Although dachshunds look cuddly and cute, they are tirelessly energetic, clever and curious, possibly even intense. They are always up for a walk or a play in the park and can easily get bored when left to their own devices for extended periods of time. Though very loyal to their owners, miniature dachshunds can take time to warm up to other people. Their loud barking at the sign of strangers makes them an extremely alert guard dog and their volume belies their size.
Dachshunds love the outdoors, something that harks back to their hunting lineage. They need a decent sized yard to run around in and love to frolic by chasing small animal and birds, happily barking and possibly digging a few holes. They will also be happy in an apartment and they are among the most popular city dogs, but they do require lots of interaction, time and regular walks to stay in good mental and physical conditions. Dachshunds are loyal, proud, funny and individual characters who thrive with single people or families with older children. A healthy miniature dachshund can live happily into its late teens, providing years of loyal fun and companionship.
The dachshund breed dates back to at least the Middle Ages, and comes from the German words ‘dach’ (meaning badger) and ‘hund’ (meaning dog). Dachshunds were used extensively in 17th century as hunting dogs as their short and long bodies and their amazing sense of smell allowed them to hunt both above and below ground. The Australian Kennel Club currently recognises two sizes (standard and mini), and three coat varieties (smooth, long and wire-hair). Acceptable coat colours include clear red, shaded red, cream, black and tan, boar, brindle and chocolate.
The dachshund look is hard to miss, they are low, long and short with a body that somehow stays solid and balanced in spite of its squat frame. Its convex head is erect and alert with ears that hang low and a pair of friendly oval eyes. The base of the neck slopes down to a protruding chest and a tighter abdomen, and the tail follows the line of the back.