The dachshund is a popular breed of dog, developed 400 years ago in Germany for hunting badgers and wild boar, according to the American Kennel Club. Immediately recognisable by its short legs, strong chest, elongated body and jaunty demeanour, the dachshund makes an excellent family pet when trained properly. Classified by its coat, there are three basic types: short-haired, or smooth; longhair; and wire-haired.
Gestation and Birth
After a gestation period of approximately six months, the mother dachshund gives birth to a litter of three to seven puppies.
Deaf and blind at birth, puppies are completely dependent on their mother. They begin to eat solid food at three to four weeks and are usually weaned after eight weeks.
Dachshunds reach sexual maturity at around six months and full size between seven and eight months, although they continue to fill out and develop until 18 months, says the Dachshund Club of America. The average weight of a full-grown dachshund is about 6.8 Kilogram.
Like many small dogs, dachshunds are relatively long-lived, with an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Individual dogs regularly live to 16 and beyond.
Temperament and Needs
Brave, stubborn, playful, affectionate and independent to a fault, dachshunds require attention, obedience training, moderate daily exercise and regular play sessions.
Dachshunds are prone to obesity. They also suffer from back problems, including herniated disks, as a consequence of their excessively long spines, explains the American Kennel Club.