Miniature Dachshund: Everything You Need to Know

The dwarf dachshund (miniature dachshund, mini-dachshund) is the closest relative of the standard dachshund, which has the same exterior but is inferior in size. In terms of dimensions, the breed is an “intermediate link” between the standard and rabbit dachshunds.

The dwarf dachshund is a groovy “sausage”, always ready to save this world and its own owner to boot. Do not flatter yourself with the toy dimensions of the corpulent short-legged and do not try to see a sofa sloth in it. A real mini-dachshund is an incredibly curious pet and a gambling burrowing inspector who is in a permanent search for suitable prey. At home, the dog is forced to reduce the degree of activity, so it takes out its hunting predilections on other small pets or toys.

The history of dwarf dachshunds can be traced back to the 16th century when the breeding of burrowing dogs for catching badgers was carried away in the southern regions of Germany. True, some researchers consider the age of the breed to be more impressive, referring to the images of short-legged dogs found in the tombs of the pharaohs. Today, the relationship between the ancient Egyptian and German dachshunds remains unconfirmed, which does not prevent scientists from building the most incredible theories about the origin of burrowing breeds.

The original name of the dachshund is “dachshund”: from him. Dachs – “badger” and Hund – “dog”. However, over time, the complex word supplanted a more convenient and shorter one – “take” (as an option – “tekel”), which is still called dachshund in Germany. The ancestors of the breed are considered to be marriages – hounds with shortened, disproportionate legs. Through the strict selection of producers, German breeders managed to get pets with extremely low “fit”, which were almost as reckless in hunting as marriages, but at the same time did not get stuck in badger holes. By the 17th century, the marriage clan had split into two branches – low hounds, who hunted in the usual way and takes, who specialized in working in burrows.

As for the dwarf variety of the dachshund, it was born later than the standard one, and the breed was bred exclusively for practical purposes. The fact is that the offspring of marriages worked great underground with foxes and badgers, but they were large for rabbit holes. This prompted breeders to cross the standard dachshund with other miniature breeds. One of these pioneering breeders was F. Engelmann, who mated his charges with dwarf pinschers. The experiment proved to be a failure, as the resulting offspring had a thin skeleton and could not be used in hunting. After that, the specialists concentrated on interbreed mating, selecting only the smallest individuals for them. It was in this way that the dwarf dachshund was first bred, and then even more miniature – the rabbit.

Dwarf dachshunds were brought to Russia in the 18th century, but only the big nobility could afford to have a short-legged dog. The hunting talents of the breed in the domestic realities were also not used, therefore the animals led a well-fed and lazy life of decorative pets. Since the 19th century, the army of fans of dwarf dachshunds has not ceased to grow. The most famous fans of the breed: Queen Victoria, Napoleon Bonaparte, Princess Carolina of Monaco, Jacques Yves Cousteau.

Petite, rabbit, and standard dachshunds have one standard of appearance for three. This is explained by the fact that the breeds differ only in size and habits. As an example: the optimal growth limits for the dwarf dachshund are 30-35 cm, which is at least 5 cm less than the standard one, but more than the rabbit variety. Otherwise, the representatives of the dwarf branch are as well-fed as their relatives. Important proportional balance: the ratio of the height of the mini-dachshund at the withers to the length of the body should be at least 1: 1.7 (1.8)

The head contour is elongated but without sharpness. The brows are clearly visible, the cranium is flattened, the foot is light, inconspicuous.

The ears of the dwarf dachshund are distinguished by a high landing. The auricle is very mobile, moderately elongated.

All dachshunds have medium-sized, oval-shaped eyes, noticeably distant from each other. The look is clear, energetic, friendly, without suspicion. The standard-approved iris colors range from red-brown to black-brown. Unwanted eye tones are whitish, partially, or completely blue.

The upper part of the nose is very narrow and elongated. Lobe of normal size developed.

Moderately strong jaws swing open easily, opening the elongated mouth. The corners of the lips when the mouth is open are located almost on the line of the eyes. The lips themselves are without dampness, elastic, completely hiding the lower jaw. The bite is correct, scissor bite. The bow of the jaws is uniform, of good density. All teeth are encouraged (42).

The moderately long neck of the miniature dachshund is set loosely, relatively high, and also has a slightly convex nape. The muscles of the neck are strong and well developed, the skin is tight and well taut.

The dwarf dachshund is a long-bodied dog with a harmonious topline that gradually descends from the neck to the croup. The back of the dog is straight or slightly sloping with an elongated loin. The wide, long croup of the animal is characterized by a slight slope. The sternum area is impressive, protruding forward and forming small depressions on the sides. The shape of the chest is oval (seen from the front). The lower abdomen is well tucked up.

