Dachshund Lifespan: How Long Do Dachshunds Live


Dachshund Lifespan: In for the Long Haul

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How long will your new pooch be with you? It’s a depressing thing to consider, but every owner should be aware of how long-term their new commitment can get.

The lifespan of a Dachshund depends on many factors, but you can expect them to live for about 12 to 15 years, in general. The aspects of their life that can influence Doxies’ longevity are their exercise regimen, the health issues they’re exposed to, and the quality of the food you offer them.

How Long Do Dachshunds Live?

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An average Dachshund is going to live for 12.5 years. It might not seem like much, but it beats the average for dogs in general by 1.5 years. Most Doxies will live to be at least 11, but many a Dachshund owner reports that their pooches are 15, 16, or 17, and still up and running.

Dachshund varieties don’t make a difference. A Miniature Dachshund’s life expectancy is the same as the average lifespan for a Standard Doxie. Coat varieties don’t play a role either, so it’s all the same if your pooch is Shorthaired, Longhaired, or Wirehaired.

How Old Was the Oldest Dachshund?

The first dog to ever boast the Guinness World Record for the oldest dog was either a Wirehaired Doxie or a Dachshund mix. Her name was Chanel, she was from New York, and she lived to the ripe age of 21. She was fond of peanut butter cups, and near the end of her long life, she suffered from cataracts. She died of old age in 2009 after holding the title for mere three months.

The longest-living Dachshund the general public knows of held no Guinness Records, but he did live to be 25 and a month old when his human decided to put him down. He was called Rocky, and he spent a quarter of a century in Shingle Springs, California, USA. He suffered from cataracts for a while in his elderly years, but that wasn’t the reason he was put down. His joints gave out near the end, and his tiny Doxie legs couldn’t hold him up anymore. For a pooch that loved to move, not being able to do so was terrible, and his broken-hearted human decided to end his torment.

Most Common Cause of Death

Most Dachshunds die from old age. Either their internal organs start shutting down or, like in Rocky’s case, their legs can’t hold them up anymore. Not many owners can bear watching their beloved little monster, who was with them for over a decade—sometimes approaching two decades—suffering and getting frustrated with their own inability to do… Well, anything. If the organ failure doesn’t kill them, their owner will put them to sleep rather than watch them live a torturous existence.

More than 20% of all Doxies die that way—due to old age, in one way or another.

Cancer, in its different forms, takes the lives of almost 17% of these little fellows, and heart disease kills more than 14% of them.

The five most common causes of death in Dachshunds are:

  1. Old age
  2. Various cancers
  3. Heart disease
  4. IVDD, seizures, and other neurological problems
  5. Combination of various health issues

Health Issues

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While Dachshunds are a generally healthy breed, there are some conditions that they are naturally predisposed to. Not many of them are fatal, but they can lead to more severe issues, or cause enough pain to the pooch or make them lose their abilities in such a way that their owner believes that the only humane thing left to do is euthanize the pup. Here are the most common ailments that affect Doxies.

  1. Intervertebral disc disease. The spine of a Dachshund is particularly sensitive because their bodies are so disproportionate, which puts extra pressure on the spinal cord. IVDD happens when the discs that separate the bones of the spine slip inward. They press on the spinal cord, causing the dog in question strain that ranges from slight discomfort to tremendous pain. In not so rare cases, the pup that suffers from this condition will get paralyzed after some time, and it is at this moment that the vast majority of people will decide to put their canine companion down.
  2. Bloat. If your dog eats food of low quality, eats it too fast, or forgets to chew, they might develop the condition known as bloat. Their stomach fills with air and… Well, you can guess what happens. On the bright side, it’s more uncomfortable for you than for the dog. If they don’t manage to let it go, though, they’ll feel severe discomfort, but that’s not all. Many times bloat will grow into a condition called gastric torsion, in which the dog’s stomach rotates and, in a way, twists on itself. This stops the blood flow and can result in the death of a canine in a matter of minutes.
  3. Obesity. Even though they look cute when they’re chubby, the extra weight can harm your Doxie a lot. It increases the risk of back and joint problems, and more importantly, raises the chances of heart issues significantly. It’s not easy to stop a Doxie from overeating, but it’s imperative if the two of you want to spend many happy years together.

Apart from these illnesses, Doxies are prone to other ailments that aren’t life-threatening but could have a negative impact on their quality of life. They are no strangers to an occassional seizure, which will be more terrifying to you than your pooch, and they are also succeptible to a number of skin conditions. Make sure you familiarize with them ahead of time, and always keep in touch with your goggie’s vet.

Make sure you have good pet health insurance. While far from the top 10 world’s most expensive dog breeds to own, Doxies’ medical bills can amount to a five-digit number in no time.

Major concernsMinor concerns

Occasional tests

  • Intervertebral disc disease 
  • Bloat 
  • Obesity
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eye problems
  • Skin problems
  • Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Osteoporosis
  • Excessive hardening of the bones
  • Cutaneous Asthenia
  • Kidney problems
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Achondroplasia
  • Blood disease
  • Eye examination 
  • Physical examination 
  • Knee examination

Change the Doxie’s Lifestyle to Save a Life

Even though many of the afflictions that can affect your pooch are inherent to the breed, you can adjust their lifestyle, so they’re less likely to get sick. Some of the aspects of their life you should pay attention to are:

  1. Grooming
  2. Diet
  3. Exercise

Sit Still, Look Pretty

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Most of the Doxies are Shorthaired. Fabulous as they are, they don’t require a lot of fussing about. A couple of brushing sessions a month should do the trick. If your Dachshund is Longhaired or Wirehaired, you will have a bit more work to do. It still doesn’t amount to much—brushing a couple of times a week should be enough to take care of their lush coat. When bath time comes, we suggest you stick to natural shampoos. Once you learn the right dog grooming tips, you’ll have no problems keeping their fur in top shape.

What makes a bigger difference regarding their health are their ears and teeth. Because Doxies tend to go deaf at some point in their lives, you need to pay special care to their ears. Make sure you inspect them every week and remove the wax build-up with a cotton ball and a mild cleaning solution. No Dachshund will die of deafness, but the ability to hear can help them stay alert and react quickly in tight situations. A deaf Doxie won’t hear a speeding car, for example.

Their teeth are an essential part of their health as well. Ideally, you should brush their teeth every day. In most cases, though, you won’t have the time or the will to do that. For all their many qualities, Doxies are not the greatest fans of oral hygiene and might put up a fight if you try to force it upon them. To keep your fingers intact, you might want to try a few of these top 10 best dog dental chews.

Will Your Dachshund Fit Their Winter Coat?

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You are what you eat, and the same goes for your Doxie. A healthy diet can help prevent many health issues. Certain types of food can provide substances that improve bone and joint health, while others help keep heart problems at bay. Feeding your pooch some of these worst dry dog food brands can result in the weakening of their immune system and disrupting their bodily functions.

If your pup is more of a dry food kind of dog, check out these options for best dry dog food for small dogs. If they prefer to munch on something juicier, look into these best canned dog food brands. When they’re so green that they bark like a Maltese, they need special nutrition, so choose among these best puppy food brands. As they grow old, their needs change, so they’ll need you to procure a few of these best senior dry dog food options.

If you neglect proper nutrition, your little beast’s immune system will be too weak to fight any troubles that may come their way. If you overdo it with the snacks, the extra weight can boost any chances of a heart condition in your pooch. Pay attention to their diet, and you and your pooch will have many happy years together.

Work It, Babe, Work It

While not usually marathon runners, Dachshunds do enjoy a healthy dose of exercise. They used to hunt pests and game in the past, so they developed quite a bit of stamina.

To have a healthy pooch and keep any heart issues wherever they go when they’re not bothering poor pets, you need to provide a fair amount of cardio. Never force your Doxie to run at full speed because it’s bad for their back. They will benefit from a light jog, though, so don’t worry too much about taking them running with you. You should know what you’re doing, so check out these tips for running with your dog. Make sure the two of you run only on flat surfaces because uphills and downhills pose too much of a challenge for Dachshunds’ itsy bitsy legs.

Doxies generally need about an hour’s worth of exercise daily and should spend some of that time playing. Playing doesn’t provide any direct health benefits, but it will keep your pup happy and your mutual bond strong.

Activity levelRecommended miles/dayActivity minutes/day

Medium to high

7

60

Sausage Dog 101: History and Characteristics

Here’s the thing about Dachshunds—if you want a dog that’ll worship the ground you walk on, blindly obey your every command, and bend to your will as if you were the master of the universe, the joke’s on you. There’s no way a Dachshund will go down without a fight.

A Hot-Tempered German…

They were bred in the 16th century in Germany. Their job at the time was to help hunt badgers. There’s one thing that the hunter and the prey have in common⁠—they’re small and deceptively mellow-looking, but turn into vicious beasties when the situation calls for a little action. Grown men hide in their tractors when a badger struts towards them⁠—or, in the case of German farmers of the 16th century, run for the hills. Not the little Doxie, though. They proudly stand their ground, disgusted by their human partner’s cowardice, and take the beast head-on.

This should give you a hint as to the temperament of the little buggers. They’re brave, determined, independent, and will never back down. Those characteristics are certainly enviable, but they pose quite a hurdle when it comes to training your Dachshund. To make that task as easy on yourself as possible, read our guides on:

You don’t always face your foes in the field, though, so many times Dachshunds had to take offensive action and attack in the enemy’s territory. Badgers dig holes in the ground, so Doxies needed the means to mine them out. Their strong, shovel-like front paws make a fantastic digging tool, and the shape of their bodies makes it easy for them to navigate the burrows that housed their prey.

