Miniature Dachshund - Trupanion Dog Breed GuideMiniature Dachshund - Trupanion Dog Breed GuideMiniature Dachshund - Trupanion Dog Breed Guide

Miniature Dachshund



Miniature Dachshund Breed Highlights

A Miniature Dachshund sitting in the grass and looking around

  • While Miniature Dachshunds do love to sit in their owner’s lap, they aren’t lapdogs — they’re actually working hunting dogs! They were bred smaller than the standard size Dachshund to be able to hunt small prey like rabbits or small vermin and follow them into an underground burrow. They’ve been used to hunt prairie dogs in the United States.

  • A Dachshund, dubbed Waldi, was the first official mascot of the Olympic Summer Games in Munich in 1972.

  • The name for the hotdog was actually inspired by this “sausage dog” breed. First called “Dachshund Sausage,” the term was shortened to hotdog and it’s stuck ever since.

  • Whatever your preference, there’s a Miniature Dachshund for you — this breed comes in three different coat types: smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired!

  • The first dog in the United Kingdom to be cloned was a Dachshund named Winnie, whose cloned puppy was aptly named “Minnie Winnie” after being born in 2014.

  • Miniature Dachshunds can live for a long time. A Mini Doxie named Chanel held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living dog for some time, living until 21 years old.

Unique Physical Features

Miniature Dachshund dog illustration - physical

  • Short stubby legs

  • Long, narrow noses

  • Long back

  • Deep chest

Unique Personality

Miniature Dachshund dog illustration - personality 

These tiny wiener dogs are confident, clever, and hard-working, whether the work involves chasing rabbits or warming their owner’s lap. Never afraid to let their presence be heard, a Miniature Dachshund makes a wonderful companion due to their loyalty and protectiveness. Charming and full of spirit, they might test their owner’s patience at times due to their independent nature, but it’s well worth it to share your life with these athletic low-riders.

Preferred Lifestyle

Energy Level

dog energy level - medium (mall walker)

With Kids

Icon - outline of a little boy and girl

This breed may not be the best with children, due to their small size.

With Other Pets

Icon - cat and dog outline

They do well with other animals in the home, with proper socialization.

Environment

Icon - outline of a house

Their small size makes them a great choice for apartment living, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. Daily walks, play and mental stimulation will keep them happy and healthy.

Average Lifespan
(Range)

12 to 16 years

Average Size
(Range)

11 pounds or less
5 - 6 inches tall

Breed Group

Hound

Similar Breeds

History of the Miniature Dachshund

A Miniature Dachshund sitting inside on a white blanket and grey couch

The Miniature Dachshund is technically the same breed as the standard-sized Dachshund, which was bred in Germany since at least the 1500s to aid in hunting larger vermin such as badgers and foxes. The breed’s name literally means “Badger dog” in German, and they’re known for their tenacity and athleticism. In the late 1800s, German hunters started breeding smaller Dachshunds to hunt rabbits which burrowed in smaller holes. By selectively breeding the smaller dogs of the litter, the miniature-sized Dachshund came to be.

U.S. History of the Miniature Dachshund Over Time

Miniature Dachshunds were imported to the United States for rabbit hunting in the late 1800s, not long after this smaller size was developed. Due to their prowess in hunting and the ease at which they switched to the role of a lapdog, they became increasingly popular. The Dachshund was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, and the Miniature Dachshund is still recognized as part of the same breed today, although they are shown based on size. Due to their German roots, the breed’s popularity suffered during World War I and II, but many took to calling them Badger Dogs or Liberty Hounds so they remained a fixture in American culture. The hotdog was originally named for these long, wiener-like dogs, originally being called the “Dachshund Sausage” before the name was shortened to the much simpler to say (and spell) Hotdog.

Miniature Dachshund Behavior and Training

Miniature Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs and come from hound stock (hence the talkativeness). They’re an intelligent breed that was bred to work independently and chase down small prey like rabbits or other small pests and would burrow down into their prey’s dens to get at them. Tenacious and brave, this breed excels when given an outlet for their natural instincts to chase, dig, and burrow.

TRAINING MYTH

Many people describe Dachshunds as being a “stubborn” breed and hard to train. It all comes down to knowing what motivates them and using that to your advantage. They are descendants of hunting and hound breeds that were created specifically for working independently and not giving up, so some hard-headedness is to be expected. With positive reinforcement training methods and consistency, a Miniature Dachshund is a joy to train and will be an excellent companion.
Punishments, whether verbal or physical, not only damage the relationship between a Doxie and their owner but also tend not to work in the long run. Often, it creates long-term behavioral issues. By focusing on teaching a Dachshund what to do, rather than on reprimanding or otherwise correcting unwanted behaviors, they will be well-behaved and a joy to live with.

Plays Well with Others?

