The miniature dachshund is the smaller breed of the dachshund family. Their name is derived from the German word dach meaning "badger" and hund meaning "dog," and they were used by German hunters in the 19th century to hunt European hare living in smaller-sized burrows near the dachshund’s historic quarry of badgers and foxes.
At first, the miniature dachshunds were the smaller and weaker members of the breed, so people were not intentional about their breeding.
Later, they were intentionally cross-bred with toy terriers and miniature pinschers to achieve their small stature.
The first sets of miniature dachshunds did not have many of the characteristics of the dachshund breed, particularly in hunting. However, a more intentional, though time-consuming, process of breeding was used over time to achieve the standard today
Life Expectancy and Characteristics
Smaller dog breeds have a longer life expectancy than their larger counterparts. The miniature dachshund normally lives between 12-15 years, though some can live upwards to 20 years.
Like the standard-sized breed, the miniature dachshunds can be short-haired, long-haired, and wirehaired. These varieties come in different colors and patterns, such as cream, red, black and tan, blue and tan, chocolate and tan, and isabella and tan, and these patterns are either dapple, brindle, sable, or piebald.
The average weight of the miniature dachshund is from 8-11 pounds with a height of 5-7 inches.
These animals have a long body with short legs and a robust physique. The skin of the miniature dachshund has elastic characteristics for where the muscles contract and appear without excess wrinkling. They have a well-balanced head with an alert and intelligent facial expression. Their long pointed nose enables them to trail game during a hunt, which serves as an advantage over other breeds of dogs.
The miniature dachshund is bred to hunt first and foremost due to their size. They are independent and high-spirited creatures by nature. They are intelligent and at times stubborn because they are so independent.
These breeds are excellent pets for families with older kids because the dogs need to be handled with care and patience. These dogs can serve as family pets because of their devotion to the families of their owners. They will bark loudly at a stranger but will accept that same individual after it has gotten to know him or her.
Enhancing Life Expectancy
As already stated, a miniature dachshund can live to 15 years or more depending on how it is treated. The chances of this dog living more than its required expectancy depends on if you feed it appropriately and let it exercise. Managing both of these things will keep the dachshund healthy and happy.
Factors That Shorten Life Expectancy
Weight is one problem of which the miniature dachshund may suffer. If the dachshund puts on excessive weight through overfeeding or inactivity, strain can be placed on the dog’s back and spinal cord. The life expectancy of a dachshund is significantly tied to the condition of its spinal cord, back, and skeleton. A high number of dachshunds have been put to sleep after injuring their backbone and losing their ability to walk or function properly.
Another problem that may shorten the life of a miniature dachshund is to miss its veterinary appointments. If a dachshund continuously misses its vaccinations, it becomes exposed to sickness and infections.
Special Care for Miniature Dachshunds
Like its standard counterpart, a miniature dachshund requires regular grooming and care to keep it active and healthy. The coat needs to be groomed from time to time to avoid messy or stained fur which can be uncomfortable for the dog.
Sometimes, if they are not adequately attended to, their hair becomes matted, especially if they’re of the long-haired variety. The area where they sleep should be cleaned and sanitized regularly because if their waste gets stuck on their fur, it can be harmful to their health and can shorten their lifespan.
The miniature dachshund can comfortably live in both a rural or urban environment. They’re highly intelligent and active dogs that can benefit from a daily exercise routine. The long-haired and wire-haired variety needs to be groomed and bathed weekly.
Due to their long spine, they quickly encounter back problems that can hinder their activity. Therefore, be careful not to let a dachshund jump from any height. Purchasing dog-friendly stairs and ramps help to avoid this issue.
One disease that the dachshund breed suffers from is the Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which usually occurs around 3-6 years of age. Observing a dachshund around this time would greatly help it in avoiding serious injury or illness.
Other complications that these dogs may suffer from include paralysis in the hind legs or losing control of their bowel movements. These can be treated when you visit a veterinarian. Other potential health issues include eye problems, obesity, and hip dysplasia.
Despite these problems, miniature dachshunds can make great pets so long as their owners are conscientious with their care.