The forelegs should be well-muscled and straight and have correct articulation angles. The bones of the legs are strong, the contours are dry. The shoulder blades are characterized by a close fit to the chest. The shoulder blades themselves are elongated and inclined. The shoulders are mobile, the same length as the shoulder blades, and the wall adjacent to the ribs. The forearms of a thoroughbred individual are short and straightened as much as possible, the pasterns are without slope and plumb.

The hind legs are clearly marked with articulation angles. The thigh is of normal length and has fairly strong muscles. The knee joints are large, well-angulated; the hock joints are dry and very sinewy. The legs of the dachshund are short, forming a right angle to the thigh, metatarsus of sufficient length. The paws of the breed are round, with voluminous pads and collected toes. The fifth fingers do not carry a functional load but are not removed. The dwarf dachshund moves in smooth movements with a wide reach of the front legs, using the hind limbs for a powerful push.

The tail of the dwarf dachshund continues the line of its back and has a rather low stance. A saber bend towards the end of the tail is also allowed.

All mini-dachshunds are classified into smooth, hard, and long-haired.

  • Dwarf dachshunds with smooth hair are dogs covered with a very short, shiny awn without bald patches and bald patches. Representatives of this variety are typically monochromatic (red, reddish-red, fawn – solid or slightly diluted with black hair), two-colored (black or brown and tan), as well as marble and brindle colors. It is undesirable, but it is acceptable to have single white marks on the body. The lobe and claws correspond to the tone of the coat, that is, in brown dachshunds, they are colored brownish, in black and monochromatic ones – in black.
  • Wire-haired dwarf dachshunds have a wire-like structure that adheres well to the body. A beard, mustache, and bushy eyebrows grow on the dogs’ faces. The ears are covered with smoother and shorter hair than the body. Like smooth-haired relatives, wire-haired “dwarfs” have a solid, two-color, and spotted color. Colors from light boar to dark, as well as red, are welcome.
  • Long-haired dwarf dachshunds are individuals with straight double hair, elongated at the neck and lower part of the body, as well as with feathers on the ears and back of the legs. Representatives of this variety are born with the same colors as smooth-haired dachshunds.

Strict requirements are imposed on the exterior of dwarf dachshunds. In particular, an altered coat structure is considered a serious defect affecting the show score. Simply put, smooth-haired individuals should not have coarse hair, and wire-haired individuals should not be too plump and soft. Animals with the following disadvantages are not allowed to be exhibited in the ring:

  • cowardly and aggressive behavior;
  • deformed chest;
  • non-standard jaw joint (undershot, crossbite, overshot);
  • incorrect position in the row of the lower canines;
  • incomplete set of teeth (canines and incisors are partially or completely missing);
  • goat legs;
  • irregular tail with wrinkles;
  • black wool without tan;
  • white suit with or without tan;
  • the overly loose humerus and shoulder blades.

Representatives of the miniature variety differ from standard dachshunds not only in size but also in a more explosive temperament. Although the breed was never bred for hunting in Russia, the working talents of the “dwarfs” have not atrophied, so they continue to use them wherever an opportunity is presented. As an example: miniature dachshunds have a heightened defensive instinct, which they do not hesitate to “turn on” several times a day.

If the pet urgently needs a release, and there is no suitable threat nearby, the brave short-legged one will invent an enemy for himself, which he will immediately bark at him. On walks, dwarf dachshunds remember their historical destination and willingly poke their noses into every hole. Terrorizing the frogs, rodents, and chicks that come across on the way is also a matter of honor for the breed, so do not regard such attacks as obstinacy and bad manners of the animal. Dwarf dachshunds cannot do otherwise.

In their youth, many representatives of the breed in with destructive behavior. Basically, bursts of negative activity are characteristic of individuals who walk a little and unproductively, often forced to remain alone, so if your dachshund has started “repairs” in the apartment and removes wallpaper from the walls, there is reason to think about it. As it grows older, the pet’s internal battery starts working in energy-saving mode. Take such changes calmly: the dog will still not turn into a couch bump, it will just turn on the “alarm” a little less often.

Speaking of sofas: dwarf dachshunds are not averse to lying on them, but the breed likes games and active pastimes more. Cunning “sausages” also establish contact with children once or twice, but with one caveat: the younger generation should not demonstrate their own superiority over the pet. In their hearts, most dwarf dachshunds consider themselves equal to the owner, leaving for the rest of the family a lower rung of the hierarchical ladder. Don’t forget that all members of the breed are great artists when it comes to benefits for them. Dachshunds that have received scolding from the owner like to give their faces a mournful expression and press on pity. Begging for an extraordinary walk or a tasty treat, the dog also demonstrates miracles of cunning and ingenuity, which inexperienced owners often “buy” for.

In training dachshunds, dog handlers advise removing the “stick” away and be guided by the “carrot method”. This does not mean that the dog should not be punished, just any negativity significantly slows down the educational process. But praise and tasty rewards for the breed, on the contrary, inspire heroic deeds. The main thing is not to rush to teach your pet everything at once. In the first months of life, it is generally not recommended to train a dachshund. It is better to focus on the educational moments and the formation of the habit of the animal to observe the daily routine.

Once in a new house, a dwarf dachshund puppy must begin to live by new rules. Slowly, but persistently, wean your baby from the habit of whining at night and asking for your room. Call your pet by name often so that he remembers it. From the very first days, determine a place for the puppy in the apartment and feed the little mischief strictly by the hour, which is also excellent discipline.

In games, little dachshunds give free rein to instincts and bite, so be alert and systematically eradicate this bad manner. As an example: in response to a bite, cry out loudly or lightly pinch the baby’s nose with your fingers. Try not to succumb to the first reaction to the pain impulse and do not throw the dachshund aside. This is, firstly, traumatic, and secondly, it makes the pet angry.

Dwarf dachshunds quickly get used to using the home toilet correctly. It is enough to put the baby on the tray several times after sleep so that he understands what is expected of him. The habit of asking to go outside to relieve themselves is slower to form, so it makes no sense to punish a ward who has left a puddle on the floor for up to 4 months. Keep in mind that growing dachshunds do not yet have the ability to contain the urge to urinate.

Initial dog training can begin at 3 months of age and is best done outside the home. Of course, the puppy must first be introduced to the street, its smells, and sounds. If you notice that outside the home walls, the ward is afraid of sharp pops and pops, practice his courage. For example, pop balloons in front of your dog. Over time, the dachshund will stop responding to unpleasant sounds and will calmly perceive them.

It is not customary to hunt with a dwarf dachshund, because the breed is too small to work on a burrowing animal, especially if we are not talking about cowardly young animals, but about foxes and badgers with experience. Of course, once in the hole, the dachshund will do its best to drive the prey, but the animal is unlikely to be impressed by the size of its pursuer. Nevertheless, individual owners practice forays into the woods and fields with the breed, but more for recreational purposes than practical ones. At hunting competitions, dwarf dachshunds periodically appear with I degree diplomas in foxes and badgers, but it is important to understand that, in general, these are individuals working at baiting stations, and not in natural conditions.

It is extremely difficult to find a dwarf dachshund from hunting lines in Russia, but if you managed to get such a puppy, you can try your hand at the baiting. However, first, you need to go through the preparatory stages with your pet, that is, socialization, education, and training in the commands “Sit!”, “Lie!”, “Next!”, “Place!”, “Walk!” Keep in mind that baiting is not learning how to hunt, but just an attempt to wake up the hunter and pursuer in the dog. You can take your pet to such classes no earlier than 6 months old. If the dachshund at the docking station does not react to the artificial hole, this means that the working instinct has not woken up in it, and the animal just needs to be taken home to wait a month or two. Usually, fox cubs are used for the first baits, since an adult animal can toughly deal with a miniature and inexperienced dachshund. Working with adults is only possible when the dog is accustomed to the burrow.

The place of the dwarf dachshund is in a house or apartment, but by no means on the street. By nature, the breed is very playful, so its representatives will have to buy toys often. A small life hack for the owners: do not give away all the toys at once, but change them periodically – the novelty effect works not only in the case of people but also with animals. In winter, the breed freezes, so the duration of walks in frosty weather is reduced, and blown overalls or a knitted blanket are put on the animal before going outside.

Hats with ties will be good protection from rain and wind. They can be sewn by yourself from a thick jersey or knitted. Calmly accept the fact that before the start of the heating season, your pet will actively try to get under your blanket – the offspring of marriages love the warmth and are always in search of a cozy refuge. The leash and collar for dwarf dachshunds should be light since heavy ammunition puts additional stress on the joints and spine.

The breed does not require complex grooming, but even short-haired Dachshunds need to be brushed once a week. There is no need to do this procedure more often if you do not want to slow down hair growth. Daily grooming is a must in the fall and spring when the dog sheds. Usually, to remove dead hairs and street dust from the body of a short-haired dog, a rubber mitten or a piece of damp cloth is enough. Rough and long-haired individuals can be additionally combed with a brush – it perfectly collects lost hair and massages the skin, stimulating the renewal of the coat.

