You may know them as dachshunds, hot dog dogs, sausage dogs, wiener dogs, or perhaps by the literal translation of their name, badger dogs – but I know them as the best dogs on the planet! Whether it's because of their quirky personality, sense of humor, and so many variations in looks that you might begin to feel like a Pokemon trainer trying to "catch 'em all," dachshunds bring something to the table for everyone and are such a fun breed to have around. As a proud owner of five dachshunds, I want to tell you why you should consider getting a dachshund next time you're looking to expand your canine family, and why dachshunds are such a wonderful breed of dog.
1. Dachshunds come in many colors!
While a reddish-brown, short-haired dog might come to mind when you picture a dachshund, dachshunds actually can be quite a variety of different colors! In addition to the typical "red" and "black-and-tan" coloring, you can also find dachshunds that are brown (chocolate), cream, solid black, grey or blue (isabella), and white. Dachshunds can also sometimes be a mix of these colors, like black-and-cream or chocolate-and-cream (sounds like a dessert), and can also sometimes be patterned piebald, dappled, brindle, or double-dappled.
2. Dachshunds come in three different sizes!
While all dachshunds are on the small side, dachshunds actually come in three different sizes. The "mini" size, which is the most popular size in the United States, refers to any dachshunds under 12 pounds. Standard dachshunds are larger, weighing in around 32 pounds, and are the most popular size in the dachshund's country of origin, Germany. The in-between size, known as tweenies, refers to dachshunds who fall somewhere between mini and standard. While tweenies are recognized as an official size in the United Kingdom, it is not an officially recognized size in the United States.
3. Dachshunds also come in three different coat types!
Didn't know dachshunds were so varied, did you? Dachshunds come in three different coat types, including shorthair (also known as "smooth"), longhair, and wirehair. While dachshunds are known for their crazy personalities across the board, their temperaments do vary a little based on their coat type. Shorthaired dachshunds tend to be the most stubborn, longhaired dachshunds tend to be the sweetest-natured, and wirehaired dachshunds tend to be the most energetic. There is a fourth coat type known as silky wirehair, which results from breeding a longhair and wirehair together, and makes for an ultra-adorable, fluffy dog that doesn't shed (and mildly resembles an ewok)!
4. Dachshunds are known for their crazy personalities.
Dachshunds are some seriously unique dogs when it comes to personality. Like many small dogs, dachshunds tend to think they are "one of the big dogs." They aren't afraid of anything, and they want to make their presence known! They are curious, adventurous, smart, and stubborn, which often leads to some comical events. In fact, I'm pretty sure dachshunds have a sense of humor themselves, because it often seems like they go out of their way to make their humans laugh! Dachshunds are definitely free-thinkers, which if not trained properly can result in a difficult-to-manage dog, but when handled the right way makes them extremely entertaining.
5. Dachshunds may be small, but they are "real" dogs!
Though dachshunds be little, they be fierce! A lot of people are turned off by the idea of small dogs because they don't consider them to be "real" dogs – an argument for another day. But rest assured, dachshunds are not a part of the toy category and have no interest in being your accessory! Dachshunds belong to the hound category, and were actually bred to hunt badgers, one of the fiercest small predators out there. Dachshunds are incredibly loyal and make very good watchdogs. Their size and hunter's instinct make them the perfect balance between lap dog, and "real" dog!
6. Dachshunds love to cuddle.
In contrast to my last point, while dachshunds are not content to be carried around in your purse, dachshunds do love to be with their owners – and they definitely believe that the couch is their domain! Dachshunds love to cuddle, love belly rubs, and love to be with their humans. They also might get a little offended if you don't let them sleep in the bed. Dachshunds are really the leading experts on comfort. Staying true to their quirkiness, don't be surprised if you find your dachshund twisted into some really weird positions to sleep in on their backs, underneath pillows, or even sitting on the windowsill like a cat!
7. Dachshunds can be very energetic, but aren't annoying about it.
Unlike a lot of larger dog breeds, dachshunds love to play and have a lot of energy. They will never say no to a walk, hike, swim, or game of fetch. Dachshunds have webbed feet, making them very adept swimmers. I literally have to block the windows when I want to go in the pool without them, because if they see me swimming without them, they get very jealous! And while dachshunds have short legs, they are incredibly fast. Dachshunds are such good runners, that many places actually hold dachshund races. In fact, a very cute 2013 independent film was inspired by dachshund races. Although dachshunds can be very high-energy, they are also not very annoying about it. As much as a dachshund wants to go on adventures, it is equally happy to lounge around in sunbeams and be lazy too!
8. Dachshunds spread so much joy!
If you're a dog person like me, you'll probably be excited to see any dog walk by – but dachshunds spread a special kind of joy that seems unique to them. When you're walking a dachshund, you'll be hard-pressed to find a person that doesn't light up with happiness when they see your dog. I have had full busses pull over just to roll down their windows and exclaim how cute they think my dachshund is. Once, while walking my dog in New York City, I overheard a passerby say, "Everyone loves the long dog." Dachshunds seem to bring out everyone's inner happiness, which makes them great candidates to be therapy dogs, and to be your new best friend!
9. Just think of the Halloween costume possibilities!
Honestly, a big part of the reason I wanted a dachshund in the first place was so that I could dress it up as a hot dog on Halloween. Going back to my last point, the only thing that could make a dachshund spread even more joy than it already does it if it's wearing a hot dog costume. Or any costume, really. If you need more convincing of why dachshunds have so many costume options, check out the internet's favorite dachshund, Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund.
10. Dachshunds have a long lifespan.
Like most small dogs, dachshunds tend to have a long lifespan. Typically, dachshunds have a lifespan of 12-17 years, although they can live to be older. Two dachshunds and one dachshund mix hold places on the list of the 20 oldest dogs on record. Scolly, of Mexico, lived to be 20 in 2013, the United Kingdom's Otto (a dachshund-terrier mix) lived to be one month shy of his 21st birthday in 2010, and the oldest dachshund on record, Chanel of the United States, lived to be 21 years and 114 days old in 2009!
11. Dachshunds are incredibly popular.
According to the American Kennel Club, dachshunds were the 13th most popular dog breed in the United States in 2015, beating other popular small breeds like Pomeranians, Boston terriers, chihuahuas, and pugs for a spot in the top 20. The dachshund's popularity has also spawned a large community of dachshund owners. Many states have their own dachshund clubs and dachshunds social events, such as the Rochester Dachshund Parade in Washington Square Park in New York City, which in 2016 featured vendors, a dachshund fashion show, and over 400 dachshunds!
12. Dachshunds are like potato chips, you can't have just one!
I remember going to the aforementioned dachshund parade in Washington Square Park back in 2007 with my then only dachshund, Zuzu, and being shocked at just how many people who attended the parade had packs of dachshunds. Not just one, not two, not even three, but four or more dachshunds! They tried explaining to me how they couldn't resist getting more dachshunds to add to their pack, and at the time as a new dachshund owner, I couldn't wrap my head around it. But here I am, 10 years later, with five dachshunds of my own! They are just such a fun breed, you will definitely want to get at least a second dachshund. And while many dachshunds get along with other breeds, they definitely seem to recognize their own wiener dog brethren and love them even more. Just think, you can have a literal pack of hot dogs!
13. Dachshunds will be your best friend!
Of course, dog is man's best friend and we all know this. But dachshunds really, really are. They are just the most lovable, crazy, funny, smart dogs in the world, and they will steal your heart (and maybe your pizza crust and a few of your socks, too). Dachshunds love to be around their humans, and want nothing more than to be by your side, protect you, and play together 24/7. They make great watchdogs, great adventure companions, and above all, best friends!