Dachshunds are energetic, playful dogs and are easily identified by their long bodies and short legs. There are three variations of the Dachshund: the short-haired, the wire-haired, and the long-haired. Size and weight varies as well; Dachshunds range from standard (34-45 cm, weighing 20 pounds), to dwarf (14-35 cm, wehighing 9 pounds), to toy (not a recognized size variation by the AKC dog organization. Toys measure up to 30 cm and weigh no more than 8 pounds). Dachshunds fall into the "hound" category and have a highly developed sense of smell.
The three varieties of Dachshunds have different personality traits. Long-haired Dachshunds are thought to be the most calm and wire-haired is the most energetic. All three types of Dachshunds are difficult to train. They bark quite frequently and have an instinctive desire to dig. They will do well with children, but have been known to bite when irritable. Dachshunds will do ok in an apartment and do not require a large yard.
The Dachshund originated in Germany and was bred to hunt badgers. Their short legs were developed to dig inside burrows. Dachshunds are traditionally thought of as a symbol of Germany (where they are often referred to as a "Dackel"), and in 1972 a Dachshund by the name of Waldi was chosen to be the official mascot of the Summer Olympics. Dachshunds are commonly used in sport, such as "wiener racing" and hunting competitions. They are intelligent dogs who thrive on excitement, praise, and attention.
Dachshunds tend to gain weight quickly, so do not overfeed for dog diet. They are prone to spinal disc problems, which can lead to dog diseases like paralysis, heart disease, urinary tract infections and diabetes. They also have a tendency to become lazy. Despite this, they do require daily exercise. Dachshunds should be discouraged from jumping, as this risks spinal injury.
In addition to the breed's popularity in Europe the Dachshunds are, according to AKC registration statistics, the 6th most popular canine pet in the United States. Their loyal and affectionate temperament along with their quirky appearance has made them a favourite the world over.
Dog grooming requirements vary between the three types of Dachshunds. Long-haired Dachshunds require daily combings, wire-haired require a professional grooming semi-annually, and smooth-haired need to be given the occasional once-over with a damp cloth. Dachshunds are average shedders, and this breed lives for about 12-15 years.
Because this breed can be difficult to train, it is imperative that you start right away after adding one to your family. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to control this dog. Crate training is recommended for Dachshunds, and reward with treats. If left untrained into adulthood, this is not the type of old dog that will "learn new tricks". Be patient, only reward good behaviour, and if necessary, seek the help of a professional. Dachshunds are wonderful, loveable pets, but because of the energy they possess as Dachshund puppies, can be quite a handful!
Remember to be patient and allow for setbacks. If you are patient and consistent, the Dachshund will transform from an unruly pup into a lifelong friend.