Dachshunds are muscular, low to the ground and long in length, which is what earned them the nickname “Wiener Dogs.” Their short legs are powerful, as are their jaws. Dachshund have a long, tapering nose and flap-down ears. They come in two sizes (standard and miniature) and three coat varieties (smooth, wirehaired and longhaired). Dachshunds have loose skin that is very elastic and their feet are unusually large for their small bodies.
Size and Weight
Dachshunds come in two sizes: standard and miniature. The Standard Dachshund weighs between 16 and 32 pounds and Miniature Dachshunds weigh 11 pounds and under. There is a movement to recognize what are called “Tweenies” - Dachshunds who weigh between 11 and 16 pounds, but so far only owners of “Tweenies” recognize these dogs in their own category.
Standard Dachshund are 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder, and the Miniature Dachshunds stand approximately six inches at the shoulder.
Coat and Color
The Dachshund comes in three variations – smooth, wirehaired and longhaired. The Smooth Dachshund's coat is short, smooth and shiny, and comes in many colors and patterns. Single colored Dachshunds are red or cream colored. Two-colored Smooth Dachshunds come in chocolate, black, “wild boar,” gray (called blue), black, or fawn with tan or cream markings. Dappled Dachshunds have a dark base coat color with lighter markings and Brindle Dachshunds have dark “striped” patterns across their bodies. And finally, the Sable pattern occurs in red Dachshunds, and their hair is actually two-toned with dark coloring at the roots, growing lighter toward the end.
Wirehaired Dachshunds have a soft undercoat with a thick, medium length topcoat. The Wirehaired's most distinguishing characteristic is their short, scruffy beard. This variety comes in all of the same color variations as the Smooth Dachshund.
Longhaired Dachshunds have wavy, long hair that looks very silky when the dog has been properly groomed. This variety of Dachshund comes in all the same color variations as his cousins.
Dark colored Dachshund have dark colored eyes, whereas light colored Dachshunds have blue or hazel eyes. It is not uncommon for Dappled Dachshunds to sport two different eye colors, one to match the dark half of their coat, one to match the light.
Smooth Dachshunds do not require much grooming at all. They are generally free from “doggie odor” and unless they have gotten into the mud, don't need bathed very often. Wiping a Smooth Dachshund down with a wet wipe or a damp washcloth can keep him looking shiny between baths. Smooth Dachshunds shed, but not too much, so a once-per-week brushing will suffice.
Wirehaired Dachshunds, on the other hand, require regular brushing in order to keep their coats free from mats and debris, and require more frequent bathing than their smooth-coated cousins. Two to three times per year, a Wirehaired Dachshund's coat needs to be stripped, which basically involves pulling the dead hair out of the dog's body. It sounds barbaric, but a groomer can show you how to do it in a manner that will not hurt the dog.
Longhaired Dachshunds require regular bathing, and must be blow-dried in order to look their best. Daily brushing is required to keep the hair free of mats and debris.
Dachshund's ears can be prone to infection, so regular ear cleaning should be part of all grooming regimens.