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About the breed

An introduction to Dachshunds

The origins of the Dachshund can be traced back to working dogs that could go to ground after animals such as badgers, foxes and rabbits. The breed is described as moderately long and low with a well-muscled body, bold, defiant carriage of head and intelligent expression. Dachshunds are very popular as pets and, in the UK, come in six varieties, two sizes – Standard (20-26 lbs) and Miniature (10-11lbs) – and three coats – Smooth, Long and Wire Haired.  They are loyal companions and generally make good family pets.  Standards are more robust and therefore probably better for families with very young children.  

Download our brief guide for prospective Dachshund owners.

Coats and Colours

Smooth-haired – Dense, short, smooth and shiny requiring little maintenance. Most common colours are Black and Tan, Red, Chocolate/Tan and Dapple.

Long-haired – Soft and straight with feathering on underparts, ears, behind legs and tail where it forms a flag. Coat requires regular grooming. Most common colours are Black and Tan, Red (ranging from Cream to Shaded Red), Chocolate/Tan and Silver Dapple.

Wire-haired – A short, harsh coat with a dense undercoat covers the body. There is a beard on the chin, the eyebrows are bushy, but hair on the ears is almost smooth. A Wire coat typically will need stripping (never clipping) twice a year; they don’t moult.  Most common colours are Brindle and Red. Chocolate/Tan and Dapple also occurs.

Do not be talked into buying a “rare coloured” Dachshund. Generally, anyone telling you a puppy has a rare colour either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or they are a commercial breeder. The Breed Standard states that, apart from in Dapples which should be evenly marked all over, there should be no white on a Dachshund’s coat, except perhaps a small patch on its chest and even this is undesirable.  Read more about Colour and Health.

Find out more about owning a Dachshund in these videos.


Health Issues

Dachshunds generally suffer few health problems providing they are kept well exercised and fed a healthy, balanced diet. On average, they live to more than 12 years old.

Because they are a dwarf breed there is an increased risk of back problems (IVDD).  Always ask about any history of back problems when buying a puppy and avoid buying puppies from parents with exaggerated length of body or excessively short legs as these are risk factors for IVDD.  Problems are best avoided by keeping the dog fit and not allowing it to become overweight, or to run up and down stairs which can put extra stress on the back. We also have a screening programme for breeders to use, to help reduce risk.

Mini Long, Mini Smooth and Mini Wire breeding stock should have been DNA tested for Retinal Degeneration (cord1 mutation P.R.A.) which is an inherited condition causing degenerative disease of the retina, resulting in visual impairment, or blindness. Mini Wire breeding stock should have been DNA tested for Lafora Disease (a form of epilepsy).

Always consult a Vet if you have any concerns about a puppy you intend to purchase, or health problems with an older dog.

The Dachshund - A dog for all reasons
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