They still like to dig around, especially if they’re bored. If you have a special place in your heart for your daffodils and orchids, bury it deep, because your Doxie will do the same to your flowers.

These dogs like to bark a lot. It’s not an accident⁠—it was one of the necessary skills they had to adopt if they wanted to be good at what they do. Once your dog goes underground, you can’t follow them. The only way you’ll be able to tell where they are is if they bark loudly. Even though today’s Dachshunds rarely go hunting (with their human’s permission, anyway), they have retained the habit of barking. They’re talkative little creatures, and you can count on them to go completely insane over an annoying butterfly that’s fluttering in the wind, just beyond your pooch’s reach. The stupid bug is just defying your pup’s authority anyway.

…And Not-So-Friendly Furry Pal…

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If you thought that these beasts are small, consider the amount of their patience. Yep, it’s so minuscule that it’s almost non-existent. They will not deem your baby particularly cute, so remove that softie from their presence before they’re forced to give that funny baby-fat a little nip. Little children and Doxies don’t mix well, which is one of the first facts you should learn about them. The absence of consideration on one side and the lack of tolerance on the other are a recipe for disaster, so refrain from adopting a Dachshund until your (human) baby starts school and can understand what you can and can’t do to a dog.

Since Doxies are hunters that go for furry things, don’t tempt them with small pets such as guinea pigs or hamsters. The Doxie will try to eat them sooner or later, regardless of whether or not you’re providing them with proper nutrition.

…That Everybody Likes Anyway

Their silly looks have inspired not only Picasso but also a bunch of Dachshund meme-makers on the web. With those cute little faces, short legs, and hilariously long bodies, they’re one of the funniest-looking breeds. Did you know that there are plenty of memorabilia and gifts inspired by Doxies, too?

People adore Wiener dogs, and these pups have found their way to our list of best breeds to adopt. They make loyal companions, and for all their bravado, arrogance, and holier-than-thou attitude, they’re often incredibly clownish. AKC has a list of the most popular dog breeds, and Doxies have occupied 11th place for quite some time now. If you’d like to know more, check out these 10 facts you should know about Dachshunds.

Weight
  • Miniature: 11 pounds or less
  • Standard: 16–32 pounds
Height
  • Miniature: 5–6 in at the shoulder
  • Standard: 8–9 in at the shoulder
SizeStandard and miniature
Coat typeThree varieties:

  • Smooth
  • Longhaired
  • Wirehaired
Coat colorVariety of colors and patterns
SheddingLow to medium
Eyes
  • Blue
  • Hazel
  • Brown
Nose
  • Brown
  • Black
EarsBig and floppy
TemperamentPlayful, determined, affectionate
Life expectancy12–15 years
HypoallergenicNo
Kid-friendlyNo
New owner friendlyNo
Breed recognitionRecognized by AKC in 1885

Doxie Mix-a-Lot

If you’ve fallen in love with these little fellows (because who wouldn’t?), but you find that some of their characteristics don’t suit your lifestyle, you can take a quick look at these Dachshund mixes. Depending on the cross, you can find a pup that’ll be a bit more obedient, more tolerant of other pets, or a bit less loud. Take a peek, and find your perfect pooch!

Dachshund Pug mixDachshund Lab mixDachshund Beagle mix
Dachshund Golden Retriever mixDachshund Pitbull mixDachshund Corgi mix
Chihuahua Dachshund mixJack Russell Dachshund mixDachshund Poodle mix
Dachshund Yorkie mixGerman Shepherd Dachshund mixDachshund Terrier mix
Pomeranian Dachshund mixCocker Spaniel Dachshund mixShih Tzu Dachshund mix
Min Pin Dachshund mixBasset Hound Dachshund mixDachshund Husky mix
Maltese Dachshund mixDachshund Dalmatian mixAustralian Shepherd Dachshund mix
Border Collie Dachshund mixRottweiler Dachshund mixDoberman Dachshund mix
Papillon Dachshund mixRat Terrier Dachshund mixItalian Greyhound Dachshund mix
Bulldog Dachshund mixBlue Heeler Dachshund mixBoxer Dachshund mix
Great Dane Dachshund mixFrench Bulldog Dachshund mixWeimaraner Dachshund mix
Dachshund Boston Terrier mixCavalier King Charles Spaniel Dachshund mixCairn Terrier Dachshund mix
Shiba Inu Dachshund mixDachshund Bichon mixPekingese Dachshund mix
Schnauzer Dachshund mixEnglish Cream Dachshund

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachshund
  2. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-life-expectancy-of-a-Dachshund
  3. Hoffman, Jessica M., et al. “Reproductive Capability Is Associated with Lifespan and Cause of Death in Companion Dogs.” PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 4, 2013, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061082.
  4. Seymour, Alex. Dachshunds: the Owners Guide from Puppy to Old Age: Choosing, Caring for, Grooming, Health, Training, and Understanding Your Standard or Miniature Dachshund Dog. Place of publication not identified: CWP Publishing, 2016.

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