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About Dachshunds

"The dachshund is a perfectly engineered dog. It is precisely long enough for a single standard stroke of the back, but you aren't paying for any superfluous leg."

                     -Mary Doria Russell,

                         Dreamers of the Day

"Nicknamed the "wiener dog," this smallest of the hounds is short on leg but long on personality, they don't shed like most dogs or have a "doggie" smell and most people with allergies can own and love a Dachshund and breathe easy.


Dachshunds (pronounced DAKS hund — never dash-hound) come in three varieties: smooth (shorthaired), wirehaired and longhaired. In the United States, Dachshunds are either miniature (11 pounds and under as an adult) or standard (usually between 16 and 32 pounds as an adult). If your Dachshund weighs between 11 and 16 pounds, he's called a tweenie.


No matter what their size, Dachshunds are a delightful addition to any family, which is why they have ranked near the top of most popular dogs lists since the 1950s. Their cute appearance and lively disposition have inspired many affectionate nicknames for the breed, including wiener dog, hot dog, sausage dog, Doxie, Dashie, and (especially in Germany) Teckels, Dachels, or Dachsels


​It’s worth noting that dachshunds do not ‘yap’. They bark, and when they bark it is usually because someone has arrived who they don’t know/can’t yet see. An exception here is a dachshund kept in an apartment all day long, on their own and with no view of the world. A dog held in these conditions might develop neurotic barking. 


Dachshunds are an ideal breed if you already have a dog in your household. The reason is that the dachshund is a ‘non dominant’ breed. They have no desire to get into doggy politics for the position of ‘top dog’, hence any existing family dog is not going to feel threatened or be usurped. A dachshund will happily blend into your family pack – human, feline and canine – without pomp or fuss.It is this same ‘non dominant’ nature of the dachshund that sees them happy to play with children. 


Healthwise, they have few ailments compared with the long lists to be found with some other purebreds. They are not plagued by back problems like their much bigger standard cousins were/are. The back issues of the standard dachshund were due to a genetic defect which reportedly affected as many as 20% of all standard dachshunds at one time. This genetic predisposition was exacerbated by obesity, culminating in dreadful back problems.The mini dachshund (to the best of my research) does not have this genetic defect in its lines. "


** Internet search, author unknown**


Dachshunds come in more color, coat and pattern combinations than any other breed.


Dachshund Coats


Smooth Dachshunds are the most popular variety in the United States. Their coats are short and shiny and need little grooming. Mini smooths are a loyal, smart and brave little dog. Often they can attach to one person more than another, but this can also be the case for any dog where one person is the primary feeder and spends the most time around the dog (home all day, for example).They do not seek to dominate (a non dominating breed), so slip in easily within the family pack of felines, children and other dogs.


Longhaired Dachshunds have sleek, slightly wavy hair and can be the same colors as the Smooth Dachshund.  Many believe that the Longhaired Dachshund has a more docile temperament than the Smooth or Wirehair. Mini longs are similarly loyal and brave little dogs, they are happy to watch the world go by and snuggle on your lap. 

The long haired mini dachshund is more likely to be the best friend of everyone in the household. They are not as inclined to form a one-on-one attachment, but there are no hard and fast rules here. 


Wirehaired Dachshunds have wiry, short, thick, rough coats with bushy eyebrows and a beard. Wire haired dachshunds are known as the comedians of the three coat types. They have the terrier spirit thanks to that wire gene and are the more dominant of the coat types. That said, the dachshund is not a dominating breed overall. 


Dachshund Colors


Dachshund coat colors can very widely. They range from cream all the way to black with many varieties in between. It is really up to you as to what color dachshund you might prefer. Even though the color of the coats may change the Dachshunds temperament does not.


Some of the most common Dachshund colors are red, black & tan and tan. The single coat colors consist of red, chocolate, black, and cream. Although you don’t see the all black Dachshund around very much, they are out there. 


There are Dachshund coat colors that consist of two colors. The most popular two tone Dachshund is the black and tan. Other colors you might see in this category are wild boar, chocolate and tan, gray (blue) and tan, and fawn (Isabella) and tan. The tan marking on all of these dogs are in the same places. You will see the marking over the eyes, side of jaw, front, breast, on paws, around anus, and under part of the tail. You also will see cream in place of the tan markings on some Dachshunds.


