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Dachshund dog breed characteristics, origin and care

Dachshund Breed Profile by Bondi Vet

Dachshund breed characteristics

  • Size: Small
  • Traits: Outgoing, Clever, Stubborn, Courageous, Loyal
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance, weekly brush, no/minimal hair clipping required
  • Best Suited To: Older people, Families With Older Children
  • Lifespan: 12 to 17 years

The Dachshund – affectionately known as the “sausage dog” – is a cheeky joker with a loving personality. Their long and distinctive back is adorable, but also quite vulnerable. Pet owners need to take care when showing off this little pooch.

Where I'm From

The Dachshund’s origins can be traced back to the late 16th Century when it was developed in Austria and Germany. Foresters in these countries needed a dog of short stature that was close to the ground and could tear down the burrows of small animals such as badgers, rabbits and foxes. Their stature combined with a good nose, loud bark, and brave personality, made the Dachshund perfect for this task.

In later years, these courageous dogs reached other parts of the world and became popular house pets. In the 1960s, a “sausage dog” was one of the most fashionable dogs available.

What I Look Like

Dachshunds are characterised by their distinctive, elongated back and extremely short legs. These long doggies also have well-defined muscles, and a sharp snout.

The breed comes in many different varieties. In terms of size, Dachshunds can either be standard (between 25-28cm), or miniature (around 20cm).

There are also three coat-varieties. Smooth is the most common, and is probably the image that pops into your head whenever you think about a sausage dog.

Dachshunds can also be long-haired with soft, shinny coats that can either be straight or slightly waved. Finally, there are the wire-coats who are characterised by their harsh hair, funny goatee and pronounced eyebrows.

They’re usually a solid colour such as black, chocolate, red, cream or tan. Dapple (multicoloured) pups are rare, but combinations of chocolate & cream, or black & tan are also possible.

How I Act

Your little Dachshund is sure to be full of personality. This breed is known for their bravery,, and won’t hesitate to defend against. Their alert personality makes them excellent watchdogs.

These outgoing pets love company, and can become restless if they don’t receive enough attention from their owners. Sausage dogs are highly loving and loyal to owners that treat them with care and affection.

Dachshunds are famously stubborn creatures, but with proper training they will turn into peaceful and obedient pets.

Looking After Me

Dachshunds make great housedogs – especially for older owners looking for a loyal companion and watchdog. Due to their small size, these sausage-shaped doggies don’t require a big backyard, and are content to live indoors.

Unfortunately, this breed has a tendency to suffer from back problems. You always need to handle your Dachshund with care, as their backbones are fragile and can be easily damaged. For this reason, this breed might not be a good fit for families with small children who may not handle their pets appropriately.

Many of these cheeky dogs have a genetic disorder called “chondrodysplasia” that weakens their back. You can prevent any serious injury by watching their weight, not dragging them by the collar, and not forcing them to jump up stairs.

Dachshunds can be noisy and destructive if they become bored and restless. A daily 30 minute walk should be enough to keep your Dachshund healthy and happy.


  • This breed is extremely courageous, making them the perfect watchdog.
  • Their unique shape makes them stand out from other pets.
  • Dachshunds are happy to live in small spaces, and don’t require a large backyard.


  • Owners must handle them with care to avoid hurting their fragile back.
  • They are known to be stubborn, and training takes patience and determination.
  • May become restless and destructive if left alone for extended periods of time.

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