The Miniature Dachshund may be small, but he has all his Hound brethren’s fight and energy. The Miniature Dachshund is an intelligent, lively, and fiercely loyal small dog. Much smaller than the Standard Dachshund, the Miniature variety offers a smaller, more compact dog for owners who may be short on space. The Miniature Dachshund is a great dog for an apartment, pending he gets at least two short walks a day. Although notoriously stubborn and difficult to train, the Miniature Dachshund is loyal and loving, making him an ideal family pet.
How Big Do Miniature Dachshunds Get?
The Miniature Dachshund offers a smaller and more compact dog compared to the Standard Dachshund. Standard Dachshunds stand about 8 or 9 inches at the shoulder, while the Miniature variety will stand only 5 to 6 inches. While a Standard Dachshund weighs between 16 and 32 pounds, the Miniature Dachshund weighs in at 11 pounds or less.
When it comes to the coat of the Miniature Dachshund, there are three main varieties:
- Smooth hair coat, which is usually very short and close to the body
- Long-haired has almost floor-length fur
- Wirehaired variety has a rough and coarse texture.
What Colors Do Miniature Dachshunds Show?
These dogs come in a wide range of markings and colors. These can include:
- Solid Colors – Red, Cream
- Two colors – These can be a mix of the following two: black, chocolate, wild boar, gray/blue, and fawn (aka Isabella)
- Dappled – This is a merle pattern where lighter-color areas of the coat mix with the darker color
- Brindle – This is a pattern where black or dark stripes of color occur all over the body
- Piebald – This is a pattern with clearly seen areas of white on a one- or two-color dog
- Sable – Uniform dark overlay of color over the solid color of red; You’ll actually see where the top/overlay hairs are two different colors – the tip of the hair is darker than the base of the actual hair.
How Long Do They Generally Live?
Being a smaller dog, the Miniature Dachshund usually has a very long lifespan. Most dogs live between 12 years and 16 years of age, with the oldest Dachshund reaching the ripe old age of 17 years old. This dog is an incredibly healthy breed of dog that does not have a trend with serious conditions or diseases prevalent in the breed.
For more detailed information about how to get your Miniature Dachshund to stay healthy and live a longer life, check out my detailed article here.
What Is The Typical Personality Of A Miniature Dachshund?
The Miniature Dachshund, at its core, is a people-oriented dog. This dog likes the company of his humans and does not do well in isolation. Because of this, be sure you are prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to this feisty little pup. The dog is smart and vigilant and naturally wary of strangers, making it a good watchdog. They will be the first to alert you of an unwelcome guest. This type of dog can take time to warm up to new people in his house.
Although this dog is very intelligent, it can be difficult to train. That is because the Miniature Dachshund has a very strong and prevalent independent streak. This characteristic can make the dog appear stubborn, which can create a challenge for obedience training. The Miniature Dachshund loves food, so a combination of positive praise and treats as a reward usually will win this little dog over.
The dog was originally bred to chase after prey fearlessly. Often, the hunt required extreme concentration and focus to track the prey deep underground. The Dachshund still has this same personality trait and can focus its attention 110% on the task at hand. Unfortunately, if their focus is directed elsewhere, it can be difficult to get the dog to pay attention to you during a training session.
Many owners report a significant difference between the coat variations on this breed of dog. The wirehaired Dachshunds usually have a feisty temperament, prone to silly attitudes, and a mischievous streak. These are the dogs that are most likely to find and get into trouble. The long-haired Dachshunds are usually quieter and calmer. They have an easy-going personality, although they are still energetic. Lastly, the smooth-haired Dachshund is somewhat even-tempered. Happy to relax and sit with his owner, he is also known to have a clownish streak to get a rise out of his owner.
What Is The Best Dog Food For Miniature Dachshunds?
Most small kibble dry dog foods will be suitable for a Miniature Dachshund. Because of their small mouths, smaller kibble will be a better idea than one that may be larger and harder to chew.
Grain-free diets are a myth. Please do not feed your Miniature Dachshund a grain-free diet unless there are specific food allergies that would benefit from a grain-free diet. Always consult your veterinarian before you decide to make any major diet changes.
Some good brands that I recommend include:
I usually tend to go with the bigger dog food companies because of the amount of time and money they have to research and test their products. They also have a stronger history of safe foods (very rarely will they have recalls) over the newer, more boutique-style dog foods.
This dog is usually a chow hound and is easily prone to obesity. It is important always to give your dog high-quality dog food. Monitor the number of treats and “people food” you give your dog to keep him healthy and fit. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is the best and easiest way to extend the life of your Miniature Dachshund.
What Kind Of Grooming Does A Miniature Dachshund Need?
