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The Miniature Dachshund is a small dog from Germany bred to be a low to the ground dog that could fit into burrows dug by badgers (Dachshund is German for badger dog). There are three coat types, long haired, wire haired and smooth haired and there are two sizes, the standard, which is larger and this dog the Miniature. It is also called the Mini Wiener Dog, Teckel, Mini Sausage Dog, Mini Dachshund and nicknamed the Tweenie. There are some breeders that claim to breed toy Dachshunds but these are just smaller Miniatures, there is no official toy size in the US or most English speaking countries. However in Germany there is the kaninchen size or rabbit size which is smaller than the miniature. It is kept today as a companion and as a hunter of small game and it also appears in dog shows.
|The Miniature Dachshund at a Glance|
|Other names||Mini Wiener Dog, Mini Sausage Dog, Teckel|
|Nicknames||Mini Dachshund, Tweenie|
|Average weight||8 to 11 pounds|
|Average height||5 to 7 inches|
|Life span||12 to 16 years|
|Coat type||3 types, long haired, smooth, and wiry|
|Color||Almost any including red, black, cream and tan|
|Popularity||Excellent – ranked 13th most popular dog by the AKC|
|Tolerance to heat||Good but nothing too hot|
|Tolerance to cold||Low – will need extra protection|
|Shedding||Low to moderate – will be some hair around the home|
|Drooling||Low – not prone to slobber or drool|
|Obesity||High – measure food and make sure it is well exercised|
|Grooming/brushing||Low to average – brush once or twice a week|
|Barking||Occasional to frequent|
|Exercise needs||Somewhat active|
|Trainability||Somewhat difficult – experience helps|
|Friendliness||Good to very good|
|Good first dog||Very good|
|Good family pet||Very good with socialization|
|Good with children||Good with socialization|
|Good with other dogs||Good with socialization|
|Good with other pets||Good but socialization is needed as has a high prey drive|
|Good with strangers||Low – socialization and training essential and supervision and clear introductions are needed|
|Good apartment dog||Excellent due to size but the barking may need training to control|
|Handles alone time well||Average – can handle short periods|
|Health issues||Somewhat healthy but a few issues which include|
|Medical expenses||$435 a year for basic health care and insurance|
|Food expenses||$75 a year for treats and a good quality dry dog food|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$195 a year for license, basic training, toys, miscellaneous items plus if professional grooming is needed for long coats or wiry coats that is another $265 or so a year|
|Average annual expenses||$705 to $970 as a starting figure|
|Cost to purchase||$1,300|
|Rescue organizations||Dachshund Rescue of North America, Inc, Canadian Dachshund Rescue, Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue, also check local shelters and rescues|
|Biting Statistics||None specific to the Miniature Dachshund but Dachshunds have Attacks doing bodily harm: 6 Child victims: 3 Maimings: 6 Deaths: 1|
The Miniature Dachshund’s Beginnings
The Dachshund was first bred and developed in Germany and has been around since at least the 1500s. As its name says it was specifically bred to hunt badger, to have a great nose and be able to fit into the burrows. It was also used though to hunt other game, fox and in packs even wild boar. The dogs back then varied a lot in size depending on what they were being bred to hunt. At first the smooth coated dogs were the original ones then came the long coated and the wiry. The short legs were strong and powerful to dig deep and the tails were sturdy and long so hunters could reach in and use them to pull the dog out.
In the late 1800s German breeders then decided there was a need for a smaller version of the Dachshund to be used to hunt European hare as they made and moved in smaller burrows. In some cases the smallest dogs from Dachshund litters were used but then also some tried to speed up the process using Pinschers and Toy Terriers. This was soon stopped though when it was seen the resulting dogs were not Dachshund like enough.
In Great Britain small dogs became popular as companions and eventually the Miniature Dachshund was bred using the first method of development. In Germany the standard was written in 1879 and the German Dachshund Club was founded in 1888. In the early 20th century their popularity remained strong but with the arrival of World War I numbers fell because it was a German dog and the same then happened after World War II though not quite as bad.
