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Dachshund

Life span: 12-15 Years

Height: 8 – 9 inches (standard), 5 – 6 inches (miniature)

Weight: 16 – 32 lbs. (standard), 11 lbs. and under (miniature)

The Dachshund is a hound dog breed that is short in stature, with a long body. Dachshunds are known for their incredible sense of smell and this makes them particularly useful when tracking small game animals, such as badgers and foxes. In addition, they make great pets and show dogs, thanks to their sense of loyalty and mild temperament. The smooth coat of the Dachshund comes in an array of colors, such as brown, black, cream, and blue.

Physical Characteristics

This small dog has a body that is characteristically longer than it is tall, with long floppy ears and a long and thin tail that has a slight curve. Their eyes can be blue, hazel or brown with a black, brown or isabelline nose. Their coat has three variations, smooth coated which is also called short haired, wire haired, and long haired. Their coat colors include black, white, brown, light brown, red, isabelline, and cream colored.

History

Originating in Germany, they were used for hunting small animals, and called “badger dogs”. They were created by German foresters in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the aim to create a small dog that was not afraid to dig into badger holes. After they crossbred the Braque, Pinscher and the French Basset Hound, they created the smooth coated Dachshund. This was crossbred with Spaniels to create the wirehaired coat, and with Terriers to create the long haired coat. They were all used for hunting and digging into the badger holes, and once in the holes they successfully killed their prey and would then bark to be pulled out by their owners. The miniature Dachshund then came into play when this breed became a personal favorite for Queen Victoria and the other royal courts of Europe. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, with the German Dachshund Club being created in 1888 and the Dachshund Club of America in 1895.

Personality

These smart little dogs can be stubborn, but highly enjoy spending time with their families. Their personalities tend to vary in a few things depending on their coat. For example, long haired dogs tend to be calm and are usually quiet, while wire haired dogs tend to be more mischievous. The smooth coated dogs are usually in the middle grounds. They are wary of strangers and do not get along well with children and usually attempt to be the leader of any other household pets, although they do get along with them. If they feel lonely they will most likely become noisy, demanding their owner’s attention, and they can be highly possessive of their toys.

Health

This breed is usually healthy. However, they may suffer from:

Intervertebral Disc Disease, in which the discs that separate the spine bones degenerate, causing pain and back problems.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.

Cushing’s Disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, in which there is too much cortisol in the body that can be noticed through excessive urination and thirst. It can be treated through medication and surgery.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.

Diabetes Mellitus, in which the dog will attempt to eat more food to replace the glucose missing from its cells due to the lack of regulation of blood sugar levels. The dog will lose weight instead of gaining. Symptoms include increased appetite, weight loss, excessive urination, etc.

Deafness, complete loss of hearing since birth.

Care

Smooth coats need only an occasional brushing and bathing; longhaired coats will need frequent brushing, although how frequent depends on how dense the coat is; wirehaired coats need to be hand stripped often, although other than that brushing should be done once or twice a week and their eyebrows and beard should be trimmed often. All of them should have their nails trimmed monthly, teeth brushed regularly and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. Exercise should be done daily, usually in the form of two walks a day, and along with their owners. Training can be difficult, as they can be stubborn and if they find something more interesting, might not pay attention to what you want them to. However, patience and positive reinforcement work best when training this breed.

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