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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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 and 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