Average Height: 5-7 in
Average Weight: 8-11 lbs
Average Life Span: 12-14 yrs
Coloring: Varied; single, bi- and tri-colored in varying patterns are accepted. Black, tan, copper, cream, red, gray, brown
Area of Origin: Germany
Similar Breeds: Miniature Pinscher, Standard Dachshund, Miniature Schnauzer, Papillon
History and Origin:
Literally meaning Badger Dog in German, the dachshund was developed in seventeenth century Germany to catch and kill small prey underground. Originally the smallest dog in a litter, the Miniature Dachshund was eventually bred to be smaller than the Standard Dachshund. This was done by introducing Miniature Pinscher (for smooth coats), Miniature Schnauzer (for wire coats), and Papillon (for long coats) blood. Once it became evident to breeders that mixing coat types produced genetic defects, dogs with such lineage were not accepted into registry. As with other European breeds, the Miniature Dachshunds population fell drastically during World War I, but exports to North America helped to revitalize the gene pool.
Personality and Temperament:
The Miniature Dachshund is a clever little dog, with strong hunting instincts and a proud nature. If it senses weakness in its owner, it will become dominant, which may lead to behavior problems such as separation anxiety or the guarding of food or toys. It can become quite snappy, and as such is not an ideal companion for small children. Interestingly, as each coat type is influenced by different breeds, each variety has qualities unique to them. The wire coated Dachshund, for example, possesses the terrier determination and quick-wit due to its Schnauzer ancestry. The Miniature Dachshund is highly intelligent, and needs an experienced owner to maintain boundaries.
Exercise & Training:
As a working breed, the Miniature Dachshund needs daily exercise to keep it happy and healthy. It bores easily, and can become destructive if its physical and mental needs are not met. The Dachshund has a fantastic sense of smell, and excels in tracking and trailing trials. It needs confident and firm leadership from its owner, and is a quick learner if it chooses to be. Due to its small stature, the Dachshund can live in small spaces if it received adequate physical and mental stimulation.
The short-haired Dachshund requires the least amount of grooming of the three types; brushing a few times a week helps to remove dead hair and keep the skin healthy. The wire-haired variety needs stripping twice a year when the undercoat is shedding out (much like wire-haired terrier breeds), and daily brushing keeps the long-coated Dachshund free of tangles. Only bathe when necessary to maintain natural oils in the fur.
The Miniature Dachshund is a smaller variety of the Standard Dachshund. After it became a standardized breed, influences from the Papillon, the Miniature Schnauzer, and the Miniature Pinshcer were added to create a breed with three distinct coat types.
Interesting Facts about the Miniature Dachshund:
1. The Miniature Dachshund is affectionately known as the Weiner Dog and the Hot Dog, due to its elongated body and short legs.
2. The Miniature Dachshund tends to become obese quickly if their food intake isn’t regulated, gaining the nickname, Sausage.
3. The Dachshund was included in the AKC field trials in 1935 to encourage the maintenance of its specific conformation and temperament.
Organizations dedicated to the Miniature Dachshund:
National Miniature Dachshund Club (USA)
The Miniature Dachshund Club of British Columbia (CAN)
Dachshund Rescue of North America
Dachshunds Looking for Homes – Rescue Society
The Dachshund Rescue Web Page