Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Wire-Haired Dachshund: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Wire-Haired Dachshund: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Wire-haired Dachshund

Along with short-haired and long-haired, wire-haired Dachshunds make up the three different types of Dachshund coats. The short-haired Dachshund is the most common and generally considered to be the standard.

Breed Overview


14 – 19 inches (standard); 12-15 inches (miniature)


16 – 32 pounds (standard); under 11 pounds (miniature)


12 – 16 years


Solid red, black, and tan, red and tan, merle

Suitable for:

Families with older children


Devoted, playful, curious

Less is known of the precise origin of the wire-haired variety, except that it is likely to be of German origin and was bred, like all Dachshunds, to hunt badgers, foxes, and other burrowing animals.

Read on for more information about this incredible breed, which has, in recent years, become a firm family favorite.


Wire-Haired Dachshunds Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

The Earliest Records of Wire-Haired Dachshunds in History

The Dachshund originated in the 15th Century when it was bred in Germany to hunt badgers and other burrowing animals. To make it easier for the dog to be able to chase these animals down their burrows and into holes, they were bred with long bodies and short legs.

There are three types of Dachshund coats: short-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. Less is known about the precise history of the wire-haired Dachshund, but it is believed to be of German origin and was likely created by breeding the short-haired Dachshund with wire-haired breeds like the German pinscher and wire-haired terriers.

Wire-haired Dachshunds are some of the most popular Dachshunds in Germany but have not yet gained the same level of popularity in the U.S. or other countries around the world.

Wire-haired Dachshund walking with owner
Image By: Katrin B., Pixabay

How Wire-Haired Dachshunds Gained Popularity

The Dachshund was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and they became increasingly popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Their name was changed during and immediately after World War II when they became known as Badger Dogs in a bid to prevent them from being ignored because of their German ancestry. Although the wire-haired variant is very popular in Germany, it is arguably the least popular variety in the U.S. where the short-haired Dachshund is still preferred.

Initially, the general Dachshund breed became popular for its ability to hunt badgers. While countries around Europe had their own badger-hunting breeds, there were fewer dogs capable of successfully chasing pests into setts and holes in the U.S., so the Dachshund was used for this purpose.

Today, the Dachshund is more commonly kept as a pet or family companion, although some do still find use as a working dog.

Formal Recognition of Wire-Haired Dachshunds

The Dachshund breed, including both long-haired and wire-haired varieties, was recognized by the AKC in 1885. The club recognized all three coat types, both standard and miniature Dachshunds, and they accepted any of a wide variety of colors.

Wire-haired Dachshund close up
Image Credit: Katrinbechtel, Pixabay


Top 3 Unique Facts About Wire-Haired Dachshunds

1. Their Unusual Shape Can Be the Cause of Many Illnesses

The long back and short legs of the Dachshund were ideal for helping them chase badgers, foxes, and other burrowing animals, but also mean that the breed is more likely to suffer health conditions including intervertebral disc disease and heart disease.

2. They Have Moderate Energy Levels

The breed was not built for stamina, but Dachshunds do have moderate energy levels and you should expect to have to provide around an hour of exercise each day. This can include agility and some canine sports as well as regular walks

3. Queen Victoria Was Known to Be a Fan of the Dachshund Breed

Queen Victoria was introduced to the breed by her husband, Prince Albert, and she kept a number of them throughout her life. She even said that “nothing will turn a man’s home into a castle more quickly and effectively than a Dachshund.”

Wire-haired-Dachshund outside
Image Credit: Salofoto, Pixabay


Does the Wire-Haired Dachshund Make a Good Pet?

The wire-haired Dachshund is a lively and brave dog. It will usually gladly meet new people and mingle with other dogs, but it can be headstrong and independent.

It is loyal and intelligent, which means that training can be effective, although some effort is required to ensure that the dog does not lose attention part-way through training efforts. Owners do need to take care to ensure that the dog’s back does not get injured, and Dachshunds can suffer mobility problems as they age. For this reason, the breed tends to do better in single-story houses because it can struggle to deal with stairs.

The wire-haired Dachshund requires the most grooming of the Dachshund coat types, but as long as you brush regularly and have the coat trimmed to keep it in good shape, you shouldn’t have to bathe the Dachshund.

Expect to provide about an hour of exercise each day, including walks and potentially incorporating some training and playtime.

divider-dog paw


The wire-haired Dachshund is one of three types of Dachshund coat with the others being short-haired and long-haired varieties. The general breed originated in the 15th Century and it is believed that the wire-haired Dachshund was bred from the short-haired variety and wire-haired terriers in Germany.

Like all varieties, the wire-haired Dachshund can make a good pet. It is loyal, loving, and intelligent, although it benefits from living in a single-story residence and may suffer from some health problems related to its unusual dimensions and stature.

Featured Image Credit: Heike, Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets