Dachshunds, more affectionately known as sausage dogs or weenie dogs, are a pure breed of canine that make wonderful companions when they receive proper care. Most people are familiar with the Standard Dachshund, but there are in fact two to three different sizes of Dachshund, depending on which Club you follow, and more importantly, depending on your location.
In the States, there are two sizes of Dachshund: the Standard Dachshund and the Miniature Dachshund. In Europe however, there are three size categories: Standard, Miniature, and Kaninchen (German – Rabbit.)
This article will focus only on Standard and Miniature Dachshunds.
An Overview of Dachshunds
This wonderful breed of dog was evolved mainly to scent out badgers, as well as flushing out and chasing after other burrow dwellers. As you can imagine, they were actually a lot larger than they are today, and diminished in size as they evolved to hunt smaller creatures like rabbits.
Dachshunds are intelligent, loyal, playful dogs. This also means that they make excellent champion dogs. They can participate in a variety of activities including:
- Agility: tests the handler’s ability to lead their dog through a course containing a variety of obstacles.
- Obedience: measures how well trained and how obedient the dog is.
- Tracking: tests the dog’s ability to recognize and follow scent.
- Conformation: measures breed standards.
- Earthdog trial (go-to-ground): tests a variety of skills for dogs who hunt underground dwellers.
Being a hound, the Standard Dachshund is a very lively breed of dog, full of excited energy and curiosity. These intelligent dogs are social creatures, although they are also known to be standoffish, and even aggressive towards strangers and other dogs.
However, they are extremely loving and loyal towards their owners. They are very affectionate towards their owners, and are given to whining if they do not receive the attention that they crave. Despite this, they are independent dogs that can be quite a bit stubborn. This trait sometimes makes it difficult to housebreak and train the dog. They are known to bark frequently – sometimes excessively – and training may be necessary to correct this.
Ensure that your Dachshund is getting all the exercise they need. While they usually require light exercise rather than anything too excessive, it is important that they can explore to stay fit and keep their curiosity sharpened. They are able to adapt to their environment.
Miniature Dachshunds are every bit as loving, lively, and loyal as their larger counterparts. They are intelligent too, and may be even more curious at times. Their loyal nature will of course cause them to be protective of their owners, but they exhibit less aggression than the Standard Dachshund.
They make great pets for first time owners, and especially for children or families with children for this reason. They are also a far better option than the Standard Dachshund if you have a smaller apartment, as they can get all the exercise they need indoors.
Some owners believe that Miniatures may bark more than Standard Dachshunds, but overall both breeds are given to frequent barking, and may require training. The great news is that miniatures may be easier to train and housebreak than the larger Dachshunds.
Dachshunds are a very vibrant breed, with different coat colours, patterns and lengths. There are three coat types: smooth or short, longhair, and wirehair.
Smooth coats and short and sleek, and not too thick. Longhair coats are shiny, and sometimes wavy. Hair is longer on the ears, chest, under the neck, behind the legs, and also on the underside of the body. Wirehair is a thick, tight, short and rough outer coat; with an undercoat of shorter, finer hairs.
Dachshund colours and patterns can be either single or double coats; and dappled, piebald or brindle respectively.
The Standard Dachshund can have coats that are:
The following colours are also common for the Standard Dachshund:
- Black and Tan
The Miniature Dachshund can have coats that are:
- Smooth and Sleek
The following colours are more common in Miniatures:
- Black and Tan
Both Standard and Miniature Dachshund have minimal shedding, but maintaining the grooming needs of both breeds can be costly and time effective. Regular up-keep at home – especially for longer haired breeds – can greatly reduce this though.
Size and Other Stats
The main difference between the Standard Dachshund and the Miniature Dachshund is in size. Considerations are given to height, chest circumference, and weight.
In accordance with most Clubs, fully grown Standard Dachshunds weigh anywhere between 7.3 kg and 15 kg (16 – 32 lbs.) Miniatures can vary, but on average weigh approximately 5.4 kg (12 lbs.) As a matter of interest, Kaninchen sized Dachshund weigh between 3.6 kg and 5 kg (8 – 11 lbs.) Standard Dachshunds grow to be about 20.52 cm to 27 cm (8 – 11 inches), whereas Miniatures get to approximately 12.7 cm to 15.24 cm (5 – 6 inches.)
These numbers may vary slightly from Club to Club and among breeders.
Both Standard and Miniatures Dachshund live on average a maximum 15 years.
All Dachshunds make wonderful companions, but naturally they have differences that can help you distinguish between the two, and give you a better idea of which god will suit you best. This comparison table summarizes these characteristics for easy reference.
|Standard Dachshund||Miniature Dachshund|
|Lively, intelligent, loyal and curious.||Lively, intelligent, loyal and curious.
|Can be aggressive or standoffish to strangers and other dogs.||Better with strangers, children, and other pets.|
|More adaptable adaptable and independent.||May have a higher demand for attention.|
|Can be stubborn.||Easier to housebreak and train.|
|Fine, Long, Short, Thick, Wire Coats||Fine, Long, Short, Thick, Wire Coats|
|Black, Black and Tan, Brown, Red||Black, Black and Tan, Brown, Red|
|Blue, Silver, White||Brindle, Chocolate, Cream, Fawn, Grey, Sable|
|Weight: 7.3 kg and 15 kg (16 – 32 lbs.)||Average of 5.4 kg (12 lbs.)|
|20.52 cm to 27 (8 – 11 inches)||12.7 cm to 15.24 cm (5 – 6 inches.)|