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photo of 4 adorable Dachshunds.  


Dachshunds are one of America’s favorite dogs and are among the top 5 registered dogs with the AKC. These little “badger dogs,” which is what Dachshund means, are so popular that three different coats and two sizes have developed. The Dachshund is either miniature or standard, with a coat that is short, long, or wiry.

11 lbs max. for miniature
16-32 lbs for standard

Height: 5-6” for miniature
8-9” for standard
Color: solid red sable or cream; black, chocolate, fawn or wild boar with tan or gray: dappled, brindle
Coat: short, long, or wiry
Grooming: twice weekly if long or wired
infrequently if short
Longevity: 12-14 years
Dachshunds are especially good at:
  • Although they are hounds, they have feisty terrier personalities
  • They were developed centuries ago to chase and destroy varmints, scooting into burrows to drive out and destroy their prey
  • Excels at going after small quarry and many compete enthusiastically in “Going to Ground” trials
  • Engagingly energetic and affectionate
  • Alert watchdogs and bark easily to announce intruders
  •   Watch out for with Dachshunds:
  • Anxiety or physical abuse accidentally caused by toddlers and untrained children
  • Snapping if cornered or threatened. Dachshunds have little bite inhibition
  • Unusual lumps and changes in the skin that may signal cancer
  • Lethargy, weight gain, and poor coat caused by hypothyroid disease
  • Back pain due to disc disease
  • Limping or signs of arthritis, especially of the knees and hips
  • Over-feeding. These are such tiny dogs they do not need much food and it is easy to over-feed them because they are so cute
  • Barking
  • Misinterpreting a pocket pet as a pest and killing pet hamsters, rabbits, etc.
    Dachshund Appearance
    Dachshunds are designed to kill varmints in tunnels so they have uniquely adapted bold natures, short legs, very long backs, and pointed noses. Their eyes are dark, and their relatively large ears (Dachshunds are members of the hound family.) hang below the chin. The coat can be short and smooth, long and wavy, or wiry. Dachshunds come in a wide variety of colors from solid red, sable, or cream, to mixes of colors with tan. Some Dachshunds are dappled or brindled.

    Dachshund Behavior
    The spunky Dachshund is inquisitive and active. There are subtle differences in personality that appear linked to coat type and size. For example, the wire-haired Dachshund may be more outgoing, and the longhaired Dachshund may be more reticent. Some miniature Dachshunds, as with any tiny dog, may be timid. Most Dachshunds are great watchdogs and pay close attention to the activities at the door and in the yard. They may bark uncontrollably unless given proper training. Bred as little enforcers able to track and kill pests, many Dachshunds have no bite inhibition. In contrast, bite inhibition is strong in Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Dachshunds may be shy of humans, especially strangers. Because Dachshunds like tunneling, many adapt to small, quiet kennels with pleasure.

    Dachshund Health (dog breed health problems)

    Dachshund Neck and back pain from disc disease
    Dachshunds are prone to ruptured discs in the spine. These discs can rupture in the neck or “cervical” spine, in the chest (thorax), and in the lower (lumbar) spine. Ruptured discs are painful and may cause sudden paralysis. Dogs with painful discs often snap if we try to put a collar around the neck. If your Dachshund suddenly becomes irritable and snappy, get an immediate veterinary consult. Discourage all activity and keep your pet from running or jumping. Give NSAIDs, such as Rimadyl (Rx) or Deramaxx (Rx) as prescribed. To lower the amount of prescription NSAID medication your pet needs, use the homeopathic, Traumeel, or joint protecting medication with MSM, such as 1-800-PetMeds Super Joint Enhancer.

    Dachshund Obesity
    Dachshunds are so enthusiastic about food that we tend to over-feed them. Prevent obesity by encouraging your pet to exercise. Limit treats and feed Taste Of The Wild to help keep your Dachshund at a healthy weight. We want to prevent obesity because it shortens our dogs’ lives and predisposes them to diabetes and other diseases.

    Dachshund Fatty Tumors (Lipomas)
    When fat cells grow without control and form lumps, they’re called fatty tumors or lipomas. Dachshunds, like many dogs, are prone to develop fatty tumors. When you find unusual lumps in the skin, let your veterinarian perform some simple tests to confirm that these are not harmful growths. Holistic veterinarians may prescribe herbs that help dissolve fatty tumors.

    Dachshund Cancer
    Dachshunds may develop certain forms of cancer a little more often than other breeds, such as anal sac adenocarcinoma, liposarcoma, and mast cell tumors. Regular veterinary care increases the likelihood tumors will be detected early so they can be treated. Supplements with green tea help promote a properly functioning immune system that protects against cancer and infections. Be Well, which contains decaffeinated green tea, is a delicious health-promoting supplement.

    Dachshund Hypothyroidism
    Low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism) are easily treated with prescription medication, and many veterinarians believe the likelihood of hypothyroidism is reduced markedly if Dachshunds are not over-vaccinated.

    Dachshund Baldness of the ears (pinnal alopecia)
    Some Dachshunds begin to lose the hair on their ears before they are one year old. This pinnal alopecia is more common in males and often progresses to complete lack of hair on the ears when they are older. There are no negative health problems associated with loss of hair on the ears. It’s important to distinguish this benign problem from yeast infections (Malassezia dermatitis) or ringworm, which may also cause hair loss on the ears.

    3 Dachshund photos

    Dachshund Grooming
    Dachshunds with short hair require very little grooming. Those with long hair or wiry coats require brushing once or twice a week. A Dachshund's nails are dark and strong. They require clipping every 4-6 weeks if your pet spends its time indoors or playing on grass. Many Dachshunds do not like to have their teeth brushed, so to decrease the likelihood of dental disease, offer dental chews regularly. Check ears weekly and use ear cleansers to decrease the incidence of stinky, yeasty ear infections. Anal sac inflammation is a problem for some Dachshunds. If your pet has swollen anal sacs, have the veterinarian check them rather than sending them to the groomer to be emptied.


    Once or twice a week if long-haired or wire-haired

    Generally not necessary
    Self-trimming if active on rough surfaces
    Eyes, Ears, & Face
    Check ears weekly and use an ear cleanser when necessary

    Anal Sacs
    Anal sac inflammation should be treated by your veterinarian

    Recommended products for your Dachshund!

      Be Well   1-800-PetMeds Ear Cleansing Solution   Dasuquin   1-800-PetMeds Super Joint Enhancer  

    More Recommended Dachshund products (not pictured):

    Dental Chews
    Rimadyl (Rx)
    Deramaxx (Rx)


    The articles here were answered by a variety of pharmacists and veterinarians
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    This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.

    The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.

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