Dog Breed Directory – Miniature Dachshund
By Stephanie Bayliss
History of the Miniature Dachshund
The history of these Miniature Dachshunds mirrors that of their larger relatives; Dachshunds can be traced back to Germany for many years, back to around the 15th Century, athough many believe that ancient Egyptian art depicts images of dogs similar to Dachshunds; perhaps their ancestors.
Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers (“Dachs” means Badger). Badgers were a formidable prey and Dachshunds were bred to have courage and bravery bordering on the reckless! Their size and shape makes them perfect for hunting both above and below ground.
The breed club was set up in 1888 to standardise the breed characteristics and to ensure that these dogs had beauty to match their intelligence.
Miniature Dachshunds were used instead of ferrets to drive rabbits out of their warrens.
Appearance of the Miniature Dachshund
In appearance, the Miniature Dachshund really is just like a dwarf version of the standard Dachshund. They are found in the same coat varieties; long haired, smooth haired and wire haired.
With their long, low bodies Dachshunds are one of the most instantly recognisable breeds. Often called “Sausage dogs” by children, it is easy to see why!
Despite their miniature proportions, Dachshunds are strong and muscular dogs with broad shoulders and hindquarters.
The Dachshund has beautiful almond shaped eyes that are set into a perfectly proportioned, long face.
Dachshunds come in an enormous variety of colours; tan and black are perhaps the most widely seen colours although many variations exist.
Temperament of the Miniature Dachshund
Dachshunds are faithful and good tempered though they can be wary of strangers.
Dachshunds are extremely intelligent, though are not necessarily easy to train as they have a real mind of their own! Early training and socialisation is of real benefit to these dogs; their hunting instinct is deeply ingrained so good control of these dogs off lead is essential. Socialised early with children, these dogs make good family pets. Children must be taught to handle these dogs with respect, as they will sulk if they are treated unfairly. Dachshunds have a tendency to bond particularly strongly with one member of the family.
Grooming a Miniature Dachshund
Miniature Dachshunds come in a variety of coat types; long haired, wire haired and smooth haired. A moderate amount of grooming is necessary, particularly in the long haired Miniature Dachshund.
Miniature Dachshund Exercise Requirements
Although they are small, Miniature Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs and as such, they enjoy their exercise! Miniature Dachshunds require a moderate amount of exercise; perhaps 20 – 40 minutes a day.
Care must be taken when allowing these dogs off lead because of their natural hunting instincts. If they detect a scent, they may well try to go to ground, to dig out they ‘prey’!
A well fenced, secure garden is a must for Miniature Dachshunds – they are world class diggers and may well dig themselves to freedom given the opportunity!
As a result of their elongated spine, Miniature Dachshunds should be limited in their access to stairs to prevent spinal damage.
Miniature Dachshund Health Problems
The main health concern with Miniature Dachshunds relates to their elongated spines. Ruptured discs are a common problem. Care must be taken to avoid these dogs using stairs or jumping on and off furniture, to minimise the risk of damage.
Miniature Dachshunds must not be allowed to become overweight as this places extra stress on their spines. It is essential that their weight is carefully monitored.
Some Dachshunds suffer from skin problems, such as baldness or lack of pigmentation in their skin.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephanie_Bayliss