How Rabbit Overpopulation Gave Us The Mini Dachshund

Perhaps the world’s smallest true hunting dog, the miniature Dachshund wasn’t always a fashionable purse dog. Miniature Dachshunds were bred for one specific purpose, and it is in some ways a lucky accident that we still have this lively little breed today. 

The perfect miniature of the standard Dachshund, mini Dachshunds are identical to their larger cousins in almost every way…just, smaller. Courageous, bright, and friendly, the mini Dachshund is a delightful and sometimes comical dog, but the right environment can quickly bring out their instincts to chase. If you’re hoping for a little dog to lounge on your lap all day, the mini Dachshund probably isn’t it, but this breed will keep you entertained and on your toes!

Mini Dachshund

If you’ve been considering bringing a miniature Dachshund into your home and need some definitive answers to your questions, you’ve found the right place. I’m going over all the basics plus sharing resources for reputable breeders and mini Dachshund rescue groups, the differences between standard and mini Dachshunds, and much more.

Meet 6 Mini Dachshunds from Instagram

Social media is always one of my first resources for learning about a new dog breed. Connecting with dog owners who have hands-on experience with my breed of interest is one of the fastest ways to learn what life looks like with that dog. If you’re in your mini Dachshund-obsession era, I recommend taking to Instagram and giving these and other mini Doxie accounts a follow!

1. Wilbur & Palmer

Mini Dachshund
Source: @Wilbur_MiniDox

Wilbur and Palmer are a pair of longhaired cream mini Dachshunds from Washington state who love traveling, hiking, and spending time with their humans! Long-haired mini Dachshunds require a little more grooming than short-haired mini Doxies, but the upkeep isn’t extensive. 

2. Ginger

Mini Dachshund
Source: @Ginger.TheLittleLuya

Little Ginger is a mini wire haired Dachshund from Manila in the Philippines where her humans take her on lots of walks and adventures in her doggy stroller! Ginger is just under one year old but is already excellent on the leash and turning into the center of humans’ worlds. Wirehaired Dachshunds have coarser fur than longhaired and shorthaired Doxies, and they have a double coat. 

3. Bella

Mini Dachshund
Source: @Buddy_Bella_Birdie

Some people might call this a mini golden Dachshund, but the official name for this coat color is mini cream Dachshund. Bella is a 12-year-old mini Doxie from Tampa, Florida who is living her golden years in style! When she’s not being rolled in her chariot, Bella is hanging out with her Pitbull and cat siblings and being the cutest little lady ever. 

4. Aoife

Mini Dachshund
Source: @Aoife_TheMiniPie

Aoife is an adorable piebald mini Dachshund, which means she’s mostly white with a few splotches of patterned fur. Aoife lives in Kirkwood, Missouri where she rules her home with an iron paw, making her humans do her bidding while she doles out the sass. 

5. Zeppelin

Mini Dachshund
Source: @Zeppelin0920_the_Dachshund

This black and tan mini Dachshund is Zeppelin from Brisbane, Australia with the sweetest and most social personality! Zeppelin loves playing with other dogs at doggy daycare, but also loves to snuggle up with her humans at night to unwind from a long day of fun. 

6. Clarence

Mini Dachshund
Source: @NotAnotherSausage

Coming to us from Hampshire, England is Clarence, an adorable 5.5-year-old red mini Dachshund! Smooth coat and longhaired mini Dachshunds in this color are called red, but wire haired Dachshunds of the same color are called “wheaten.” 

Mini Dachshund Basic Info

Miniature Dachshunds are the same breed as standard Dachshunds, which have bred for more than 600 years. Mini Dachshunds began to appear in the early 19th century when Germany had a startling surge in their rabbit population. Standard Dachshunds had been used for centuries to pursue game like foxes and badgers. Their long but low bodies were perfect for burrowing into underground dens, and their tenacious prey-drive helped their humans easily tail their targets. 

However, when rabbits and their burrows began to invade the German countryside, hunters and farmers discovered that their standard Dachshunds were too large to get into the rabbit nests. Enter the miniature Dachshund—deliberately bred to be small while retaining the personality, prey drive, and athleticism of the standard variety, miniature Dachshunds were perfectly-sized for the job of rabbit dispatch. 

Today, miniature Dachshunds are one of the top ten most popular dog breeds in the U.S. Most commonly a family dog, some mini Dachshunds still chase small game for their humans while others feel perfectly comfortable being pampered. 

Mini Dachshund Temperament

Mini Dachshund

Miniature Dachshunds are lively, curious, and stubborn little dogs whose big personalities are apparent even from a young age. Intelligent and eager-to-please, miniature Dachshunds love to play games, do obedience training, and participate in all family activities. Mini Dachshunds have the ability to pick up on training quickly, but they may not always have the desire. Notoriously hard to potty train, mini Dachshunds aren’t the right breed for new or inexperienced pet parents. 

“My [mini Dachshund] will be a year old soon. I found training commands to be fairly easy as my pup loves the attention of his people, so he gets really into it when he gets going. Training out undesirable behaviours on the other hand has been more difficult,” says a mini Dachshund owner’s comment on a Reddit thread. “I think we have inadvertently rewarded some of his behaciours with attention which he finds very rewarding. I think they just need more patience and consistency than some other dog [breeds] as they are very strong willed. He didn’t really get the hang of [potty training] until 9–10 months I’d say.”

A vocal dog breed, miniature Dachshunds are prone to barking both to alert their humans and to entertain themselves. Similarly, mini Dachshunds are known to be mischievous, particularly if left alone for long periods or not physically exercised or mentally stimulated enough. While it is possible for mini Dachshunds to be good apartment dogs, you’ll need to work diligently to teach your dog to not be disruptive to your neighbors.

