Mini Dachshund: Dog Breed Profile

Characteristics, History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

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

Getty Images/taken by twinleaves

The Miniature Dachshund, also called the Mini Dachshund or Mini Doxie, is the smaller of the two sizes of the Dachshund breed (the larger being the Standard Dachshund). The Dachshund also comes three coat types, which means the breed comes in six different combinations of size and hair coat: Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds, Miniature Smooth Dachshunds, Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds, Standard Longhaired Dachshunds, Standard Smooth Dachshunds and Standard Wirehaired Dachshunds.

At just 11 pounds or less, the Mini Dachshund is considerably smaller than the Standard Dachshund, which weighs about 16 to 32 pounds, but the two size varieties should look exactly the same other than size. Like Standard Dachshunds, Mini Dachshunds are long backed with short legs—this low-to-the-ground body shape earned the breed the affectionate nickname of “wiener dog.” 

Mini Dachshunds are friendly with people of all ages, including gentle children. However, due to the Mini Dachshund’s small size and fragile back, adults should supervise all interactions between young children and the dog. Though Mini Dachshunds tend to get along well with other family dogs, they may get a little scrappy with strange dogs. This tough-dog attitude can be to the Mini Dachshund’s detriment should it decide to get into a skirmish with a much larger dog. Some Mini Dachshunds get along with family cats, but others may see kitty as something to chase.

Breed Overview

Group: Hound

Weight: 11 pounds or less

Height: 5 to 6 inches tall at the shoulder

Coat: Longhaired: Sleek, glistening, often slightly wavy longhair. Smooth: Short, smooth and shining. Rough: Short, thick, rough, hard outer coat with a finer, somewhat softer, shorter undercoat; coat forms a beard and eyebrows.

Color: All coat types come in a variety of colors, including one-colored, two-colored, dappled, brindle, piebald and sable.

Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

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

 History of the Mini Dachshund

The Dachshund originated in the 18th century in Germany where it was originally used to hunt badgers by “going to ground” (digging and squeezing itself into underground dens in pursuit of its prey). In fact, in German, the breed name means “badger dog.” The Dachshund’s loud and persistent bark could be heard above ground, so the human hunters could follow the dog’s progress. 

With its long body and very short legs, the Dachshund’s unusual body type allowed it to fit into small spaces. However, despite being short, the Dachshund is strong and muscular, which aided its efforts to dig and crawl through tight spaces, traversing tree roots, rocks and other obstacles. The Dachshund also needed a bold and courageous temperament in order to face down ferocious badgers. Today, the Dachshund remains fearless and determined in everything it does, though its most important job is that of loyal friend and companion.

Mini Dachshund
Mini Dachshund is lively and full of curiosity.

Getty Images/James Player

Mini Dachshund
Mini Dachshunds come in many different colors and patterns.

Getty Images/o_sa

Mini Dachshund
The rough Mini Dachshund's wiry hair forms an adorable beard and eyebrows.

Getty Images/BoraPir

Mini Dachshund Care

Grooming requirements for the Mini Dachshund vary depending on the type of coat. Smooth Mini Dachshunds are wash and wear. Brush weekly with a hound glove or rubber curry brush to remove loose hair. Brush and comb the longhaired and rough varieties a few times a week with a soft slicker brush, taking care to untangle the longer hair on the ears, belly and tail (and beard, for rough Dachshunds). These varieties may also need occasional trimming by a professional groomer. For all coat types, bathe your Mini Dachshund when it becomes dirty and trim the nails every other week. Regularly check inside your Mini Dachshund’s ears and clean them using a pet safe ear cleaner if they look dirty.                                                          

Though Mini Dachshunds are smart, they can be a little stubborn so it’s important to use the right training methods. Positive methods like clicker training tend to work well. Dachshunds love food, so tasty treats help get good results. Though Mini Dachshunds are active, those short legs mean they can get ample exercise with a few walks a day and off-leash games of fetch in the yard. Your Mini Dachshund may also enjoy training for dog sports and activities like flyball, tracking, earthdog and nosework. Always keep your Mini Dachund on a leash or in a safely enclosed area or it may run off when it catches the scent of squirrels or other furry critters to chase. 

Mini Dachshund puppy
Avoid holding your Mini Dachshund puppy too much so it learns confidence.

Getty Images/Lotte van Alderen / 500px

Mini Dachshund
A harness puts less strain on a Mini Dachshund's sensitive neck.

Getty Images/Image by cuppyuppycake

Mini Dachshund
The Mini Dachshund loves to run and play, but limit jumping to protect its back.

Getty Images/Image by cuppyuppycake

Common Health Problems

Most purebred dogs have certain inherited health disorders in their family history. One issue that has been identified in the Mini Dachshund is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA, a collective name for a group of degenerative eye diseases). Due to the breed’s physical build, Mini Dachshunds are also susceptible to intervertebral disc disease, which can cause pain and mobility issues. Mini Dachshunds with severe back injuries can even become partially or completely paralyzed. To prevent back and neck problems from developing, keep jumping to a minimum by using ramps to help your Dachshund access the couch or bed. Also, hold and carry your Mini Dachshund carefully, keeping its back horizontal (as if holding a football) while using your hands to support the dog’s chest and hindquarters. 

Diet and Nutrition

It’s important to keep your Mini Dachshund at a lean weight in order to prevent the development or worsening of back problems, as well as preventing other joint disorders like elbow dysplasia and other health problems like diabetes. Feed measured meals twice a day rather than free feeding (leaving food out all the time). Check with your breeder or veterinarian for a recommendation for a healthy food for your Mini Dachshunds, as well as an ideal target healthy weight for your dog.

Pros
  • Small and portable

  • Good with gentle kids

  • Active family companion

Cons
  • May bark and dig

  • Not reliable off leash

  • Prone to back problems

Where to Adopt or Buy

If you’re hoping to add a Mini Dachshund puppy to the family, look for a reputable breeder. The Dachshund Club of America, which is the national parent club for the breed in the United States, is a good place to start when looking for an ethical breeder. Responsible Mini Dachshund breeders don’t have puppies available all the time, so you might have to wait a bit for a puppy. If you like the idea of adopting, search out Dachshund-specific rescue groups or check your local animal shelter. 

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you like the Mini Dachshund, you might also like these breeds: 

Otherwise, check out all of our other dog breed articles to help you find the perfect dog for you and your family.

Article Sources
The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Dachshund dog breed information. American Kennel Club. Published November 6, 2017.

  2. British Veterinary Association. Worried vets lay out the long and low Of dachshund health issues following Crufts win. Published March 9, 2020.