The dachshund is one of the smaller breeds of dogs that have become quite popular in America. They are a lovable little dog that is extremely affectionate and loyal. Dachshunds are active dogs and enjoy lots of playing and attention. Dachshunds have a tenancy to become antisocial and slightly aggressive if they are not given proper care and attention, but if you treat these wonderful animals nicely, they will be loyal and true friends for many years.
There are three varieties of dachshund--short-haired, wire-haired and long-haired. Each variety has three different sizes of dog: standard, miniature and toy, in descending order according to size. The dachshund is longer than it is tall, with short muscular legs. It has an elongated head and it keeps its relatively short tail in line with its back. Dachshunds come in myriad colors, ranging from a deep chocolate brown, to red all the way to platinum blond.
Dachshunds are naturally curious and brave, willing to investigate anything, which can lead to problems. They are also affectionate and fiercely loyal to their family. Dachshunds were bred to dig, so they will most likely be diggers, though they can be broken of the habit with training. Dachshunds have a tendency to become jealous and irritable if not given proper care and affection.
One of the most important care tips for your dachshund is to show it who's boss. Many will hear this and scoff, but if a dachshund is not taught that the humans are the pack leaders, than it will try to be the pack leader, which will lead to horrible behaviors such as being over-protective of furniture, food or toys or biting at people and other animals. Assert your dominance by not allowing the dog to get away with bad behavior, taking it on walks regularly and making sure it knows who is boss.
The dachshund breed was developed in Germany in the 1600s, primarily for hunting badgers. The dog was bred specifically for its height, strength and tenacity, so that it could handle a badger and chase it in to its hole. The word "dachs" is German for badger, so the "dachshund" is literally the "badger-hound." Dachshunds originally weighed between 30 to 40 pounds, whereas today they commonly weigh between 7 and 30 pounds.
Long-haired dachshunds need to be groomed frequently to ensure a healthy coat. The dachshund is perfect for apartment living, due to its small size and its ability to be active indoors, without outside play time. These little dogs need to be exercised a lot, walking at least once a day, if not more, as well as frequent playtimes. However, dachshunds also tire easily and need to be exercised in short bursts instead of all at once. Dachshunds are prone to spinal injuries, so they should be discouraged from jumping and should be assisted down from heights, such as beds or couches.