  • Miniature Dachshunds usually need some time to warm up to strangers, as they are cautious and on guard when meeting new people. Proper proactive exposure to new sights, sounds, people, dogs, and other animals as a young puppy is essential for their socialization skills.

TRAINER TIP

Pair meeting new people or animals with high-value training treats or a favorite toy, and keep introductions short and sweet so it doesn’t get overwhelming.

  • Their small size makes living with children difficult, as they can easily be injured with rough handling. However, they will do well with children if they are socialized from puppyhood, and the children are respectful in their handling of the dog. Young children and dogs should always be supervised, and it’s helpful for a dog to have their own “safe space” where they can go when they need some quiet time.

  • When it comes to animal buddies in the home, it’s once again, all about socialization. As long as they have been properly socialized and introduced, Mini Dachshunds can enjoy and benefit from the companionship of other animals. However, their small size makes injury more likely when playing or living with animals that are much larger, so be aware and monitor all interactions to make sure everyone stays safe.

TRAINER TIP

Helping Dachshunds feel comfortable around bigger dogs is especially important. Their outsized and louder personality can make them an easy target for larger dogs if they try to start something out of fear reactivity.

Graphic - bouncing red ball image

Exercise Requirements

  • Although they’re small in size, Mini Doxies have quite a lot of energy! Since they’re a hunting breed, the Miniature Dachshund needs frequent physical exercise. Since they’re on the smaller side, usually, a couple of walks per day, along with play inside or in the yard, is enough to keep them physically fit. They love to chase the ball but are also known for not necessarily bringing it back for another throw — it’s all about the pursuit. It’s very important for this breed to stay in shape, as they are prone to back problems that can be made worse by being overweight.

  • While it’s often recommended to limit a Dachshund’s running and jumping activity to prevent IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease), doing so often isn’t practical and doing so too much deprives them of the joys of being a Dachshund. Speak with your veterinarian about what type and how much exercise your Mini Dachshund needs.

  • Because of the short, stubby conformation of the Dachshund’s legs (and the abnormal forces and pressures that conformation can put on their joints), the breed can be at increased risk of arthritis and other joint problems. Appropriate diet and exercise is important to keep your Dachshund at their healthiest weight and, if your Dachshund will do it, swimming can be a phenomenal way to exercise them, as it exerts minimal impact and force on their joints while doing a great job of moving and growing their muscles and burning calories. Also talk to your veterinarian about any supplements they might recommend proactively to help protect your Dachshund’s joints.

  • Their petite size means they shouldn’t be jumping from heights such as furniture or out of the car. It’s easy for them to injure themselves, and they’re prone to back problems which may or may not be made more likely by jumping. Miniature Dachshunds can even be seriously injured in jumps or a fall from their owner’s arms. They’ll appreciate easier access to their favorite couch nesting spots with a ramp or dog stairs, and should be lifted in and out of cars and on and off furniture.

VETERINARIAN TIP

A few extra kibbles, treats, or shared “people food” can quickly add up to obesity-inducing calories, which causes discomfort, health issues (especially back issues in this breed), and a shorter lifespan. Avoid a chunky Dachshund to help them live a long and happy life!

Mental Enrichment Needs

Mental enrichment is important for Miniature Dachshunds, which helps keep them entertained and prevent unwanted behaviors. Keep their brain sharp by teaching new tricks, attending obedience classes, joining a dog sport, and providing dog puzzles and interactive toys.

TRAINER TIP

Harness this breed’s natural instinct to dig and burrow by providing a special digging area for them to burrow in — you can hide some of their favorite toys or chews in the area and encourage them to dig to their heart’s content in that area. Not only does this provide incredible mental enrichment, but it’s also allowing for their digging instincts to be expressed in a positive way. Better in their special dig pit than in your flower garden!

Fun Activities the Miniature Dachshund Enjoys

Miniature Dachshund dog illustration - puppy 

Quite the small-sized athletes, Miniature Dachshunds were bred to run long distances and burrow into the ground. Their love of being busy means they excel in a variety of activities, including:

  • Earth Dog / Barn Hunt

  • Small Dog Agility

  • Rally Obedience

  • Fly Ball

  • Canine Freestyle

  • Trick Training

  • Nose work

Miniature Dachshund Coat Type

Miniature Dachshunds come in three coat varieties: smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. Long-haired dachshunds were used in colder climates, while wire-haired dachshunds were able to work in rougher terrain with brambles and thorns. Smooth-haired dachshunds don’t have the same thick undercoat like long-haired or wire-haired Dachshunds do. They’ll appreciate a cozy jacket or sweater during cold weather to stay warm.

You’ll see Miniature Dachshunds in a variety of colors, including red, chocolate, or black and tan. They come in a few different patterns, from merle to brindle to piebald.

