What your dachshund’s coat type says about their personality
Although their distinctly long bodies might be what they’re most known for, we think dachshunds are just as unmistakeable for their personalities. As a whole, the breed is known for being clever, stubborn, lively and brave—but what about different types of dachshunds? Do longhaired and wirehaired dachshunds have the same personalities as their smooth cousins?
Turns out, there may be some truth to the concept that each coat type has its own unique personality. Let’s take a deeper dive into the “why” and “what” of these differences.
To understand why a smooth dachshund might not have the same personality as a longhaired or wirehaired dachshund, we have to start with how the breed developed. Smooth dachshunds were likely the first to be bred, developed by German foresters hundreds of years ago. Their job? To help hunt badgers. Badgers were challenging prey for hunters because they spend much of their time in underground burrows. Because of this, foresters worked on breeding a dog that would be shaped appropriately for tunneling down into the dens, and had the temperament to do so: determined—even stubborn!—energetic, and, (for when he finally met his larger opponent), brave.
While smooth dachshunds were originally bred with their signature low-maintenance, short coats, longhaired and wirehaired dachshunds were likely developed later in response to hunters’ environmental needs. Longhaired dachshunds were bred to withstand hunting in colder weather, while wirehaired dachshunds were bred to be able to chase their quarries through thorny briar patches without getting hurt.
In order to create these different coat types, smooth dachshunds were mixed with other breeds—so it’s not surprising that the resulting dogs also picked up some of those new breeds’ personality traits. Hence: three types of dachshunds, three different personalities.
Take, for example, the longhaired. Many believe that longhaired dachshunds resulted from breeding smooth dachshunds with cocker spaniels. This makes sense, given that cocker spaniels are known for their sweet, affectionate personalities, and longhaired dachshunds, too, are often described as the gentlest and most cuddly of the three dachshund types. They especially have a reputation for loving—and craving—attention and plenty of snuggles from their owners.
Wirehaired dachshunds, on the other hand, usually display strong, impressive personalities to match their distinctive beards and eyebrows. Many believe this variety was developed by crossbreeding existing dachshunds with various types of terrier, leading to the wirehaired’s impervious coat and comical personality.
Terriers are known for their feistiness, playfulness, and independence, and the wirehaired dachshund is often similarly described. In fact, the wirehaired has a reputation for being the “clown” of the breed: energetic, vocal (with an impressive bark!), and always up for a game of catch or a romp in the backyard.
Of course, it’s important to remember that personality types are just that: types. Don’t be surprised if you encounter an especially snuggly smooth dachshund, an independent longhaired, or a calm wirehaired. Every dachshund has his or her own unique temperament and quirks, and yours may be the exception that proves the rule!