Dachshunds were bred originally in Germany during the 17th century for the purpose of hunting small species like rabbits and the aggressive wild badgers. The word "dach" in German means "badger" and this breed was trained to follow the creatures into the burrow to pursue their prey. They have been pets in royal palaces, and highlighted in artwork from the 18th century. Dachshunds were brought to America after WWI, and were affectionately called "wiener dogs" because of their German origination and resemblance to American-style hot dogs. The Dachshund quickly became one of the most popular house pets.
Dachshunds are typically the standard reddish color, but can also come in black, black-and-tan, white, silver, golden, blue, chocolate, gray; and can be pied, dappled, or brindled. They can be smooth/shorthaired dogs, long haired or wirehaired creatures, in both miniature and standard size.
Dachshunds are friendly loveable dogs that are affectionate with their humans. They do have terrier-like personality traits, as they are intelligent, brave and tenacious pups bred to be hunters. They can be territorial over their toys, food, treats, and areas; having "small dog" syndrome with their owners, they tend to vie for the pack leader position of authority. If they are given this power unchecked, they can become demanding, yippy, jealous, and can nip. They are determined chasers, who enjoy hunting for balls, birds and smaller animals whenever given the opportunity. They do travel well, and if they are given sufficient training and leadership from their owner, these dogs are great companions and entertaining members of the home.
They are challenging to housebreak, and need patient owners with consistent rules and guidance. Famous writer E.B. White once described his Dachshund as incorrigible and impossible to train, saying his dog disobeyed him on commands the pup even wanted to do. However, other dog owners have found that persistence did give them the results they sought in training these dogs. However, it is important to understand that Dachshunds are aggressive pets that need to submit to their master, and be taught not to bite.
If allowed to indulge, these dogs can overeat, gain weight and suffer from diabetes. Their short legs can add stress to their backs if they become too heavy, which increase their tendency for are spinal problems. Dachshunds also fight heart disease, tumors, and urinary tract infections and will need regular veterinarian check-ups.
Though small, Dachshunds require daily walking an energy exertion to stay easily indoors all day. Their outdoor time cannot be neglected, or they will develop behavioral issues and become irritible.
Though active breed can thrive in an apartment, though they do enjoy playing in yards and having a decent amount of space to romp.
Longhaired Dachshunds require washing, brushing and combing; wirehaired Dachshunds need occasional grooming appointments; while the shorthaired variations may not need more than a wipe-down or a coat wash.