Mystery veils the real origins of this alert, lively breed. Its German name is Teckel, a word found at the base of an ancient Egyptian sculpture of familiarly long-bodied, short-legged dogs. The word "Dachshund" means "badger dog", and it is one of the oldest hunting dog breeds in Germany today.

Breed varieties

The different sizes and coats have evolved since around 1850 and today the most popular variety is the Miniature Long-haired Dachshund. Very few, if any. Dachshunds hunt in Britain but they have not lost their natural instincts - a few are still used in Germany and France. They will go underground but are in danger of being trapped. At one time, the Standards hunted foxes, deer and even boar.

The Smooth-haired Dachshund makes a spirited companion and good family pet.


The Dachshund is very affectionate within its family. Playful and mischievous, it is sometimes stubborn as befits a hunting doe. An adaptable breed, it lives with equal ease in the town or countryside. Intelligent and easily trained, it is sometimes spirited, always humourous. The Long-haireds are more independent than the Wires and Smooths, which make more demonstrative family pets.

must know

All varieties can have back problems and they should not be allowed to run up and down steps or stairs. Only buy Miniatures from eye-tested parents.


This long, low dog is sometimes known as the "sausage dog". All colours are acceptable but only small white patches on the chest are permitted. Standards should weigh 9-12kg (20-26lb) whereas miniatures should not exceed 5kg (11lb).

The Dachshund has a long, tapering head with medium almond-shaped eyes and high-set ears.

Strangers 4/5

Distrustful, all sizes will warn off strangers

Temperament 5/5

Easy-going, playful but can be stubborn

Exercise 3/5

Needs plenty, play and hunting in the woods ideal

Grooming 3/5

Smooths: minimal Long-haired: bi-weekly

Wires: weekly

Other dogs 3/5

No great problems


One of these varieties will suit any family

General care

All varieties adore activity and need daily free running and play. Each variety also has its miniature equivalent. Whereas Smooths need a soft brush and polish weekly, the Long-haireds need brushing and combing bi-weekly, and Wire-haireds should be hand stripped every three months.

Gallery of Dachshund