Dachshund (Miniature Smooth-Haired)
- Dog suitable for owners with some experience
- Some training required
- Enjoys gentle walks
- Enjoys walking half an hour a day
- Little toy dog
- Minimum drool
- Requires grooming once a week
- Non Hypoallergenic breed
- Very vocal dog
- Guard dog. Barks and alerts
- May require training to live with other pets
- May require training to live with kids
Miniature Dachshund Key Facts:
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight: 4.5 – 5kg
Height: 12 – 15cms
Colours: Miniature Dachshunds can either be solid colours such as red or cream or two-coloured such as black, chocolate, grizzled, blue or fawn with tan or cream markings. Some may be dappled too.
Kennel Club Group: Hound
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
History and Origins
Country of Origin: Germany
Despite being classified in the Hound group (as a result, it is said, of a mistranslation of the German word ‘hund’), the Dachshund was developed to go to earth and so is a terrier - their name meaning Badger Dog - which gives you a clue as to both their quarry and just how fearless they had to be to go down a hole after one!
The earliest records of the Dachshund dates from 1735 although it is thought they existed long before then - and at certain times in their history have included being crossed with French bassetts (hounds designed to be short-legged so they could be followed on food and not on horseback), which did probably serve to make them houndier!
Once they arrived in England, selective breeding produced a longer, lower more streamlined dog and they found favour with the nobility - Queen Victoria owned several.
For those still working Dachshunds, there was a need for a smaller dog who could go down rabbit holes rather than the larger badger setts, and so selective breeding of smaller individuals followed to produce both a smaller dog but also one with a narrower chest. The first Miniature Dachshunds arrived in England in 1909.
This dog can be very independent and needs kind, consistent, patient training. Early socialisation is required in order to acclimate Miniature Smooth Haired 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 Dachshund will suit an owner who may not have much space but wants a strong-minded, determined, one-person dog who will go everywhere with them - as the Dachshund does not like being left.
Health and Common Issues
The most common health problem seen in the Miniature 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 them off-lead, do ensure their recall is reliable, as their hunting instincts can drive them 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.
The Miniature Dachshund doesn’t need much space but needs access to the outdoors for exercise and toileting and they do enjoy a small garden. Their shape means that they do better in a bungalow or single-story flat as stairs can be an issue.
Nutrition and Feeding
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.
Grooming Miniature Dachshunds (Smooth Haired)
Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshunds are low-maintenance; they should be groomed with a rubber glove once a week to remove dead hairs.
Training Miniature Dachshunds
Dachshunds are not the greatest pupils but should be taught basic life skills including how to walk on a harness and lead. Socialisation with other people is important as they can be reserved to the point of unfriendly with strangers.
Best Family Dog Breeds
The Miniature Dachshund doesn’t make a good family dog especially with young children as they’re prone to injury, sometimes short-tempered, and don’t enjoy boisterous games. They generally bond closely to one person rather than to a family.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did you know?
- A translation error is why this breed appears in the hound group and not the terrier group! Its German name means Badger Dog, but back in 1874 when the breed was entered in the English stud book, authors wrongly translated the German ‘hund’ as ‘hound’ rather than as ‘dog’
- The Miniature Dachshund is one of the most long-lived of all dog breeds
- Journalist H. L. Mencken said that the Dachshund is “half a dog high and a dog and a half long”
- The Dachshund has many nicknames including sausage dog, hot dog, wiener dog, doxie and dashie
- Dachshunds are big barkers which can be traced back to their hunting days when they’d trap prey underground and then call for the hunters to come and locate them. It’s likely you’ll have to train them how to stop so they don’t become a nuisance!