The famously long, low silhouette, ever-alert expression, and bold, vivacious personality of the Dachshund have made him a superstar of the canine kingdom. Dachshunds come in two sizes and three coat types of various colors and patterns. The word 'icon' is overworked, but the Dachshund, with his unmistakable long-backed body, little legs, and big personality; is truly an icon of purebred dogdom. Dachshunds can be standard-sized (usually 16 to 32 pounds) or miniature (11 pounds or under), and come in one of three coat types: smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. Dachshunds aren't built for distance running, leaping, or strenuous swimming, but otherwise, these tireless hounds are game for anything. Smart and vigilant, with a big dog bark, they make fine watchdogs. Bred to be an independent hunter of dangerous prey, they can be brave to the point of rashness, and a bit stubborn, but their endearing nature and unique look have won millions of hearts the world over.
Dachshunds are moderate shedders, relatively clean, and have little or no body odor. The breed's grooming needs vary with the three coat types. Smooth-coated Dachshunds are somewhat 'wash and wear,' needing little beyond a wipe with a towel or hound glove to look dapper. Longhaired Dachshunds may require more frequent brushing, depending on the thickness of the coat. The Wirehaired coat can be plucked or hand-stripped several times a year to look its best, but beyond that is easy to maintain between groomings with occasional trimming of the beard and eyebrows and brushing or combing once or twice a week. All Dachshunds should have their nails trimmed every month.
It is extremely important that a Dachshund not be allowed to become overweight. This is not only because of general health reasons but also to avoid strain to the Dachshund's long back, which can lead to slipped or ruptured (herniated) discs. Ignore the pleading eyes, and give only the recommended amount given by the manufacturer of the quality dog food of your choice. Give table scraps very sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high-fat content. Remember that the Dachshund's nose can get him into trouble, and always keep food well out of his reach.
Many owners think that because they are so small, Dachshunds don't require more exercise than just running around the house. However, they do need regular exercise not only to stay fit but also to build strong muscles to support and protect their back. Two walks every day of moderate length should be sufficient. To avoid injury, never allow your Dachshund to run up and down stairs or jump on or off furniture. Because they are very social, Dachshunds don't do well as outdoor dogs; they want to be with their humans.