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Are Dachshunds GOOD Dogs? (Good and Bad Truth)

Dachshunds and their little sausage bodies are immediately recognizable. Often called “weiner dogs,” the pups evince immediate smiles.

However, the dogs have a regal lineage. The Germans began breeding Dachshunds in the 18th century to hunt burrowing critters, especially badgers.

are Dachshunds good dogs
Are Dachshunds good dogs? (Good and bad truth)

Dachshunds come in three varieties: smooth, wire, and long-coated. Each of these varieties has two sizes: miniature and standard, and a range of coat colors. Cute, little, and varied, the Dachshund has broad appeal.

But are they good dogs?

As every canine lover knows, all dogs are good dogs! The question is, are Dachshunds good dogs for you? We look at the pros, cons, and in-betweens to determine if the pup is right for you.

The Good

You may be drawn in by a Dachshund’s weird, cute little body. Who can resist those tiny legs and chubby bellies? Fortunately, the pup’s charm goes way deeper than their adorable appearances.

The breed has many outstanding qualities that anyone would appreciate in a pet.

Loyal Friends

Dachshunds are loyal friends. The pups are pack dogs, and they want a group. They’ll view your family as their pack, with all the love and devotion that entails.

Your furry friend will be your shadow, following you around the house and cuddling up with you. Dachshunds love to sleep with their humans, so prepare to surrender your privacy.

While your pup will love the whole family, they may imprint on one member more than others. Your furry friend will jealously protect their favorite.

woman holding Dachshund
Dachshund looks up with a woman holding him.

Brave Little Fellows

Brave little critters, Dachshunds don’t let their diminutive stature prevent them from protecting their family. The pups were bred into life as hunters, granted, for small burrowing animals. Still, they carry themselves with the confidence and bravery of dogs hunting much larger prey.

Dachshunds primarily manifest their bravado via barks. However, the little fellows are prone to lunge at other dogs, unaware that bigger dogs could straight-up devour them.

While a Dachshund’s bravery is commendable, it must be kept in check. The dogs will write checks their tiny bodies can’t cash, and you’ll need to keep them from picking fights.

Dachshund barks
Dachshund incessantly barking outside the house.

Good Watch Dogs

With their funny little bodies and cute, floppy ears, Dachshunds don’t cut an intimidating figure. While they may not make effective guard dogs, however, their combinations of loyalty, territorialism, and suspicion make them excellent watchdogs.

Dachshunds aren’t fond of strangers. The dogs will bark their little heads off if they feel an unwelcome presence is invading their territory. Additionally, Dachshunds value their humans.

The pup takes protecting you very seriously and will gladly put itself between you and an intruder.

The wee dogs are attentive and diligent, and while they may not stop intruders, they certainly warn you of their presence.

Dachshund looks up
Dachshund looks up to his owner because he wants to play.

Active (but not TOO Active)

Dachshunds are full of energy and vigor. The pups love to romp and frolic. They are, however, perfectly content to perform their play in the home.

The little dogs don’t require much room and can flourish in apartments and small houses.

However, your commitment to your pup’s exercise is easily manageable. Standard Dachshunds need a daily hour of walking, while miniatures only need half an hour. This exercise should be divided into two sessions.

Just watch closely to ensure your pup doesn’t get too jumpy; the motion can injure their long backs.

happy Dachshund
Happy Dachshund standing on the floor.

Natural Born Entertainer

Dachshunds are born entertainers; they caper and strive to amuse their families. The clever pups love to play with their humans and are capable of more advanced games than you might expect. If you get down to their level, weiner dogs will play with you infinitely.

Entertain your fuzzy friend with:

  • Interactive games
  • New tricks
  • Playing fetch
  • Hide and seek
  • Doggy ball pits

If you’re looking for a playmate and companion, Dachshunds are the dogs for you. 

red Dachshund costume
Dachshund wearing a hotdog costume in party!

Friendly With Other Pets

Dachshunds are generally friendly dogs who get along well with other pups and small animals. Dachshund is another Dachshund. However, if you prefer variety, these breeds all bond well with your little sausage dog:

  • Pugs
  • Labrador Retriever
  • English Foxhound
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Bolognese
  • Basset Hound
  • Poodle
  • Barbet
  • Peekapoo
  • Goldendoodle
  • Maltipoo
  • Labradoodle

Keep in mind that every dog has their own preferences and personality. Assess your Dachshund’s personality before getting them a little buddy.

Dachshund and Labrador
Dachshund and Labrador run together.

Live Long Lives

Like all of us, a Dachshund’s longevity hinges on how healthily it lives. However, as their food and care provider, you have some control over your Dachshund’s overall well-being. The pups live relatively long lives, between 12 and 14 years.

Most dogs live 10 to 13 years, giving weiner dogs the edge. Miniature Dachshunds have longer lifespans, living up to 16 years.

Most Dachshunds die of old age. Other common causes of death include:

  • Heart Failure
  • Cancer
  • Congenital diseases

Don’t fret; you can do plenty to maximize your furry friend’s years. The following steps will ensure long, happy lives:

  • Take care of their backs
  • Give them enough exercise
  • Monitor their weight
  • Keep them on a healthy diet
  • Take them for regular check-ups
how long do Dachshunds live
How long do Dachshunds live? (Dachshund lifespan)

The Bad

Unfortunately, it’s not all roses with Dachshunds. Yes, they are sweet and devoted companions, but the pups also possess less than desirable traits. Before you commit to a relationship with a Dachshund, consider these potential deal-breakers.

Poor Spinal Health

Dachshund’s long backs increase the chances of disc problems. One out of four Dachshunds experiences spinal difficulties. The pups often suffer intervertebral disk disease.

Twenty-five percent of the breed contract the disease in their lifetime. Any strain on their spines can be devastating. Your pup may not enjoy cuddling, as squeezing and lifting hurts their spines.

Not the healthiest dogs, Dachshunds are prone to developing:

  • Patellar luxation (dislocated kneecaps)
  • Epilepsy
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Skin issues
  • Eye issues
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Obesity
Dachshund lying on the floor
Dachshund lying on the clean floor.

Fight-pickers

Don’t let their diminutive size deceive you; Dachshunds are feisty. According to a 2008 study from the University of Pennsylvania, Dachshunds are the fiercest breed towards strangers and the second most aggressive towards their owners. The little scrappers love to pick fights with other dogs as well.

A Dachshund’s aggression is evolutionary and psychological. The pups were bred to hunt and capture badgers, so ferocity is in their blood. However, the little critters also have intense Napoleon Complexes; the largeness of their aggression is directly correlated to their small stature.

All is not lost, though. You simply need to establish that you are the alpha dog. Once your Dachshund sees you as the leader of their pack, they will defer to you and your instruction.

do Dachshunds bark a lot
Why do Dachshunds bark a lot?

Tricky to Train

Dachshunds are challenging to train, owing to their stubborn nature. Dachshunds are intelligent but also willful—the vocal critters howl and yap. The sausage dogs like to explore, distracting them from your training attempts.

However, the pups are bright and can be taught if you commit the time, energy, and patience to the effort. Start training your Dachshund immediately. The little critters are food-driven, reinforcing good behavior and learning progress with lots of treats.

Miniature Dachshund bites a toy
A Miniature Dachshund bites a toy held by his owner.

Jealous Dispositions

A Dachshund’s loyalty is an excellent quality but can lead to jealousy. The envious pups focus their attention and devotion on one person and resent it when their attentions are divided. Any force diverting your attention, be it a new baby, a new pet, or a new partner, inspires jealousy in your Dachshund.

Not subtle dogs, the pups let you know by:

  • Growling
  • Hissing
  • Picking fights
  • Barking
  • Rolling
  • Licking your hands or face
  • Frightening away strangers
  • Peeing indoors
  • Doing tricks
  • Invading your space
  • Leaving the room

Luckily, a Dachshund’s jealousy is manageable. Give them a lot of attention and remind them you love them. Take them for extra walks and exercise some of the envy out of them.

dachshund licking finger
A Dachshund licking the vet’s finger.

Hard to Housebreak

You may struggle to house-train your Dachshund. The breed is notoriously difficult in this respect; the sausage pups are among the top 20 most difficult dogs to housebreak.

Fortunately, if you prepare to put in the time and effort, your pet will learn to use the outdoors as their bathroom. Consistency is the key, but here are some more tips:

  • Designate one spot of your yard for your pup’s bathroom
  • Monitor your pup
  • Use positive reinforcement 
  • Do not punish accidents
  • Offer a little privacy
  • Establish set feeding/watering times
  • Correct mistakes
wirehaired dachshund
Wirehaired Dachshund standing on the grass.

The Neutral

Some Dachshund characteristics defy binary “good” or “bad” classification. They simply depend on the preferences of the human. For example, Dachshunds are vocal dogs with a solid desire to bark. Whether that is virtue or irritant depends on the individual.

Grooming

Each Dachshund variety requires unique grooming.

VarietyBrushing FrequencyType of Brush
Smooth CoatRegular brushing soft-bristle
LonghairedDaily brushing stiff-bristle
WirehairedDaily, with bi-annual strippingsshort-napped, wire-bristled

Barring unforeseen circumstances, only bathe your Dachshund once every few months. The dog’s fur is coated in a lipid that keeps them warm.

Dachshund beside the grooming tools
Dachshund sits beside the grooming tools.

Hunting

Dachshunds are hunters and will pursue smaller critters. Chipmunks, squirrels, and birds live in fear of Dachshunds and their keen sniffers. Remember, your pup was quite literally designed for hunting small animals and is only following their nature.

Dachshund runs
Dachshund runs in the field.

Digging

Dachshunds burrow. Breeders engineered the dogs to chase and capture digging animals. Your fuzzy friend wants to capture badgers; the best way they know to do that is to dig.

Whether the digging is bad or simply indifferent varies from person to person.

brown Dachshund digs hole
Brown Dachshund digs a hole in the ground.

Conclusion

Dachshunds are adorable dogs with many endearing qualities. The pups are loyal, brave, and playful. However, the breed is also jealous and aggressive.

Whether or not a Dachshund is your ideal pet depends on how these qualities impact you. Weigh the good with the bad carefully – a dog is a lifelong friend and responsibility!