One of the less popular members of the Dachshund but still a cutie! Learn all about the Wire Haired Dachshund in our comprehensive guide.
Height: Standard 8-9 inches, Miniature 5-6 inches
Weight: Standard 9-12 kilos, Miniature up to 5 kilos
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Pedigree (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club.
Positives and Negatives
Check out the pros and cons of the Wire Haired Daschund below:
- Suitable for apartment living
- Low grooming maintenance
- Great watchdog
- Minimal drooling
- Likes to dig holes
- Not the easiest breed to housebreak
- Prone to weight gain
- Requires an experienced owner
Dachshunds have a unique body shape which has earned them the names ‘Sausage dog’ and ‘Weiner dog’. However, these small pooches do have a fragile back, so they must be handled with care.
The wrong move could cause harm resulting in the Dachshund becoming fearful of being picked up.
Dachshunds make great companions and although the Wirehaired variety isn’t as popular, they still share many of the same traits.
These canines hate being left alone and will normally bond closely with one specific member of the household. By nature, they aren’t the most child or dog-friendly but can adapt given the right training.
Despite their size, the jaws of a Doxie can cause damage. In their puppyhood, this breed loves to chew and nip, using their mouths to explore.
Training must be given to stop these habits from passing over into adulthood. Young children must be supervised around this breed at all times.
In 2020, Maisie the wire-haired Dachshund from Gloucestershire won Best in Show at Crufts. This has caused an increase in Wirehaired Dachshund puppy queries amongst prospective pet owners and dog enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, none of the Dachshund family has ever won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
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Dachshunds originate from Germany and can be found in three varieties; smooth, wire-haired, and long-haired.
The breed dates back to the 15th century, although ancient Mexican and Egyptian art depict the Dachshund much earlier. It wasn’t until the 19th century when breed development led to the creation of the standard Wire Haired Dachshund.
The Wire Haired Dachshund is believed to have been crossed with dogs such as the Dandie Dinmont, Scottish Terrier, Schnauzer, and the German Wire Haired Pointer.
Yet despite the slight difference in their genetic background, their breed standards are the same as the smooth and long-haired Dachshund.
In German, Dachshund translates to ‘Badger Dog’ due to their hunting background. These working pooches are members of the Hound group and are used to track injured game.
They will also hunt small game such as badgers, rabbits, and other tunneling animals by entering their burrows. This is known as ‘going to ground’.
By the late 19th century, European’s required a dog slightly smaller than the Dachshund, to enter the burrows of hares.
This led to the creation of the miniature wire haired Dachshund. These tiny pooches weigh 4.5-5 kilos with a height of 5-6 inches.
Dachshunds were registered by the AKC in 1885. Today, they are still used as a working breed, show dog, and companion.
Both the smooth and long haired sausage dog are more popular than the rough haired Dachshund.
Wire Haired Dachshund Temperament:
The wire haired sausage dog has the same temperament as the rest of those found in the Dachshund family.
Curiosity is a trait the Dachshund struggles to ignore and could lead them into trouble. Expect this pooch to wander off on an adventure! They mustn’t be allowed off-leash without a good recall.
Wire haired Dachshund puppies love to dig! If this isn’t curbed digging could become excessive as they get older. It’s a trait the breed picked up during their working life.
These pooches love companionship and don’t cope well on their own for long periods. If they are left by themselves continuously it could lead to separation anxiety.
Are Wire Haired Dachshunds Good With Strangers?
This breed is suspicious of strangers and will most likely become vocal. Wire-haired Dachshund puppies that haven’t been socialized may react aggressively out of fear.
Boredom and stress could also lead to aggression so it is important to exercise and socialize the Dachshund regularly throughout their lives.
Out of those in the Dachshund family, the Wire Haired breed is known to be a little friendlier than the rest.
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Are Wire Haired Dachshunds Good With Children?
Dachshunds aren’t the best breed to have around children. Whilst they can be trained to be child-friendly, their fragile backs could become damaged during rough play.
Older children that understand the fragility of the breed will be better suited. The same applies to Wire Haired Minature Dachshunds who are even more delicate.
Are Dachshunds Ok With Other Dogs?
Given the right socialization, Dachshunds can be friendly and playful towards other pets. They could react aggressively to establish hierarchy, so it is important to introduce them to a variety of different breeds during puppyhood.
Generally, these dogs prefer to be around other smaller canines and those of their breed type.
Whilst they can be trained to live with other larger dogs, the fragility of their backs must be taken into consideration.
Dachshunds can live with cats but both should be introduced in their younger years. A Dachshund’s curiosity can be overwhelming for a cat who most certainly appreciates its own space.
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Wire Haired Dachshunds will need up to 60 minutes of exercise each day. Although high in energy, these dogs mustn’t be overexerted in their puppyhood.
Ideally 30 minutes each day for puppies, however some days a run around the garden will be sufficient. As they get older exercise times should be extended by half an hour.
Despite their size, the Doxie is known to be energetic. If bored they are more likely to pick up aggressive tendencies as opposed to destructive ones.
Whilst they can live without a garden, it is still important they are being regularly exercised as the breed is prone to weight gain.
Below are the breed-related health issues of the Wire Haired Dachshund:
- Intervertebral Disc Disease- A degenerative and age-related condition where the disc in the spine ruptures causing inflammation and pain.
- Narcolepsy- This inherited condition affecting Dachshunds is a sleep disorder. Narcolepsy isn’t life-threatening nor does it cause pain. Symptoms appear by 6 months of age. Affected dogs will find it difficult to stay awake for long periods and could even collapse.
- Patella Luxation- The patella (knee cap) moves out of place temporarily, often returning to its position as quickly as it fell out.
Intelligence & Training
Wire-haired Dachshunds don’t have the highest level of intelligence, but on the plus side, they are cute! Respect training is deeply important for this breed.
Once they have accepted leadership, training will become a little easier. Unfortunately, the breed isn’t easy to housebreak so consistency will be needed.
Dachshunds don’t have the best reputation for training which is why first time owners aren’t recommended.
Time and patience are all it takes to overcome the Dachshunds barriers. Housebreaking and barking are two key areas many Wire Haired Dachshund owners struggle with.
This breed loves the attention of their human companion, so when they become disobedient, ignore them!
Sausage dogs don’t respond well to harsh training methods. By ignoring the dog they’ll soon understand that bad behavior will receive zero attention. Don’t forget to praise good behavior each time.
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Wire haired Dachshunds require slightly different grooming methods, compared to the other members of the Dachshund family.
Overall this breed is generally easy to groom but will need a little extra attention than their smooth-haired counterparts.
Brush through the coat of the Wirehaired Dachshund three times a week. A bristle brush is the most suitable tool for this type of coat.
Their rough outer layer of fur hides the thick undercoat below which may become tangled without proper care. Make sure you reach the skin by pressing down gently on the brush.
The Wirehaired Dachshund should receive a bath every 3 months. Frequent bathing could cause damage to the coat by stripping away the natural oils.
Owners will also find hand stripping an effective method for a dull and dry coat. This should be done twice a year with a stripping knife. Some owners may benefit from professional help.
Dachshunds have long ears which can cause a build-up of bacteria within the ear. This can lead to ear infections, something this breed is prone to.
Ensure the dog’s ears are being cleaned weekly to remove debris. Summer months may require more attention. Nails should be trimmed every couple of weeks and vets recommend teeth are cleaned daily.