Miniature Dachshunds – What Makes them Different?

Miniature dachshunds come in three different coat types – longhair, smooth and wirehair.

Some aspects of their temperaments are noticeably different. For this reason I’ll discuss the aspects common to all three coat types, and then go on to discuss each coat type separately.

Miniature dachshunds

1. Common Traits For All Coat Types

Although miniature dachshunds are small, they are very much a ‘real dog’ who loves to go for walks, run at the beach or park and chew on raw bones – no bone is too big! Hiding it away for future joy is a serious task. They will put much thought into the hiding place for their treasure and might well re-hide it should they suspect it has been located. Most love to swim, though some don’t. Some will eat ravenously and some will not, they are individuals. Importantly none of them are fussy eaters. Just make sure to avoid them overeating.

It’s worth noting that dachshunds do not ‘yap’. They also have a decent big dog like ‘WOOF’ and strong jaws. They will bark when people come to your door until such time as they either recognize the person or can see the person is fine accepted by you. For this reason, combined with their bravery, they make excellent watch dogs.

Miniature dachshunds like to interact with their environment.  A dachshund kept in an apartment all day long, on their own and with no view of the world might develop neurotic barking. Accordingly I don’t recommend a dachshund for anyone living in an apartment that is away most of the day.

Dachshunds are an ideal breed if you already have a dog in your household. The reason is that the dachshund is a ‘non dominant’ breed. Their personality is such that they have no desire to get into doggy politics for the position of ‘top dog’ in the pecking order, hence any existing family dog is not going to feel threatened or be usurped. Contrast this to the Jack Russell terrier; a feisty courageous little dog that has to be ‘top dog’. A dachshund will happily blend into your family pack – human, feline and canine – without pomp or fuss.

It is this same ‘non dominant’ nature of the dachshund that sees them happy to play with children. Dachshunds don’t fuss about being superior beings and some will play fetch with a child until the child’s had enough. Of course, you should always be present when any dog is playing with children.

Health wise, they have few ailments compared with the long lists to be found with some other purebred breeds. Fortunately, they are not plagued by back problems like their much bigger standard sized cousins were. The back issues of the standard dachshund were due to a genetic defect which reportedly affected as many as 20% of all standard dachshunds at one time. This genetic predisposition was exacerbated by obesity, culminating in dreadful back problems.

The miniature dachshund (to the best of my research) does not have this genetic defect in its lines. Further, they are a light weight dog; maybe 4kg to 10kg in weight range so the added stress of weight is not there.

Two ailments to look out for, however, are the skin disorder Acanthosis nigricans in the smooth haired dachshund only and the blindness disease Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in the long haired dachshund only.

PRA is completely avoidable by breeders. There is a DNA test that identifies the gene and responsible breeding means no long haired dachshund should ever develop this disease. Responsible breeders have tested their breeding dogs and have a breeding program developed according to this. I have sought first-hand expert advice from a leading canine eye specialist and he confirmed that smooth haired mini dachshunds are not susceptible to PRA; no more than any other breed of dog. And the epidemiology of the disease bears this out. So in short, it is the long haired dachshund good breeders must screen for PRA.

In regard to A. nigricans things are not so clear cut. There is no diagnostic test available (genes not identified?) and the best breeders can do is wait until their bitch is 18 months of age as by this time the primary form of the disease (the most serious form) should have appeared. The skin disorder appears as balding – often in the armpits, on the ears and/or snout. The skin takes on a dark pigmentation and becomes either velvety smooth (on ears and nose) or like tough rhino skin in the armpits. It is not at all itchy and does not bother the young dog. But as a dog ages, it can become irritated and if it gets weepy, bacteria multiply and the dog becomes smelly as a result. Our first dachshund 30 years ago developed this condition late in life (as many old dogs of any breed or cross breed can do) and it was cured by cortisone. But the chronic use of cortisone brought on diabetes… Anyway! Point being the breed is not prone to many afflictions and the two mentioned should be well in hand through responsible breeding. So ask the necessary questions of your breeder!

