Is My Dachshund Miniature or Standard?

dachshund going for a walk

Have you got a new dachshund puppy? Are you wondering what size he is or what size he should be? Or perhaps you’re wondering which size dachshund would be right for you? We’re going to answer all your questions so you understand the differences between the two sizes and know which one is right for you.

Is my dachshund miniature or standard? Here are the main differences:

Miniature Dachshund
Height: 13–18 cm
Weight: up to 11 pounds
Originally bred to: Hunt small prey like rabbits

Standard Dachshund
Height: 20–22 cm
Weight: 16–32 pounds
Originally bred to: Hunt badgers

If you’re wondering how to tell the difference between miniature and standard dachshunds, read on to find out about any differences in the breeds’ size, history, appearance, personality, health and training needs.

What is the difference between miniature and standard dachshunds?

The main difference between miniature and standard dachshunds is size. Miniatures are noticeably smaller than standards at around 13 and 18 cm (5–6 inches) to their withers, and standards 20–22 cm (8–9 inches) to their withers.

Is My Dachshund Miniature or Standard? Side view of a smooth-haired dachshund on a white background
Dachshund proportions showing a long sausage-shaped body and short legs

To check what size your dachshund is, grab your measuring tape and measure him from the floor to the withers (the high point between his shoulder blades). If it says between 13 and 18 cm (5–6 inches), he’s a miniature. This only applies to adults, of course, as most pups won’t reach this size until they’re about 12 months old.

Pop him on the scales too – if he’s a miniature, your sausage should weigh 11 pounds (5 kg) or less. If he’s a standard dachshund, your tape measurement will be around 20–22 cm (8–9 inches) and the scales will say 16–32 pounds (7–14 kg).

But, having said all that, these are ‘breed standard’ weights and measurements and, of course, all dachshunds are different shapes and sizes, so there can be some variance. You may have a miniature dachshund who is stockier (not obese) and weighs more than 11 pounds (5kg) – and that’s still normal!

Is My Dachshund Miniature or Standard? Three different sized dachshunds
A trio of different sized dachshunds

If your dachshund is bigger than a miniature but smaller than a standard, he’s what’s known as a ‘tweenie’. This is actually just a made up name owners use to describe ‘big miniatures’! It’s not an official breed. Being a bit bigger doesn’t affect his personality or anything so it’s nothing to worry about, as long as he doesn’t look overweight.

If your dachshund is still a pup, it can be harder to tell if he’s a miniature or standard, as he hasn’t grown into his adult size yet. But, if you got him from a registered breeder, this info will be on the paperwork they gave you. If you’re still unsure, you’ll have to wait a few months until he’s stopped growing and can then measure him.

Is My Dachshund Miniature or Standard? Two cute dachshund puppies sleeping on top of each other
Two dachshund puppies sleeping together

Is a miniature dachshund’s coat different to a standard dachshund?

No. Both miniature and standard dachshunds have the same type of coat, either smooth, wire-haired or long-haired. Their coat colours can be red, cream, black and tan, black and cream, chocolate and tan, chocolate and cream, blue or Isabella (although you shouldn’t buy blue or Isabella dachshunds because they can have serious health problems).

Why were miniature dachshunds bred?

Miniature dachshunds were bred in 15th-century Germany to hunt rabbits. Miniatures used to be bred from standard dachshunds and smaller breeds like terriers or pinschers, but now breeders just use small standard dachshunds.

Why were miniature dachshunds bred? Two miniature dachshunds out for a walk in the woods
Miniature Dachsunds out on a walk

How were miniature dachshunds bred?

Hunters needed something smaller than a standard dachshund to flush out rabbits and other small prey. So they cross-bred standard dachshunds with smaller breeds like terriers or pinschers to create the miniature dachshund.

The standard dachshund came first. He was bred to be small and long, with a pointed muzzle and paddle-like paws so he could dig down into badgers’ setts and flush badgers out for the hunters. He had the dwarfism (chondrodysplasia) gene bred into him, which is what gave him his uniquely short, stumpy legs.

But then the hunters decided they needed something smaller than could flush out rabbits and other small prey. So they cross-bred the standard dachshund with smaller breeds like terriers or pinschers, and the miniature dachshund was born. Nowadays, miniatures are made by breeding the smallest standard dachshunds.

