12 to 16 years
12 to 16 years
11 pounds or less
5 - 6 inches tall
It's easy to recognize the Miniature Dachshund, noted for its pleasant demeanor and unique appearance:
These tiny wiener dogs are confident, clever, and hard-working, whether the work involves chasing rabbits or warming their owner’s lap. Never afraid to let their presence be heard, a Miniature Dachshund makes a wonderful companion due to their loyalty and protectiveness. Charming and full of spirit, they might test their owner’s patience at times due to their independent nature, but it’s well worth it to share your life with these athletic low-riders.
The Miniature Dachshund is technically the same breed as the standard-sized Dachshund, which was bred in Germany since at least the 1500s to aid in hunting larger vermin such as badgers and foxes. The breed’s name literally means “Badger dog” in German, and they’re known for their tenacity and athleticism. In the late 1800s, German hunters started breeding smaller Dachshunds to hunt rabbits which burrowed in smaller holes. By selectively breeding the smaller dogs of the litter, the miniature-sized Dachshund came to be.
Miniature Dachshunds were imported to the United States for rabbit hunting in the late 1800s, not long after this smaller size was developed. Due to their prowess in hunting and the ease at which they switched to the role of a lapdog, they became increasingly popular. The Dachshund was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, and the Miniature Dachshund is still recognized as part of the same breed today, although they are shown based on size. Due to their German roots, the breed’s popularity suffered during World War I and II, but many took to calling them Badger Dogs or Liberty Hounds so they remained a fixture in American culture. The hotdog was originally named for these long, wiener-like dogs, originally being called the “Dachshund Sausage” before the name was shortened to the much simpler to say (and spell) Hotdog.
Miniature Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs and come from hound stock (hence the talkativeness). They’re an intelligent breed that was bred to work independently and chase down small prey like rabbits or other small pests and would burrow down into their prey’s dens to get at them. Tenacious and brave, this breed excels when given an outlet for their natural instincts to chase, dig, and burrow.
Many people describe Dachshunds as being a “stubborn” breed and hard to train. It all comes down to knowing what motivates them and using that to your advantage. They are descendants of hunting and hound breeds that were created specifically for working independently and not giving up, so some hard-headedness is to be expected. With positive reinforcement training methods and consistency, a Miniature Dachshund is a joy to train and will be an excellent companion. Punishments, whether verbal or physical, not only damage the relationship between a Doxie and their owner but also tend not to work in the long run. Often, it creates long-term behavioral issues. By focusing on teaching a Dachshund what to do, rather than on reprimanding or otherwise correcting unwanted behaviors, they will be well-behaved and a joy to live with.
Miniature Dachshunds usually need some time to warm up to strangers, as they are cautious and on guard when meeting new people. Proper proactive exposure to new sights, sounds, people, dogs, and other animals as a young puppy is essential for their socialization skills.
Their small size makes living with children difficult, as they can easily be injured with rough handling. However, they will do well with children if they are socialized from puppyhood, and the children are respectful in their handling of the dog. Young children and dogs should always be supervised, and it’s helpful for a dog to have their own “safe space” where they can go when they need some quiet time.
When it comes to animal buddies in the home, it’s once again, all about socialization. As long as they have been properly socialized and introduced, Mini Dachshunds can enjoy and benefit from the companionship of other animals. However, their small size makes injury more likely when playing or living with animals that are much larger, so be aware and monitor all interactions to make sure everyone stays safe.
Pair meeting new people or animals with high-value training treats or a favorite toy, and keep introductions short and sweet, so it doesn’t get overwhelming for your Miniature Dachshund.
Helping Dachshunds feel comfortable around bigger dogs is especially important. Their outsized and louder personality can make them an easy target for larger dogs if they try to start something out of fear reactivity.
Although they’re small in size, Mini Doxies have quite a lot of energy! Since they’re a hunting breed, the Miniature Dachshund needs frequent physical exercise. Since they’re on the smaller side, usually, a couple of walks per day, along with play inside or in the yard, is enough to keep them physically fit. They love to chase the ball but are also known for not necessarily bringing it back for another throw — it’s all about the pursuit. It’s very important for this breed to stay in shape, as they are prone to back problems that can be made worse by being overweight.