2. The miniature smooth dachshund

Mini smooths are a loyal, smart and brave little dog. Often they can attach to one person more than another, but this can also be the case for any dog where one person is the primary feeder and spends the most time around the dog (home all day, for example).

They do not seek to dominate (a non dominating breed), so slip in easily within the family pack of felines, children and other dogs.

3. The miniature longhair dachshunds

Miniature longhairs are similarly loyal and brave little dogs, but not as intelligent as their smooth counterpart. Perhaps ‘intelligent is not a fair description, but rather they are more ‘laid back’.  They are happy to watch the world go by and snuggle on your lap. They will bark if a stranger approaches however, so they remain a good and brave watch dog, just like their smooth cousins.

From my observation, their gentle disposition seems linked to the gene for the long hair, as this is trait is seen in other long hair dogs, such as the long haired Cocker Spaniel, Red Setter, King Charles Cavaliers and so on. In fact the long hair genetics in the dachshunds originates with the Spaniels, when they were bred with Basset Hounds and other breeds to get the dachshund some hundreds of years ago.

The long haired mini dachshund is more likely to be the best friend of everyone in the household. They are not as inclined to form a one-on-one attachment, but there are no hard and fast rules here.

A long haired dachshund puppy is likely to take a bit longer to develop their full personality. You might find them a bit ‘sleepy’ (but not dumb) however by the time they reach full maturity (which is two years of age for all dogs), the depth of their personality and loving ways will shine through.

If you live on acreage, you must be vigilant for grass seeds if you desire a long haired dog. Grass seeds can soon work their way into the dog’s skin and cause infection and can necessitate surgery if the seed ingresses into the dog’s body.

A bit of massage and combing in the grass seed season is actually beneficial to you both – a great time for relaxation and bonding.

4. The mini wire haired dachshund

I am no expert here at all, they are somewhere in between the long and smooth in temperament. Top little dogs! You have to decide if you like the feel and appearance of their coat.

To summarize, they are family friendly, small bundles of love and loyalty. Just don’t expect them to be lap-dogs.

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Dogs101: Dachshund Video

Here is what Dogs101 (Animal Planet) says about dachshunds.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the video.  It’s actually pretty exciting seeing a dachshund doing what it was bred to do.  Dachshunds have loads of courage!  Personally, I’d like to challenge their opinion of a low score for “family”.  I grew up with two dachshunds and they were consistently loyal and friendly. It’s all about the love!

Worried about training your dachshund? Click Here to learn how!

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Mini Smooth-haired Dachshund is the Junior Warrant Winner at Crufts

DFS Crufts 2011 Junior Warrant Final Winner – Mini Smooth-haired Dachshund

Crufts Best of Breed competition – Dachshund (Min Smooth-Haired)

View the winner of the 2011 Crufts Best of Breed competition – Dachshund (Min Smooth-Haired)

Dachshunds – What Do You Call Your Dachsund?

Whats in A Name?

In my dachshund research I’ve noticed there are lots of spellings of the name Dachshund commonly being used.  This is something I really haven’t noticed very much with other breeds of dogs.  Are people compelled to give the dachshund dog breed nicknames because they are so lovable or is it just a variations based on language differences?

Anyway, here are some of the spellings (or misspellings) I have found:-

  • Dashund – sure they run fast, but this is a mispelling
  • Dachsund – common misspelling
  • Dackel (German)
  • Daxie (USA)
  • Dotson – just found this one on Twitter
  • Doxie (USA)
  • Hot dogs (USA)
  • Sausage dog (UK/USA/AUS/NZ)
  • Weenie dog ((USA)
  • Wiener Dog (USA)
  • Worshonds (Africa)
  • Teckel (in Europe)
  • Tekkel (in Europe)
  • TekkelDoxie (USA)

Of course, the correct spelling is DACHSHUND.  Pronounced “Dachs” “hund” or “hunt”, the origin correctly describing the purpose for which they were bred, namely badger (dachs) hunting dog (hund).

The origin of the breed name goes back a long way. Though apparently there is some dispute about how far, with some people believing the breed dates to the 15 century and others the 18th century. However, to add even more confusion recent discoveries of mummified dachshund like dogs have been uncovered in ancient Egyptian burial urns.

Know of different nickname?  Tell us about it…

Why You Should Crate Train Your Dachshund – and how to do it.

Want to know why, and how, you should crate train your Dachshund?Crate Training Your Dachshund

You’re not alone. Every year, millions of dog owners around the country are anxious to learn how to keep their dogs in a crate or separate room when they leave the house. Crate training is useful in reducing anxiety, destructive behavior and barking in your dachshund puppy. It is also a very valuable tool when trying to house break your new dachshund puppy. It’s particularly important that your new dachshund puppy has a comfy, safe place to sleep, because you don’t want them to get into the habit of jumping up onto your bed or sofa (remember their backs).

The Value of a Crate to Your Dachshund

We all like our personal space, your dog is no different. They also like a place to call their own. A safe haven with their own (great smelling) rug and cushions to cuddle up with. Don’t ever think it’s like a jail (that’s human nature style of thinking).

When your dachshund gets accustomed to their crate they very readily accept it and will seek its comfort and shelter for naps. Most dachshunds love their crates. In nature, wild dogs seek out a hidden, safe spaces to sleep in.  Somewhere they feel warm and safe. At home your dachshund’s crate performs the same function, providing their very own safe space. Dachshunds that do not have a “safe haven” can grow anxious with protecting too much open space and lack the comfort of a home base.

How to Crate Train Your Dachshund

The best time to crate train your dachshund is at the puppy stage. A grown up dog that has never been crate trained will have a much harder time adapting to the small space and may be difficult to handle – in this case try to restrict the dog to a small room at first. Your new puppy may also show distress, mainly about being separated from you, for this reason place the crate in an area where you can be easily seen. If you start crate training from day 1 your puppy will adapt quickly, and if the puppy never has the chance to develop bad habits (like sleeping with you in your bed), it not have anything to unlearn. In the evening when you go to bed place the crate in your bedroom to give him the security of your nearby presence. After a few weeks, try leaving the crate in one place, say, the family room, and see if your puppy settles. When they are very little keep them close to you so they feel loved and safe.

Create a clean, comfortable environment for your puppy to sleep in,with  padded washable bedding, make sure he has a source of water (which can’t be knocked over), and a chew toy to exercise those sharp puppy teeth. The crate should be only big enough for him to sleep in. If he can walk around in it, he may make a mess in it. As long as your dachshund can turn around in the crate, it is comfortable for them, and not inhumane.

When starting to crate train your puppy, don’t let him out of the crate as soon as he gets upset. This will only train the puppy that if he makes a fuss, you’ll give him attention and let him out. It’s essential that you only take the puppy out of the crate when he has been quiet for at least 5 minutes. Then, greet him with a lot of praise and love and even a treat to reinforce that he behaved correctly. It may take some time, so be patient and calm.

Initially, leave your dachshund puppy in the crate for short periods of time – an hour or two at a time. As he grows older, increase that time to sync with a full night’s sleep or your usual working hours.

If you learn how to crate train your dachshund properly, you’ll be able to ensure your dachshund never gets too loud, destructive, or anxious when you leave. A dachshund puppy adapts quicker too, which is much less stressful for everyone in the house.

Start crate training from the very first day you bring your dachshund puppy home. Always praise correct behavior. Never use a crate as a punishment. When your new puppy is crate trained you will enjoy the comfort of knowing you won’t come home to find your belongings destroyed and you puppy will have the comfort of his own personal space.