Do miniature and standard dachshunds have different personalities?

Not really. Both miniature and standard dachshunds are equally independent, funny, smart, spirited and stubborn. But, some people have said smooth, long-haired and wire-haired dachshunds do have different personalities.

Do miniature and standard dachshunds have different personalities? Three dachshunds sat on a large tree stump
Three different sized dachshunds out on a walk

All dachshunds are sharp and alert, but the long-haired seems to be the most chilled of the lot. The wire-haired has gained a bit of a reputation for being a cheeky monkey and comedic clown. So, as well as thinking about whether you want a miniature or a standard, you should definitely give the coat some thought too, as this may well affect the personality of your dachshund. If you’re not sure, check with the breeder. If they’re reputable and registered with an organisation like The Kennel Club, they should know about the dachshund’s character.

Are miniature dachshunds harder to train?

Miniature and standard dachshunds are equally tricky to train, but it’s not impossible! Both types are stubborn, independent, intelligent and sometimes feisty. This means, if they don’t want to do something, they just won’t do it.

Are miniature dachshunds harder to train? Dachshund sat on the floor being trained
A miniature dachshund being trained

Whether you have a miniature or standard dachshund, you’ll probably come up against some training roadblocks. But don’t worry – your biggest challenge here is making sure your dachshund knows you’re in charge. Once he understands that, his training will be a lot easier.

You can assert your authority by always checking him ‘Ah-ah’ when he does something wrong (make sure you do this consistently), using a firm but calm voice, standing up when you give him commands and repeating them until he gets it right. It takes time, patience and dedication but, once trained, things can be much more flexible.

Do standard dachshunds need more exercise?

Yes. Standard dachshunds need 60 minutes of exercise a day, while miniature dachshunds need 30 minutes. This is a minimum amount and energetic dachshunds will need more than this. For both types, this should include walks, playtime and mental stimulation.

Do standard dachshunds need more exercise? Standard dachshund running across the grass with an apple in his mouth
A standard dachshund being exercised at the park

Your dachshund will be happy if you keep him fit, healthy and entertained. Make sure he gets a decent walk every day and have a few toys for him to play with (Kongs are great for when you can’t entertain him). It’s so important dachshunds get enough exercise because it stops them getting bored (meaning they’re less likely to bark excessively or chew up the sofa cushions) and this also means they’re not as likely to get overweight. Gentle exercise keeps their back muscles healthy, which is essential because they’re prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).

Do miniature dachshunds live longer than standard dachshunds?

Miniature dachshunds generally live longer than standard dachshunds because they’re slightly less prone to back problems. The smooth standard, wire-haired standard, wire-haired miniature and long-haired miniature are prone to different diseases.

Their biggest problem is their backs. Because of their short legs, dachshunds are prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which is why you have to be super careful if you pick them up (and make sure you think seriously about things like neutering).

Out of all the sizes and coat varieties, the standard smooth-haired is said to be at highest risk of IVDD, while the standard wire-haired has the lowest risk. Whatever type of dachshund you have, you need to take care of his back, handle him properly, and try not to let him run up and down the stairs or jump up.

Do miniature dachshunds live longer than standard dachshunds? Older dachshund sitting on the grass
An older wire-haired dachshund

Dachshunds can also have problems with their eyes. They can suffer from Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which can eventually lead to blindness. The long-haired miniature and wire-haired standard are most prone to eye problems. Also, the wire-haired miniature can suffer from Lafora disease, which is a type of epilepsy.

So, while the miniature dachshund’s life expectancy is slightly longer (14–17 years, rather than 12–13 years for a standard dachshund), both sizes have different medical conditions within their different coat varieties. Don’t worry though: in general, miniature and standard dachshunds live a long and healthy life compared with other dog breeds. These are just things to be aware of.

So, there you have it. The biggest difference between miniature and standard dachshunds is their size. This is really obvious when you see them standing next to each other. Any slight personality difference comes from their smooth, wire-haired or long-haired coat. Miniatures need less exercise and can live longer than standards, but standards will walk further and be more active outdoors. Both dogs are equally adorable, with the same traits and temperament and, once you’ve had one sausage dog, you’ll fall in love with the breed – in every single shape and size – for life!

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