It is easy to understand why the Wire Haired Dachshund is the 13th most popular dog in the US. Many people adore these sociable, perceptive dogs for their distinctive looks and ability to fit into any lifestyle. And while these wire haired dogs were initially bred to hunt badgers, many people today rely on them as fearless and devoted friends.
These little dogs can truly become your new best buddy if you have the time to exercise and care for them. Check out the information below to learn everything you need to know about Wire Haired Dachshunds and decide if they sound like the right dog for you.
Breed At A Glance
Size: 5-6 inches for a miniature; 8-9 inches for standard
Weight: 8-11 pounds for a miniature; 15-32 pounds for standards
Energy Level: High energy level
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Dachshund Breed History and Origin
Dachshunds were originally considered to belong to hunter dog breeds recognized by Germany from the mid-19th century. However, early images suggest the existence of this breed long ago as they were seen in ancient Egyptian and Mexican arts. And while their exact origins were still unidentified, they are presumed to have been descendants of Basset Hounds.
The German word “Dachshund,” which is pronounced “Daks-hund,” literally translates to “Badger Dog,” referring to the animal's use rather than its breed. Even if they had been known to kill badgers, earlier manuscripts say that they were often used to catch rabbits, wild boars, foxes, and a few other animals.
The first dachshunds were registered in Germany around 1840, according to the first official documents. Later, in 1879, the first breed standard for dachshunds was drafted.
Following their 1887 importation, dachshunds became quite popular in America. When World War I broke out in 1914, however, anti-German sentiment caused that popularity to completely collapse. In the same way, the breeding stock was completely destroyed during World War II.
After the war, the Dachshund Club of America took the lead and launched a fruitful educational drive to restore the breed's reputation, which helped it rise to and maintain its position as one of the top 10 most popular breeds in the US.
Wire-Haired Dachshund History
Compared with the smooth and long coat variations that have been around for centuries, the wire-haired coat is a relatively new addition. Several breeds of wire-haired dogs were introduced in the 19th century by breeding a short-haired Dachshund with a rough-coated terrier such as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier or the Scottish terrier.
The resultant dogs had a rougher coat, were bearded and brow-shaped, but had the typical short-legged, long-back dog appearance. Many people believe that the wire-haired was bred in America. And as dachshunds are German, the wire-haired variations were also generally accepted to have originated from Germany.
The wire-haired Dachshund could make an excellent pet. The three Doxies are great family dogs. Nonetheless, the wire haired variety is especially loyal and shielding to his family, with the loudest bark of the three.
While they may be as brilliant as their the short-haired and long-haired brothers and sisters, the wire haired doxie is cunning enough to outwit their pet parents’ attempts at teaching them new tricks. And adult wirehaired doxies could put on a stubborn, independent demeanor during their training sessions.
The wire-haired doxie is ideal for families with children because of his high energy level, which necessitates at least 30 minutes of outdoor activity to physically stimulate him and please his instinct for chasing and digging.
Things to Know When Owning a Wire Haired Dachshund Puppy
According to the American and Canadian Kennel Club, dachshunds are generally low-level, short-legged, and long-bodied, which has led them to be given the name “sausage dogs, ” or “wiener dogs.” However, while these little dogs have short legs, they must remain agile and not too thin, bulky, or ‘weasellike'.
The coat of wire-haired dachshunds is particularly wiry with a dense undulating appearance and feels coarse to the touch. The AKC and Breed standard states that wire hair should almost appear smooth in the distance, but have bushy eyebrows and moderate beards. When left untreated, their hair grows thicker.
Just like long haired and smooth haired dachshund varieties, you’ll find the wire haired dachshund coat in different solid colors and color combinations.
However, the most common color combination for the wire haired doxies is “Wild Boar,” which is a combination of grey, black, and browns with a medium coat length.
You can also expect to see wire haired dachshunds in other popular colors including Chocolate Boar, Red, Cream, Black and Tan, Piebald (pattern), Brindle, Sable, Dapple, and other combinations.