Active, athletic, and playful, mini Dachshunds have moderate activity levels and need at least 30–60 minutes of exercise per day in addition to regular walks, training, games/puzzles, and play time. While they may like to run, it’s important to closely monitor your mini Dachshund for their safety since some do not know their limits and can inadvertently injure themselves.

Brave and protective of their humans, mini Dachshunds can sometimes be impulsive when presented with a perceived threat. These small dogs will be quick to defend their humans, their homes, and themselves, and can be reactive towards strangers and other animals. By contrast, mini Dachshunds are often very social and affectionate with their trusted humans, though some may choose one member of the family to bond to most closely. 

Mini Dachshund Size

Mini Dachshund

Mini Dachshunds are petite dogs who stand just 5–6 inches at the shoulder and weigh no more than 11 pounds fully grown

According to breed standards for the Dachshund, mini weight can be less than ⅓ the weight of the standard Doxie. Standard Dachshunds aren’t particularly large dogs, but compared to mini Dachshunds they’re downright huge!

Standard Dachshund vs Mini Dachshund Size
Standard Dachshund8-9 inches16-32 pounds
Mini Dachshund5-6 inches11 pounds or less

Mini Dachshund Health

Unfortunately—thanks to the breed’s iconic long body and short legs—mini Dachshunds are prone to a number of back and joint problems. Mini Dachshund owners must be extra vigilant to not allow their dogs to jump off of high surfaces, over-exert during exercise or playtime, and maintain a healthy body weight to avoid adding unnecessary pressure to the spine. Intervertebral disc disease is particularly common in miniature Dachshunds, which can lead to serious lifelong health issues and even paralysis. 

Other health issues it’s a good idea to look out for if you own a mini Dachshund include: 

  • Ear infections
  • Skin issues (e.g. allergies, hot spots, hair loss)
  • Food allergies
  • Eye and vision problems (e.g. cataracts, retinal atrophy)
  • Dental disease
  • Joint issues (e.g. luxating patella, hip dysplasia) 
  • Diabetes
  • Seizure disorders

Where To Find Mini Dachshund Puppies for Sale

Mini Dachshund puppy

Before you commit to buying a mini Dachshund from a breeder, I highly recommend visiting your local shelter or taking a look at a few mini Dachshund rescues first. Millions of animals need to be rescued each year, including purebred dogs like the mini Dachshund. If you can’t find one at a local animal shelter, you’re certain to find an available mini Doxie through a breed specific rescue like:

If you’re set on finding a mini Dachshund for sale from a breeder, check out the National Miniature Dachshund Club’s breeder directory. This list features reputable and ethical miniature Dachshund breeders by state so you can find a mini Dachshund puppy near you!

Adorable Mini Dachshund Names

Looking for some inspiration for what to name your new mini Dachshund? Here are 10 names plus meanings, origins, and cute backstories. 

  1. Slinky named for the hilarious toy dog from Toy Story!
  2. Cukeas in “cucumber,” everyone’s favorite Dachshund-shaped vegetable
  3. Badger in honor of the breed’s origins as badger hunters before being bred smaller
  4. Thumper named for the rabbit from Disney’s Bambi
  5. Picasso famously, this modern artist owned a Dachshund named Lump! 
  6. Bugs like Bugs Bunny!
  7. Stretch an ode to your mini Dachshund’s long body
  8. Goliath I love a big name for a little dog!
  9. Judy — as in Judy Hops from Zootopia
  10. Dachsie the name of the Dachshund in Lady and the Tramp

Mini Dachshund FAQ

Seeing what other dog owners want to know about your dream dog breed can be a great way to learn the answers to questions you might not have thought to ask yourself! Here’s what the internet wants to know about mini Dachshunds. 

Do mini Dachshunds shed? 

Yes. When it comes to the mini dachshund, longhaired individuals shed slightly more than short hairs. Mini long haired Dachshunds and whirehaired Dachshunds have thick double coats that shed year round with two periods of increased shedding during seasonal changes. 

How long do mini Dachshunds live? 

The average mini Dachshund life expectancy is 12–16 years

How much do mini Dachshunds cost?

If you purchase your mini Dachshund puppy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay $1,000–$3,000. If you choose the rescue route, you’ll pay an adoption fee of around $150–$400 which will go towards helping other dogs find their forever homes. 

What are the best dog foods for mini Dachshunds? 

Mini Dachshunds have the same dietary needs as standard Dachshunds, but with fewer calories. Check out Rocky Kanaka’s guide to the best dog foods for Dachshunds—this list is even picky-dog approved!

What is a double dapple mini Dachshund? 

Breed standards for the mini Dachshund include a coat pattern called “dapple.” In the Dachshund world, the term dapple refers to a pattern we would call “merle” in other breeds like the Australian Shepherd. 

A double-dapple (or double merle) is a dog that has two dapple parents and inherits two copies of the dapple gene. Double dapple mini Dachshunds are born with serious and often life-threatening genetic abnormalities, and many do not make it through the full pregnancy. Double dapples don’t have the colorful patterns of their parents, but instead are usually all white. 

Only one copy of the dapple gene should be included in any mating pair. Although this combination does not guarantee that all the puppies will be dapple, it does eliminate the risk of serious health issues for the resulting pups. 

What is a teacup mini Dachshund? 

Teacup mini Dachshunds are miniature Dachshunds that have been selectively bred to be even smaller. To qualify as a “teacup,” mini Dachshunds need to weigh less than 6 pounds. Breeders will choose the smallest of their full grown adults to breed in an effort to produce smaller and smaller puppies. Unfortunately, breeding dogs to be extremely small can have negative effects on their health, and many “teacup” dog breeders neglect genetic health testing in favor of aesthetics. 

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