New Lease on Life
The Dachshund came to the US by 1885 and in that year 11 had been recognized and registered with the AKC classed as a hound. In 1895 the Dachshund Club of America was formed. As in England during the first world war the breed struggled because of its German history, breeders and even owners were even called traitors and the dogs were being stoned to death. After the war effort was made to revive the breed and some were brought over from Germany but then World War Two brought the similar problems.
By the 1950s the breed was popular amongst families once more and they have remained so since then. In the US and in Great Britain they are mostly companion dogs but in France and some of Europe they are still used as hunting dogs. The AKC ranks the Dachshund which included the Miniature as 6th most popular dog and it is the only dog registered with them that can hunt both below ground and above.
The Dog You See Today
The Miniature Dachshund is a small dog weighing 8 to 11 pounds and standing just 5 to 7 inches tall. It is low to the ground with short but strong legs, a long balanced body and deep chest. It has low hanging ears and oval eyes that can be dark when a solid color or light grey, hazel, green or blue if parti-colored or light colored. It is also not unusual for them to be born with an eye one color and the other another color.
There are three coat types, smooth, long and wiry. The smooth coat is short, smooth and shiny. The long coat is long, slightly wavy coats. The wire haired dogs have a coat that is thick, coarse, hard and short. All have a soft undercoat and common colors are red, tan, chocolate, cream, black, blue and yellow. There can be solid coats and mixed coats and patterns. All have an elastic type skin but it is not loose and there is not wrinkling.
The Inner Miniature Dachshund
Miniature Dachshund are intelligent, spirited, charming but sometimes willful and stubborn. It can be very vocal, it is bold and it is curious. This is not an easy going breed, it can be described as intense, tireless and tenacious. When raised well it can also be a loyal and devoted companion, it will enjoy some time of cuddles but it also needs activity, stimulation and play. It is alert and will bark to let you know about an intruder. That barking will likely need a command to control it. It is wary of strangers at first but can accept new people with socialization and with proper introductions.
This is a fairly sensitive dog so it needs calm owners. It does get easily bored though so while it can deal with some time alone, long periods will see it getting up to mischief. It may chew things, be destructive, bark a lot and just act out. It likes to entertain and get attention and are known to be comedians sometimes. It likes to get its own way though so needs proper training and care. There is some suggestion that there is a different in temperament between the different coat types. Wiry are said to be the most mischievous, long haired are said to be calmer and smooths are a mix of both.
Living with a Miniature Dachshund
What will training look like?
When motivated the Mini Dachshund is intelligent and can learn quickly but since it has a mind of its own, you have to make it think it has made these decisions itself! If you use positive reinforcement and offer treats, rewards and encouragements you will have better results. Use short and fun training sessions rather then one longer and more boring one. Be firm, confident and consistent in your approach. Expose it to different experiences, places, people and animals too so it is well socialized. Some owners find house training more difficult with this dog as small dogs are good at sneaking of and doing their business. Keep a regular schedule and stick to it and just be patient.
How active is the Miniature Dachshund?
This dog can live in most types of accommodations and adapt to both rural and urban living. It is suited to apartment living thanks to its small size but its barking can be a problem if you cannot control it. It is an active dog though, even small it likes to have a couple of moderate walks a day, play in a yard or at a dog park with you, have some safe off leash time. If you take it out enough it can live without a yard but one is a bonus. It needs some mental stimulation too or it will get up to things you might rather it didn’t. It does like to dig so if there is a yard have an area where that it okay. Take care there is no high jumping and such as it is easy for this dog to have back injuries.
Caring for the Miniature Dachshund
The grooming needs of the Mini Dachshund depend really on the type of coat it has. Of course they are small still so there is not a huge amount of coat to look after. But smooth coated dogs can be brushed once a week, given a wipe down as needed and bathed just when needed. Long coats may need brushing a couple of times a week as tangles and picking up debris is more likely. Wiry coats should be brushed once or twice but may also need professional grooming every few months to have the hair stripped. The long and short haired shed just a moderate amount and the wiry will shed a bit less. Bathing for all of them should just be as needed using a dog shampoo so that its natural oils are not damaged.
