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Wirehaired Dachshunds are clever and active dogs with huge personalities (and adorable beards). Often protective of their families, they make vigilant watchdogs.
The Dachshund dates back to the 15th century. Many believe the breed originated in Germany, though some evidence suggests it was also present in Greece, Egypt, China, and Mexico. Originally bred to hunt badgers, Dachshunds successfully hunted larger animals, too.
The Dachshund arrived in the United States in 1885 and received American Kennel Club recognition that same year. In 1888 the German Dachshund Club was founded, and a breed standard developed.
Experts believe the Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund initially started with crossbreeding the Shorthaired Dachshund with the Miniature Schnauzer, which explains the wiry coat. Breeders then achieved the miniaturization of the breed through many generations of selective breeding.
The wirehaired variety of the Dachshund has the breed's famously long body and short legs, but with a rough coat and adorable beard and eyebrows.
The Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund has a short, rough, tightly uniform outer coat with a finer, somewhat softer undercoat. The breed's wired hair covers the whole body and creates its distinctive facial furnishings.
The coat comes in a variety of colors—including solid or bicolor combinations of light and dark black, red, and tan shades. Brindle and dapple patterns are also possible. Some Mini Wirehaired Doxies have blue eyes.
It's easy to recognize Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds by their long-backed bodies, pointy noses, and short, strong legs.
The Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund is a friendly, affectionate breed that wants to be with its people. These are dogs that yearn to be part of the family, not left alone for long periods.
Because of their background as hunting dogs, Doxies sometimes bark, scratch at the ground, dig, or chase wildlife. They may also be suspicious or fearful of strangers. In some cases, this is because they're trying to avoid being picked up—which can cause discomfort to their long-backed body.
Dachshunds need a high-quality dog food appropriate for their age and breed size. It's critical that this breed not become overweight. In addition to other health concerns, extra weight strains their long backs, potentially leading to disc problems. To keep your pup at a healthy weight, monitor their food intake carefully, and avoid feeding too many treats.
The Wirehaired Dachshund is a clean breed with little or no smell. To take care of your dog's wiry coat, comb it a couple of times a week and hand-strip it several times a year. Prevent pain and other issues caused by overgrown nails by trimming them every month.
Not every activity is appropriate or safe for Dachshunds due to their build. For example, long runs, hurdling fences, and vigorous swims are out of the question. That said, Doxies are always ready to get out and have some fun.
In fact, this breed needs regular exercise to stay in shape and build muscles that protect their backs. Just take care to avoid activities that involve jumping or climbing stairs.
Because of their strong hunting instinct and independent nature, Dachshunds may not always follow instructions. With their keen sense of smell and strong prey drive, they may choose instead to pick up a scent and follow it. Patience is a virtue while training a Mini Wirehaired Doxie. A kind tone and positive, reward-based approach are the best tools for training these sensitive dogs.
Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds are very protective of their family and territory. Socializing them as puppies will ensure they develop into well-mannered adult dogs.
Cone-Rod Dystrophy (CRD) is an eye disorder resulting in degeneration of the retina at the back of the eye at a young age, causing progressive vision loss.
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IIIA (MSP IIIA) is a disease of progressive incoordination, first in the pelvic legs and later progressing to all four legs. Leg movements become erratic when walking and affected dogs have difficulty balancing.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is a disease of fragile bones and loose joints.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (also known as cord1 PRA or crd4) is a late onset degenerative eye condition, caused by deterioration of the light sensing retina at the back of the eye. The mutation causing the disease is a risk factor, meaning not all dogs with two copies of the mutation will go on to show signs of the disease.
Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 1 (NCL1) is a neurological disease, with typical signs of rapidly progressing vision impairment, ataxia (uncontrolled movements), and behavioral changes, such as anxiety, sound sensitivity, and inability to recognize familiar individuals.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes sudden attacks of sleep due to the brain's inability to regulate REM sleep.
Knowing if your Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup's lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.