Dachshund Breed Profile

Dachshund Breed Profile

This week’s breed in focus is the Dachshund.

Bred in Germany hundreds of years ago to hunt badgers and affectionately known as the daxie, wiener dog, hotdog, or sausage dog, this breed of short stature leaves a lasting impression.


The Dachshund is a brave, lively and loving companion. They are devoted to their family but may not be the ideal breed to have around small children.

They can be a little unpredictable with strangers and other animals, so early socialisation is important and, despite their size, they tend to be quite protective and alert, so they can make an excellent watchdog.

Physical attributes

The Dachshund’s two official sizes are Standard and Miniature, but there is also a Toy version.

They can be short, long or wire haired with colours ranging from cream, all the way to black, with many varieties in between and have an expected lifespan of 14-16 years.


While their bold little personalities are loved by many, they can be strong willed and stubborn, so training can be difficult at times. They require firm but fair, consistent handling or can become irritable, a bit snappy and even refuse to be handled.

Many Dachshunds are known for their tendency to bark, so obedience training and keeping them mentally and physically active can help here.  They can also be difficult to toilet train, so you need to be persistent – crate training can help with this too.

Given their hunting background, Dachshunds have a high prey drive, so they may not be a good match for a household that includes smaller pets or rodents.

Lifestyle considerations

Dachshunds are best suited to indoor living with their family and can be happy with a small yard.  Despite their little legs, they are active dogs with a lot of stamina so require daily walks and gentle play sessions.

But with their long backs, it’s important not to do anything too rigorous, even a household with too many stairs can put added pressure on their spine.

An average ‘shedder’, long-hairs require daily brushing and short-hairs require a regular rub down with a damp cloth.


When it comes to the Dachshund and their health, it is vital that you take good care of their long backs.

Dachshunds can develop intervertebral disc disease, which in many cases requires emergency surgery which can cost thousands of dollars, so the best thing you can do for your dachshund to prevent this is:

  • Support their back when handling them at all times
  • Keep their weight down through a healthy diet and gentle exercise
  • Discourage them from jumping up and down from furniture
  • Providing ramps for getting up and down instead.

To get a quote from Bow Wow Meow Pet insurance specific to the Dachshund breed, or to cover your own dog for illness or injury*, visit their website.

You can use their Breed Selector tool too if you would like to find out if the Dachshund is compatible with your lifestyle.

*Waiting Periods, limits and conditions apply. Any advice is general only. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available at bowwowinsurance.com.au. Pet Insurance issued by Hollard AFSL 241436, administered by PetSure AFSL 420183 and promoted by Pet Tag Holdings AR no. 318913.

About the Author: Lara Shannon is a NDTF certified dog behaviourist and trainer, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara also runs her own dog training and boarding business in Melbourne’s Bayside area and is the Author of Eat, Play, Love Your Dog.

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