Fast facts about dachshunds
Average height: Standard: 8 to 9 inches; Miniature: 5 to 6 inches
Average weight: Standard: 7 kg to 14 kg; Miniature: Up to 4 kg
Average lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Coat: Shorthaired, longhaired, and wirehaired
Colours: Red, tan and black, and tan are the most common colours, but dachshunds can also appear as black, chocolate, cream, wild boar, and blue, and have markings like dapple, piebald, brindle, and sable.
Average adoption cost: $AUD400
A short history of the dachshund
Dachshunds don’t look like that just for the sake of appearances – they were bred this way for a very specific purpose. “Dachshund” comes from the German word “dach”, which means “badger”, and “hund”, which means “dog”. See, between the 15th and 17th centuries, dachshunds were developed by Germans to become badger-hunting dogs. Their long bodies and short legs help them dig deep into the ground to enter and navigate badgers’ burrows.
There are two types of dachshund: standard and miniature dachshunds. The former were trained to hunt larger prey like badgers and boars, while the latter were taught to go after smaller animals like rabbits and rodents.
Dachshunds also have sharp, loud barks, and that too has to do with breeding. These dogs were taught to alert their masters of any prey caught. Today, this trait makes them excellent watch dogs despite their small stature.
If you’re looking to bring a dachshund into a household with small pets, you need to be aware that this hunting instinct is still very much alive in many pups. A lot of modern-day dachshund puppies still love to chase after small animals like rodents, cats, and even reptiles, so be sure to keep little ones out of reach or to supervise mingling in the first weeks.
Famous folks who owned hotdog dogs
Picasso owned a dachshund named “Lump”, who was pampered by the famous painter. Lump was so loved by Picasso that he even found his way into one of the painter’s recreations of Las Meninas. He also had his very own dog dish which was created by Picasso.
Dachshunds seemed to be the favourite dog of artists. Pop art proponent Andy Warhol was often seen with his pup Archie who, according to Mental Floss, the artist would take to interviews to “answer questions he didn’t care for”.
Even the tough-guy actor Marlon Brando couldn’t resist the cuteness of a dachshund pup.
The dachshund’s temperament: vivacious, affectionate, and protective
Dachshunds, “doxies”, “sausage dogs”, or “weiner dogs”, as they’re affectionately called, may seem like cute little lap dogs, but as we’ve mentioned, they’ve got a hunting dog’s energy and tenacity. Doxies absolutely love to play, and a big yard with lots of space to run around is heaven to these pups.
They’re loyal and protective creatures too, and they’re sometimes brave to a fault. Dachshunds may want to protect their beloved owners from every perceivable threat and can exhibit aggressive behaviour towards both strangers and people you know. Introducing young children to adult doxies can be rather precarious. If you have kids, it’s best to get a puppy you can raise alongside your children.
Dachshunds are notorious for being stubborn too, and they can be a smidge frustrating to housebreak and train. Some people will joke that you don’t really own a doxie, a doxie owns you.
However, don’t take this to mean that dachshunds don’t make great pets. A dachshund that is raised in a loving and patient environment can grow up to become an affectionate and silly little hotdog. They don’t strive to please and they like to do their own thing, so it’s fun to observe how a dachshund puppy navigates the world.
Because of their long backs, dachshunds are predisposed to spinal injuries. According to The Spruce Pets, “as many as 25 percent of dachshunds have intervertebral disc disease, which can result in their spinal discs deteriorating and being susceptible to bulging when they have back strain or injury”.
To avoid this, make sure your doxie doesn’t put on too much weight, as excess weight puts a lot of pressure on their spines. You must also train your dachshund to avoid jumping on and off furniture and going up and down stairs.
Doxies are also prone to ear infections, much like other dogs with drop ears. Make sure to clean your weiner dogs’ ears regularly.
In Australia, you can adopt a doxie pup through Dachshund Rescue Australia, an organisation that has been helping rescue and rehome dachshunds in Australia since 2009.
Here’s a list of other reputable rescue/adoption groups in Australia: