Have you got a Wire-Haired Dachshund or are you thinking of getting one? Are you interested to find out more about the dog breed? Here’s everything you need to know about the Wire-Haired Dachshund breed.
What is a Wire-Haired Dachshund? A Wire-Haired Dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed with a coarse, wiry textured coat, bushy eyebrows and beard. Wire-Haired Dachshunds have big floppy ears, a long nose and a deep muscular chest. They were originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers.
Read on to find out more about the Wire-Haired Dachshund breed, including colours, coat, sizes, weight, personality, temperament, suitability, considerations, activity levels, training, health problems – and more!
Table of Contents
- Wire-Haired Dachshund History
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Appearance
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Coat
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Colours
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Sizes
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Weight
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Personality
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Temperament
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Suitability
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Training
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Activity Levels
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Considerations
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Health Problems
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Cost
- Wire-Haired Dachshund Life Expectancy
- What do I do next?
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.
Wire-Haired Dachshund History
Wire-Haired Dachshunds were originally bred in Germany as hunting dogs.
They used to run through the undergrowth and dig down into burrows to flush out burrow dwelling animals like badgers and rabbits for hunters!
In fact, the German word ‘Dachshund‘ translates directly into ‘badger dog’.
Dachshunds are said to have been around since the 15th century.
However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that Wire-Haired Dachshunds were bred and started being used as hunting dogs.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds are an official dog breed recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and UK Kennel Club (KC).
Wire-Haired Dachshund Appearance
The Wire-Haired Dachshund originally came about by breeding Smooth-Haired Dachshunds with Wire-Haired Pinschers or Terriers.
The outer coat of a Wire-Haired Dachshund is very thick and coarse, and the undercoat is a lot softer and fluffier.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds also have long bushy eyebrows and a hairy beard, but their ears are almost silky smooth.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Coat
Wire-haired Dachshunds are different to Smooth and Long-Haired Dachshunds in that they have soft, fluffy undercoats that need hand-stripping at least twice a year. Usually this is done in the Spring and Autumn months.
Hand-stripping is better than clipping to retain the colour and texture of a Wire-Haired Dachshund’s coat.
There is one other type of coat that Wire-Haired Dachshunds can have that doesn’t need hand-stripping or professional grooming. This is called a ‘pin-wire’ coat.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds with pin-wire coats have less ‘wire’ hairs overall. The fur is short and coarse in texture and doesn’t need much grooming at all.
The eyebrows, beard and legs are still hairy, but there isn’t anyway near the amount of body hair that fluffier wires have.
This makes pin-wire coats really easy for maintenance!
Regardless of coat type, all Wire-Haired Dachshunds need regular brushing and a bath every couple of months to keep their coat healthy and tangle free.
Brushing will also get rid of any dead fur and minimise any shedding. Wire-Haired Dachshunds do shed, but not as much as Smooth-Haired or Long-Haired Dachshunds do.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds are not hypoallergenic, but they don’t release as much dander as Smooth-Haired or Long-Haired Dachshunds do.
This means they’re generally more tolerated by people with allergies. But, of course, that’s very much down to the individual person.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds don’t have much of a doggy smell, compared with other dog breeds.
However, they are known for rolling in poop and other disgusting things they find outside!
Wire-Haired Dachshund Colours
The most common coat colour for a Wire-Haired Dachshund is Wild Boar, which is made up of black, brown and grey hairs.
This colour only applies to Wire-Haired Dachshunds, not Smooth or Long-Haired Dachshunds.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds can also be red, shaded red, black and tan, chocolate and tan, chocolate dapple and tan, and silver dapple and tan.
Non-Breed Standard Colours
In addition to this, you may see Wire-Haired Dachshunds in many non-breed standard colours.
For example, blue and tan, chocolate, chocolate and wild boar, Isabella and tan, and silver. They can have dapple, brindle and piebald coat patterns within some of these non-breed standard colours too.
There have been reports of colour dilution alopecia, skin cancer, skin infections and other types of skin problems – so it’s worth bearing that in mind!
Wire-Haired Dachshund Sizes
Wire-Haired Dachshunds come in two different sizes. You can get Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshunds and slightly bigger Standard Wire-Haired Dachshunds.
Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshunds are normally around 13-18cm in height to their withers (which is the point at the top of their shoulder blades). Standard Wire-Haired Dachshunds are normally around 20-22cm in height to their withers.
However, these are Breed Standard guidelines.
So you may have a large Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshund or a small Standard Wire-Haired Dachshund – and that’s totally normal!
Some owners refer to the in-between sizes as ‘Tweenies’.
This isn’t an official dog breed. It’s just a nickname owners use to describe Wire-Haired Dachshunds that don’t quite fit into either category.
You’ll know how big your Wire-Haired Dachshund will be by the time they reach about 12 months old, although they can keep filling out for around 18-24 months.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Weight
Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshunds should weigh less than 11 pounds. Standard Wire-Haired Dachshunds should weigh between 16 and 32 pounds.
However, Wire-Haired Dachshunds come in many different shapes and sizes.
Some can be bigger than the breed standard and others can be smaller. This makes it hard to define them by weight alone.
Sometimes it’s better to look at your Wire-Haired Dachshund by eye.
A healthy weight Wire-Haired Dachshund should have a visible tuck to their waist when viewed from above.
You should also be able to feel their ribs when you run your hands over their ribcage, and there should be no rolls of fat around their shoulder blades or neck area.
If you can’t see any tuck to the waist, your Wire-Haired Dachshund may need to lose weight.
If you can see really visible ribs, then your Wire-Haired Dachshund may need to gain weight.
Any extra weight could also put added pressure on their already fragile back.
If you’re unsure what weight your Wire-Haired Dachshund should be, it’s always best to check with your vet!
Wire-Haired Dachshund Personality
Out of the three types of Dachshunds, Wire-Haired Dachshunds have gained a reputation for being cheeky comedians that love to clown around.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds can also be:
- Full of energy
- Extremely loving!
One of the most prominent traits you’ll notice in a Wire-Haired Dachshund is loyalty. They’ll often attach themselves to their owner and follow them wherever they go.
As much as all this love and attention is a wonderful thing, you don’t want to over-indulge it too much.
Otherwise, it could lead to your Wire-Haired Dachshund getting separation anxiety when you do need to leave your home.
In general, Wire-Haired Dachshunds are lively and mischievous dogs that are full of personality and comedic charm.
They’re big dogs in small bodies with a lot of love to give!
Wire-Haired Dachshund Temperament
Most Wire-Haired Dachshunds are friendly once they get to know you.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds are generally gentle and loving dogs as long as they’ve been socialised as puppies, well trained, and introduced to strangers in the right way.
However, it’s worth noting that Wire-Haired Dachshunds were originally created when Smooth-Haired Dachshunds were bred with Wire-Haired Pinschers or Terriers to create that wiry coat.
It’s thought that this distant terrier heritage makes Wire-Haired Dachshunds slightly more prone to aggressive behaviour than Smooth or Long-Haired Dachshunds are.
This means that some Wire-Haired Dachshunds (although not all!) can be a bit overly-protective of their owners.
This can of course be worked on with dog training or help from a dog behaviourist.
However, as with all dogs, extra care needs to be taken around children. Especially if the children are too young to know how to play with the Wire-Haired Dachshund sensibly.
They may be domesticated dogs, but that natural ability to hunt never leaves them!
Not all Wire-Haired Dachshunds will show aggressive tendencies. Most will be loving, sweet, and gentle dogs that are devoted to their families.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Suitability
Most Wire-Haired Dachshunds are well-suited to family living.
As pack dogs, Wire-Haired Dachshunds love being part of a family and are generally good with children, as long as the children are sensible with them.
However, Wire-Haired Dachshunds should never be left alone with a baby or child. If you need to leave the room, your Wire-Haired Dachshund should either be crated or locked in another room for a short time.
In general, Wire-Haired Dachshunds don’t tolerate being left alone too long.
More than about 4 hours can sometimes be problematic and, in some cases, they don’t like being left alone at all.
Separation anxiety can be a real problem for many Wire-Haired Dachshunds (but not all!).
This is where they get really stressed and anxious, bark constantly and are destructive when you go out.
If you work full-time, this does need to be a consideration.
That’s not to say you can’t make it work, but you will need to do some dog training or ask someone to call in during the day.
Sometimes it can help to have two Dachshunds to keep each other company.
However, you must never get another dog to fix the problems of the first – that won’t work!
Most Wire-haired Dachshunds are suited to living with other dogs. But this does depend on each individual dog.
Some Wire-haired Dachshunds get jealous and territorial and may not be as accepting of other dogs.
Cats is a different story. It’s possible to train some Wire-Haired Dachshunds to get along with cats but, unfortunately, it won’t always work!
Wire-Haired Dachshunds have a strong prey drive, so it’ll be very dependent on each pet’s history and status in the home.
It would be easier to introduce a Wire-Haired Dachshund puppy into a cat’s home, than to bring a cat into a Wire-Haired Dachshund’s territory.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Training
Due to their stubborn nature and independent spirit, Wire-Haired Dachshunds are notoriously hard to train.
However, they’re also extremely intelligent and willing to learn.
This basically means they CAN be trained but it takes patience, commitment, consistency and time.
The most challenging areas of training will likely be:
Wire-Haired Dachshunds are stubborn so it’s often a battle of wills.
You just have to be committed and consistent – and put in the work it takes!
If you do need to discipline your Wire-Haired Dachshund, it’s best to do it though positive reinforcement training so you continue to build their trust.
This is where you ignore or correct your Wire-Haired Dachshund when they get things wrong, and give treats and fuss when they get things right.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Activity Levels
A Wire-haired Dachshund’s activity levels will vary greatly depending on their age.
Even though very young Wire-Haired Dachshund puppies can sleep for 18 hours a day – that doesn’t last long!
Overall, the puppy stage involves a lot of activity and can be pretty intense.
Looking after a Wire-Haired Dachshund puppy can be really hard work. Like all puppies, they need a lot of time, love, attention and training.
A Wire-Haired Dachshund puppy also needs exercise, but must not be over-exercised in the first year or it could impact their growth and development.
The general rule is to stick to 5 minutes formal exercise per month of age.
For example, a 3 month old Wire-Haired Dachshund puppy would need 15 minutes of exercise each day, and a 4 month old would need 20 minutes – and so on.
This formal exercise doesn’t include running around off-leash in the garden or yard. That can be in addition to this.
As adults, Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshunds need a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day and Standard Wire-Haired Dachshunds need at least 60 minutes.
If you give a Wire-Haired Dachshund the right amount of exercise each day, most will happily sleep for around 12–14 hours a day.
All in all, most adult Wire-Haired Dachshunds only require moderate amounts of activity and will adapt to how you live.
This makes Wire-Haired Dachshunds well-suited to most people and families.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Considerations
Wire-Haired Dachshunds tend to be loud dogs that don’t always do what they’re told.
So there are some things to consider if you’re thinking of getting a Wire-Haired Dachshund!
The puppy stage can be pretty full-on! Not only do Wire-Haired Dachshund puppies require a lot of time and effort, but they’re also stubborn and notoriously hard to train.
Most Wire-Haired Dachshunds bark a lot too, and this is one of the biggest problems that many owners have.
The constant noise can annoy the neighbours and, if you’re out for part of the day, it can be a real challenge to overcome.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds also tend to be needy and demanding of constant love, attention and time.
If you give them too much attention, this can sometimes lead to separation anxiety when you do need to leave the house.
Due to their hunting dog nature, Wire-Haired Dachshunds are also natural diggers.
They may dig up your lawn or flowerbeds, and try to dig their way under your fence too!
Unfortunately, Wire-Haired Dachshunds have very little road sense, so you need to make sure your garden or yard is dog proof and fully secure.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds will eat things they find outside too.
They’re natural born hunters with a strong prey drive, and that will often override anything you say!
The discs in a Wire-Haired Dachshund’s spine start deteriorating at a younger age than other dog breeds.
This inherited weakness makes them prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
Treatment for IVDD can be extremely costly so a good pet insurance policy needs to be in place.
This means that Wire-Haired Dachshunds can be expensive to insure compared with other dog breeds.
There are some lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce the risk of IVDD.
However, back problems are something you need to be prepared for if you bring a Wire-Haired Dachshund into your home.
Owning a Wire-Haired Dachshund will take up a lot of your time.
They may not need huge amounts of exercise, but they’re always up to mischief that’ll keep you on your toes!
Wire-Haired Dachshund Health Problems
Wire-Haired Dachshunds can be prone to many health conditions including back problems, eye conditions, hip dysplasia, knee dislocation, hypothyroidism, obesity, allergies and skin problems.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
IVDD affects around one in every four Dachshunds and, in extreme cases, can sadly lead to paralysis.
This means you need to install stair gates to stop your Wire-Haired Dachshund going up and down, and put dog ramps on your sofas to stop them jumping on and off.
You also need to make sure everyone in your family lifts and holds your Wire-Haired Dachshund the right way too.
There’s a link between early neutering and IVDD too.
According to research, if you neuter or spay your Wire-Haired Dachshund before 12 months of age it can increase the risk of IVDD.
IVDD is the biggest health concern you will face with your Wire-Haired Dachshund, but there are some lifestyle changes you can make that may help to reduce the risk.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Cost
On average, a Kennel Club registered Wire-Haired Dachshund costs around £1500-£3000 or $2000-$4000.
The popularity and increase in demand for Wire-Haired Dachshunds has significantly increased the price!
Dog breeders can charge what they want for their puppies and what they feel is fair.
Wire-Haired Dachshund Life Expectancy
On average, Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshunds live for about 12-16 years, and Standard Wire-Haired Dachshunds live for about 12-14 years.
Wire-Haired Dachshunds generally live a long life compared with other dog breeds.
In fact, many owners report that their Wire-Haired Dachshunds live even longer than this!
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about the Wire-Haired Dachshund breed. Half as high as they are long, with more personality and character than you could possibly ever wish for! You’ll never stop laughing with a Wire-Haired Dachshund by your side!
What do I do next?
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