Breed Background

The Breed

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1885.
  • Badger hunter, family companion.

The Dachshund, meaning “badger dog” in German, is a lively breed with a friendly personality and a keen sense of smell. Known for their long and low bodies, they are eager hunters that excel in both above- and below-ground work. One of the most popular breeds according to AKC® Registration Statistics, they come in three different coat varieties (Smooth, Wirehaired or Longhaired) and can be a miniature or standard size. Standards range from 20-32 pounds, while Miniatures weigh 11 pounds and under.

The breed standard does not include dogs that weigh 11.1 – 19.9 lbs. This size is known as a tweenie and is a product of bad breeding, such as a puppy mill, backyard, or hobby breeder. Terms such as ‘small standard’ or ‘big mini’ have also been used and do not meet the breed standard. Ironically, the tweenie comprises 99% of all dachshunds rescued today.

A Look Back

Dachshunds were first bred in the early 1600s in Germany. The goal was to create a fearless, elongated dog that could dig the earth from a badger burrow and fight to its death with the vicious badgers.

The breed became popular in the U.S. during the early 1900s but fell out of favor during World War I. After the war, a few U.S. breeders slowly rebuilt the gene pool by importing German stock, and the breed began to increase in popularity again.

Right Breed for You?

Dachshunds are lovable, playful companions and an ideal pet for many homes, including those with children under appropriate supervision. They require moderate exercise and can adapt to most living environments. Depending on their coat type, Dachshunds may need regular grooming.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc.