Dachshunds (also called "doxies" or "wiener dogs") are one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world. Their short legs are caused by a genetic mutation, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. They were bred in Germany in the 1600s to go into animal burrows and kill and drag out the prey, according to "The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds."
There are two officially recognized sizes of dachshunds--standard and miniature. The standard averages 12 to 32 pounds while the miniature is any dog under 11 pounds. Both standards and miniatures come in three types of coats--smooth, long-haired and wire-haired. All types come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. There is no such breed as a teacup or micro-mini dachshund.
Male dachshund puppies are often easier to find for sale or are more available to adopt from shelters and dachshund rescues than females. This is because breeders and "puppy mills" tend to hold onto the females in order to produce more puppies, according to Dog Owner's Guide.
Dachshund puppies have a reputation as being hard to house-train, but this depends on the individual puppy. Puppies with health problems may take longer to learn or be prone to accidents due to their ailments. When frightened, dachshund puppies will dribble urine in an appeasement gesture. This behavior usually disappears by itself when the puppy is 18 months old.
Because dachshunds were bred to dig out and hunt fierce prey like badgers, dachshund puppies can be prone to destructive digging and to being very territorial, according to Dog Breed Info Center. They also may not get along well with strange dogs. Doxie puppies need to be introduced to calm adult dogs that can help the puppy become familiar with other dogs and dog body language. This is especially important if the dachshund puppy was the only puppy in the litter and could not learn canine body language from playing with litter mates.
Due to inbreeding and their short legs, dachshunds are prone to many medical conditions, according to "The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms." These conditions may not appear until the puppy is a year or more old. They include deafness, diabetes, a cleft palate, one or both eyes not growing large enough to fit the eye socket (microphthalmos), liver shunts and degenerative disc disease that can cause paralysis of the hind legs.