14 Essential Facts Every Dachshund Owner Should Be Aware Of

1. Dachshunds are skilled hunting dogs with a strong instinct for prey.

Dachshunds, classified as scent hounds, were originally bred for hunting purposes. These little dogs have a keen sense of smell and were skilled at covering vast areas to track down badgers, rabbits, and other small game.

In essence, dachshunds operate with a dual control system: their nose and their belly! Their instinct to pursue and catch anything that emits a squeak is deeply rooted in their nature. Anything furry and fast-moving, or resembling such characteristics, is instinctively perceived as prey by these adorable hunting companions.

dachshund bred for hunting

2. Standard and Miniature Dachshunds

Both standard and miniature Dachshunds belong to the same breed, recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in two size categories: miniature and standard.

The informal term “Tweenie” is not acknowledged by the AKC, and there are no officially recognized “toy” or “teacup” Dachshunds. The only distinction lies in size and weight; genetically, they are identical.

Miniatures and standards under 22 lbs are considered small, while standards over 22 lbs are classified as medium-sized dogs.

3. Pronunciation of “Dachshund”

The term “Dachshund” is a combination of two German words – “dachs” (badger) and “hund” (dog). In German pronunciation, “chs” is pronounced as “ks” or “x,” making “Dachs” sound like DAKS or DAX.

Additionally, “hund” is pronounced as HUUNT. Consequently, “Dachshund” is pronounced as Daks-huunt.

4. Dachshunds are intelligent and inquisitive.

Bred for hunting, Dachshunds are tenacious and independent thinkers, persisting in problem-solving. However, this trait might lead them to explore or engage with things you’d rather they avoid.

5. Dachshunds have a long lifespan.

The typical lifespan of a Dachshund ranges from 14 to 16 years, with many living beyond 11 or 12. Numerous Dachshunds have been known to reach ages between 17 and 20.

If you have a Dachshund, be ready for a long-term commitment. 

6. Dachshunds are frequent and vocal barkers.

Some Dachshunds are more vocal than others, commonly barking at the mailman and rustling leaves with equal enthusiasm.

Their deep-chested build can give off a bark larger than expected, even resembling a Rottweiler to unsuspecting pizza delivery personnel. Controlling and training them to curb excessive barking often requires effort.

7. Dachshunds typically dislike getting wet.

Many Dachshunds resist walking in the rain.

Their low stature makes rain splash up from the ground, causing reluctance.

Expect resistance in cold and rainy weather, but it’s essential to encourage outdoor potty breaks. Starting young with firm guidance helps them understand that rainy walks are manageable.

dachsh unds hate getting wet

8. Potty training Dachshunds is known to be challenging.

House accidents are a major reason Dachshunds end up in shelters, but there’s hope.

Dedication and consistency, as shared by many Dachshund owners, make potty training relatively straightforward.

I successfully trained my Dachshund puppy Patrick in about 6 weeks, and he rarely has accidents now. Just be attentive to their signals. However, it’s worth noting that potty training may regress in their senior years.

potty training a sausage dog

9. Dachshunds are susceptible to back injuries.

Dachshunds have a genetic predisposition to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), a hereditary condition with no definitive test for detection. If affected, they may develop spinal injuries in the neck or back, although other factors also play a role.

It’s akin to roulette, with 1 in 4 Dachshunds experiencing some form of back issue in their lives. IVDD remains uncertain until a disk rupture occurs.

Currently, our little Patrick is going through some discomfort, and we’re making frequent visits to the vet to address his back issues.

10. Dachshunds are prone to obesity.

The “sausage dog” nickname may sound cute, but your Dachshund shouldn’t resemble one! Despite their persistent hunger signals, it’s crucial to resist over-treating and provide the right amount of food.

Obesity is prevalent in Dachshunds and can worsen conditions like IVDD and lead to serious issues like diabetes. A well-weighted Dachshund should have a visible waist and a tucked area behind the ribcage, akin to a greyhound.

dachshund obesity

11. Dachshunds are lively and require ample exercise.

Due to their small size and short legs, some assume Dachshunds don’t need much exercise, but remember, they’re bred to be hunters and inherently active.

While they might enjoy lounging, Dachshunds are surprisingly capable of more exercise than you might think.

Many Dachshunds take naturally to hiking, covering 3-5 miles on their first outing. Some can even handle longer hikes, and many excel in athletic events like agility. Regular exercise not only keeps them physically fit but also reduces excessive barking and inappropriate chewing at home.

If confined indoors, engage them with activities like fetch or tug-of-war.

12. Dachshunds have a natural affinity for digging.

Hunting dogs, including Dachshunds, were bred to dig as badgers and rabbits live underground. With paddle-like feet, strong nails, and unwavering determination, they possess a natural inclination for digging.

While not all Dachshunds exhibit this behavior, it’s essential to be mindful that yours might.

This propensity could lead to lawn damage, flower disturbances, or attempts to dig under the fence for an escape.

13. Dachshunds exhibit unwavering loyalty.

Dachshunds are devoted companions, enjoying snuggles on the couch, sharing your bed, and closely following you around the house.

They can be protective, particularly towards one family member. Proper socialization is crucial to prevent overprotectiveness and potential issues with other dogs or strangers.

14. Caution: You might find yourself tempted to add another Dachshund to your family.

Dachshund owners often say they’re like eating Pringles – it’s challenging to stop at just one. Many end up with at least two, driven by the “once a Dachshund owner, always a Dachshund owner” mindset.

Having a second Dachshund provides companionship for the first and can help address separation anxiety and behavioral issues.

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