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The Small, Spirited Miniature Dachshund
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The Small, Spirited Miniature Dachshund

Amelia, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Sep 30, 2020

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The miniature dachshund is a smaller version of its cousin, the standard dachshund. Historically bred to hunt badgers, this little breed of dog is tougher than it may appear. Dachshunds also hunt foxes and rabbits, and hunters sometimes use them to find injured deer.

Beyond their hunting skills, miniature dachshunds make great family pets. It can be a great pleasure to spend time with a well-trained miniature dachshund, owing to their energetic and comical nature.

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1

Miniature dachshunds are strong-willed

miniature dachshund running through grass NORRIE3699 / Getty Images

Due to a strong instinct to chase prey, miniature dachshunds can be challenging to train. Although they generally behave well and respond to instruction, it doesn't take much for their owner's calls and command to go unnoticed if a rabbit or bird catches the dog's attention. For this reason, this breed of dog is more suitable for an owner who is used to handling and training strong-willed dogs. Inexperienced owners can benefit from the help of a professional trainer.

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2

They can be wary of strangers

miniature dachshund dog with older child Pekic / Getty Images

Miniature dachshunds are excitable and friendly. Their energetic nature means they want to play, and they will be loyal and loving toward family members with whom they like to spend time. These dogs can be wary of strangers, resulting in barking when new people come to the house. Miniature dachshunds are well suited to families with older children, as the unpredictable nature of young children can be harmful to such a small dog.

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3

The short-haired variety

short haired miniature dachshund dog CBCK-Christine / Getty Images

Miniature dachshunds can be short-, long-, or wire-haired. The short-haired and wire varieties need their thick, short fur brushing around once a week to remove dead hair. Short-haired dogs have low grooming needs, and their neat coats are generally very easy to maintain. Some degree of shedding is inevitable, but this breed has relatively minimal shedding compared to many other dogs.

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4

The long-haired variety

long haired miniature dachshund dog CBCK-Christine / Getty Images

The long-haired miniature dachshund sports a glossy coat of fur that needs regular grooming to maintain a good condition and untangle knots. The fine hair found on the underside of this dog needs particular attention, as it often brushes along the ground picking up dirt. Hair around the ears and tail can also grow long. Owners need to be aware that increased shedding in the spring and fall requires additional brushing and attention.

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5

Additional grooming needs

sausage dog getting a bath minianne / Getty Images

Keep your dog clean with regular baths or trips to the grooming salon. Ears must be examined regularly to check for dirt as a build-up of debris can cause an ear infection. Regularly groom their paws, clip their claws, and check their eyes as necessary to make sure all areas stay clean and healthy. Regular grooming makes sure that any issues are picked up before they need treatment.

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6

Common health issues

dachshund dog lying on bed gyro / Getty Images

Perhaps unsurprisingly, all types of dachshunds can suffer from back problems. The length of their spine causes pressure on the spinal discs, leading to degeneration over time. These problems are usually associated with old age, but they can often occur in younger dachshunds due to their exaggerated shape. Early signs include loss of bladder control and leg weakness. Allergies and obesity are also common ailments in miniature dachshunds.

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7

They love small spaces

Long Haired Miniature Dachshund

Miniature dachshunds love nothing more than to crawl into small spaces. They can often be found hidden under cushions or curled up underneath a bedspread. Finding a small space in which to rest makes them feel instinctively safe and secure. Watching miniature dachshunds create a warm nest underneath a blanket is very entertaining as they flick and adjust the blanket until it's just right.

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8

They are fairly adaptable

miniature dachshund at home with owner Pekic / Getty Images

Miniature dachshunds are well suited to apartment living. They can cope well with small living quarters due to their small size. They are naturally sociable and intelligent dogs, so they are happiest when in the company of their owner. Separation anxiety can occur when they are left alone for any length of time, so a household where at least one member of the family is at home a lot is ideal.

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9

Miniature dachshunds are very energetic

a miniature long haired dachshund

These miniature sausage dogs are incredibly energetic by nature. They are playful and full of fun, and they want to be running around as much as possible. As they are so small, they do get tired after bursts of exercise and will then rest at home. An owner needs to be prepared for frequent walks, ideally more than once a day, but they will be rewarded with a happy and lively dog.

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10

Miniature dachshunds are different from standard dachshunds

miniature dachshun standing on a log in the forest

Miniature dachshunds are simply smaller versions of the standard dachshund. Measuring and weighing dachshunds when they reach adulthood are the easiest ways to check whether they fit into the miniature category. Miniature dachshunds measure between 5 and 6 inches from the floor to the withers (shoulders) and weigh less than 5 kilograms. This must be done when they are at least 12 months old, so they have grown to full size.

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