Now that we have talked about coat colors, let us discuss the different patterns you might see. First there is the dappled Dachshund. There are two different kinds of dapples the “single” and the “double.” The single dapple is where the dog has a dark base coat and a lighter topcoat. Both of the colors should be equal. A white patch on the chest of the Dachshund is aloud on a dapple as well. The double dapple is where you get spots of the dapple color and spots of white over the entire body. Double dapples can have serious health problems as well. They can have problems with their eyes and hearing. A lot of the time you will see a double dapple with one blue and one brown eye.


Another pattern you will see with Dachshund coat colors is Piebald. This pattern has become very popular with Dachshund owners. A piebald dachshund looks a lot like a double dapple with the large white spots on the body. You will see a variety of other colors, such as black, red, chocolate, cream, or tan. Another possible combination you will see is a dappled piebald.


The last pattern is a brindle. This Dachshund coat color happens when there are black or dark stripes that are on the entire body. The only places you might be able to see these markings are on the tan points.


**Internet search, Author unknown**



PRA -Progressive Retinal Atrophy


PRA is a inherited eye condition. A progressive disease that usually leads to blindness, PRA affects both eyes simultaneously. Unfortunately, there is no treatment, no cure and no way to stop or reverse the damage.


PRA has been diagnosed in Miniature and Standard Dachshunds of Smooth, Longhaired and Wirehaired varieties. The different sizes and coat varieties of the seventh most popular breed registered by the American Kennel Club. Two forms of PRA are known to affect Dachshunds: cone-rod dystrophy1-PRA (cord1-PRA) and cone-roddystrophy PRA (crd-PRA). Gene mutations for both diseases have been discovered in recent years. Genetic testing is available using DNA.


Genetic testing is key to reducing the incidence of PRA in Miniature Dachshunds. Genetic testing of dogs before breeding can help limit the production of carriers and affected dogs. Experts advise breeders that carrier and affected dogs can remain in the

gene pool to help maintain genetic diversity and desirable characteristics; however, these dogs only should be bred with tested clear dogs. Their offspring also should be tested before being bred.


** Information provided by: Dachshund Update Volume 3 January 2010

Cord 1-PRA Genetic Testing Recommended for Miniature Dachshunds


​NCL-Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis



​The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are a group of inherited lysosomal storage disorders. Lysosomes are structures in cells referred to as the stomach of the cell that breakdown waste products and other byproducts in the cell. NCL affected dogs lack one of several enzymes necessary for the normal breakdown of certain types of fat or protein in the cells (called lipopigments.) As this "debris" accumulates in neuronal cells (and to a lesser extent in other cells), the animal's mental and motor functions deteriorate.


Dogs with NCL start out as apparently normal and fully functional dogs. Depending on which subtype of NCL they have, they will begin developing symptoms anywhere from 6 months to 4-6 years of age (for the adult onset varieties). NCL is found in both humans and dogs as well as other species and share symptoms that include a progressive loss of mental and physical nervous system functions. These exhibit as mental/intellectual decline and motor disturbance progressing to seizures, motor problems such as lack of muscle coordination, abnormal gait, difficulty balancing, visual disturbances progressing to blindness and behavioral changes including aggressiveness, dementia, aimless wandering behavior with episodes of confusion, depression and ultimately death. The age of onset, rate of progression, age at death and the order in which symptoms appear depends on the particular disease.     


At least 7 forms have been identified thus far in dogs affecting six different genes. Each is recessively inherited and testing is available for most of these. Various forms of NCL has been documented in the Dachshund, English Setter, Australian Shepherd, American bulldog, Tibetan Terrier, Border Collie, Polish Owczarek Nizinny (PON)/Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Chihuahua and Labrador Retriever with genetic testing for the causative gene mutation in the first six of these breeds. Dogs of other breeds have presented with NCL of unknown etiology.


  Recessive genes can be passed for many generations without affected individuals occurring until two carriers are actually bred to one another. The only way to know if a dog from an at risk breed carries this gene is to do molecular diagnostic testing. Based on the severity of this group of diseases and the heartbreak involved in watching a once healthy dog slowly deteriorate, people may want to seriously consider testing regardless of not being aware of affected dogs "in the line".


Vandevelde M, Fatzer. Neuronal ceroid-lipofscinosis in older Dachshunds. Vet Pathol 1980;17:686-692.


Awano et al., submitted for publication, 2006



****Here at Daisy-Hill, we are testing for both of these disorders!*****