Miniature Dachshund - breed information and advice

Hundreds of years ago, Dachshunds were used to hunt badgers and rabbits and this extrovert breed still adores the great outdoors today. Like the larger Standard Dachshund, the Miniature is affectionate and playful around adults and children, but can be challenging to train. The breed’s surprisingly loud bark also helps to ward off unwelcome guests.

Breed information


Size: Small

Coat: The Miniature Dachshund comes in three varieties, and colours include black, tan, red and brindle. Long-haired and wire-haired types should be groomed several times a week, and smooth-haired dogs once a week.

Exercise: Up to 30 minutes a day for adult dogs

Life span: 12+ years. Many Miniature Dachshunds can reach 14 or 15.

Breed group: Hounds fall into two key categories: those that hunt by scent and those that hunt by sight. The former tend to be more outgoing, while the latter are longer-legged and more agile.

Gum disease

Gum disease occurs when some (or all) of a tooth’s deep supporting structures become inflamed. This begins when food, bacteria and minerals accumulate along the gum line, leading to the build-up of a brown scale known as tartar. When this undermines the gum the condition is called gingivitis. Eventually, small spaces can form between the gums and the teeth creating pockets of space for bacteria to grow, resulting in what is known as periodontal disease. The bacteria from infected gums can spread around the body and damage the liver and kidneys. This condition can be prevented by brushing the teeth and ensuring dental descales, helping the dog to lead a normal, pain-free life.


Mouth problems are the fourth most common illnesses we see in Miniature Dachshunds

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Lumps and bumps

Like all dogs, Miniature Daschunds can develop masses (lumps and bumps) in the layers of fat, skin and muscle that cover their bodies. These might be warts, cysts, lipomas (soft fatty lumps), abscesses or tumours, such as histiocytomas. Histiocytomas are benign skin tumours that can appear suddenly on the surface of the dog’s skin. Despite their appearance, they are not painful. Generally, treatment depends on the size, location and exact nature of the lump, but almost always involves surgical removal.


We paid £2,292 to treat Scarlett the dog for lumps in 2016

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Skin conditions

The skin is the largest organ of a dog’s body and a number of disorders can affect it. Like other dogs, Miniature Daschunds can suffer from allergies that lead to dermatitis (skin inflammation). Allergies can be caused by many different items, including things that are inhaled (such as pollen or dust mites), items that are eaten (for example, wheat), items that the dog comes into contact with (for example, washing powders), or bites from parasites such as fleas. Another skin problem, pyoderma (meaning ‘infection of the skin’) is usually caused by bacteria, fungi (‘ringworm’) or yeasts. Skin disorders can be managed using various treatments, usually required long-term, which means the dog can get on with enjoying life.


Dermatitis is the third most common illness we see in Miniature Dachshunds

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Slipped discs

Like several other breeds with long backs and short legs, Miniature Daschunds are susceptible to slipped discs, also known as ‘intervertebral disc disease’. This occurs when the discs between the vertebrae (backbones) become damaged and brittle with age or general wear and tear. This makes the discs prone to rupturing, moving (‘slipping’) and pressing against the spinal cord itself. Treatment depends on the cause and location of the problem but may include medication, rest and possibly even surgery to help the dog live a comfortable life.


In our experience, Miniature Dachshunds are most likely to need treatment for disc problems

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Thyroid disease

The thyroid glands, which secrete thyroid hormone, are located in a dog’s neck. Hypothyroidism is the name of the condition that occurs when the thyroid glands fail to secrete enough thyroid hormone. This leads to a slow metabolic rate resulting in weight gain, a slow heart rate and an intolerance of the cold. It can be managed effectively with thyroid hormone replacement tablets, which are required for the rest of the dog’s life.


We paid £3,107 to treat Storm the dog for hormone disorders in 2016

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