The number of Dachshunds registered by the Australian National Kennel Club has risen almost 500 percent in recent years, making them one of the fastest growing breeds in the land down under.
The Dachshund’s adorable sausage-shaped body is what draws most people to this breed, but it's their larger-than-life personality that makes their owners fall in love.
This breed’s profound loyalty, unmatched exuberance, and spunky attitude sets them apart from other dogs and adds excitement to any home.
While the Dachshund is an undoubtedly cute and vivacious pet, they are not for everyone. These small but mighty dogs are known for their very high prey and defence drives and are susceptible to a number of hereditary diseases.
It is believed Dachshunds originated in early 17th century Germany, where they were bred to aid hunters by chasing badgers (as well as, other small mammals) out of their dens.
Dachshund literally translates to “Badger Dog” in German, and true to their name they were an exceptional fit for the task since their short stature helped them to squeeze into spots other hounds couldn’t while their paddle-shaped paws that allow for quick digging.
Though their ancestry is not entirely clear it is thought wire-haired Doxies were created by crossing the Saint Hubert Hound and the terrier. Later on, long-haired varieties were created by breeding the wire-haired Dachshund with spaniels, to create a long luxurious coat that protected them while hunting in colder climates.
Today, Dachshunds are more likely to be found in their owner’s lap than hunting the fields, though they still enjoy digging and a great game of chase!
Who are Dachshunds Best for?
Small homes or apartments
Moderately active people
Homes without other pets
Families with older children
Due to their fragile backs and high prey drives, Dachshunds are NOT recommended for homes with small children or small pets (such as hamsters or bunnies).
Dachshunds are prone to a both of hereditary and lifestyle diseases.
Their floppy ears make Doxies susceptible to ear infections, so care must be taken to keep these clean and dry (especially during bath time). Plucking the inner ear hair can also reduce the chances of inflammation and infection.
Obesity is very common in this breed, so owners are advised to watch their weight carefully. Overweight Dachshunds are at a much greater risk of diabetes, back pain, joint problems, slipped discs, and heart disease.
Their elongated torso makes Dachshunds prone to inter vertebral disc disease (IDD), a severe musculoskeletal disease caused by the spinal cord becoming pinched between the spinal vertebrae. IDD can cause paralysis or even death.
Owners can decrease the chances of their dog developing this condition by supporting their back when picking them up by using one hand under the chest and the other hand under the bum. Doggy stairs are a great tool to keep them from jumping to get on the furniture or beds. These can be easily made or bought preassembled.
- Dachshunds are notorious for having poor dental health. Daily brushing and dental chews (like grain-free Greenies) can break off the tarter that causes tooth decay. Doxies should also have professional teeth cleaning performed by their veterinarian every year to remove the plaque buildup under the gums that brushing alone cannot reach.
- Joint issues such as hip dysplasia and patella luxation are also prevalent in this breed. Many vets recommend glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for both older and very active Doxies.
- Hereditary eye issues such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can affect older dachshunds.
Dachshund Price Range
The price range for Doxies varies substantially, some can be bought for as low as $300 while “Premium” Doxies can go for upwards of $4000.
Pricing depends on whether or not the dog has, registration paperwork, but their lineage, colouring, gender, age, and breeder preference plays a large role in this as well.
Tips from Dachshund Show Breeders
- Never brush your long-haired Dachshund while their coat is wet-- this is when the hair is most fragile and breakage prone.
- Pick a gentle shampoo that will not strip their natural oils. Something with soothing botanicals such as aloe or oatmeal is preferred for their sensitive skin. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo is a favorite for many breeders.
- Use duckbill-style hair clips to section your Dachshund’s hair while brushing and trimming; this will make brushing the undercoat easier and help you to give them a more precise cut.
- Bathing a Dachshund more than a couple times a month can create dry, flaky, skin and dull their coats. Use dog-safe wet wipes for minor cleaning and save bath time for when they are really dirty. EarthBath Grooming Wipes are a great choice for regular use since they contain Hawaiian Awapuhi Extract, a natural conditioner that strengthens hair and is common in many high-end salon products for humans. EarthBath’s Vanilla Almond Dog Spray is a great all-natural doggy deodorant to use between baths.
No matter how frequently you brush your long-haired Dachshund they are bound to get a tangle now and then. Combat stubborn mats with detergent-free Tropiclean D-Mat Tangle Remover Spray.
What do owners have to say about their Dachshund?
Service animals should have a moderate energy level, high enough to give them the desire to work but not so high that they are bouncing around and uncontrollable.
Abbie Sharpe, owner of El Camino and Carmen
“The best thing about owning a doxie, besides their sweet, charming demeanour, is their longevity.
I’m NOT an animal person by nature so when I fell in love with this breed, I fell wholeheartedly knowing I have a pal for a very long time.
Be patient and consistent with the potty training. Their devotion and infectious personalities will make it worth the trouble.”
Katie Schirmer, owner of Squirt
“Pros: He's a sweetheart. He just wants to be by me. He doesn't need a lot of exercise, and his coat is so velvety soft it couldn't be more low maintenance if he was bald.
Cons: He's kind of a diva. Coming from beagles in training, I'm not used to dogs who turn their nose up at certain treats. The breed is sort of known for having bad teeth if you don't take care of them. He's supposedly about 6 (years old), and just had eight teeth pulled when he went in for a dental. And of course, the risk of back issues is always a concern. He also barks at everything! Never aggressive, just loud.”
Karli Hawthorne, owner of Bernie
“Potty train. Potty train. Potty train. Even if it means putting them in dog obedience classes--and buy indestructible toys!”
Morgan Tolle owner of Luna and Apollo
“They love to be right next to you and truly are great companions. They have the best personalities, and are so funny but also very stubborn! Their worst traits would probably be their barking--a leaf will blow by, and they will bark at it!
Their barking is uncontrollable sometimes and it’s tough! But we wouldn’t trade them for the world!!’
The Wrap Up
With any dog comes responsibility, but prospective Dachshund owners should know that this breed will need extra care to help them live long and full lives. Potential owners should consider the level of care and training they require before committing to this breed.
This breed is not recommended for homes with small children due to their fragility and predisposition to inter vertebral disc disease. Because of their proclivity for hereditary diseases, prospective owners should only purchase Doxies from reputable breeders.
Those who are up for the challenge of training and caring for these dogs will find that they make excellent family pets who love freely and protect those who care for them.