Wire Haired Dachshund
The dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed belonging to the hound family and is sometimes referred to as the “sausage dog”. The breed dates back 600 years and was depicted in German artwork in the 15th century. They were bred as working dogs that could go to ground after game such as badgers. The German name Dachshund actually means “badger dog”.
Today, the breed is popular as a show dog, working dog and a pet. Dachshunds are still used by some people for working; typically tracking fallen deer, and these are usually called Teckels. They tend to be slighter in body and longer in the leg than many "show" Dachshunds, but are highly regarded for their working ability and "good noses". In Europe a show champion has to have a working certificate to become a full champion.
The Wire coat was almost certainly the result of crossing with German Pinschers and Dandie Dinmonts. Wires, with their harsh coats, as well as being suitable for underground work were ideally suited for overground work for trailing fallen prey such as deer through thick undergrowth and "giving tongue" along the way. Both Miniature and Standard Wires are also used for catching vermin.
Dachshunds are active dogs, and will take as much exercise as you can give them. They are, however, just as happy curled up on your lap, snoozing. They are sociable with other family pets, especially other Dachshunds and are very loyal to their owners. They make keen watchdogs and due to their small size are inexpensive to keep.
Socialisation is a vital part of training a dachshund, without proper training a dachshund may be wary of strangers and other dogs, particularly bigger dogs. They must also be introduced to small children at a young age if children are to be around them. The Dachshund is a typical hound and therefore is inclined to use its voice. They are not noted for their obedience, but can be trained, given persistence by the owner. However, they do like "to get their noses down" when off the lead and can "go deaf" when it suits them.
Wire-haireds are the "rugged workmen", with harsh body hair, beards and eyebrows. Depending on the texture of the coat, which can range from "pin-wire" to "hairy", they may need to be hand-stripped (never clipped) two or three times a year. The most common colours are Brindle and Red. Chocolate/Tan and Dapples also occur. Note that Brindle in Wires means the individual hairs are striped, giving an overall grizzle/grey appearance, as opposed to the tiger-stripe appearance found in Long-haired Brindles. As a generalisation, Wires are the most extrovert and active of the dachshunds.
Wire-haired Dachshunds should weigh 20 - 26 lbs however many pet-bred Dachshunds are bigger than these ideal weights.
Dachshunds generally suffer from few health problems, provided they are kept well exercised, fit and fed on a healthy, balanced diet. As with most breeds obesity can be a problem if they are fed too much and do not get enough exercise. The average life expectancy recorded in the Kennel Club's Health Survey was over 12 years.
Because they are a "dwarf breed", there is a greater risk of slipped disk problems than in a longer-legged dog. However, such problems are best avoided by keeping the dog fit and not allowing it to become overweight or to run up and down stairs, which clearly will put extra stress on the back. Good breeders monitor their breeding program and do not breed from dogs with a history of back problems.
Always consult a Vet if you have any concerns about a puppy you intend to purchase, or health problems with an older dog. Breed Club Secretaries will also be able to provide up-to-date advice on any current or emerging health concerns in any of the Dachshund breeds.