The comical, intelligent but stubborn Dachshund – often nicknamed wiener dog or sausage dog because of its shape – is a small dog of German origin, with a long body and very short legs.

The Dachshund was mostly used for hunting badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, and became a popular family pet in the 19th century. Besides the standard-sized Dachshund, there’s also a miniature version of the dog, which was used to hunt rabbits.

Dachshunds may be tiny but they do have strong muscles, particularly in their front legs, and large front paws, making these dogs excellent diggers.

A standard size Dachshund can weigh between 7 and 15 kg, while the miniature Dachshund weighs only 4-5 kg.

Most Dachshunds have a short smooth coat, but long-haired and wire-haired varieties also exist. The majority are either solid brown or black with tan markings.

There’s no doubt this dog is intelligent, but it is also notoriously stubborn and not easy to train. Firm, consistent training is required but even so, the Dachshund’s strong hunting instincts and curiosity mean your dog is likely to sometimes ignore your commands. The Dachshund loves a long daily walk, but when you go out, it’s best to keep your dog on its lead at all times.

This breed is suitable for a house or an apartment, and with early socialisation can get along with other pets and children. It should not be left alone in a yard (remember the digging), and stairs should also be avoided, because its elongated body makes the Dachshund prone to spinal problems and accidents.
Dachshund dogs that are looked after well can live well into their teens, reaching the age of 13 on average.

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals