FCI GROUP: Dachshunds

FAMILY: Scent hound, terrier, dachshund

Allowed as pet in Singapore HDB Flat: YES (Miniature variant only)

Origin: Germany, 1500s. Bred to hunt small game like the badger and rabbit, the Dachshund has shortened legs to follow these animals inside the burrows where they could kill the prey. "Dachs" is the German word for badger. Smaller Dachshunds where bred to hunt hare and stoat. The breed’s population declined during World War l, but dogs were imported from Germany to the USA and the gene pool once again increased.

Original Purpose: Badger hunting.

Behaviour and Temperament: Affectionate, lively, alert, confident, determined. Dachshunds are versatile and courageous dogs and have been known to take on foxes and otters.

Breed Characteristics: The Longhaired Dachshund is calmest, the Smooth the liveliest, and the Wirehaired more affectionate and clownish. Many Dachshunds are highly energetic dogs, both in and out of the house. You can’t sneak up on this dog, count on him to give early warning of approaching strangers. Most are territorial. Dachshunds can be barkers and possess strong instinct to dig. The Smooth variant has little tolerance for cold.

Physical Features: There are three variants of Dachshund: the shorthaired, the wirehaired, and the longhaired. The smallest of the hounds, the Dachshund comes in two sizes (standard and miniature). The miniatures are less than 5 kg; standards between 7.5 and 14.5 kg. Dogs in between are known as “tweenies”. There is no height standard for this breed. Dachshunds are known for their long backs, giving them a “hot-dog-like” appearance. Comes in a wide colour variety: red, black-and-tan, cream, black, sable, chocolate, dapple, double dapple, piebald, and wild boar.

Coat Type and Grooming: Three types: Smooth, Longhaired, and Wirehaired. Minimal grooming for the Smooth; the Longhaired needs daily brushing; the Wirehaired should be stripped a couple of times a year. Dachshund ears need special attention. Has no doggy odour, but Longhairs will benefit from frequent bathing. Professional grooming is not necessary for the Smooth but is preferable for the Longhaired and Wirehaired; only the Wirehaired is trimmed. Dachshunds are average shedders.

Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years; miniatures live longer—to 19 years.

Health Concerns: Dachshunds are prone to orthopaedic problems (intervertebral disk disease, patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia), epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, colour dilution alopecia, PRA, dermatitis, gastritis, enteritis, von Willebrand’s, deafness (in dappled coats).

Exercise: Variable—moderate to high. The Dachshund has an impressive stamina; he needs to be walked daily. Should be discouraged from jumping as they are prone to spinal injuries.

Housing: Dachshunds adapt well to apartments, especially if few stairs are involved. Fairly active indoors.

Sociability: A very loyal family dog, affectionate without slavishness. Devoted to children in his own family but may be wary of other kids. Mostly reserved toward strangers until introduced. Usually okay with other dogs; not good with other small animals.

Trainability: Average; the Longhaired Dachshund is notably more obedient than the other types. This breed needs consistent training and confident owners. Some Dachshunds can be slightly difficult to train and housebreak, but nowhere near impossible.

Activities: Earth dog trials, field trials, tracking, obedience.

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