One of the many true Lap Dogs has to be the Dachshund, bred with short and long hair, wire haired and in both standard and miniature size. The dachshund is sometimes a larger than life character and is often overlooked as a pet, I think because people believe the dog may be a little delicate and this is not really the case.
What is a Miniature Dachshund? Commonly known as a Sausage dog, a Weiner dog or even a Doxie, they stand just 5 to 9 inches high with a long body. This hound was originally bred in Germany with a view to hunting Badgers. “Dachshund” comes from two German words, “dach” which means “badger”, and “hund”, which means “dog”. Because of their size they were ideal for “tunnelling”, the Standard size to get at Badgers or even small boar in their burrows, and the Miniature size to hunt Rabbits and other small rodents hiding in burrows.
What is the difference between the Miniature Dachshund and the Standard Dachshund? Its all about the size:-
Miniature Dachshund Size
Males and females grow to 13 to 18cm or 5 to 7 inches
Males and females 3.5kg to 5kg or 8 to 11lbs
Averaging 14 to 17 years
Standard Dachshund Size
Males and Females grow to 20 – 27 cm or 8 to 11 inches.
They usually weigh between 9 – 12 kg or 20 to 27 pounds
12 to 13 Years
Appearance of the Dachshund
This dog has very short but powerful set of legs with a very long body. The front legs are compact but well-muscled, fast moving and have broad feet ideal for digging. Their hindquarters are powerful and heavily muscled with a broad rump and long croup that slopes slightly at the tail, the feet being smaller and more slender than the front.
They have a long slender nose atop a powerful jaw with a conical shaped head, not unlike the shape of a pinscher but the ears are larger and more rounded dropping to their cheeks, moving forward and up when interested in something. Almond-shaped eyes, usually quite dark intense eyes, medium in size and set at an oblique angle.
The chest is broad and powerfully muscled with a long neck, a long and slender back down to a slim waist working down to those powerful hips built for speed and a slender whip like tail.
There are 3 hair types – short smooth hair, long haired or wire haired with a variety of colours,
the most common are Red, Tan, Tan and Black, but also come in :-
- Black & Cream
- Black & Cream Brindle
- Black & Tan
- Black & Tan Brindle
- Chocolate & Cream
- Chocolate & Cream Brindle
- Chocolate & Tan
- Chocolate & Tan Brindle
- Chocolate Dapple & Cream
- Chocolate Dapple & Tan
- Chocolate Dapple & Tan Brindle
- Chocolate Dapple Cream Brindle
- Cream Brindle
- Cream Brindle Dapple
- Cream Dapple
- Red Brindle
- Red Brindle Dapple
- Red Dapple
- Shaded Cream
- Shaded Red
- Silver Dapple & Cream
- Silver Dapple & Cream Brindle
- Silver Dapple & Tan
- Silver Dapple & Tan Brindle
These colours are accepted by the Kennel Club, some other so called “rare” colours for which some breeders charge premium prices are not accepted, so buyer beware.
History of the Dachshund
Originating from Germany with some crossbreeding via the Bibarhund and the Schweisshund in the 17th Century the Dachshund breed was finalised through selective breeding and established in the 18th Century.
Originating from Germany the breed came about by crossing the Bibarhund and the Schweisshund. The breed sizes had 3 particular distinctives –
1/ The Standard Dachshund known as Normalgrosssteckel
2/ The Miniature or Dwarf Dachshund known as Zwergteckel and
3/ The Rabbit Dachsund or Kaninchenteckel.
As ever there is a notoriety period for the Dachshund and this was due to the fact that they were a favourite of Queen Victoria. Then for obvious reasons they lost some favouritism due to the second world war and the obvious links to Germany.
However in later years after the war they regained some popularity when celebrities began to own them. Picasso had a Dachsund named Lump which is actually German for “rascal”. Picasso actually Borrowed or stole Lump from his photographer Mr David Douglas Duncan who had the dog with him during a visit in April of 1957.
Apparently, the “sausage dog” ate at the dinner table from a plate embellished with a portrait of Lump, drawn by Picasso. Slept in Picasso’s bed and used a 7ft bronze sculpture as his own private latrine.
Lump stayed with him for 6 years until Picasso fell ill at which time Lump was returned to David. Followed then by celebrity status with the likes of Andy Warhol and Marlon Brando the dachshund once again became a firm favourite of many people.
Other Facts about the Dachshund
are loyal, protective and often stubborn. They are great little lapdogs and
will happily integrate with families, but you may need to take care when
introducing them to other small household pets. Remember they
still have a natural hunting instinct.
They can be territorial so may be aggressive toward other dogs unless introduced to other dogs as part of their upbringing and training as a puppy. The size of the other dog will not phase them, they will still have a go, so good dog handling may be required.
They also make good guard dogs as they are intently alert even when supposedly napping, and they have a quite sharp and surprisingly loud bark for their size.
These dogs are usually quite clever and can be taught many things, with good training and a firm hand when needed these cute little furballs are a lively bunch of fun and are sturdier and hardier than they look.
Due to their long back’s Dachshunds are predisposed and vulnerable to spinal injuries, according to some veterinary services a reasonable number of Dachshunds suffer from back injuries particularly when overweight, jumping from heights, with deterioration to their spinal discs. So, avoid overfeeding and ensure they get plenty of exercise and movement.
The other obvious health concern is their ears, deep scratches left unattended can lead to haematomas and overheating inside their ears with bugs and dirt can cause other ear infections, so checking and cleaning on a regular basis is a prudent exercise.
As referred to above, despite there size these dogs enjoy a good amount of exercise on a regular basis which is why there often good for families with children. These dogs love to play, so fetch is a great exercise for them.
I don’t know why but these cute and loveable little dogs are often a favourite in Australia where they are known as Doxies and as such there are the obvious rescue and adoption centres available which is, in Top Lap Dogs opinion, often a great choice for those who are looking to find any dog, including a Dachshund.
Take a look at https://dachshundrescueaustralia.com.au/ to see the great work they do and pics of the cute little Doxies that currently need a home.
For information on other lap dog breeds see our A to Z