Developed hundreds of years ago in Germany, the Dachshund was bred to be a fearless, long-bodied dog who could dig a badger out of its burrow and kill it (the breed’s name means “badger dog” in German). The Dachshund has a sharp sense of smell and is an eager hunter, both above and below ground. One of the most popular AKC breeds, the friendly Dachshund comes in three different coat varieties (smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired) and can be miniature or standard size.


Small; miniature less than 11 pounds; standard usually between 16 and 32 pounds.


Sable, chocolate, black and tan, or chocolate and tan, all with or without brindling or merling.


Bold, curious, and courageous; toddlerlike and comical. Independent, but playful and family oriented; longhairs a good choice for families with children.

Energy level:

Medium to high.

Best owner:

Confident owner with time for training.


Daily exercise, regular grooming (varies with coat type), obedience training, precautions against back injuries, mindfulness about overeating.

Life expectancy:

12 to 14 years.