All of them have other maintenance needs like ear care, mouth care and nail care. The droopy ears can be prone to infection so check weekly for a bad smell, irritation, wax building up and then give them a wipe clean. You can use a dog ear cleanser or just wipe with a damp cloth, do not push anything down into them. Its teeth need to be brushed two to three times a week using a tooth brush and toothpaste for dogs. Then the nails should be clipped when they get too long taking care not to cut too far down into the quick of the nail.
The size this dog is means it will likely need somewhere between ½ to ¾ of a good qualit dry dog food, split into at least two meals. It does like food so watch its treats and measure the food to avoid obesity issues, especially with the back problems it can have. The exact amount varies a bit depending on individual dogs and their size, metabolism, activity level, health and age. Make sure it has access to water that is changed when possible.
How is the Miniature Dachshund with other animals and children?
This is not the best dog with homes with children especially with young children. Its size and its back means it can get seriously hurt or even killed from rough play or over zealous children. That being said with socialization it can get along with them but some can be snappy. Make sure children are taught how to play with it safely, to be careful where they sit and step and consider only having it where there are older children. They can be socialized to get on with some other pets but have a high prey drive. With other dogs supervision is a good idea in case larger dogs start to play too rough.
What Might Go Wrong?
The Miniature Dachshund has a life span of about 12 to 16 years. These dogs are cute but they come with a few health issues. As mentioned they can be prone to obesity and back problems. Other concerns include IVDD, eye problems, bloat, Cushings, DM and epilepsy.
When studying data that covers 35 years of reported dog attacks on people Miniature Dachshund is not specifically mentioned but under the heading of Dachshund there were 6 attacks. Three of those were against children and all were classed as maimings so there was permanent scarring, loss of limb or dismemberment. The Dachshund then is in the top 30% of dog attacks but this is spread over a long period and only averages at one incident every 6 years. It is not a dangerous or aggressive dog, it just can get snappy if feeling threatened and like any dog it can have a bad day. Make sure you socialize, train, exercise and give the attention to it that it needs and you can lessen the chances.
Your Pup’s Price Tag
A Miniature Dachshund puppy bought from a registered and decent breeder will cost something like $1300. If you can find one at a local rescue or shelter it will cost less, adoption fees can range from $50 to $400 in general. Avoid places like puppy mills, backyard breeders, or even pet stores. If you are looking to get a show dog or want to wait for a top breeder of this breed you can expect to pay a few thousand.
Before you have your wonderful dog or puppy home, the next step is to get some items it will need such as a carrier, crate, leash and collar and bowls and such. These will come to around $120. Once it is home you then need to have it neutered or spayed, dewormed, have blood tests done, have a physical exam, be vaccinated and so on. Expect that to cost about $260.
Then finally make sure you are prepared for costs that are ongoing. Miscellaneous things like basic training, toys, license and miscellaneous items will come to $195 a year unless it needs professional grooming in which case that goes up to about $460. Then health care for basic like shots, check ups and flea prevention along with pet insurance will be another $435 annually. Finally there are the costs of feeding. It should be fed a good to excellent dry dog food along with good treats and that will cost around $75 a year. The annual cost in total will then start at $705 and could go up to $970.
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Dachshunds are a popular dog and who doesn’t love a miniature dog! It should not shed a great deal, it is fun, clever and full of personality and life. As long as you train it to stop barking when needed it can be great for apartment living. It does need good socialization and training and it does bond very closely and care needs to be taken bringing it to a home with children depending on their age.
Featured Image Credit: NORRIE3699, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- The Miniature Dachshund’s Beginnings
- New Lease on Life
- The Dog You See Today
- The Inner Miniature Dachshund
- Living with a Miniature Dachshund
- Caring for the Miniature Dachshund
- How is the Miniature Dachshund with other animals and children?
- What Might Go Wrong?
- Your Pup’s Price Tag