THE DACHSHUND IS A FEARLESS LITTLE DOG
I have worked on thousands of Dachshunds over the years and they come in a variety of sizes, colors and coat lengths. They all have characteristic short, curved (dysplastic) forelimbs which were used to dig holes to get to their prey in Germany. The word “Dachs” means badger and “hund” means hound. So if you put both together, a Dachshund is a badger hound! They all have spunky personalities. I have said many a time to owners that the breed dreams every night that they are huge German Shepherds. They are quick, fearless little dogs. The most common types you see are the short-haired Dachshund and the long-haired Dachshund varieties. One will often see tan or black and tan short coat Dachshunds or a variety of colors in the long coat Dachshund. Overall, the long coat Dachshunds have a more docile personality.
AN OLD FRIEND
One miniature Dachshund I used to work on years ago was a tiny, blue like, long coated and with a blue eye! Petey was a wonderful dog and loved coming into my office. I used to call him Pistol Pete; after the professional basketball player of years ago. Others were happy to come in and bark at me telling me to get my work done so they could get out of the office. This breed can fit into a variety of homes since they are not as exercise dependent as a lot of the larger hounds.
THAT LONG BODY OF A DACHSHUND!
There are several medical issues that prospective Dachshund owners need to pay attention to. Because they have such a long body on short legs the breed is prone to a variety of lumbar back problems including prolapsed lumbar disks, spinal nerve issues in that area and older age arthritis (spondylosis) of the vertebrae. They are very quick and low to the ground. Like a long train, the head goes in one direction with the hind body chasing the front. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure/stress vectors over the lower back predisposing the animal to back injuries. This is especially bad for the spayed female dogs that usually gain weight. The excess weight puts more stress on the back. As they age, the breed develops bad dental/periodontal issues. They must have dentals at least once a year.
The Dachshund is also prone to developing bladder stones. As they age, they can develop a type of hypothyroid disorder known as acanthosis nigricans; a darkening of the skin and thinning of the hair coat over the trunk and under belly. Like a lot of small dogs, they are prone to mitral valve heart insufficiency issues. There is a symbiosis between the teeth and the heart that I have said over the years: Oral health equals heart health. You take care of one and you take care of the other!
The dachshund gets my vote for being a cool little dog that would fit into any family environment. They tend to be a bit skittish around little children they do not know. Learn more about the Dachshund at Animal Planet’s® Dog Breed Selector.