Dachshund – Standard (Smooth, Long, Wire-Haired)

Lifestyle Needs

DachshundThe Dachshund is a long bodied dog with very short legs, originally to allow the dog to work underground.  He is a companion dog who needs to be well trained to suit his independent spirit.  Despite the short length of his legs he does need daily exercise of up to an hour.  All three coats require regular, at least weekly, grooming.  More regular coat care will be needed with the long-haired coat, and the wire-haired coat will typically need to be ‘stripped’ a couple of times a year.  Temperaments should be bold and outgoing.  Take care to look for moderation in body length.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 14.6% (long coat), 8.5% (smooth coat), 6.1% (wire coat) - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS

39.48 (long coat), 59.07 (smooth coat), 298.23 (wire coat)

EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

The Dachshund’s long back and Hypochondroplasia (dwarfism) are associated with Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).  It is reported that between 20-25% of Dachshunds will suffer some degree of back problems during their life.  This can range from minor back pain through to severe spinal damage and paralysis.

BVA/KC Health Schemes: www.bva.co.uk/chs

Eye disease: Cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) (Wire-haired) (a form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) (annual testing) (causes gradual loss of sight).

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD) (a key enzyme deficiency which shortens the lifespan of red blood cells leading to heomolytic anaemia) (Long)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA – cord1) (Wire) (Long)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA – cord 2 (Wire)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (CRD) (NHPH4) (Wire)
  • Narcolepsy (sleep disorder) (Long)
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) (Wire)
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL) (degeneration of the nervous system, causing various neurological defects) (Wire)
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Long) (Wire)
  • Factor V11 Deficiency (Wire)
  • Merle gene

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

X-ray test for Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) between the ages of two and four:

Dachshund Breed Council’s health website: www.uk-dachshund-health-report.org.uk

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)


  • Intervertebral disc disease (see above)
  • Mitral valve heart disease
  • Cushings disease (over production of corticosteroids causing lethargy, thirst, increased appetite)
  • Diabetes
  • Various skin problems (pattern baldness, ear pinna alopecia, Malassezia dermatitis, sebaceous adenitis)
  • Cancers
  • Cryptorchidism (failure of testicle to descend)
  • Hypothyroidism (deficiency of the thyroid gland causing lethargy, weight gain and other problems)


  • Intervertebral disc disease (see above)
  • Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (blood platelets are abnormally low affecting blood clotting and causing spontaneous bleeding into tissues – can cause chronic malaise and severe pain)
  • Musculo-skeletal disorders
  • Mitral valve heart disease
  • Cancers
  • Cryptorchidism (failure of testicle to descend)
  • Hypothyroidism (deficiency of the thyroid gland causing lethargy, weight gain and other problems)
  • Skin problems (see above)


  • Intervertebral disc disease (see above)
  • Mitral valve heart disease
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Cancers
  • Cryptorchidism (failure of testicle to descend)
  • Hypothyroidism (deficiency of the thyroid gland causing lethargy, weight gain and other problems)
  • Skin problems (see above)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):  www.puppycontract.org.uk

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

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