In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

One of the most recognizable dog breeds is the Dachshund; they are about as long and low as you can get in the canine world and so cute. The word Dachshund means badger dog, and they belong to the hound group. Dachshunds originated in Germany in the 18th century, bred from a combination of hounds and terriers. The original Dachshunds had longer legs and weighed more. Through the years, they have been bred with shorter and shorter legs, and also in a miniature version.

Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers underground. Their long and low bodies make it easy for them to burrow and get into the badger holes. Dachshunds were also bred for hunting rabbits. They are fast little dogs with a high prey drive! A secure, fenced yard is a must if your Dachshund is off-leash.

Because they are hounds and bred to hunt, Dachshunds love to chase small animals and bark. Hounds bark a lot in order to alert the hunter that they have found the game. Teaching a hound not to bark can be quite a challenge, so if you don’t want a barker, don’t choose a hound.

Dachshunds have a charming and sweet personality. Dogs bred to work with hunters are always very social and loyal. In fact, they can be a one-person dog and if not socialized early, Dachshunds will be wary of strangers. They can make good watchdogs despite their diminutive statue. They can be very playful and fun, and are intelligent as well. They do well in obedience which is highly recommended as early as possible as Dachshunds can have a stubborn streak like most hounds. Owners need to be good parents, providing consistent leadership to their Dachshunds.

Dachshunds can be very affectionate and loving. They make great family pets but children need to be careful with handling them. Because of their long backs, Dachshunds have a tendency for disc issues. They need to be picked up holding them level so that their backs aren’t sagging or twisted, and they should not be allowed to jump on and off of furniture without assistance.

Housetraining can be an issue with these little dogs. When they go outside, they have a tendency to track scents, hunt prey, and play instead of doing their business. Patience and a regular schedule are vital to accomplish successful housetraining.

Dachshunds generally get along great with other dogs provided they had proper socialization when they were young. Hounds love to be with their packs. And humans are included in that pack. A Dachshund will be your friend for life.