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Key Facts:

Size: Small - medium Height: Standard variety: 22 cm (9 in) Miniature variety: 12 cm (5 in) Weight: Standard variety: 6.5 - 11.5 kg (15-25 lb). Miniature variety: 4.5 kg (9-10 lb). Life Span: 13 years Grooming: Varies with variety Exercise: Reasonable Feeding: Undemanding Temperament: Independent & brave Country of Origin: Germany AKC Group: Hound Other Names: Zwergteckel (miniature), Normalschlag (standard)

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Low to ground, short legged and long bodied. Colour: Any solid colour is permitted. No white is allowed in the Smooth-Haired variety. Coat: Smooth-haired breeds have a short, dense, smooth coat. The Long-Haired have a soft, straight and slightly wavy coat. The Wire-Haired variety has shaggy eyebrows and a beard. The outercoat is harsh and short and the undercoat is dense. Tail: Set high, carried level with the back and not curved. Ears: Set high, moderately long, rounded tips and hanging close to the cheeks. Body: Long and low body, level back, tucked up belly, deep chest and short forearms.

Temperament: Active, hardy, courageous and independent. These dogs make good family companions and guard dogs. Dachshunds respond well to training, but they can also have a mind of their own and require firm discipline. This breed usually gets on with other dogs and can be overly-brave when approaching larger dogs. They should be socialised with other household pets at an early age to prevent difficulties later on.

Grooming: Grooming is easy and straight forward for the Smooth-Haired variety. Occasional grooming with a rubber brush is sufficent to remove the dead hairs. The Wire-Haired and Long-Haired varieties are more demanding and do require frequent brushing to maintain a healthy knot-free coat. The ears need to be kept clean and the claws trimmed short.

Exercise: Dachshunds need a reasonable level of exercise to keep fit. They should be kept on a lead when out in public, as their natural hunting instincts will probably cause them to run off. It is best to avoid unnecessary strain on their backs, such as excessive running up and down stairs.

Feeding: Dachshunds tend to eat almost anything they are given and can easily become overweight.

History: The name 'Dachshund' originates from the German word 'dachs' meaning badger. Being a short legged breed makes them ideal for going into burrows. Their shortened legs are believed to have evolved through the mutation of genes. The Wire-Haired variety came about through cross-breeding with Dandie Dinmont lines and the Long-Haired variety was developed through crosses with German Stoberhunds.

Additional Comments:

The miniature Dachshund variety are replicas of the standard breed, except for the difference in size. Their smaller size was developed so they could easily get into rabbit burrows. In the past all the varieties of Dachshunds suffered from severe back problems because there was a tendancy to breed for longer backs, without the structural build being taken into account. These days the breeds are much healthier and in proportion, but it is a good idea to buy from an experienced breeder. The Smooth-Haired Dachshund is the original type of this dog family. The Wire-Haired and Long-Haired types were produced when the Smooth-Haired was crossed with other breeds.

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