An inside look at the mini sausage dog!
The miniature dachshund is becoming more and more popular as a family pet in the UK, likely due to it's compact size and big personality! There's more to this breed than more people realise, though. Let's take a look...
The miniature dachshund is a hound that can be traced back to 15th century Germany, where the two sizes of dachshund (miniature and standard) were bred for hunting badgers - in fact, their name itself reflects their purpose with 'Dachs' meaning badger and 'hund' meaning hound, they're quite literally 'badger dogs'. This is likely why their front feet are
shaped like paddles, to aid them in their digging. Another adaptation they have, similar to many hunting dog breeds is that they're deep chested. This allows for larger lung capacity to help them whilst hunting. They are believed to have been bred from larger hunting hounds such as the bloodhound and then crossed with smaller breeds such as the Pinscher to gradually shorten the breed's legs, enabling them to hunt burrowing animals that bigger dogs couldn't reach.
Their hunting skills were even put to use in the second World War, being used to sniff and dig out bombs.
The mini dachshund comes in three coat types: Smooth haired, Long haired and Wire haired. The smooth variety is undoubtedly the most common and popular in the UK, with short,
sleek hair. They don't shed much hair or require much grooming, making their coats low maintenance. The wire haired variety has a double coat, a feature in many hunting dogs, meaning they shed more and require more grooming generally. This variety seems to be more popular in Germany than in the UK. The long haired variety have longer, sleek and straight hair, sometimes with a very slight wave in it. The long haired gene is recessive in dachshunds, making it a rarer coat type.
Mini dachshunds come in a range of colours. These are:
Black and Tan
Black and Cream
Chocolate and Tan
Chocolate and Cream
They can have different patterns/markings but they should all be in these colours. There aren't any known solid colour dachshunds in the UK. There are some colours that are 'dilutes' for example Blue and Isabella but these colours almost always come with a condition called Colour Dilution Alopecia where their hair falls out and the skin can be more vulnerable to infections and cancers. For this reason, we don't recommend the purchasing or breeding of a dachshund with dilute colouring.
The mini dachshund often comes with a reputation of neurotic behaviours such as excess barking or reactivity. We have found that this is usually due to their slightly timid nature
(though you may not think it). Although they are small, these dogs require lots of training and socialisation from a young age to ensure a well-rounded dog. They make great family pets but still require brain stimulation and exercise to prevent unwanted or destructive behaviours. They enjoy obedience training, fun trick training and scent training, thanks to their working background and nature. It's a good idea to take them to puppy classes to get them started young!
Due to their hunting background, similarly to terrier breeds, they can show feisty behaviours so it is recommended to seek the help of a trainer if these arise.
Dachshunds are prone to intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) thanks to their short ribcage but long spine. It's a good idea to prevent them from jumping as much as possible to prevent any back issues too. Getting them regularly checked by both a vet and a chiropractor is definitely advised! We also recommend keeping their weight down! Obesity only exacerbates any potential spinal or joint issues.
'Cherry eye' is a common problem in dachshunds, too. This is when the tear duct of the dog's third eyelid becomes red and swollen.
Overall, the miniature dachshund is known for it's loving but feisty nature. They're popular as family pets and it isn't hard to see why! With their cute appearance and compact size, people love these dogs as an addition to their lives!