Dachshund Training 101

Dachshunds are certainly one of the cutest dog breeds.  But don’t be fooled…  they’re not lap dogs.

The Fundamentals of Dachshund Training – Click Here

Learn How to Train Your DachshundIt’s impossible not to be attracted to a dachshund puppy! Unfortunately, when it comes to obedience, Dachshund training is an entirely different matter, when all’s said and done, these cute little long bodied dogs are actually quite strong-willed. In fact it’s a feature of the breed. The big question is – Do they really require special training to make sure their attitude remains under control? Let’s investigate deeper.

Dachshunds Are Different

Your Dachshunds inherent personality has been developed over many years of breeding, so training them is not easy. Because they are among more stubborn, independent breeds you’ll encounter they require a lot of patience. They will test your patience, as they are strong-willed and will try to wait you out because they like to make their own decisions and go for what they want, instead of what you want them to do.

First and foremost, no matter how cute he is, your Dachshund is still a dog and you are the boss. Be strong, and treat your dachshund like a dog and not a mini human. The instant you start treating your dachshund like a little person or giving him the extra privileges that (he thinks) comes with his small size, you’ll lose the upper hand in training him.

Training is essential for the health and well-being of your dachshund. Remember that if you ignore training your Dachshund, you’re actually placing him at risk of harm. With their strong character and fiery will, they can easily get themselves into all sorts of danger. Their long spines can be at risk of injury if they strain to climb up on things or do too much jumping – both behaviors can be dealt with by training.

The Fundamentals of Dachshund Training – Click Here

Your dachshund puppy will have a lot of energy, and will use this energy for “sin” and not for good, if you let your puppy get bored. Actively encourage play and exercise from a very early age. It’s a great way to bond with your puppy as well as allowing your dachshund to exercise.

The training process will be much easier when your Dachshund has been properly exercised. His training needs to be conducted firmly and carefully planned.

Short Sessions – Any baby has a short attention span, dachshund puppies are no different. Their training should be done in 5 minute sessions. When you detect their attention has been lost, it can be hard to regain it, so you want to get as much done as possible early in the session before they make up their minds that they don’t want to follow along.

Basics – Like any other dog, a Dachshund puppy should be trained in basics like “sit”, “stay” and especially “down”. Due to their long spines Dachshunds have severe limitations on how far they can jump up or climb. Carry them up and down stairs and don’t let them jump on furniture. Train them early on that these are not allowed.

Clicker Training – Dachshunds respond especially well to training done in conjunction with a clicker. Dachshunds respond well to the distinct sharp, single sounds of the clicker. Still, the training is best done in short bursts to suit the attention span of your dachshund puppy.

Rewards – Punishing a Dachshund is not recommended as chances are you will not be very successful due to their strong will. They will simply grow more stubborn and possibly become aggressive with excessive punishment. By far the best option is to use positive reinforcement like praise and small treats to reward good behaviors. Dachshunds love the physical attention as well as treats as rewards for their good behavior.

Dachshund training is a trying experience.

It will take, time, energy and a great deal of patience on your part. Never forget who is boss, you are the pack leader! Don’t let your cute little puppy get the upper hand in your relationship. As soon as you crumble and give in to him, you lose the battle and it can be hard to regain control as the dog grows older. You’re doing him no favors, no one like an out of control dog.

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Dachshund Puppies – Tips for Dachshund Puppies

As a breed, dachshunds attract a wide variety of owners with their loyal and fun personalities.

They can become the clowns of the family.  As a breed, dachshunds are pack animals, and when one joins your family, it’s joining your pack. Loyalty is key when understanding this type of breed and makes it a great family pet. Give your new puppy lots of love and attention, play games to keep them occupied and you’ll have very happy dachshund puppies.

These little dogs are known for their short legs and long bodies, hence they have a spine which is not as well supported as in other breeds.  Accordingly, take special care not to strain the puppy’s back when handling your dachshund puppy.  Remember, they have a long lifespan (up to 20 years) and you want your dog to be happy and healthy for a long time.

Things to watch out for are:
•    jumping onto and off of high objects
•    running up and down steep stairs
•    any other situation which places excess strain on the back
Having said to protect them, realize they are not fragile, so treat them normally. Your dachshund needs lots of exercise to keep their muscles strong and supportive of their long spine.

Many people consider the dachshund dog breed to be one of the most perfectly bred hunting dogs. The traditional purpose of this little hunter was once to hunt badgers. The name alone, dachshund, literally means ‘badger dog’ – “dachs” – badger, “hund” hound. If you think about it, dachshund puppies were built for such a tall order, with their short legs to allow them into a burrow, a long snout that is equipped with many long sharp teeth. When a badger woke up from his nap in his confined burrow, it is faced with a small, strong dog with over sized ears which give the dog the appearance of being larger than they really are. The dachshunds strength is the short powerful hind legs that make him quite formidable in tight spots. Finally, the dachshund has a long tail that allow the owners to reach down that burrow and pull out the dog.

Training dachshunds can be a task due to their naturally independent nature and formal obedience training can be a plus. The effects of having a trained dog handler work with your dogs (and you) can lay a great foundation. You must be sure to keep close attention to the way the dog trainer handles your dog so that you are able to apply these same techniques outside of class. Always be consistent in using the proper technique and you’ll have a much happier dog. Dachshund puppies do require exercise and should have regular exercise. If you have a small yard then daily walks are recommended. A leash is a must as they are hunting dogs and can be known to chase and can quickly be out of reach. Dachshund puppies make great companions and will need plenty of companionship and attention. Believe me, when you take your precious dachshund puppy out walking you will attract a lot of attention.

A lack of attention can lead to your dachshund puppy feeling lonely and may cause excessive barking to plead for attention. No one likes a dog that barks constantly and your neighbors will certainly get annoyed. Remember to give your dachshund puppy lots of praise when he behaves well.

Now that we know a little bit about where dachshund puppies come from and some idea of their training, let’s get into some tips you can start to use from day 1.

Choose the Right Dog

One of the first things to think about when considering any dog is to look at yourself and find a dog that matches you. A huge mistake that you want to avoid is thinking that getting a dog will help change you. They can be great companions, but if you normally are not one for exercise and getting out doors, take this into account when searching for your dog. While they do need exercise, their requirements are not excessive, so dachshund puppies are very good at adapting and fit well with many different life styles.

Socalize Them Well

These dogs make terrific family pets. Companionship is important in life of all dachshund puppies and family life (your own pack) fits in well for these dogs. They serve as wonderful watch dogs as well, their big bark belies their small stature. Their large ears are very well equipped to hear noises that are well beyond the human scope of hearing. They can get possessive of their toys and even certain individuals with whom they may develop an extra tight bond. If dachshund puppies are not familiar with children and strangers, they may snap at them or even attempt to bite. They have been known to respond defensively by snapping and growling if they feel uncomfortable or threatened. So well controlled introductions to new people are essential.

Be Sensitive to Their Needs

Dachshund puppies are sensitive to extreme hot and cold temperatures, so outside living is not recommended for your dachshund puppy. They do get along well and socialize with other dogs (and even cats) very easily so having other dogs in your pack is fine. They are very easily taken care of as an inside pet. They do not require much grooming and shed very lightly. These two traits make them a first choice for an inside living dog.

Select the Right Personality

They come in a variety of sizes (even miniature), coat types, and colors. The different types of Dachshund puppies have their own very unique and individual personalities to match their difference in looks. If you are planning on having multiple dogs this means you can really have variety in appearance and characteristics.  Smooth hairs are considered   bold, Long hairs – relaxed, Wire hairs – the clowns of the dachshund world.