While it’s often recommended to limit a Dachshund’s running and jumping activity to prevent IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease), doing so often isn’t practical and doing so too much deprives them of the joys of being a Dachshund. Speak with your veterinarian about what type and how much exercise your Mini Dachshund needs.
Because of the short, stubby conformation of the Dachshund’s legs (and the abnormal forces and pressures that conformation can put on their joints), the breed can be at increased risk of arthritis and other joint problems. Appropriate diet and exercise is important to keep your Dachshund at their healthiest weight and, if your Dachshund will do it, swimming can be a phenomenal way to exercise them, as it exerts minimal impact and force on their joints while doing a great job of moving and growing their muscles and burning calories. Also talk to your veterinarian about any supplements they might recommend proactively to help protect your Dachshund’s joints.
Their petite size means they shouldn’t be jumping from heights such as furniture or out of the car. It’s easy for them to injure themselves, and they’re prone to back problems which may or may not be made more likely by jumping. Miniature Dachshunds can even be seriously injured in jumps or a fall from their owner’s arms. They’ll appreciate easier access to their favorite couch nesting spots with a ramp or dog stairs, and should be lifted in and out of cars and on and off furniture.
Mental enrichment is important for Miniature Dachshunds, which helps keep them entertained and prevent unwanted behaviors. Keep their brain sharp by teaching new tricks, attending obedience classes, joining a dog sport, and providing dog puzzles and interactive toys.
Quite the small-sized athletes, Miniature Dachshunds were bred to run long distances and burrow into the ground. Their love of being busy means they excel in a variety of activities, including:
Miniature Dachshunds come in three coat varieties: smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. Long-haired dachshunds were used in colder climates, while wire-haired dachshunds were able to work in rougher terrain with brambles and thorns. Smooth-haired dachshunds don’t have the same thick undercoat like long-haired or wire-haired Dachshunds do. They’ll appreciate a cozy jacket or sweater during cold weather to stay warm.
You’ll see Miniature Dachshunds in a variety of colors, including red, chocolate, or black and tan. They come in a few different patterns, from merle to brindle to piebald.
The natural oils in a Miniature Dachshund’s coat help to keep them clean and odor-free, so bathing is needed only occasionally unless needed for special skin treatment. These dogs will benefit from routine ear cleaning to help ward off ear infections, and their nails should be clipped every few weeks. Introduce your Dachshund puppy to the grooming experience from a young age to create a positive association and encourage calm behavior.
The wire-haired coat type needs occasional grooming to have the undercoat stripped. A weekly brushing is usually sufficient in keeping the fur shiny, clean, and free of tangles. Make sure to check your wire-haired Dachshund over for any twigs or burs that might have gotten tangled up in their coat after any outside play.
Best Brush for a Miniature wire-haired Dachshund: Slicker brush, Pin comb
Long-haired dachshunds require a bit more maintenance than their smooth-haired and wire-haired cousins. Brushing their coat twice weekly, taking care to focus on a long-haired Dachshunds wavy fur around the ears. This will help to prevent tangles and mats. Some owners of the long-haired dachshund invest in occasional grooming to trim up the fur along the sides and belly (skirt) and back of the legs (feathers). Their longer coat can pick up tiny twigs and leaves. A quick wipedown and brush after walks and outdoor play will keep them from tracking these things into your home.
Best brush for a Miniature long-haired Dachshund: Slicker brush, Pin comb, Bristle brush
Miniature smooth-haired Dachshunds meanwhile make for easy coat care. Once-weekly brushing is usually enough to keep their coat healthy and distribute the natural oils that maintain the sleek and shiny look.
Best Brush for a Miniature smooth-haired Dachshund: Bristle brush, Grooming glove
You've likely spotted this spunky pup in more than a few places.
Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund has his own YouTube channel, travels the world, and won a People’s Choice Award for 2018’s “Animal Star”. But perhaps more impressively, he is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Adventures of The Wiener Dog Extraordinaire Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund.