The standard, Smooth Haired Dachshund breed is short – but not small! He is a medium-sized hound on short legs, standing at about 35cm and weighing 9-12kg when fully grown. He has an attractive, soft, straight coat that comes in a range of colours (see the breed standard for full details).
Dachshunds can be traced back to 15th century Germany. However, Dachshund-type dogs have appeared in ancient Egyptian and Mexican art and remains of a similar dog were found with shipwreck remnants in Italy, dating back to the 1st century AD. The German breed standard was set in 1879 and the breed club established in 1888. Dachshunds were exported to Great Britain with Prince Albert and became popular in Britain and America throughout the 19th century.
This dog can be very independent and needs kind, consistent, patient training. Early socialisation is required in order to acclimate Dachshunds to children, strangers and other animals. They are a breed that becomes quite attached to their family and usually one family member in particular, but they can be reserved with strangers.
The most common health problem seen in the Smooth Haired Dachshund is related to their body shape, making them prone to spinal disorders. Heart disease is also relatively common in the breed. As with many other breeds, various inherited eye disorders can be seen, and breeding dogs should be routinely eye tested.
This dog needs a minimum of half an hour's daily exercise. Before letting him off-lead, do ensure his recall is reliable, as his hunting instincts can drive him to run off in pursuit of a scent or quarry. Bear in mind that Dachshunds were bred to 'go to ground' and can dig under many types of fencing, so check your garden's security.
Toy-sized dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
Smooth-coated Dachshunds are low-maintenance; they should be groomed with a rubber glove once a week to remove dead hairs.