Mini Dachshund: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Mini Dachshund
Mini Dachshund is lively and full of curiosity.

Getty Images/James Player

The miniature dachshund is a small hound dog breed from Germany with either a short, wirehaired, or longhaired coat and a long, low body. These dogs are simply the smaller variety of the dachshund dog breed, with the larger variety being the standard dachshund. Mini dachshunds typically weigh 11 pounds or less while standard dachshunds weigh 16 to 32 pounds on average. The breed is generally spunky and playful, and it makes for an alert little watchdog.

Breed Overview

Group: Hound

Weight: 11 pounds or less

Height: 5 to 6 inches

Coat: Smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired

Coat Color: Black and cream, black and tan, blue and tan, chocolate and tan, cream, red, wheaten, wild boar, blue and cream, fawn and tan, fawn and cream, or chocolate and cream with/without brindle, sable, piebald, or dapple

Life Span: 12 to 16 years

Temperament: Affectionate, friendly, alert

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Germany

Characteristics of the Mini Dachshund

Mini dachshunds generally have a friendly and upbeat temperament. They tend to be quite playful and need a moderate amount of exercise, despite their small size. There often is a stubborn streak to their personality that can complicate training. 

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Medium 
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium 
Trainability Medium
Intelligence  Medium
Tendency to Bark  High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Mini Dachshund

The dachshund, or “badger dog” in German, can trace its ancestors back roughly 600 years ago in Germany. People specifically bred for dogs with long, low-to-the-ground bodies for their ability to dig into badger dens on hunts. 

The dogs also had to be bold, athletic, and clever enough to take on the badgers. And they needed a loud bark, so their humans could keep track of them as they burrowed into the underground dens. Today’s dachshunds still retain these traits. 

Breeders continued to refine the dachshund, producing different sizes to hunt different types of game. Various coat types and colors also took shape toward the end of the 1800s. The American Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1885.

Mini Dachshund Longhaired
The Mini Dachshund comes in smooth, rough and longhaired (pictured here).

Getty Images/taken by twinleaves

two mini dachshunds

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mini dachshund on log in water

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Mini Dachshund Care

Mini dachshunds don’t require an excessive amount of exercise, but they still need mental stimulation and physical activity each day. Their grooming is fairly straightforward, depending on their coat type. And they should receive early and consistent training and socialization. 


Don’t expect a mini dachshund to be content sitting around the house all day. These dogs may be small, but they still need to exercise. Plan on at least an hour a day of activity. Moderate-length morning and evening walks plus vigorous playtime should suffice. Puzzle toys and dog sports, such as tracking, also can help to burn mental energy. 

Always keep your dog on a leash or in a securely fenced area when outside. The dachshund’s high prey drive can cause it to run off quickly if it sees a small animal or other perceived prey. Likewise, be aware that these dogs often enjoy digging and might burrow under fences if you’re not watching them. 

Furthermore, aim to prevent your dachshund from jumping on and off furniture or racing up and down stairs to prevent back injuries.


If you have a smooth-coated dachshund, plan on brushing roughly once a week to remove loose fur. The longhaired variety should be brushed a few times a week to prevent tangles and mats. The wirehaired variety should have its coat stripped several times a year plus a weekly brushing. You also might have to trim its beard and eyebrows to keep them looking neat. 

Plan on a bath roughly every month, depending on how dirty your dog gets. The longhaired variety might benefit from a canine detangler spray. Also, check your dog’s nails monthly to see whether they need a trim. And look in its ears at least weekly for signs of wax buildup and infection. Finally, aim to brush its teeth every day.


Dachshunds are quite smart. But they also can be independent and stubborn, which may make training a challenge. Plus, they can get distracted if they see something they perceive as prey that they want to chase. 

Start training and socialization from as young of an age as possible. Dachshunds respond well to positive-reinforcement methods, such as treats. Harsh corrections can cause them to shut down and refuse to learn. 

In addition to obedience training, aim to expose your dachshund to different people and other dogs from an early age. Dachshunds don’t always like strangers (people and dogs). But having positive experiences around them can help to boost their comfort and confidence. 

Mini dachshund puppy in nature

Lotte van Alderen / Getty Images

mini dachshund in front of flowers

cuppyuppycake / Getty Images

Mini dachshund running on grass

cuppyuppycake / Getty Images

Common Health Problems

Dachshunds that are well cared for typically have long, healthy lives. But they are prone to some hereditary health issues, including:

Diet and Nutrition

Always have fresh water accessible for your dachshund. And feed it a nutritionally balanced canine diet, typically via two measured meals per day. Always discuss both the type of diet and the amount with your vet. Plus, be mindful of treats and other extra food. It’s imperative that dachshunds don’t become overweight. The excess weight can put too much strain on the breed's long back and result in disc problems.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Mini Dachshund

Mini dachshunds can be difficult, but not impossible, to find at animal shelters. See whether your local shelter has a breed wait list you can get your name on. Or check out dachshund rescue groups to find a dog in need of a home. If you’re looking for a puppy from a reputable breeder, expect to pay around $1,000 to $2,000, though this can vary widely.

For further information to help you find a mini dachshund, check out:

Mini Dachshund Overview

  • Small and portable

  • Generally affectionate with family

  • Active and playful companion

  • Tends to be very vocal

  • Can engage in problem behaviors, such as digging

  • Prone to back problems

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Before bringing home a mini dachshund, make sure you’ve done thorough research on the breed. Talk to mini dachshund owners, veterinary professionals, reputable breeders, and rescue groups to learn more.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are mini dachshunds good family dogs?

    Mini dachshunds can be good for families with respectful and gentle older children. Dachshunds generally don't tolerate rough handling well, and it might injure their delicate backs.

  • Are mini dachshunds aggressive?

    Mini dachshunds do have a protective nature and tend to bark at strangers. But they are typically friendly dogs with proper training and socialization.

  • Are mini dachshunds good apartment dogs?

    Thanks to their small size, mini dachshunds don't need a great deal of space and can be suitable for an apartment. However, they do tend to be vocal dogs, which might disturb neighbors.

Article Sources
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  1. Dachshund. American Kennel Club.

  2. Dachshund. American Kennel Club.

  3. Dachshund Puppies and Dogs. Adopt a Pet.