The frequency of bathing your pet depends on the structure of its coat. Smooth-haired dwarf dachshunds are easy to dry clean, so they should only be washed when the animals are seriously dirty. Wire-haired and long-haired dogs (not show dogs) should take a bath at least once a month. By the way, keep in mind that after using shampoos and balms, the awn in the representatives of the last two varieties becomes softer and falls apart. Over time, the hair, of course, comes back to normal, but if you have a show pet, it is better to wash it on the eve of the exhibition only its paws, lower abdomen, and muzzle, and treat the rest of the body with dry shampoo.

Buy a nail clipper for ornamental breeds and trim the claws of the dwarf dachshund once a month. Check your eyes daily, removing the accumulated mucus and dust lumps with a clean, lint-free cloth soaked in strong tea infusion. The dog’s ears are examined once a week. If you find dirt and wax in the funnel, remove it with dog hygiene lotion or ear wipes.

Try to brush your dwarf dachshund’s teeth 2-3 times a week. For this purpose, buy a small brush and special dog paste. If you fail to accustom the animal to this procedure, try an alternative method – buying hard treats from veins that work like abrasives.

Dwarf dachshunds – lovers of a lot and tasty food, which is explained by the high needs of the breed for animal protein. In this regard, dry pet food is selected with a high protein content (from 22%), and the proportion of plant foods in the diet (with natural feeding) is reduced to the required minimum. For owners who decide to feed their dogs natural products, it is important to rely on meat and offal. The best options are beef, horse meat, stringy lamb, chicken, and turkey, which are recommended to be lightly boiled or raw. Once a week, the dwarf dachshund can be treated to boiled fish fillets and tendon-bone.

For the carbohydrate component in the pet’s menu, cereals are responsible – buckwheat, oatmeal, rice. They are given in the form of porridge or soup, mixed with meat, and lightly salted. From plant food to the breed, apples, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots are useful. From time to time you can offer white cabbage but only boiled. Potatoes are also not banned, but due to the high starch content, it is better to introduce them into the diet less often. In addition to the main menu can be yogurt, rye croutons, chicken eggs. Overfeeding dwarf dachshunds is strongly discouraged as the breed has a strong predisposition to obesity.

Adult dogs are fed 2 times a day. Elderly individuals are offered food 3 times a day, but the calorie content of the diet is reduced since bulimia develops in animals with age. Short-legged “pensioners” also take a feed with a reduced protein content (from 15%). Puppies under the age of 3 months are fed 5 times, from 3 months to six months – 4 times. A fully adult dwarf dachshund is considered at 10 months, from the same age the animal is transferred to two meals a day.

Most of the diseases of the breed are the result of the characteristics of the physique of its representatives. For example, dwarf dachshunds often suffer from discopathy, in which the spine ceases to fulfill its shock-absorbing function. You can guess that an animal has a problem with changes in behavior. Dogs with discopathy tend to move less and squeal when pressed lightly on their backs.

There is also such a rare pathology as acanthosis black in the breed. The disease is expressed in the darkening and coarsening of the skin, as well as hair loss in the armpits and between the toes. The disease is hereditary and it is unrealistic to protect yourself from it, so all that can be done is to respond in time to changes in the exterior and contact a veterinarian.

In dwarf dachshunds aged 1 year and older, idiopathic epilepsy can make itself felt. Impaired coordination, tremors, and uncontrolled urination are considered signs of an impending attack. Usually, the problem is solved by the introduction of anticonvulsants. The only difficulty is that often the injections have to be done on their own since the disease can be found at the most inconvenient moment and far from the clinic.

How to choose a puppy?

  • Always ask the seller for a litter inspection report – this will help you choose the healthiest animal.
  • Try to get a puppy born in winter or early spring. After serving the prescribed period in quarantine, such kids will have time to catch the warm summer days and strengthen their immunity during walks.
  • Examine your baby’s back carefully. In dwarf dachshunds, pathologies of the intervertebral discs develop, as a result of which humps grow on the backs of animals and saddle deflections are formed.
  • See how the puppy moves. Slight clumsiness of movement is allowed, but an obvious lack of coordination indicates problems with the bone and joints.
  • When choosing black and tan individuals, pay attention to the richness of the color. The more striking the contrast between the main suit and the tan spots, the better.
  • The presence of a dwarf dachshund in a puppy of solid black color (no tan) indicates that there are third-party non-purebred producers in its pedigree. Roughly the same can be said about smooth-haired dachshunds who received a boar (spotted) color at birth.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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