Understanding the Dachshund temperament will help you decide if this is the right breed for you to own. And if you already own one, then you will definitely develop a better appreciation for your pet after reading this article.
Experts believe the Dachshund originated in Germany over 400 years ago. It appears that breeders evolved the breed in an attempt to counter the threat of badgers. In fact, the word “Dachshund” — pronounced “dacks-hoont”— is derived from the German words for badger (“Dachs”) and hound (“hund”).
So, believe it or not, the tiny Dachshund is actually a hunting dog! This should give you a hint as to what to expect from the Dachshund temperament.
The Dachshund Temperament and Personality
1. Smart, Independent and Courageous
A successful hunter is smart and independent, and these traits describe the courageous Dachshund temperament to a “T” Because he is so intelligent, you must keep him regularly engaged.
Regular exercise, a reasonable amount of training and, if possible, a companion dog help keep him occupied. Dachshunds also fit in well with single people or retired couples who have the time to give this breed the attention he needs.
The clever Dachshund temperament comes with an independent streak, which makes for a great trait when he’s out hunting.
This is because it makes him quite resourceful with little need for instruction. However, in a more typical household setting, your Dachshund’s “independent thinking” may clash with yours.
You will need a dollop of persistence and a pound of patience during your training sessions with him.
2. Devoted and Loyal Dachshund Temperament
Your Dachshund might become confused when faced with the question: “who’s the boss around here?”
He loves being in charge, though this can sometimes translate into his being aggressive toward you. You must train him well to ensure that this does not become an issue going forward.
Once he has accepted you as the boss, you will find that he feels devoted and loyal to you and always ready to “come to your rescue” in the presence of strangers.
3. Barking and Chasing
The hunter side of the Dachshund’s personality is always ready to rise to the occasion. This instinct may trigger explosive outbursts at even the slightest hint of an incursion into his territory.
Strange humans, other animals, and even vehicles or doorbells can cause him to resort to hysterical barking.
This can quickly become quite the embarrassment, but it is something that you may just have to live with if you are unable to train him out of it.
If you have trained your dog well, however, a quick word from you should be all he needs to calm down.
4. Lively and Playful
The playful Dachshund temperament makes him extremely lively.
He’ll make a game out of anything, even something as mundane as mopping the floor.
However, their independent streak often takes them into trajectories that are quite different from yours. For instance, while you’re trying to get a job done, he thinks you’re playing a game with him.
If you throw a ball for him, he will streak off after it, his short legs flailing furiously. But you may find that he’s reluctant to actually bring the ball back to you.
5. Aggressive Dachshund
A 2008 study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania involved the questioning of about 6,000 owners on the Dachshund breed and aggression.
Approximately one in five Dachshunds has bitten or tried to bite a stranger, while up to 30% of them had attacked other dogs.
Researchers did note, however, that such bites were rarely serious. All the same, this statistic highlights the importance of thorough socialization and training of your dog, starting the day you acquire him from the breeder.
Dachshunds are famous for their stubbornness. This can prove to be rather frustrating when it comes to training them, particularly house-training. A quote from E.B. White [right], an American writer, says it all:
I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he wants to do.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Dachshund dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
Dachshunds shed, but nothing too crazy, and they don’t smell, so you only really need to give him a bath when he gets dirty.
There are three different coat types for the Dachshund:
- And Wirehaired.
The Dachshund’s grooming needs vary depending on the type of coat he has. This is covered in more depth in the “Types of Dachshunds” section below.
Colors the Dachshund comes in include:
- Plain black, or mixed with tan
- Chocolate and tan
- Blue and tan
- Chocolate and cream
There is also something called the Dapple Dachshund, which is a Dachshund with spots. All a Dachshund needs to have is one spot to be a Dapple Dachshund.
Some people believe, rather incorrectly, that because the Dachshund is small that he does not need much in the way of exercise. This is simply not true.
It is actually really important for them to get their exercise so they can keep that long back of theirs toned and strong. Two walks every day should be enough. They don’t have to be long walks; a moderate walk will do.
Keep an eye on your Dachshund to ensure he does not run up or down the stairs or jump off the furniture, as they can suffer an injury. And don’t keep him outside – he’d much rather be with his people than stuck in the yard all day.
Types of Dachshunds
There are several types of Dachshunds out there, including the Smooth-Coated, Longhaired and Wirehaired Dachshunds, as well as the Miniature Dachshund. What follows is a brief description of what to expect from each type.
