As beautiful as they are intelligent, Wirehaired Dachshunds are alert, lively, and active dogs. They are very protective of their families and make vigilant watch dogs. They may be small, but these clever dogs have huge personalities.
Wirehaired Dachshund History
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 were also successful big-game hunters.
Breeders developed the wirehaired variety of the Dachshund during the late 19th century. They likely crossed Shorthaired Dachshunds with hard-coated terriers and wirehaired pinschers—such as the Schnauzer, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, German Wirehaired Pointer, and Scottish Terrier. The resulting dog had the Dachshund's petite size and the distinctive beard and protective wire coat of a terrier.
In 1885, the breed came to the United States and received American Kennel Club recognition.
Wirehaired Dachshund Traits
The wirehaired variety of the Dachshund has the breed's famous long body and short legs. To make the look its own, it sports a rough coat and adorable beard and eyebrows.
Coat and Coloring
The 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 Wirehaired Doxies have blue eyes.
Distinctive Physical Traits
It's easy to recognize Wirehaired Dachshunds by their long-backed bodies, pointy noses, and short (but powerful) legs.
Wirehaired Dachshund Temperament
The Wirehaired Dachshund is a friendly, affectionate breed that wants to spend its time surrounded by family. It's not a breed that likes to be left alone outdoors.
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.
Wirehaired Dachshund Care
Dachshunds need 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, any extra weight strains their long backs, potentially leading to disc problems.
The Wirehaired Dachshund is a clean breed, with little or no smell. To take care of the wiry coat, comb it a couple of times a week and hand-strip it several times a year. Avoid issues caused by overgrown nails by trimming them every month.
Due to their build, not every activity is appropriate or safe for Dachshunds. Long runs, hurdling fences, and vigorous swims are out of the question. That said, Doxies are always ready to get moving.
This breed needs regular exercise to stay in shape and build the muscles needed to protect their backs. To prevent injuries, avoid activities that involve stair climbing or jumping.
Because of their strong hunting instinct and independent nature, Wirehaired 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 Doxie. A kind tone and positive, reward-based approach are the best tools for training these sensitive dogs.
Wirehaired Dachshunds are very protective of their family and territory. Socializing them as puppies will ensure they develop into well-mannered adult dogs.
Wirehaired Dachshund Genetic Health Conditions
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 (Discovered in the Dachshund)
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 (Discovered in the Dachshund)
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is a disease of fragile bones and loose joints.
Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 1
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 (Discovered in the Dachshund)
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes sudden attacks of sleep due to the brain's inability to regulate REM sleep.
Knowing if your 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.