The origins of the Dachshund can be traced back to working dogs that could go to ground after badgers, foxes and rabbits. The breed is popular today as a show dog, working hound and pet.
In the UK, Dachshunds come in two sizes – Standard and Miniature – and three coats – Smooth-haired, Long-haired and Wire-haired. Standards should ideally weigh 20 – 26 lbs and Miniatures 10 – 11 lbs.
Dachshunds are still used by some people for working; typically tracking fallen deer, and these are often called Teckels. They tend to be slighter in body and longer in the leg than “show” Dachshunds, but are highly regarded for their working ability and “good noses”.
Read the Breed Council’s Factsheet.
Sign-up for The Pet Professionals’ online course about buying and owning a Dachshund.
Information on Breed Standards is on the “Showing” page.
Coat & Colours:
Smooth-haireds are the “traditionally recognised” Dachshund. Their coats are short and dense, with a velvet texture and require little maintenance. Long-haireds are the “glamour kids”, with feathering on their ears and tails and long, silky body coats. These coats need regular grooming to keep them tidy and to avoid matting. Wire-haireds are the “rugged workmen”, with harsh body hair, beards and eyebrows. Depending on the texture of the coat, which can range from “pin-wire” to “hairy”, they may need to be hand-stripped (never clipped) two or three times a year.
Smooth-haired – most common colours are Black & Tan and Red. Chocolate/Tan and Dapple are also possible.
Long-haired – most common colours are Black & Tan, Red (ranging from Cream to Shaded Red) and Silver Dapple. Brindle (tiger-striped) also occurs.
Wire-haired – most common colours are Brindle (Wild Boar or Pepper & Salt) and Red. Chocolate/Tan and Dapple also occur. Note that Brindle in Wires means the individual hairs are striped, giving an overall grizzle/grey appearance, as opposed to the tiger-stripe appearance found in Long-haired Brindles. Read our Wire Dachshund FAQs.
Living with a Dachshund:
Dachshunds are active dogs, and will take as much exercise as you can give them. They are, however, just as happy curled up on your lap, snoozing after a good, long walk. They are loyal companions and generally make good family pets, but they can be noisy! They are not noted for their obedience, but can be trained given persistence by the owner. However, they do like “to get their noses down” when off the lead and can “go deaf” when it suits them.
As a generalisation, Wires are the most extrovert and active, Standard Longs are the most reserved and aloof, and Standard Smooths are perhaps more “one-person” or “one-family” dogs. All the Miniatures make ideal pets for someone who is maybe less active and who wants a small, but affectionate companion.
Dachshunds generally suffer from few health problems, provided they are kept well exercised, fit and fed on a healthy, balanced diet. The median (average) age of death reported in the KC Health Survey 2004 was 12 years and 8 months.
Go to our Health and Welfare Page for more information, or use the “Find it quickly!” pull-down menu in the right-hand sidebar to search for information on a particular health and welfare topic. Or, use the “Search for it!” box to type in a key word or topic you want to find.
You can also find out more health information at the Breed Council’s Health Report website.
Individual Breed Profiles can be found on the Kennel Club’s website.