In general, Dachshunds with any length coat shed a moderate amount. They are very clean dogs and usually do not have a detectable odor. The smooth-haired dachshunds require the least amount of grooming. They need occasional brushing and require a bath every few months. If the dog becomes dirty or muddy, usually just wiping the dog with a towel is enough to keep him clean.
Comparatively, the long-haired dachshunds require a little more intensive grooming regimen. These dogs also shed a moderate amount but do require regular brushing. Keeping your dog brushed will not only help to pull out the hairs that will fall out naturally but will also keep the fur smooth and tangle-free. With the long-haired variety, in particular, the long hairs can easily tangle and knot, which can create painful hot-spots and matting.
Dachshunds with the wirehaired coat require professional “stripping” several times a year. This stripping is a process done by a professional groomer to pull out the dead and loose hairs from the coat. The beard and eyebrows must be trimmed occasionally to prevent the hair from falling in the eyes or becoming filled with debris. This little dog needs to be brushed at home about once per week.
Of course, make sure your Miniature Dachshund keeps his nails trimmed short. This process may occur naturally if you are regularly walking your dog over a rough surface. If not, a Dachshund can need their nails trimmed every 2-4 weeks depending on how quickly they grow.
How Much Exercise Does A Miniature Dachshund Need?
Although this is a little dog, the Miniature Dachshund still requires a moderate amount of exercise. Their body shape does not make them great distance runners, but their Hound nature makes them willing to partake in various outdoor activities. Exercise should include more than just chasing a ball through the house.
One of my best friends is extremely active with her Dachshund. A daily 45-minute walk is what this dog needs every single day to keep him in top shape. Your Dachshund may not require this long of a walk but it does require consistent exercise.
Without consistent exercise, many Dachshunds can become frustrated and bark way too much. If your Dachshund is loud all the time, you likely need to get in some more exercise in the form of either walking or swimming (which is a great activity that requires a ton of energy but also is low stress on the back).
The Dachshund has the kind of body that puts a lot of torque and stress on many joints (including the back). As a result, this dog does not do well jumping or sustaining large impacts. It is important never to allow your Miniature Dachshund to run up and down the steps or jump on and off furniture. Provide an alternative option for your Dachshund to snuggle up to you. Several commercially available steps and stairs will allow your tiny dog to still get onto the furniture.
What Kind Of Health Problems Can Miniature Dachshunds Have?
With 20 years of experience treating Miniature Dachshunds (as well as owning one myself), I find these health conditions to be the most common in the breed:
- Dental Disease
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Heart Murmurs
- Luxating Patella
For some reason, so many sites list ear infections as a common ailment in Dachshunds. Ear Infections don’t just happen by themselves. They are usually associated in dogs that have chronic allergies not floppy ears. Thankfully most of my Dachshund patients don’t have allergies so seeing them with ear infections is pretty uncommon.
When it comes to health issues (you can read about these more in depth in this article here), the most common issues facing Dachshunds would be obesity and dental disease. If you can control these two things, you can potentially prevent the other issues from becoming a problem.
Where Can I Find A Miniature Dachshund?
With its small size and loving personality, the Miniature Dachshund is an incredibly popular breed of dog. This dog also offers several varieties allowing people to find a customized dog indeed. Available in various coat lengths, colors, and patterns, every Miniature Dachshund is unique and individual, making finding just the right puppy to add to your family fun and exciting.
Beginners searching for a Miniature Dachshund can start looking at the Dachshund Club of America. This club lists reputable breeders in your area and several rescue groups that may offer puppies and adults for adoption. Turning to rescue for your Miniature Dachshund is a great way to not only get a purebred dog of your dreams but allows you to help a dog who needs a home.
As is true with any breeder, be sure to vet the breeder’s credentials fully. If possible, try to meet the other puppies in the litter as well as the parent dogs. You will want a puppy that exhibits the best personality traits from the breed. Stay away from a shy or cautious Dachshund puppy. The mother dog usually passes on most of her personality traits to the young dogs, so be sure to watch the mother dog’s personality closely.
The Miniature Dachshund is a fun-loving and loyal little dog that is incredibly intelligent. Unfortunately, this intelligence also comes with a stubborn streak, which leaves this breed of dog extremely independent. Because of this, it can be incredibly difficult to house train a Miniature Dachshund. Patience and consistency are crucial to house training this dog. Due to the difficulty with house training, the Miniature Dachshund may not be a great dog for families with small children who may not have the time, energy, or patience to dedicate to consistent training.
One of the most notable aspects of the Miniature Dachshund is his elongated, “hot-dog” shape. Unfortunately, this shape also makes him prone to back injuries. Be sure always to hold the Miniature Dachshund correctly to prevent injury. Hold the dog with one arm beneath his rear end and the other arm supporting the front part of the dog under his chest. Keep the dog held horizontally. If you have small children who may carry the dog from place to place, be sure they are taught the correct way to hold this dog without hurting him.