Dachshunds are a visually distinct breed of canine, known for their long physiques and undersides that almost brush the ground as they walk. Because of their hot dog-like exterior, these pooches are frequently and lovingly referred to as "wiener dogs." The German doggies also possess markedly stubby limbs.
Wiener dogs first emerged as a breed in 1600s Germany, where they were avid hunters and diggers. Dachshunds were employed for getting their little legs into the ground and going after foxes, badgers and the like. Individuals of this breed not only are adept diggers, they also have strong olfactory skills as scent hounds. In German, the name dachshund translates to "badger dog." In the modern day, dachshunds are common sights in homes all over as loving furry companions.
The breed consists of three separate kinds of coats, which are wirehaired, smooth and longhaired. They also appear in an array of colors, which include yellowish-white, red, black and brownish. Red is particularly common. Many wiener dogs also come in combinations of two colors. Their sinewy physiques have significantly more length than height. Dachshunds exist in two size categories, which are miniature and standard. Miniature dachshunds tip the scales at a maximim of 11 pounds, while standard dachshunds generally weigh between 16 and 32 pounds.
Dachshunds, on the whole, are often thought of as sweet-natured, tender, affectionate, smart, watchful, inquisitive, bold, funny, lively, sassy, amiable and spirited dogs. With the right training and monitoring, wiener dogs usually can even be suitable pets for households with children. They thrive on interaction with people and usually love nothing more than snuggling and receiving ample attention. Dachshunds can be extremely cautious when around new people, and often display that by barking persistently and noisily.
The physical fitness needs of wiener dogs are medium-range. They are energetic creatures and do well with outdoor walks at least once a day. Dachshunds also generally greatly appreciate playtime activities in wide, airy spaces such as spacious backyards and parks -- think games of fetch, for example. They usually can adjust to different living situations, whether urban condominiums or sprawling rural homes.
The grooming demands of the species vary based on the specific coats. Dachshunds with wirehaired and smooth coats usually can manage well with grooming sessions once a week. Owners of longhaired dachshunds, however, fare better when they step it up a notch. These fluffier guys require grooming about three times per week. Since dachshunds have hanging ears, it's crucial for owners to maintain their hygiene. As far as shedding goes, dachshunds are on the moderate side.
With the proper care -- which encompasses everything from veterinary appointments to routine exercise and diet -- wiener dogs can usually live to around 15 years in age. For the most part, they are sturdy animals, although they are sometimes particularly susceptible to health problems that involve the teeth and spinal discs.
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