Dachshund

The Dachshund or ‘sausage dog’ is a loveable goofball who makes a great family pet.

Dachshunds are originally German hunting dogs used to flush out badgers. They are variably classified as scent hounds or terriers as they were used for hunting both above and below ground.

Today the Dachshund comes in a variety of sizes and types, with the wire-haired, long-haired and short haired varieties often appearing. They are well-known for their back problems and should therefore their veterinary expenses can be high.

Their temperament is however wonderful, they are playful, lively and courageous, but should be socialised early to avoid fear aggression problems later in life.

WHAT DOES THE DACHSHUND WANT IN THEIR PERFECT LIFE PARTNER/FAMILY?

I would love to live with a family that has the time to take me for long walks and sniffs somewhere interesting. I do love to play and need lots of company and someone who has time to spend with me.

AT A GLANCE

Lifespan 12-14 years
Weight 4-16 kg
Height (at shoulder) 20-28 cm

 

PERSONALITY

Playful – Life is just a game to your average Dachshund. They love chase, ball-games and playing with other dogs. As they get older they can become a little lazy, but if kept at a healthy weight will often stay playful into middle age.

Stubborn/strong willed – Dachshunds are known to be a little stubborn at times. They can be easily trained if motivated and only positive training methods are used, but they will often have a mind of their own, particularly if chasing a scent.

EXERCISE & TRAINING

Exercise Requirements Medium – 0.5-1.0 hours per day
Training Requirements Low – 0-0.5 hours per day
Apartment Friendly? Yes

 

Dachshunds can be strong-willed and difficult to train. They have a mind of their own, but if motivated can certainly learn. They do love to chase scents, so may not be reliable off-lead. They are very lively, active dogs, but can adapt to small space living if given lots of exercise and games.

GROOMING

Trips to the Groomer No- easy care at home
Tick Friendly? Yes-though maybe not the long-haired variety
Hypoallergenic No
Brushing Low – Little to now brushing
Hair fall Moderate Shed- will drop some hair, but not excessive
Coat Type Short, long or wiry

 

Long-haired Dachshunds do need some regular brushing, but the short and wire-haired versions do not require much work in the grooming department.

FAMILY SITUATION

Good With Kids Good – okay with older kids, but maybe not those under 5
Good With Other Small Pets Low – Strong prey drive, best kept separate from other smaller species
Sociability High – Loves other dogs and best in a multi-dog household.

 

Dachshunds are statistically more likely to bite small children, but if socialised when young and supervised they make great family pets. They do have a strong prey drive, so may not be suited to smaller species.

EXPENSES

Overall Expenses (Annual) Medium – $1500-$2000
Veterinary Expenses (Annual) High – $300-$500+
Food Expenses (Weekly) Low – $5-$10

 

Dachshunds can break the budget at the vet, particularly as their conditions, like disk disease can be expensive to manage. Otherwise they are relatively low-cost to feed.

HEALTH & WELLBEING

MAJOR HEALTH CONCERNS

Intervertebral Disk Disease – when disks degenerate in certain breeds, the disk can rupture and compress the spinal cord. This leads to back pain and loss of function in the hind limbs. In severe cases this requires immediate surgery to decompress the spine. In mild cases rest and pain relief are prescribed.

Epilepsy – epilepsy in dogs is similar to the condition in humans, where an abnormality in the brain leads to muscle spasms and shaking. In true epilepsy there is no underlying identifiable cause. Seizures in dogs are often well controlled with daily medication.

Cushing’s Disease – causing excess cortisol usually due to a benign growth in the pituitary is a common cause of panting, weight gain, skin changes and increased thirst. It is easily managed with medications.

Eye problems – cataracts, glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy is common in Dachunds.

PREVENTATIVE CARE & WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

Dapples more commonly have congenital defects with the eyes and hearing, so consider this when looking for a particular colour dog.

Good breeders also use genetic testing to ensure they are not breeding from wire-haired Dachshunds who carry the Osteogenesis Imperfecta gene.

Ask your vet to regularly check your Dachshund for eye problems, particularly as gradual blindness may not be immediately obvious.

Dental Disease – Dachshunds are prone to dental disease, so a regular program of brushing, dental food, raw bones and chews can help prevent costly dental work later in life.

BREED ORIGIN AND INTERESTING FACTS

Dachshunds were originally hunting dogs, used to flush out badgers. Their name is thought to come from the German word for ‘badger vrawler’ or ‘badger warrior’.

They may have also been around in ancient Egyptian times, with some Dachshund-like mummified remains giving credence to this story.

They were popular among royalty in Europe and the more modern dog was bred in Germany. There is much debate about their previous origins.

A Dachshund was chosen to be the official mascot during the Munich Olympics in 1972.

 

RESCUE A DACHSHUND

Petfinder lists all types of dogs who need homes, both purebred and mixed breeds, adults and puppies.

The ASPCA often has Dachshunds for adoption; just do an advanced search on their adoption page.