Dachshunds with wire hair have a thick, coarse outer coat and a soft undercoat. Their legs, belly, and face will have longer hair, while their ears will have short hair. Their tapered tail will also be covered in thick hair, and they also have noticeable beards and eyebrows.
Wire haired dachshunds shed moderately, and a weekly brushing combined with regular grooming will keep them neat and free from tangles.
The wirehaired will require dead hairs from their coat to be removed twice a year. And you can do this with a procedure known as stripping, which can be done with your bare hands or with a stripping brush.
Additionally, it’s best not to let your groomer clip your dog’s coat. While clipping or shaving may not meet breed norms, it is safe to shave your wired coat pup. However, this will drastically change the appearance and texture of his coat.
Because these puppies have very little body odor, they do not require frequent bathing. You should, however, keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching your furniture.
This is something that a groomer can assist you with. Brushing their teeth regularly will also help to prevent dental decay and disease. This can be done with dental sticks to make it easier.
Wire Haired Dachshund Temperament & Personality
The wire-haired Dachshund possesses several notable Dachshund characteristics, including independence and stubbornness. They are also active and full of energy, as well as loyal and protective of their pet parents. However, because of their terrier influence, they are also more outgoing compared with the long haired or smooth haired dachshunds.
Additionally, Wirehaired Dachshunds also have a loud bark meant for them to be noticed and an innovative cleverness aside from their intelligence that helps them outwit even the most astute pet parent.
These dogs are playful and will make you laugh with their antics, but you must be cautious because they can also injure themselves while playing. Wire Haired Dachshunds are courageous animals, but their stubbornness can make them a bit of a handful at times! They can have a strong prey drive, so you will need to supervise them until you are confident they will not flee.
You will also need to work hard and be patient with their training until they understand what they can do and what they cannot and should not do. Don’t worry, because while they can be stubborn during training, they are also intelligent and food-driven, which makes learning new tricks a joyful experience.
How to Care For a Wire Haired Puppy
Exercise & Living Conditions
The wire-haired dachshund is an active dog who enjoys being outside. Even if they enjoy eating, you can keep them from becoming overweight by providing ample opportunities for exercise. They can effortlessly walk 3-4 miles over rough terrain and they love exploring places where they can see and experience new things.
They enjoy activities such as tracking in the field, earth dog trials, and agility trials. Because wire-haired dachshunds crave attention, playing games with the family is a fun activity that also provides mental stimulation. They can thrive and live a healthy and long happy life in the city or the country as long as they receive moderate exercise.
Diet & Nutrition
Dachshunds are certified “foodies.” They love to eat, but it’s also because of this that they are prone to becoming overweight or obese. So, you must provide them with high-quality food that is packed with the nutrients that they need and are free from fillers.
Because of their unique body type and active demeanor, there are also specific dog foods that are specially formulated to provide them with optimal nutrition.
You should also keep treats to a minimum, or find healthier alternatives that you can use during your training. Avoid leaving food or trash in places that are easily accessible for them because there’s a hundred percent chance that they will eat it.
Measure out their food and feed them two to three times per day (or as recommended by your vet). Preventing them from becoming overweight should be your top priority to avoid health complications.
The Dachshund is an intelligent breed, but as previously stated, they have terrier-type personalities and they can be stubborn. This means that training will be difficult and will require a great deal of patience and perseverance on your part.
However, the good thing is that dachshunds are also food-driven and will do anything to get a tasty reward. So, you should use this to catch their attention, encourage positive behaviors, and motivate them to learn new tricks.
Remember that dachshund is a sensitive breed, and they are not fond of being scolded or receiving negative feedback. They will listen closely to your voice and follow your actions. So, don’t forget to reward them for their good behavior, and refrain from punishing them.
Make training sessions brief and enjoyable. If you keep things short and lighthearted, and there are plenty of treats on hand, your wire-haired Doxie will be more willing to work with you. When you are starting to teach him new tricks, it’s best to keep the sessions between 10 to 15 minutes.
Common Health Issues
The Wire-haired dachshunds may be prone to a few health issues. So, it's important that when buying a pet, make sure to have your dog's health checked to prevent and reduce its potential to develop any of these illnesses.
