For many people, a wiener dog is just a short little pupper with a hard-to-spell name and a shocking number of inappropriate puns. But if a dachshund is the love of your life, you know they’re the best dogs around. Here are some of our favorite facts about dachshunds, one of the world’s most beloved dog breeds. And we do mean “world”! Though hailing from Germany, dachshunds are popular family pets in countries from Mexico to Japan to the U.S. Their fans are legion: Einstein famously loved a dachshund, as did Pablo Picasso.
1. They don’t know they’re short
Dachshunds have big personalities for their size, and they’re not about to be ignored. With a surprisingly loud bark and an eager, affectionate personality, the dachshund is small only in stature.
2. Dachshunds are fearsome hunters
They were originally bred to hunt badgers in their underground lairs, along with burrowing rabbits and other small animals. In fact, in Germany, dachshunds are still measured by the size of the rabbit hole they can fit into.
3. Dachshunds love to burrow
Can’t find your doxie? Check your bed, the laundry basket, or even a cozy sleeve.
4. Doxies come in many varieties
With 15 colors, six marking types, three coat types, and three sizes, in fact. In America, the most popular type of dachshund is the standard smooth coat.
These three cuties show the variety in this breed.
5. Dachshunds are notorious diggers
See above r.e.: hunting badgers in underground hidey-holes. Dachshunds can dig with energy and purpose, and they like nothing better than a nice mud pile for their enjoyment.
6. What’s in a name?
The name “dachshund” is German, meaning “badger dog.” They’re also commonly called “wiener dogs” in reference to, yes, sausages. Dachshunds have many nicknames! Weenie, doxie, sausage dog—and the list goes on. In modern Germany, they’re often called Dackels or Teckels (among hunters.)
7. Dachshunds can be stubborn as heck
They are tenacious, intelligent, and can be very goal-focused. Dachshunds may be small, but they’re definitely working dogs at heart!
8. Senior dachshunds often need ramps
Dachshunds are prone to back problems, or more specifically, disc herniation. This is partly due to their shape, but also due to a gene that creates mineral deposits within the discs of their spine. IVDD, or intervertebral disc disease, affects about 25% of doxies. Crusoe the celebrity dachshund underwent treatment for IVDD, and his owners created a helpful resource about their experience.
9. Dachshunds can bark
Wiener dog lovers know it—these dogs are not quiet! Because of their hunting origins, they’re naturally inclined to alert you to danger. Or just, you know, if the mail carrier is outside.
10. Dachshunds are the smallest hounds
And that’s official! This wee scent hound is the smallest member of the AKC Hound group.
11. Doxies. Love. Food.
This breed is definitely food-motivated. Treat training, here we come.
12. Dachshunds live a long time
With an average lifespan of at least 12 years, but often much longer, doxies are known for their longevity. Chanel, a sweet white dachshund, held the title of world’s oldest dog in the early 2000s, in fact!
Featured image: Dogshaming