Dachshunds may be known for their distinct, quirky (and lovable, of course!) personalities. That doesn’t mean that they can’t surprise us from time to time, though. Some of these ten facts may catch even the most devoted dachshund people by surprise. How many did you already know?
1. They make other hounds look enormous
Dachshunds are categorized as part of the hound group — sharing hunting origins with breeds ranging from basset hounds to greyhounds. Standard dachshunds average 8 to 9 inches tall, and mini dachshunds are 5 to 6 inches tall, so it's no surprise that doxies are the smallest of the hound group.
2. They come in many shapes and sizes
Many people imagine a black and tan doxie when they think of the breed, but as dachshund lovers know, our beloved pups can vary dramatically in appearance. Dachshunds come in two official sizes (standard and miniature) and three coat types (smooth-, long-, and wire-haired). Beyond the size and coat combinations, the AKC recognizes 15 different color combinations. Ranging from solid chocolate, black, or red to color combinations like black and cream or Isabella and tan, the possibilities are nearly endless. It seems fitting that a breed with a unique personality would have so many distinct appearances, too.
3. Their ears are floppy for a reason
Dachshunds’ ears are adorable, sure, but they’re not just there for show. Back in their hunting days, doxies’ low-to-the-ground ears protected dirt, grass, and debris from getting stuck inside their ears. You can thank early dachshund breeders for those soft, long ears you love! (Just remember to take extra care to keep them clean.)
4. Hot dogs got their name from dachshunds
Whether or not you like calling your doxie a wiener dog, it’s not hard to see where the nickname came from. When digging into the origins of the hot dog, though, evidence points to its name coming from the term “dachshund sausages.” Served at baseball games, vendors would call out things like “Get your red-hot dachshund sausages” as they walked through the crowds, which was later shortened to hot dogs. There’s talk of a cartoon that portrayed these origins, but the cartoon has since disappeared.
5. Not all doxies have bad backs
Intervertebral disc disease, or IVDD, is unfortunately common in the breed we know and love. That said, it is not inevitable, and while impossible to completely prevent (IVDD is a disease, not an injury), there are things you can do to protect your doxie’s spine. Limiting jumping, keeping them at a healthy weight, and using a harness instead of a collar can all help keep your pup’s spine happy. Ultimately, about 25% of dachshunds will suffer from IVDD.
6. Training is not impossible
While there may be good reason that dachshunds have earned a reputation for being stubborn, with a bit of patience, they can be trained. From potty training to tricks, consistency and follow-through (and maybe some special treats) will go a long way in teaching your dachshund who is the head of the house.
7. Little legs don’t equal laziness
They may be a small breed, but dachshunds come packed with energy. The average adult dachshund usually needs at least one hour of exercise per day, and some doxies are even known to love super-active pastimes like hiking. And though they love to snuggle, if you’re looking for a calm lap dog, you may want to keep looking…
8. Every heard of liberty pups?
Dachshunds frequently made appearances in German propaganda during the first two World Wars, given how popular they were in Germany. The breed’s reputation suffered in the US as a result, and AKC tried renaming dachshunds. Liberty pups and badger dogs were two names that were tested in this attempted “rebrand,” but they didn’t stick.
9. They can’t keep quiet
Ok, we know doxies can be quite noisy, but that doesn’t mean that you can never have a dachshund if you live in an apartment building or require a little more quiet. While dachshunds may be a bit chattier than other breeds, incessant barking usually means that they’re trying to tell you something, and getting to the root of the barking will allow you to return to a lower-volume state.
10. Two is better than one
Dachshund owners have been known to say that the breed is like potato chips — you can’t have just one. The Brits took this literally, apparently, and the first dog successfully cloned in Britain was a dachshund. In 2014, Mini-Winnie was cloned from a skin-sample of a doxie named Winnie, and has lived a healthy life since, even giving birth (naturally) to two pups of her own a few years ago.
Secure Mesh Harness
Comfortable and easy to put on, this step-in dachshund harness is made from a durable, breathable mesh fabric. Unlike collars — which can strain a dachshund’s back and throat — harnesses like this are fitted to protect sensitive areas. Plus, the one-piece design will stay put...no matter how wriggly your doxie is!
Lamb Training Treats
Brush up on old tricks or try nailing a few new ones with these tasty lamb training treats. At 3 calories or less per chew, you can reward your doxie without worrying about them packing on any extra pounds. Plus, the excellent folks at Finley’s also donate half of their profits to help people with disabilities through paid work experiences — major win-win.