Training is Recommended

Stubbornness is one dominant personality trait of intelligent dogs. A good breed of dachshund puppies will show many signs of intelligence. Stubbornness is something that will best be overcome early on in the long life and this is where obedience training can make a big impact. Excessive barking can be an obvious sign of stubbornness.

Look After their Health – Vaccinations

There is no doubt that dachshund puppies will bring a lot of joy to their owners as long as they are cared for properly. Any breed of dog will require a decent amount of money in the beginning for the correct veterinary visits and medication. It’s essential to ensure that your dachshund puppy has all of the necessary vaccinations. The vaccinations required will depend on the region that you live and where your dachshund puppy is coming from. Any dog owner should seriously consider spaying or neutering their puppy. The proper care and medications will ensure a healthy, long life for your new puppy.

Dachshund puppies make great pets and the decision to bring them into the family should be considered carefully. Overall this breed is fun loving, tenacious and makes a great companion. Be sure your puppy is properly socialized and they will be comfortable in all surroundings. Dachshund puppies are full of character and will provide laughter for many years.


Get more information on training your new dachshund puppy

Dachshunds – Meet the Breed

A wonderful clip showing a selection of dachshund types, in action and relaxing, plus how they interact with people and how much people love them!

Dachshund Love!

I’ve got a very soft spot for dachshunds.

As a child, our family had two of them (at separate times, both short hairs, one a black and tan female named Lady and the other a tan male named Max).  My father was a devoted animal lover and they loved him back.  Our home was not complete without pets. Over time, we had the aforementioned dachshunds, two beloved cats, an aquarium, guinea pigs, silkworms, a large aviary with Australian birds. And I almost forgot… a few white mice.  I was very young when we had Lady. I don’t remember how she passed away, but I do recall the void her passing left in the family.  My father couldn’t bear it, and he soon brought home the  beautiful tan dachshund puppy we named Max.

Our dachshunds were true characters.

They may have been short, but they were never in awe of larger dogs. They stood up for themselves and we had to sometimes intervene. They would not “go after” the large dog, simply stand their ground and be protective of us.

They were great watchdogs.

Not the “bark at everything” type, but sociable until someone invaded their territory.  Anyone passing along the street was fine, but open our gate and it was quite a different matter. That was their signal to leap into action and bark a warning.  They sound much bigger than they are!  Though, when they realized the visitor was friend and not foe our dachshunds readily accepted them.

Our dachshunds were very intelligent and responsive to commands. I recall that my grandmother said that once she forgot her glasses in another room and our dachshund, Max, went and got them for her!!  She swore this was true. Well, I wasn’t there to see that myself so we might just leave that to folklore.

They loved company, including our cats.

Max & Mittens 1972

I recall many times, in cool weather, that Max (our tan dachshund) would lie on the floor stretched out, baring his tummy towards the heater, and one of our cats, Mittens (our tabby cat), would lie alongside his body to share the warmth. I’m excited to say that after I wrote this I asked my sister, Fay, to try to find some old pictures of our family dachshunds – she was able to find the exact one matching  my memory – above – it dates from 1972.

Mind you, I’m not sure who had the upper hand in their relationship.  I remember one incident where another dog was outside our front fence (a wrought iron one, very see through) taunting Max, who was running along inside the fence barking back.  Our cat, Mittens, obviously got fed up with the noise and leaned though the fence batted the other dog across the face, then turned and did the same to Max!  They both scattered!

Tan Smooth Hair Dachshund

Sure, they did have an independent streak, but surely that’s their entitlement. They’re not lapdogs.  Taking out the leash for a walk was a matter for great excitement and leaping about.  A walk involved stopping at every post and tree for a sniff.  I’ll never forget the time I lost hold of Max’s leash on the main street of the shopping center.  He ran away like a thing possessed!  With me following as fast as I could go, but not as fast as him!.

Just looking at pictures of dachshunds makes me pine for our family dachshunds. I love their intelligent eyes, wonderfully soft large ears and friendly, loyal temperament.