The Rabbit Dachshund temperament is very similar to the standard Dachshund temperament. All three Dachshund varieties (standard, miniature, and rabbit) differ from each other only in size.
Like its larger relatives, the Rabbit Dachshund is cocky, bold, independent, vocal and energetic.
The Rabbit Dachshund is the smallest of the three Dachshund sizes. However, the Rabbit Dachshund is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club as an official breed.
The average weight for the standard Dachshund is between 16 and 30 lbs. The miniature Dachshund generally weighs less than 12 lbs. Meanwhile, the Rabbit Dachshund weight is always less than 8 lbs.
The Rabbit Dachshund is also known as the Kaninchen Dachshund, the miniature smooth haired Dachshund, the Zwergteckel, and the Kaninchenteckel. The word “kaninchen” means “rabbit” in German.
In this article, you will learn more about common Rabbit Dachshund traits.
You will also learn more about the best way to go about adding a Rabbit Dachshund to your family.
When it comes to “miniature” breeds, the most ethical way to acquire one of these dogs is through adoption. Try to avoid purchasing one from a breeder and perpetuating the often questionable breeding practices that result in miniaturization.
Any time an animal is bred for one specific physical feature (i.e. small size), the health and temperament of that breed inevitably suffer.
The Rabbit Dachshund Temperament: 5 Traits to Know About Before You Bring One Home
This section will give you more information about typical Rabbit Dachshund behaviors.
However, please keep in mind that all dogs are individuals. Therefore, not every Rabbit Dachshund will display the same characteristics.
This is simply a starting point for you to get to know the basics of the Rabbit Dachshund personality.
1. Small but Mighty
The Rabbit Dachshund may be small, but he is still a brave and confident little dog.
The courageous Rabbit Dachshund temperament will allow the Rabbit Dachshund to take on adversaries many times its own size.
Despite its diminutive size, the Rabbit Dachshund actually makes an outstanding watchdog.
Rabbit Dachshunds will defend their territories fiercely.
However, it is important to make sure that this behavior trait does not get out of hand.
All three of the Dachshund sizes have the potential to develop aggressive tendencies.
If your Rabbit Dachshund is showing signs of aggression such as snapping, nipping or biting, consult with a professional dog trainer right away.
Barking is another common characteristic of the Rabbit Dachshund temperament.
For this reason, Rabbit Dachshunds may not be the best choice for apartment living.
However, a certain amount of barking is part of the package with this breed.
If you are a quiet person who likes things calm and peaceful, a Rabbit Dachshund may not be the best choice for you.
3. Scrappy with Other Animals
Rabbit Dachshunds are notorious for being assertive and sometimes aggressive when it comes to other animals.
After all, Dachshunds were developed to hunt small creatures such as badgers.
For this reason, Rabbit Dachshunds are generally not compatible with small pets such as cats, rabbits, ferrets or guinea pigs.
If you have any small pets at home, you will need to be very vigilant about supervising all interactions between your Rabbit Dachshund and other animals.
When it comes to other dogs, Rabbit Dachshunds can coexist with other canines, but it usually takes some time and training.
With patience and work, they can learn to accept other dogs into their “packs.” However, they usually remain aloof and reactive to other dogs that they meet on walks or other dogs that walk past their yards.
4. Lively and Fun
The energetic Rabbit Dachshund temperament makes this a very fun breed.
Rabbit Dachshunds are playful and inquisitive.
Some people think that since they are small, they do not require much exercise or playtime, but this is not the case.
Despite their short legs and small size, Rabbit Dachshunds still need daily exercise.
If your Rabbit Dachshund is developing nuisance behaviors such as chewing, this may be a sign that your dog is not getting enough daily exercise.
Rabbit Dachshund exercise can take the form of walking, jogging, going to the park, or participating in canine sports.
Within the world of canine sports, Rabbit Dachshunds are especially strong competitors at Nosework, Dirt Dog or Barn Hunt competitions.
5. They Love to Dig!
Digging is a common component of the Rabbit Dachshund temperament.
Remember these dogs were bred to go to ground and hunt badgers in their burrows.
Therefore, digging is in their DNA.
If you leave your Rabbit Dachshund in the yard unsupervised, you can expect to find some holes in the garden.
To minimize this behavior, always supervise your Rabbit Dachshund when he is outdoors. Try to distract him with other activities such as playing with toys.
You can even provide your Rabbit Dachshund with his own sandbox so he can have an outlet for his natural inclinations.
Rabbit Dachshund History
Dachshunds originated in Germany over 600 years ago.
The name “Dachshund” means “Badger Dog” in German.
These long, short-legged dogs were developed to be able to easily dart into a badger’s burrow.
Different sizes and coat textures were developed for different climates.
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Standard Dachshund and the Miniature Dachshund. However, the Rabbit Dachshund is not yet recognized by the AKC.
Rabbit Dachshund Size and Appearance
As mentioned earlier, Rabbit Dachshunds or Kaninchen Dachshunds are the smallest of the Dachshund varieties.
How Tall are Rabbit Dachshunds?
The average Rabbit Dachshund height is approximately 6 inches at the withers.
How Much Does a Rabbit Dachshund Weigh?
This breed never weighs more than 8 lbs.
What are the Most Common Rabbit Dachshund Colors?
Rabbit Dachshunds can come in just about any color. The most common colors are black and tan, red, or brown.
Rabbit Dachshunds can also be piebald, dappled or brindled.
Pure white and predominantly white dogs are not encouraged. These dogs are often prone to vision and hearing impairments.
A Guide to Rabbit Dachshund Training
Rabbit Dachshunds are clever little dogs, but they are not always the most obedient.
