Miniature: up to 14 inches; Standard: 14 inches
Miniature: 11 pounds and under; Standard: 16 pounds
There are three coat types (varieties): smooth, longhaired and wirehaired. The smooth coat is short and smooth; the longhaired coat is of moderate length, soft, and somewhat wavy; the wirehaired coat is coarse and short.
Dachshunds come in a great range of colors: a single shade or color (includes reds or yellows and may have black tips or overlays); and two colors (includes black, black and tan, chocolate, gray, wild boar, and fawn, all with tan or cream markings). Dachshunds also come in dappled, brindle and sable patterns.
Bold, confident, intelligent and alert, the Dachshund is a companion who may be short of leg but is not short of personality. Lively and courageous (sometimes to the point of rashness), the Dachshund can be a bit bossy about getting his way, but his loyalty to his family is unshakable. When threatened or suspicious, he is a great protector of his family, whom he loves with all his heart. In general, longhairs are considered slightly more easygoing, wirehairs more playful, and smooths a bit more aloof.
The Dachshund is a versatile and charming pet, as comfortable in a big-city apartment as he is in the country. If your yard contains a prized flowerbed, beware - his hunting instincts will be clearly visible in his love of digging and chasing after backyard prey. A fenced-in yard is essential, as a Dachshund following a scent will not pay attention to anything else.
Dachshunds can enjoy tracking, earthdog trials, and obedience. Sports or activities that involve repeated jumping may not the best for Dachshunds because of the back problems that can develop.
The Dachshund is active and inquisitive, traits that need to be expressed and fulfilled in several daily walks - preferably long ones, though not strenuous ones. He is built to hunt and can handle rough terrain and a vigorous dig, but he is not bred for long, sustained periods of exercise.
Due to their size differences, Minis need less food than Standards, but both need a high-quality diet. Dachshunds have a tendency to gain weight, which puts further stress on the back, as well as the legs and internal organs. This is a serious problem with Dachshunds, so it's essential to keep them at their proper weight.
Dachshunds are scenthounds and are therefore easily distracted by scents all around them. They are also self-willed and will be more than happy to run the household if not given proper training. As first-rate companions, they do want to please, and an upbeat, positive approach to training - along with persistence - will win them over to doing what you ask. Luckily, they are a very food-motivated breed, making them perfect for reward-based training.
Living in a home with very small children can be difficult because this small dog will take exception to rough handling. In general, longhaired Dachshunds are thought of as better with children than smooths or wirehaireds because they are slightly more laid back. Dachshunds can get along with other dogs and cats, but proper introductions and management are essential. The prey drive in Dachshunds is strong, and they can't always be trusted with small animals.
The average life span of the Dachshund is 12 to 16 years. One of the most common health problems suffered by Dachshunds is a spinal disc problem called Dachshund paralysis. Because of their long backs and short legs, strain is put on the vertebrae and leads to problems. Dachshunds can also suffer from diabetes, epilepsy, and heart disease.
The wirehaired Dachshund needs the most attention to his coat; the coarse hairs must be trimmed and kept neat, ideally by a professional groomer. The longhaired Dachshund's fine fur can knot and mat if not brushed regularly. The smooth Dachshund is the easiest to care for - a quick going-over with a hound glove, soft brush and damp cloth will leave him sleek and shiny.
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