For some reason, the devoted Dachshund temperament is never more apparent than with the Smooth-Coated Dachshund. He tends to be much clingier, finding his one person and sticking with that person through thick and thin. The Smooth-Coated Dachshund also tends to be more aloof with people he doesn’t know.
When it comes to grooming, Smooth-Coated Dachshunds don’t need much more than a quick wipe-down with a towel to look their best.
The Longhaired Dachshund temperament is often the quietest and sweetest of the Dachshunds. Experts believe this may be because of their Spaniel heritage.
When it comes to grooming, Longhaired Dachshunds require more frequent brushing, depending on how thick his coat is.
The Wirehaired Dachshund temperament tends to be the most energetic of the bunch. He is also the most mischievous and the most stubborn. Experts think this has something to do with his Terrier heritage.
As for his coat, you must pluck or strip it several times a year to keep him looking his best. Aside from that, his coat is easy to maintain between plucking/stripping sessions. Make sure to trim his beard and eyebrows from time to time, and brush or comb him once a week.
As with a majority of the smaller dog breeds out there, the Miniature Dachshund temperament is more energetic than his Standard Dachshund counterparts. But, of course, every dog is different. If a dog has health problems, this too will affect his overall energy level.
Top Dachshund Mixes
Just when you thought a Dachshund couldn’t get any cuter, they go and mix it with another dog! Here are some of the more common Dachshund mixes:
- Doxle (Dachshund mixed with a Beagle)
- Dorgi (Dachshund mixed with a Corgi)
- Doxiepin (Dachshund mixed with a Miniature Pinscher)
- Goldenshund (Dachshund mixed with a Golden Retriever) (This one is super adorable!)
- Dameranian (Dachshund mixed with a Pomeranian)
Dachshund: Staying Healthy
The majority of Dachshunds are healthy dogs, but that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels and assume your dog will stay healthy for 12+ years. If you spot signs of any of the following health issues that tend to plague Dachshunds, make an appointment with your vet ASAP:
- Elbow dysplasia
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
- Urinary problems, like urinary stones and cystinuria
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) – this is especially common in miniature Dachshunds.
- These typically appear when the dog is about a year old.
A normal weight for a Dachshund is between 16 and 33 lbs., and they are usually under 9 inches in height.
The Dachshund's life expectancy is between 12 and 16 years.
Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your Dachshund friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.
Finding the Perfect Dachshund
Interested in adding a Dachshund puppy to your family? You’re probably wondering where to start.
You can find a Dachshund for sale either from a breeder or through your local rescue or adoption center.
Dachshund Puppies for Sale
The average Dachshund price is between $200 and $1,000.
The price of a puppy changes based on his individual characteristics, as well as the characteristics and health of his bloodline.
Dachshund Adoption and Rescue
If you want to adopt a Dachshund puppy, you may be able to find one through your local rescue organization.
There are many positives when it comes to adopting a dog. For one thing, it’s one less dog waiting around in a shelter for that perfect family to come and bring him home. For another, it costs you significantly less to adopt a dog than it does to purchase one from a breeder.
The downside to adopting, though, is that you might not always know the dog’s history, especially if the shelter picked him up off the street.
This is why it is so important that you bring the dog to your vet within the first few days after adopting him. Diagnose any potential problems right away so that you know what you’re up against in the future.
Another upside to adopting is that the dog has probably already received training, either from the shelter or from his prior owner. This means less accidents on your floor, and less destruction to your home and possessions.
In the market for a good Dachshund breeder? Make sure you do your research before buying the first puppy you see.
Confirm the breeder can provide you with all the necessary health clearances, and then obtain copies of those certificates before you bring the dog home. Be sure to really inspect the premises where the breeder operates. Is it clean? Are the dogs living on top of one another in each other’s filth?
You can tell a lot about a breeder by how he or she takes care of their dogs. If they’re just in it for the money, you’ll be able to tell right away by the condition of the dogs’ living space. And if they’re just in it for the money, you are more likely to get stuck with a sick dog who was probably overbred.
Don’t forget to look the breeder up online, too. The internet is a great way to vet those in business. Nothing gets a negative word-of-mouth out faster!
Conclusion: Why the Dachshund?
The Dachshund temperament is quite the package indeed!
Remember, though, that this article describes the breed in general – not your pet! Temperaments of individual dogs can vary wildly — just like their masters!
If you are clear about what you want in your Dachshund prior to visiting a breeder or adoption center you will have a better chance at picking the Dachshund puppy that’s right for you. After that, it’s just a matter of training him Good luck!