About the Breed
The Dachshund (German origin: "badger dog"), is a long bodied, short legged hunting dog, also known as a wiener dog or doxie. They are loving, loyal, and very social. The are very intelligent dogs, and were bred to hunt small, burrowing animals such as rabbits, badgers, and other rodents. They love to burrow under blankets, and love to dig outside.
There are three types classifications of Dachshunds' coats. They can be short-haired and smooth, wire-haired, and long haired. There are also three sizes; miniature, standard, and kaninchin (German for "rabbit"). The average lifespan of a Dachshund is 14-16 years, and can even live until they are 17-20! They are genetically prone to a hereditary back problem called IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) due to the shape of their bodies, and could develop a spinal injury to their neck or back. If their spinal column becomes compressed or damaged, it could cause them pain, or even paralysis that would require a surgical procedure to repair. See below for more information.
Dodgerslist is the premier online resource for IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) awareness and treatment. IVDD is a common musculoskeletal disease that affects around 25% Dachshunds. Their IVDD 101 page is a first stop for anyone facing this condition, and their message boards are staffed with people who have been through the same thing you are facing right now. There is hope, and IVDD is not a death sentence!
Obesity is rampant in Dachshunds, and can contribute and exacerbate IVDD. It is important to be sure to feed them the proper amount, as they have a tendency to want to overeat. At their proper weight, they should have a tuck behind their rib-cages (similar to a Greyhound), you should be able to see their waist when looking at them from above. An adult Dachshund should weight around 11 pounds at the miniature size, and around 32 pounds at standard size. They are a very energetic breed and need plenty of exercise!
When selecting the best dog food for your canine companion, dry kibble can help maintain a healthy weight, as wet or home-made foods can result in them overeating. To read recommendations on food best suited for this breed, visit thehappypuppysite.com to learn more.