Dachshunds come in a whole spectrum of colors and coats, which may be short, long or wiry-haired. Dachsies in different sizes, and with different coats, require slightly different care and feeding.
The standard dachshund size is a dog weighing between 15 and 28 pounds. Any dog weighing under 15 pounds may be referred to as a miniature dachshund; however, the official size of a miniature sausage dog is below 11 pounds. Dachsies between 11 and 15 pounds may be called "tweenies" or "inbetweeners," as they're between miniature and standard sizes. In Europe, a third official size is recognized, between 8 and 10 pounds. This is known as the kaninchen or "rabbit" size.
Long-haired dachsies have silky, smooth fur that flows almost to the ground. By contrast, wire-haired dachshunds have shorter, rougher fur than a long-haired wiener dog. Both wire-haired and long-haired dachshunds need more grooming than the short-haired, or smooth-coated dogs. The long-haired dachshunds have straight fur, while the wire-haired dogs have a somewhat curly coat. The wire-haired dog has a waterproof, double-layered coat.
Colors and Patterns
Whether they are standard or miniature sized, with long or wiry fur, dachshunds come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The black-and-tan coloration is quite common across different fur types. Red dachshunds have solid-colored coats that are similar to a strawberry-blonde or redhead hair color in a human. Red coats are popular in long-haired dachshunds. Piebald dachsies, in wiry or long-haired varieties, have a white background to their coat, with patches of solid gray, black or brown.
Care and Feeding
A miniature wire-haired dachshund will require a smaller quantity of food daily, by comparison with a standard sized long-haired dog. Obesity places strain on the dachsie's long and fragile back, so make sure you are feeding your dog an appropriate quantity of food to reach and maintain a healthy weight for his size. Use a measuring cup every time you feed your dachshund. It's important to dry off a long-haired dachshund thoroughly after a bath or an outing in wet weather, as its soft coat will retain water longer than the waterproof wire-haired dachsie's coat.
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.