A Wirehaired Dachshund may be a cute dog, but they are also an extroverted and headstrong breed that will become your lifelong friend and companion. They are intelligent and energetic and prefer to be with others.
The original breed has short, smooth hair. The wired hair came about when breeders decided to mix the Dachshund with Terriers to give them the long, coarse fur that would offer better protection when hunting in the thick brush.
Since they have a strong sense of smell, these dogs were bred to hunt badgers. The Wirehaired is the youngest variety of Dachshund and in 1890, received official recognition. Dachshunds are the smallest of the Hounds and are ranked number eight among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.
This guide will provide you with information about temperament, physical traits, health conditions, nutritional and exercise requirements, and how to otherwise care for these lovable dogs.
Wirehaired Dachshund Puppies — Before You Buy:
When searching for a puppy, try to find a reputable breeder, one who takes care of the parents, as well as the puppies. If you want a Wirehaired Dachshund with a superior pedigree, you’ll have pay a high price. But if you don’t plan on showing or breeding your dog, you can expect to pay between $700 to $1,000.
Meet the parents of the puppies to give you an idea of what your pup may inherit. Visit their home to see firsthand that they are cared for, and ask the breeder for references, such as from their veterinarian and/or former puppy buyers.
Don’t forget about shelters and rescues, since many of the older dogs who live at these places deserve a forever home too. There are benefits and downsides to getting an older dog, of course, and the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Three Little-Known Facts About the Wirehaired Dachshund
1. They can become jealous of other pets and toddlers.
For this reason, it is ideal not to bring them into a home with small children and other pets. If you do have children, it is best to introduce them early and to train your dog to be kid-friendly while teaching them to respect other animals.
2. Females commonly suffer from false pregnancies.
They will show all the signs of being pregnant, from lactation to nursing, but won’t actually have any puppies. If this occurs, it will develop about a month or two after her heat is over. It is thought to be caused by a hormonal imbalance, and the symptoms may last up to one month.
3. Separation anxiety is a common affliction of the Wirehaired Dachshund.
Since they love their owners with all their heart, it is hard for them to be separated from you, especially for long periods of time. They can become destructive and damage items or carpet as a way to express their displeasure at being left alone.
Physical Traits of the Wirehaired Dachshund
Size and Appearance
The standard Dachshund will weigh between 16 and 32 pounds. They have long bodies and short legs and will be 8-9 inches in height. They can be muscular and lean when provided a healthy diet with plenty of exercise.
They have soulful, brown eyes that exude intelligence. Their long, skinny snouts help them scent their prey, and their protruding chest gives them a confident appearance. Even with their long body, they appear proportionately well-balanced.
They have a thick, coarse outer coat and a softer undercoat. Their hair will be longer on their legs, belly, and face, with short hair on the ears. The tail will be covered in thick hair, and you will notice that they have “eyebrows” too.
Common coat colors are wild boar, black and tan, and a variety of red shades. They can exhibit different color patterns with an overall grizzled effect.
These little dogs have a long life expectancy of 14 to 16 years if provided with a healthy diet that includes keeping them trim and in shape. Be prepared to care for this breed for many years, which won’t be difficult because you will be as attached to them as they are to you.
Temperament and Personality Traits of the Wirehaired Dachshund
You won’t find a cleverer nor more lively little dog than the Dachshund. The wirehair exhibits many of the same traits as the smooth-haired Dachshund, except they are braver, more energetic, and even more mischievous and can be extremely stubborn.
Most are not shy dogs and love to be social, and they make marvelous watchdogs due to their boldness. They can develop a bad habit of incessant barking, however. Barking can be a warning, talking to you, or simply because they thought they saw the tree limb shake. Extra training may be required to get their barking under control.
Due to their Terrier genetics, they will exhibit a clownish attitude and may be prone to getting into trouble — especially when they decide it’s fun to dig multiple holes in your backyard.
The best course of action when training this breed is to provide them with rewards and find out what motivates them so you can bribe them to do what you want. If you remain patient and consistent, you will eventually get them to work for you instead of against you. Potty training is a lifelong process with these dogs, and it can be frustrating. However, if you stay dedicated, it can be accomplished.
Nutrition for the Wirehaired Dachshund
One thing is for sure: You don’t want to call them late to the supper table. These little guys love to eat and have a voracious appetite. Make sure you provide them with food that is nutritional and filling. There are foods formulated especially for Dachshunds, which focus on providing optimal nutrition for their body type.
Keep treats to a minimum, and don’t leave food or trash accessible or they will eat it. Measure out their food, and feed them two to three times a day (or as recommended by your vet). Preventing them from becoming overweight is a high priority to prevent health complications.
They are a highly energetic dog and love the outdoors. Even though they love to eat, you can keep them from becoming overweight by offering plenty of opportunities for exercise. They can easily walk 3-4 miles over rough terrain and enjoy areas where they can explore and see new things.
Types of activities that they love include tracking in field, earthdog, and agility trials. Since they love attention, playing games with the family is a fun pastime that will provide them with mental stimulation too. They can thrive in the city or the country, as long as they receive moderate exercise.
Wirehaired Dachshund Health and Conditions
Due to their long backs, they are prone to neck and spine issues. Many will inherit a genetic disease called intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Other health issues you may encounter:
- Dental diseases
- Cushing’s disease
- Dislocated knee cap
- Skin disorders
Disc rupture and paralysis are commonly seen in this breed. Protecting their back is essential, such as supporting their chest and bottom when picking them up so their spine is not stressed. Don’t allow them to jump from high places, and keep them fit and trim to prevent back concerns.
Moderate shedding is to be expected with this breed, and a weekly brushing with regular grooming will keep their coat tangle-free and neat. The wirehaired will need the dead hairs from their coat plucked out twice per year. This is called stripping, and you can do this by hand or with a stripping brush.
Don’t allow the groomer to clip the coat because this will ruin the texture. Don’t forget to comb your Dachshund’s facial hair weekly and provide occasional trimming. Clean their droopy ears with a solution recommended by your vet, but don’t use cotton swabs — instead, use a cotton ball to gently wipe out the ear.
Final Thoughts on the Wirehaired Dachshund
This breed is ideal for a person who has a sense of humor and can provide a positive atmosphere with plenty of attention and family involvement. Since Wirehaired Dachshunds are descended from hunting dogs, they will exhibit a strong prey drive and may have a tendency to bark. But you won’t find a braver protector for you and your family.
By keeping your little pup healthy and offering plenty of exercise, you may avoid many health issues and behavioral concerns that can affect this breed. Even though they have little quirks and can be difficult to train in certain areas, the positive attributes about this breed outweigh the negative.
We hope that this guide about the Wirehaired Dachshund has provided you with valuable information regarding this breed so you can make a good decision about whether it is right for your personality and lifestyle. If you already own one of these dogs, then this guide can be a resource as you care for your energetic, stubborn, loveable friend.
Featured Image Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock
- Wirehaired Dachshund Puppies — Before You Buy:
- Three Little-Known Facts About the Wirehaired Dachshund
- Physical Traits of the Wirehaired Dachshund
- Final Thoughts on the Wirehaired Dachshund