Dachshunds - An overview


Dachshunds, as a breed, come under the category of the 'Hound Group' of dogs. They originate from Germany and the word Dachshund means 'Badger Dog' ('Dachs' meaning badger, 'Hund' meaning dog).


They were bred and used originally as working/hunting dogs, with the purpose of going down into badger sets and rabbit warrens to retrieve prey. Even though not used for these purposes as often nowadays, they still love to hunt when off lead and you will often notice them, nose to ground, snuffling around in the hedgerows.


Within the UK, Dachshunds are mainly found in two sizes - Standard and Miniature. Within these two sizes are 3 coat types - Smooth, Long and Wire - making 6 types in all. Sometimes you will see another size that their owners refer to as a 'Tweenie'. This is a nickname, short for the word 'inbetween', as the 'Tweenie' size occurs when a Standard Dachshund is mated with a Miniature Dachshund. 


We are very privileged within the breed, and the UK, to have a very active Breed Council and three invaluable websites dedicated to Dachshunds that owners and breeders can use as point of reference. These websites are the 'Dachshund Breed Council UK', 'Dachshund Health UK' and most recently, 'Dachshund-IVDD UK' which I personally helped design with the Breed Council (please see 'link's page).


In the pages of these three sites you will find endless information regarding 'Everything Dachshund'. Topics covering buying and owning Dachshunds, health and welfare, breed standard and breed clubs, to name a few.


As with all dogs, there are some prevalent health isses within the breed that current owners, breeders and future owners must be aware of. PRA and IVDD are the main health issues within Miniature Smooth Dachshunds, please see the seperate pages on this website regarding these conditions.



Are Miniature Smooth Dachshunds the breed for YOU?


As with any breed, Dachshunds have their particular traits. Those looking into owning a Dachshund should be fully aware of some of these before making contact with a breeder. Dachshunds are quirky and there are things to bear in mind:


  • Dachshunds were originally bred to bark and 'react', to alert their owners (hunters) to prey and for their bark to be heard from underground. When fully grown they can be reactive towards other dogs and people they don't take a shine to - even a family member getting up from the sofa or running down stairs can create a reaction (a chorus of barking). Socialisation as a puppy is key, however, this won't stop them from being reactive if it's within their nature to do so. Each pup is different and if they are going to become vocal, it usually begins around puberty (6 months old).

A lot of their temperament is hereditary, so obtaining a puppy from a Dam (Mother) with a sound temperament is imperative. However, an equal aspect of their temperament is down to 'nurture', specifically between 0-16 weeks of age. 

As a puppy is with its breeder until 8 weeks old, it is extremely important that they are born and raised in an attentive, nurturing environment, as this is how they start to form positive bonds and associations. They will thrive from having consistent and continuous care from birth. It is then even more important that they are placed in a home that will continue to nurture them, as an individual and a breed. A good breeder will vet potential owners thoroughly before agreeing to sell them a pup.


Dachshunds WILL NOT thrive in an unsuitable environment and it is the breeders job to decide which is the correct/best home for their puppies.


(As a side note: A Dam can be very different in temperament after giving birth, especially when strangers come to visit and handle her puppies. This is purely down to hormones and they can be more vocal due to their natural instinct of protecting their offspring. This shouldn't be confused with having a bad temperament. She will be very different once the pups are weaned).


  • Miniature Smooth Dachshunds are notoriously hard to toilet train and this can be a very real problem. They need to be taken outside every 30 minutes initially, moving up in 15 minute increments as the weeks pass. They are not a breed that will be fully trained by 12 weeks like others you may have heard of - if you have cracked it by 6 months then you are doing well. Please do not expect, because you may have experience with dogs, that you will be the one to get on top of this quicker than most - you won't. It is a case of two steps forward, one step back. The back door may be wide open, the sun may be shining, but your puppy will still wee in the kitchen, even if she hasn't for the last week.


  • Miniature Dachshunds don't like cold, wet or windy weather, they will point blank refuse to take a step outside for the toilet in these conditions unless you go too (and even then it is a 'hit and miss' as to whether they 'relieve' themselves, no matter how long you stand out there).


  • Recall can leave something to be desired if they spot or smell something that takes their fancy, regardless of how fantastic they were previously. They are scent hounds and any new scent will interest them.


  • Up until 9 months of age, Dachshunds should only be walked for 5 minutes per month of age (eg 3 months = 15 minutes walking per day, 4 months = 20 minutes walking per day). Over walking can cause deformity of the bones in the legs and lead to future problems. 


  • However, contrary to popular belief, once fully grown they can walk for miles and miles - they will out-walk you! Short legs do not equal short distances and they are very fast and extremely powerful when running.


  • Dachshunds are not the type of breed who like being alone for long periods of time, they crave company and can suffer terribly from seperation anxiety which can lead to a very nervous, vocal, destructive and unhappy dog. Their humans are their pack, so being without them for long periods can have a massive impact.


  • Having two Dachshunds is a great idea, but buying two pups at the same time is not. No reputable breeder will sell you two together, for various reasons. Firstly, 'Litter Sibling Syndrome' can be a real issue, secondly, they can bond with each other and not their family, and lastly, being so difficult to toilet train, having two can be impossible. If one regresses, so will the other. It's better to buy one puppy, develop a strong bond and get on top of training, then introduce another.


  • IVDD is an extremely common condition (please see seperate page). No breeder can tell you it won't happen to the puppy you buy as there is no definitive health test available. As someone interested in the breed, please make sure you are fully aware of this disease before starting your Dachshund journey. Any breeder you contact should also be able to answer any questions that you may have on the subject. If they can't, they don't know the breed well enough and buying a puppy from them will be a huge risk. It is by far the most prevalent, deeply concerning condition within the breed and is as common as cancer within humuns (1 in 4).


  • Dachshunds are great with kids as long as they have been used to them from a young age. Our pups are raised with our 4 children which makes a huge difference to their personality and when they leave us, they are extremely confident and tend to always love children, even if they don't live with them in their forever home.


  • They are also fine with cats as long as they have been used to them from a young age. They can be introduced at an older age but it will take more time to adjust. Generally it is the cat who is more 'put out' than the dog!


  • They are hounds, they aren't lap dogs, and they do act as such. Small does not equal easy - you get a lot of dog for the size!


  • Many websites state that Dachshunds are a suitable breed for those who live in flats or apartments, this is only partly true. Yes, they can live in smaller spaces, however, their home must have direct access to some sort of outside space and not just a 'small courtyard which is down 5 flights of stairs', or a large park nearby. Firstly, as previously mentioned, they are extremely difficult to toilet train, so donning shoes, jackets, keys, collar and lead to carry a pup/dog down stairs to a communal courtyard or across a road to get to a park, hourly, hail, rain or shine, is not feasible or realistic. Secondly, neither is it fair for the pup/dog to have no personal, safe and enclosed outdoor space where it can roam around freely. Time spent outside in the garden is essential for a pup, for learning and development.


Pelirroja Dachshunds

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