Naturally dachshunds seem to be bursting with energy at times, especially when they're just kids. At other times they would rather be doing nothing more than just curling up with you. As dachshunds mature those crazy antics slow down a bit but they always have that edge that makes them different from most other dog breeds.


Dachshunds are low to the ground with very short legs and very muscular bodies and a barrel-like chest. Their skin is very elastic, but not wrinkly. They are very well balanced in spite of their long bodies and they hold their heads high. Over time, breeders selected dogs so that those features would appear in puppies. Another feature is a long tail.


Eyes are oval, dark red or brown-black with an energetic and friendly expression and ears are hanging long on its cheeks. Its tail is carried in line with its back. It has an elongated head and a slight convex skull. Its skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling.


Their head taper uniformly to the tip of the nose. Their eyes are medium sized, dark and almond shaped, with dark rims. Their ears are set near the top of their heads, are rounded and moderately long. The flopping down of the ears was intentionally bred into the dog to prevent their ears from getting filled with dirt and other debris while they were hunting under the ground. Their lips are tightly stretched and they have strongly developed teeth that fit closely together in a scissors bite. Their teeth are exceptionally strong for a dog of their size.


The Dachshund has a long muscular neck that flows gracefully into their shoulders. Their trunks are exceptionally long and very muscular. Their bodies hang low to the ground, but should not be loose.


Dachshund training is a necessity


Their front legs are very strong, as they were built for flushing animals out of burrows. They have very tight and compact front feet with well arched toes and tough, thick pads. Their hind legs are very well muscled with strong and powerful thighs. Their hind feet are smaller than their front feet. They have a long and rounded croup that sinks slightly toward the tail. Their tails are set in and have no pronounced curving.

Breed characteristics were determined over 100 years ago. Since then many changes have been made through breeding. Today standards have been set forth by the German Dachshund Club (DTK) and the American Kennel Club.

Originally, all dachshunds were short-haired and smooth-coated. The wirehaired and longhaired varieties were developed through selective breeding.

Longhaired dachshunds differ from the shorthaired variety in only one respect: their hair is longer.


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Typical positive

When describing typical dachshunds you have to mention some obvious features: they're small and elongated dogs with short legs. Here's a list of other typically good characteristics commonly found in our beloved dachshund:

  • More often than not, they are comical and entertaining.
  • Makes a keen watchdog.
  • Dachshunds typically live a long time, which can be a comfort, yet they will totally break your heart when they're gone because their personalities have become such a big part of your life.
  • Dachshunds are friendly and like to be involved with whatever you're doing. They are clever and brave.
  • Dachshunds are playful, curious, and bold. They like older, considerate children who respect their dog's space and privacy. A Dachshund can make a good best friend.
  • Dachshunds don't need a lot of exercise,
    but they should not lay around the house all day long.
  • Is comical and entertaining.
  • Going to a dog park, the beach, a mall, or to a friend's house is a great way to visit other dogs, and meet new people. This is called socializing and it helps your dog become a good citizen.
  • They can act like a big dog in a small body. Starting obedience at an early age will help him become a good citizen and help him to have good manners.


A Dachshund may be right for you.


Typical negative

There are also some common breed characteristics that can have negative consequences if you're not aware of them before bringing home a dachshund.


  • Stubbornness almost to a fault.
  • Barking.
  • Digging holes.
  • Clever definitely to a fault, lively and courageous.
  • Suspiciousness or sharpness toward strangers when not socialized enough.
  • Excessive barking at strange sounds (even not so strange, and particularly at sounds that you can't hear).
  • Serious back/spinal problems, more likely to show up in their middle age years.
  • Dachshunds will commonly dig holes in the lawn (evidently then can smell things buried in the soil--so they dig up the soil in search of this elusive prey).
  • Dachshunds can be difficult to housebreak and will probably require crate training to master. Male dogs are more likely to mark inside if they become agitated by some outdoor noise. Neutering does not seem to reduce this trait.
  • Longhaired dachshunds require regular brushing/combing.
  • Wirehaired dachshunds require regular clipping/trimming.
  • They are hunters and they may kill other animals in your yard, including birds, squirrels, raccoons, possums, chipmunks, and rabbits. If you're squeamish about real-life natural events, don't get a dachshund or be prepared to always walk your dog on a leash.
  • Sometimes a Dachshund can develop serious back problems, especially if they are overweight.


A Dachshund may not be right for you.


They can act like a big dog in a small body. Starting obedience at an early age will help him become a good citizen and help him to have good manners.  But if you are kind, patient, and persistent, your dog will learn. Help your dog have a healthy back by making sure he doesn't weigh too much. You may have to watch his diet and avoid too many snacks.


Dachshunds are lively dogs who enjoy barking. They think it's important to watch out for strangers and things that look and sound different. A Dachshund may need extra training so that he doesn't bark too much. Because Dachshunds are small, they make great dogs for condos and apartments. They like to live in the city or the country.


Remember that you will be making a commitment to take care of your dog for his whole lifetime. Dachshunds have a long life span, longer than a lot of dogs. A Dachshund can easily live to be 15 years and even as old as 17 years or more! That's a good thing!