Miniature smooth-haired dachshund
AT A GLANCE: The miniature smooth-haired dachshund
- Tenacious, bold, and playful
- Often 5 to 7 inches tall
- Weigh less than 11 pounds on average
- Short legs, long body, robust build
- Smooth, short hair coat
- One or two-colored, dappled, piebald, or sable
- Average lifespan of 12 to 15 years
Physical characteristics of the miniature smooth-haired dachshund
The miniature smooth-haired dachshund exhibits all of the same characteristics as the standard version, in a scaled-down size. The miniature-breed dogs typically weigh less than 11 pounds and stand roughly 5 to 7 inches tall. They have an unmistakable appearance, with long, thin muzzles; fairly large, relaxed ears; expressive eyes; and an alert expression. The torso is proportionally long, with stout but muscular legs, an elongated back, and a long, tapered tail.
Miniature smooth-haired dachshunds have sleek, shiny short-hair coats that can be found in any number of colors, including but not limited to red, blue, chocolate, fawn, dapple, piebald, or sable. The nose and nails are generally black.
Personality and temperament of the miniature smooth-haired dachshund
Not only do miniature smooth-haired dachshunds have a striking appearance, but also their bold personalities are unmatched. They are playful and exuberant, and always happy to join family walks or romps in the yard. They adapt well to many environments, including apartment and city living, but sometimes may not behave well around younger children.
Miniature smooth-haired dachshunds are strong-willed and feisty, and can be difficult to train. They are typically loyal to their owners and family members, but can be leary or snappy toward strangers. Early socialization and training can help minimize some of these obstacles. Dachshunds, who have quite a bark that they do not hesitate to use, are known for reacting to the slightest provocation, making them excellent guard dogs, but a nuisance to neighbors.
Common health concerns for the miniature smooth-haired dachshund
Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
Dachshunds are the poster-child for IVDD, which involves the herniation of one or multiple discs. Due to their long, low backs, herniation can occur with even mild activity, such as jumping on or off the furniture. The disease can be mild or severe. Signs of mild disease can include discomfort, such as unwillingness to jump or go down the stairs, while severe disc herniation can lead to incoordination, including the inability to use the back legs. Severe IVDD is considered an emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention. IVDD diagnosis is based on physical examination, breed, and imaging.
Characterized by an overproduction of the steroid hormone cortisol, Cushing’s disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, can be caused by adrenal gland dysfunction or a tumor in the brain. Many signs correlate with Cushing’s disease, including increased drinking and urination, increased appetite, a pot-bellied appearance, thin skin, symmetrical hair loss, and panting.
The dachshund’s long, floppy ears provide a warm, moist environment for bacteria and fungi, making ear infections a common concern in this breed. Monitor for signs of discomfort, including ear scratching, head shaking, or rubbing the ears on the floor. You may also notice discharge in the ears along with a foul odor.
Other health concerns may include:
- Patellar luxation
- Periodontal disease
- Heart disease
Caring for the miniature smooth-haired dachshund
While miniature smooth-haired dachshunds typically do fine in small apartments with no yard, don’t be mistaken—they still need daily exercise in the form of off-leash play or walks. Without physical stimulation, these dogs may develop destructive behaviors, such as their favorite hobby, digging. Be mindful of how your miniature dachshund exercises, however. Because they are susceptible to back problems, never force dachshunds to jump, and use ramps or steps so they can easily climb onto high surfaces such as sofas or beds.
The miniature smooth-haired dachshund can be difficult to train, so it is best to start early. Register your pup for a socialization and obedience class from a reputable trainer and get him out frequently to meet as many other dogs and people as possible. This breed may fare better in a home with a single person or older children, but early training may help acclimate them to younger kids.
This breed’s smooth, short coat allows for easy grooming that typically doesn’t need regular brushing. These dogs will benefit from routine ear cleanings to help ward off ear infections, and their nails should be clipped every few weeks.
The miniature smooth-haired dachshund is the perfect dog for you if:
- You live in a smaller apartment or home
- You live in the city with no yard
- You are single or have older children at home
- You have the patience and diligence to train a dog
- You are prepared for a feisty, fun, and strong-willed companion