Whether you like them short-, long- or wire-haired; standard or miniature; red, black-and-tan, brindle or piebald, you can find a dachshund that suits your fancy. Most doxies have good dispositions, but that also depends on who they are dealing with. Different types of doxies tend to distinct temperaments.
Dachshund translates as "badger dog" in German. That's what they were originally bred to do -- hunt down that particularly bad-tempered animal. Wire-haired doxies tend to be more terrier-like and determined, while the longhairs are often quieter. The standard doxie falls somewhere between the two, but all doxies are active, brave and energetic. Doxies are usually one-person dogs, and if you are that person, you've got a low-to-the-ground buddy following you throughout the house. That doesn't mean the doxie doesn't care for other family members, but he chooses a favorite and there's no mistaking who that is. Although each dog has an innate temperament, how friendly the adult dog becomes depends a great deal on the right socialization in puppyhood.
Doxies can get along with cats, especially if raised with them, but felines might also be seen as prey. While your dog may get along with his house cats, a strange cat in the yard better run for his life. Doxies usually get along with other dogs, with one caveat. Because these little guys don't think of themselves as small, they may take on a larger dog who displays aggression. Remember, they were bred to fight vicious badgers. The results for the modern doxie engaged in battle with a bigger dog may not be pleasant.
Doxies can be good with the kids in their own family, but not so great with visiting children. They might go into protective mode with strange kids around their person or the person's children and snap at them. Because they are so susceptible to back injuries, doxies don't make good pets for small children, who may inadvertently harm them. Older kids who learn how to handle the doxie correctly should be fine. Socialization is always key, so let your puppy meet as many people as possible of all shapes and sizes, giving him the opportunity to make new friends.
If you OK the visitor, the doxie is friendly. If you haven't approved that person yet, you've got a good little watchdog who sound like a much bigger dog when he barks. He's a fearless little guy who will do his best to alert you if someone is on the premises, although he won't usually attack anyone.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.