He has the hunting instincts of a regular Dachshund. He has the agility and intelligence of a regular Dachshund. He even looks like a regular Dachshund (on a smaller scale). But because hunters bred the Miniature Dachshund to be the smallest Dachshund possible, these dogs once faced some unfortunate health problems.
How the Mini Doxie came to be
Like his larger counterpart, the Miniature Dachshund was bred in Germany. Hunters wanted a smaller dog with the agility and smarts of the standard Dachshund that could hunt rabbits and badgers down small holes. Unfortunately, they didn't breed him responsibly. Breeders, concerned only with the size of the new Miniature Dachshund, chose to breed the smallest dog out of every litter, ignoring any health problems. After generations, breeders ended up with Miniature Dachshunds—but most were unhealthy.
A commitment to a healthier breed
In the 1930s and 1940s, a few dedicated breeders believed the Miniature Dachshund could be bred with fewer health issues. It was during this era that the Mini Dachshund was brought to the U.S. and became so popular, finding one became difficult. To keep up with demand, some breeders continued to breed with either standard size Dachshunds or unhealthy miniature Dachshunds. What breeders found was that they were producing healthy large miniatures, or small unhealthy miniatures.
Between the 1940s and the 1950s, the dedication to breeding healthy Miniature Dachshunds continued. As people moved into urban neighborhoods and apartments, the demands for a small, spunky dog grew. It was then that the Miniature Dachshund that we know today was born.
The modern Mini
Today, the Miniature Dachshund is very similar to his larger counterpart—except for his size. He comes in black, tan, and even red—and can be
long-haired, short-haired, or wire-haired, just like the standard Dachshund.
Most importantly, this breed is now considered as healthy as its standard-size cousin. Like the standard Dachshund, today's Mini Doxie is prone to back problems due to a long spinal column and short legs. By giving him regular exercise and avoiding weight gain you can help your little guy avoid health problems and lead a long, happy life.