Dachshunds, regardless of their coat type, are prone to neck and spine problems because of their long backs. Many of these dogs will inherit a genetic disease known as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Other potential health issues include:
- Dental diseases
- Cushing’s disease or Hyperadrenocorticism
- Dislocated knee cap
- Skin disorders
- Infections, such as distemper and rabies
This breed is prone to disc rupture and paralysis. It is critical to protect the wirehaired dachshunds' backs by supporting their chest and bottom when picking them up so as not to add stress to their spine.
Always keep an eye on them and don't let them jump from high places. It's also helpful to always keep them fit and trim to avoid back problems.
What to Look For
Dachshund is a popular breed in the US, so, you won’t have a hard time looking for one if you are hooked to this sausage-like dog. However, since Wirehaired Dachshunds are harder to find compared to standard dachshunds, you should expect to shed more money buying from a reputable breeder. Or you would have a much more challenging time finding one at the rescue groups in your city or nearby areas.
If you are looking to rescue, you can ask for help from local animal shelters, or you can also check with local Dachshunds Clubs or even the Dachshund Club of America. Whether you are adopting or buying a wire-haired Dachshund, you would want to be confident in the organization or breeder where you are getting your dog from. They should always be there for you to provide information or help with your dog.
You should also look for breeders who can provide you with the dog’s health testing and pedigree documentation. The parents of the puppy should also be screened for genetic conditions that can be passed down to their litters.
It’s also helpful to closely compare the pictures of the parents from their previous or most recent litters. Ideally, their back should be free from dips or slopes that can indicate the presence of spinal problems. Also, their eyes should be spaced apart appropriately, and their back legs and back paws should not be turned inwards or outwards. Additionally, their hindquarters and lower back should be muscular and strong.
Moreover, just like with other dog breeds, it’s a red flag if a breeder is specifically breeding for specific colors. Oftentimes, this leads to excessive breeding, as well as unhealthy and unethical practices. Finally, it’s also easy for profit-breeders to misinform you. So, do your research, and ask the breed experts, or dachshund owners in your area for recommendations or assistance.
If you are eyeing a Wirehaired Dachshund with excellent pedigree, you'll have to pay a lot of money. Reputable breeders of dachshunds with superior pedigree could charge as high as $3,500. However, if you do not intend to show or breed your dog, you can expect to pay between $700 and $1,000.
Is a Wire Hair Dachshund Breed Right For You?
If you like Dachshunds but also like the look or temperament of a terrier, the wire-haired Dachshund can be the right dog breed for you. Compared with the standard dachshunds, they are more outgoing and they love meeting new people.
Moreover, because of their outdoorsy personality, Wirehaired Dachshunds can get along well with individuals who also love the outdoors, those who enjoy an active lifestyle, as well as families with older kids.
The wire-haired variety is also the least shedding amongst all the three coat types, which is a good thing if you love this breed, but you are not fond of the shedding that is common with the standard Dachshunds.
Overall, choosing the type of coat falls to individual preferences. The short-haired variety is a good fit for those looking for a more streamlined or traditional look, while for those who are leaning into the beauty and elegance of the breed, the long-haired is a more suitable choice.
However, if you are looking for a breed with a sassy attitude and a little bit of comical look, the wire-haired is the one for you. These active, intelligent, friendly, protective, and loyal dogs make a great family pet that will keep you entertained and always on your toes.
The Dachshund is a popular breed of dog known for its long back and short legs! While the Wire Haired Dachshund is a rarer breed variation, this loving, affectionate, and playful dog fits in well with families and adapts well to living in the country or a small city apartment. This particular breed gets along well with both children and other animals, and you'll never have a dull moment at home with their fun-loving nature and playful personality.
They require extensive training and socialization to address issues such as barking and suspicion of strangers. The Wire Haired Dachshund will be happy and satisfied in a home where they are regularly surrounded by their human family members and get plenty of exercises.
So, if you’ve got the time and you want to always be entertained and on your toes at home, why not consider adding a Wire Haired Dachshund to your growing family?