should receive four meals per day. After 4 months or so, the number of meals is reduced incrementally. By the time they reach 12 months they should be receiving one hearty meal per day. New puppies require a safe environment and one should take care that their dog not have access to harmful substances or objects. Dachshund pups need a great deal of social interaction. Making introduction to new people and situations common from as early as possible is highly recommended and will provide for a healthy disposition in the future. These puppies should be exercised every day. Dachshunds are particularly keen on fetch, likely as a result of their instinct to chase small animals. This breed commonly suffers from complications with their vertebrae so regular checkups to monitor weight and health are suggested.
Mini Dachshund Puppies
The Miniature Dachshund originated in the late 19th century. Around this time, German hunters began using the runts of Dachshund litters to hunt the burrow-dwelling European hare. So effective were the smaller Dachshunds in this task, breeders thought it lucrative to create a Dachshund reduced in size through generations of selective breeding. Due to the proportions of this breed combined with it’s miniature size, these dogs may not be able to walk for lengthy periods or use stairs; however, Miniature Dachshund puppies will be active and should be provided with moderate exercise daily. By the time this breed is fully grown it should be fed quality food with plenty of protein, once daily. Weight management for Miniature Dachshunds is critical, as they have a tendency to overeat and are even more prone to the spinal issues that affect standard Dachshunds. A healthy dog should weigh around 11 lbs. by the time it is fully grown. Typically, Mini Dachshunds will be intelligent and curious by nature, displaying a propensity for exploring small areas and openings. For this reason, the importance of puppy-proofing the home cannot be overemphasized. Puppies may display this same exploratory burrowing instinct throughout the bedding in the home.
Buying and Adopting a Puppy
If a person is serious about committing to a new Dachshund puppy there are a few final considerations to be made. First, what type of Dachshund? Standard or Miniature? Dachshunds are not hypoallergenic, and all coat variants shed. Next is the choice between adoption or purchase from a breeder. If adopting, it is important to understand that Dachshunds from rescue organizations/shelters often end up there because of a flaw in temperament it developed in the care of a poor owner. These dogs may require far more training and attention to correct socialization issues. If purchasing from a breeder, their credentials coupled with reviews or testimonials from previous buyers should demonstrate whether the seller is of repute. Any good breeder should have plenty of information on the origin of the dog. Ideally, they should be able to produce a certificate of health from the CERF, and the OFA, for both parents of the new puppy. If one is unsure about how to locate a breeder, searching through the database of AKC affiliated breeders is a safe place to begin. Thanks to the popularity of the Dachshund, honest breeders are in good supply and finding the right puppy should be a straightforward and exciting experience.