It takes patience and a good sense of humor to train a Rabbit Dachshund.
Kaninchen Dachshunds have an independent streak that gives them the reputation of being stubborn.
Do not be fooled into thinking your Rabbit Dachshund is untrainable, though.
Rabbit Dachshunds are certainly trainable, but they are more challenging than many other breeds.
Try to start the training process as early as possible. If you acquire your Rabbit Dachshund as a puppy, sign up for a puppy kindergarten class. Puppy classes are a great way to start developing a bond with your new pup. It is also a great way for your puppy to learn important canine social skills.
Any time you are looking for an obedience class or an obedience trainer, make sure you search for trainers who use positive, force-free training methods.
Never use forceful, punishment-based training tactics with your Rabbit Dachshund. Avoid trainers who use painful tools such as choke chains, pinch collars and shock collars. Not only are these devices scary and painful to your dog, but they are also unnecessary and less effective than positive, science-based training.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Rabbit 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.
Are Rabbit Dachshunds hard to Housetrain?
Many small breed dogs are challenging to potty train. The Rabbit Dachshund is no exception.
Small dogs have small bladders, and they simply cannot “hold it” as long as larger breeds.
If you work long hours, you may need to provide a doggie door or pee pads for your Kaninchen Dachshund.
A Guide to Rabbit Dachshund Grooming
There are three different Rabbit Dachshund coat varieties:
- Smooth haired
- Long haired
- Wire haired
These three coat varieties require different amounts of grooming.
The smooth coated variety requires the least amount of upkeep. These dogs require only minimal brushing and bathing.
The long-haired variety needs daily brushing to prevent the hair from matting. The long-haired variety also needs periodic haircuts.
The wire coated variety requires “hand stripping” from a professional groomer a few times per year as well as frequent trimming of the beard and eyebrows.
All three varieties need regular nail trims, ear cleaning and dental care.
Staying Healthy: Rabbit Dachshund Health Issues
Like all purebred dogs, Rabbit Dachshunds are prone to certain genetic health conditions. It is important to know about these health issues before making a lifelong commitment to a Rabbit Dachshund.
Discuss these health conditions with your vet to make sure you would be financially prepared to care for your dog should one (or more) of these conditions arise. With good care, the Rabbit Dachshund lifespan is usually between 14 and 16 years.
One of the most prevalent health conditions in all three Dachshund varieties is Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). IVDD is a spinal condition that usually requires corrective surgery and significant post-op care.
Other common health concerns include:
- Eye Issues
- Ear Infections
- Hermangiosarcoma (cancer)
- Dental Disease
- Luxating Patellas (knee issues)
Additionally, dogs that are bred to be “toy breeds” or “miniature breeds” are prone to increased health risks because of the breeding tactics employed to produce the smallest possible puppies. In order to get the desired small size, breeders will sometimes breed the “runts” of the litter to each other. However, the runts in the litter are often small because of birth defects or other underlying health conditions.
As LA-based veterinarian, Dr. Patrick Mahaney explains it,
When you breed for the way the dog looks instead of for the healthiest genetic stock, health problems emerge.
Miniature dogs have an increased prevalence of heart defects, liver shunts, dental issues, and orthopedic issues.
Their fragile bones break more easily and they are at higher risk of complications when they are put under anesthesia for medical procedures.
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Rabbit Dachshund pet from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.
Rabbit Dachshund Rescue and Adoption
Dachshunds of all sizes and coat varieties are prevalent in American animal shelters and rescue groups.
If you would like to add a Rabbit Dachshund to your family, adoption is a great option!
The Dachshund Club of America has a Dachshund Rescue Coordinator who can help you find a Dachshund Rescue group near you.
The Dachshund Club of America’s website has a list of over 250 Dachshund Rescue groups throughout the United States.
In addition to these groups, you can find countless Dachshunds for adoption through websites such as Facebook, Petfinder.com, Adoptapet.com, and Getyourpet.com.
You might even find a Rabbit Dachshund for adoption at your local animal shelter. Visit your local shelter and leave an application on file.
With so many abandoned Dachshunds looking for new and loving homes through rescue networks, with a little searching and patience you are sure to find a dog that will be a wonderful addition to your family.
Finding a Rabbit Dachshund for Sale from a Reputable Breeder
If you feel you must purchase a Rabbit Dachshund puppy from a breeder, you will need to spend a lot of time doing your research to make sure you find an ethical breeder.
Good Rabbit Dachshund breeders will be concerned with the health, temperament, and welfare of the breed. They will breed only the healthiest and most even-tempered dogs. They will want to meet you in person and ask you questions.
Responsible breeders will ask you to sign a spay/neuter agreement as well as a contract promising to return the puppy to them if you cannot keep it for any reason.
Beware of these warning signs of an irresponsible breeder. They do the following:
- Offering to sell you a puppy without meeting you
- Advertising that they will ship puppies anywhere in the world
- Seeming to have Rabbit Dachshund puppies available all the time
- Not allowing you to visit or meet the parents of the puppies
- Wanting to conduct all business over the phone/email
- Not asking you questions about your lifestyle or familiarity with the breed
- Seeming more concerned with getting your money than making sure you can provide a stable, lifelong home for a puppy
If you encounter any of these red flags, keep looking for alternatives.
The Rabbit Dachshund price can be anywhere from $500 to over $1000 depending on the breeder. When you adopt from a rescue organization the cost is significantly less.
Conclusion: Why the Rabbit Dachshund
The Rabbit Dachshund temperament is fun, lively and spunky.
If you are looking for big personality in a small package, a Kaninchen Dachshund might be the perfect dog for you.
If you choose to add a Rabbit Dachshund to your household, just make sure you are committed to finding one from an ethical source.