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Dachshunds, more commonly known as hotdog dogs, originated in Germany many moons ago. "Dachs" is the word for badger and Dachshunds were bred from short-legged dogs to hunt these animals. They gradually got shortened legs for digging and long lean bodies for going inside burrows to catch their prey. Smaller Dachshunds were bred to catch smaller animals like stoat and hare. They are also similar to Terriers in many ways and have taken on larger animals such as foxes or otters.

Dachshunds are one of the most unique looking dog breeds out there. They have elongated bodies (like a hotdog) and stand low to the ground. Their heads are also elongated. Their foreheads are slightly convex with protruding eyebrows.

They have a long muzzle and very strong teeth, normally 42 of them! Their ears are floppy and hang down to their cheeks. There are three types of Dachshunds: short-haired, wired-haired, and long-haired. Within these categories, there are also three sizes: standard which are 14-18 inches in height and 20 pounds in weight, miniature which are as long as 14 inches in height and 9 pounds in weight, and toy which are up to 12 inches in height and up to 8 pounds.

Short-haired Dachshunds have shiny uniformed hair. Solid colored Dachshunds are usually tan or yellow and multicolored ones are may be black, brown, or gray with spots of chestnut. Hotdog dogs are lively, bold, proud, and affectionate. They can be obstinate and clownish.

They're curious and mischievous little ones and they'd prefer to take charge. Dachshunds are devoted to their families. Some think that long-haired Dachshunds are more calm while wire-haired are goofy and outgoing. They're protective animals and they do better with older children that won't annoy them. They have a surprisingly loud bark and they can enjoy yapping. They're usually okay with other pets but sometimes they may get jealous or annoyed and they may bite.

They can be surprisingly brave for their small size. After all, it takes a special type of being to crawl down a hole to go after a badger. This can often catch other dogs by surprise, so make sure you supervise introductions to new dogs to make sure things go smoothly. Dachshunds should never be overfed either as they're quick to gain weight. They just do not have a lot of frame to carry much weight. As with most dogs being overweight has serious health risks associated with it and that is especially true for Dachshunds.

So lay off the treats when you are training or rewarding them. They will do just as good with less treats and more with verbal praise. Also, by nature, they're diggers, so if you have a garden you might want to take a precaution or two before you let your Dachshund out there unsupervised for extended periods of time. Due to their size and shape, Dachshunds are prone to Dachshund paralysis, which is a spinal disc problem.

They can also develop heart problems, urinary tract problems, and Diabetes. Since they have a tendency to become overweight, it's extremely important to monitor that they do not overeat and they get enough exercise. Otherwise, this can become a serious health risk because it puts strain on their backs. Dachshunds can be active indoors and they don't need to have a yard.

Long-haired require daily brushing, wire-haired need professional grooming twice a year, and smooth-haired require regular rub downs with a damp cloth. All three are average shedders. And they're all so darn cute, you'll literally want to eat them up!.

Hans Lynch is a life long dog lover and the owner of Lucy's Dog House has a great selection of dog chew toys, and a wide variety of great products for you and your dog.

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