Shedding Level

dog shedding level - 2 of 5 piles of fur

2 out of 5 piles of fur

Grooming Requirements

  • Low Maintenance
  • Weekly Brushing

The natural oils in a Miniature Dachshund’s coat help to keep them clean and odor-free, so bathing is needed only occasionally unless needed for special skin treatment. These dogs will benefit from routine ear cleaning to help ward off ear infections, and their nails should be clipped every few weeks. Introduce your Dachshund puppy to the grooming experience from a young age to create a positive association and encourage calm behavior.

Grooming a Miniature wire-haired Dachshund

The wire-haired coat type needs occasional grooming to have the undercoat stripped. A weekly brushing is usually sufficient in keeping the fur shiny, clean, and free of tangles. Make sure to check your wire-haired Dachshund over for any twigs or burs that might have gotten tangled up in their coat after any outside play.

Best Brush for a Miniature wire-haired Dachshund: Slicker brush, Pin comb

Grooming a Miniature long-haired Dachshund

Long-haired dachshunds require a bit more maintenance than their smooth-haired and wire-haired cousins. Brushing their coat twice weekly, and taking care to focus on a long-haired Dachshunds wavy fur around the ears, will help to prevent tangles and mats. Some owners of the long-haired dachshund invest in occasional grooming to trim up the fur along the sides and belly (skirt) and back of the legs (feathers). Their longer coat can pick up tiny twigs and leaves. A quick wipedown and brush after walks and outdoor play will keep them from tracking these things into your home.

Best brush for a Miniature long-haired Dachshund: Slicker brush, Pin comb, Bristle brush

Grooming a Miniature smooth-haired Dachshund

Miniature smooth-haired Dachshunds make for easy “grab-and-go” coat care. Once-weekly brushing is usually enough to keep their coat healthy and distribute the natural oils that maintain the sleek and shiny look.

Best Brush for a Miniature smooth-haired Dachshund: Bristle brush, Grooming glove

Famous Owners of the Miniature Dachshund

  • Josh Duhamel (Singer, Actor)

  • Dita Von Teese (Burlesque Star)

  • Andy Warhol (Artist)

  • Cole Porter (Composer)

  • John Wayne (Actor)

  • E.B. White (Author)

  • Napoleon (French Emperor)

  • Marlon Brando (Actor)

  • Gary Cooper (Actor)

  • William Randolph Hearst (Publisher)

Famous Miniature Dachshunds

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund has his own YouTube channel, travels the world, and won a People’s Choice Award for 2018’s “Animal Star”. But perhaps more impressively, he is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Adventures of The Wiener Dog Extraordinaire Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund.

Miniature Dachshunds in Books, Movies and TV

  • Buddy in The Secret Life of Pets movies

  • The pups in the 1966 Disney movie The Ugly Dachshund

  • The movie Wiener Dog Nationals

  • Jessica in the movie Bachelor Flat

  • Buster in the Toy Story movie franchise

Non-Endorsement Statement: The social media posts displayed here do not imply any endorsement of these people or products, nor does it imply they endorse Trupanion or our product.

Common Health Conditions for the Miniature Dachshund Breed

Use the chart of Trupanion claims data below to find out what health conditions happen most frequently for the Miniature Dachshund breed. Every Miniature Dachshund is unique, but understanding what health conditions are likelier to occur can help you be a more prepared pet owner.

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Here's what our
dog-loving members say about Trupanion

Trupanion member Kelly

Kelly

Groton, CT

Condition: Sarcoma

The Trupanion policy paid: $18,522.39

"My golden Kelly was young when I found a softball-sized lump on Kelly’s left hind leg. Four weeks straight of radiation, six rounds of chemo and checkups every three months, including x-rays and full blood panel were needed. Because of Trupanion, I didn’t have to address the biggest deciding factor that most people face—can I afford this? I can honestly say Kelly is alive today because of the financial support Trupanion provided."

- Lori

Trupanion member Axl

Axl

Ontario, Canada

Condition: Pneumonia, Hip Dysplasia, Lameness

The Trupanion policy paid: $2,084.01

"At two, our German shepherd Axl was diagnosed with pneumonia. Trupanion took care of all our financial concerns. At four, his hip issues led to pain medications, rehabilitation and rest, which all resulted in improved pain-free movement. I’m so grateful that we chose a plan that not only covers the cost of his treatment but also any physical therapy or rehabilitation he may need."

- Nanette K.

Trupanion member Bella

Bella

Ellijay, GA

Condition: Cushing’s disease, tumor, cruciate rupture

The Trupanion policy paid: $15,283.83

"Bella was treated for Cushing’s disease and a pituitary tumor with radiation therapy. Had we not had insurance for her, the decision for her medical care would have been more difficult, as each treatment was expensive. However, because we have Trupanion, these decisions were easier. Rather, we could focus our attention on her treatment and recovery instead of the financial impact these procedures would have on our family."

- Jason P.

Here's what our dog-loving members say about Trupanion

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