If you are considering getting a Dachshund, you have no doubt learned that they come in three coat varieties or types.
All three of these coat types look different so it’s natural to wonder if long haired Dachshunds, wire haired Dachshunds, and smooth coated Dachshunds have different personalities too.
In this article, we will discuss a little about the history of the Dachshund breed, their general personality traits, personality differences among the different coat types, and what else can factor into these personality differences.
History of the Dachshund Breed
Although there are many nicknames for this long dog with short legs, the proper name is Dachshund. It’s a German word pronounced “DAKS-hoont.”
Dachshunds can be two sizes – Standard and Miniature – and come in three coat types – long, wire, and smooth.
Though its origins can be traced as far back as the 15th century, development of the Dachshund breed we know today began in Germany in the 17th century.
The original Dachshund coat type developed was the smooth coat.
Somewhere along the way but early on, small amounts of other dog breeds were introduced to get slightly different characters and the two other coat types.
Today, a purebred Dachshund can have long, silky hair, a short, smooth coat, or have a curly wire coat that can sometimes look like they just got out of bed.
General Personality Traits of a Dachshunds
The smooth Dachshund was the original and only small amounts of other dog breeds were intermingled to obtain the wire and long hair coat types.
Therefore, even though they look a little different, and have some subtle personality differences, all Dachshunds maintain a core Dachshund personality.
No matter what a purebred Dachshund looks like, they will all act like a typical Dachshund with some slight variations.
In general, the Dachshund’s personality can be described as:
- Bigger than their size – like big dogs trapped in a small body
- Energetic and active
- Loyal and attached to their people
- Affectionate (to people they know)
- Good watchdogs (which means Dachshunds are known to bark a lot)
- They can make great family dogs (although caution should be taken around small children if they aren’t used to them)
- Stubborn and independent thinkers (which can make them more challenging to train than some other breeds)
- Loves to hunt and chase
- Natural diggers
Of course, these are common personality traits of the Dachshund but each dog is different.
A Dachshund may display some or all of these traits. Some of these traits may be stronger in one dog than in another.
A Dachshund may also display variations of these traits based on their coat type.
While it’s not true that not all Dachshunds of one coat type vary to the same degree, or in the same way, some generalizations can be made.
Smooth Haired Dachshund Personality
Smooth haired Dachshunds were the original coat type so they are the most likely to display the general breed characteristics listed above without variation.
Smooth haired Dachshunds are bright, alert, and playful.
They are also more likely to attach themselves to one person in the household as their favorite.
Long Haired Dachshund Personality
It’s generally understood that somewhere in the history of the Dachshund breed, hundreds of years ago, it was crossed with some kind of spaniel to get the long haired-coat.
Therefore, long-haired Dachshunds have some personality traits that are considered more spaniel-like.
Long haired Dachshunds are known as being sweet, calm, and laid back.
They’re not as inclined to form a one-on-one attachment and are often best friends with everyone in the household.
Wire Haired Dachshund Personality
Wire hairs are a result of the introduction of terriers into the Dachshund lineage hundreds of years ago.
For this reason, wire-haired Dachshunds have the general breed traits with some variations that may be described as more “terrier-like”.
For example, wires are known to be more feisty and outgoing with very strong personalities.
They are also known to be more “clown-like” and inquisitive.
Nature vs Nurture and How It Affects a Dachshund’s Personality
So far, I have described the nature of a Dachshund. These are personality traits that Dachshunds are genetically born with.
Those general traits can vary from dog to dog, and between the different coat types, but genetics are genetics. A purebred Dachshund will always act like a Dachshund.
However, some people are surprised to hear how much the personality of dogs from the same genetic lineage can vary.
Dogs within the same breed, although all possessing a similar core personality style, can have unique quirks that make them special and different.
Why is that?
While nature is the biggest influence on a dog’s personality, there are many other factors that ultimately influence it.
The second biggest influence is nurture – how a dog is raised.
For some examples…
Nurture means how your puppy was raised by the breeder.
For example, did a puppy get a lot of human contact? Was the puppy around children?
Nurture means how the Mother treated the puppies in general.
For example, was the mother attentive or aloof? How many weeks did she let the puppies nurse.
Nurture means where they stood in the pecking order with their siblings and how they were treated by their siblings.
For example, was a puppy the runt? Did they get bullied a lot by their brothers and sisters? Were they the biggest and got to push everyone else around.
The biggest part of nurture you can control is how to work with your dog once they come home with you (as a puppy or an adult).
Examples of the influeces you can have on your Dachshund’s personality are…
The Dachshund’s personality trait of “watchdog” means that they bark to alert their owner any time they perceive a threat.
However, some Dachshunds can be taught to bark less.
The Dachshunds alert and territorial nature, along with their inclination to hyper-attach to one person, can lead to anxiety.
However, with proper, early socialization and exposure to different experiences, and if they are taught to be a confident, they can grow up to be a calm, well-adjusted dog.
A Dachshund’s desire to defend themselves and the person they love, plus the potential anxiety mentioned above, can result in them barking and lunging at every potential threat (dog) that passes on a walk.
However, with proper training, they can be taught to be friendly, and walk nicely, on leash.
The Dachshund breed was developed as a hunting dog so they are agile, athletic, and full of energy.
They can make great hiking or travel buddies but, if you prefer a slower pace of life, they can learn to mirror your activity level lounge around the house (although this is not the most healthy for them).
These personality variations can be due to several things but a primary influence is how they are raised – both training and the kind of environment they were raised in.
In other words, while you can’t expect a Dachshund not to do Dachshund things, you do have the opportunity to shape yours into the best version of a Dachshund for you.
There is a core set of personality traits that every Dachshund can possess.
Whether a Dachshund has a long coat, is wire haired, or is smooth and slick, they will all display some variation of these core Dachsund triats.
However, it is true that the different coat types have some subtle, general variances.
Knowing the personality differences between the coat types can help you decide which is the best fit for your family.
However, there are three other important factors to keep in mind.
The first is that every dog is different, even within the same breed and coat type.
General personality traits of the Dachshund are listed here but it doesn’t mean yours will be all of these things or won’t display some non-typical personality traits.
Second, through training, you can heavily influence your individual Dachshund’s personality but there are some genetic traits you just can’t change.
The great thing about choosing a purebred dog is that their personality is somewhat known and predictable.
In other words, you should understand the general characteristics of the Dachshund before getting one and assume any Dachshund you get will exhibit most of them.
Third – and this is a big one – is grooming needs.
A dog’s personality should be the primary decision factor is choosing one that is a good fit for your family but you must also be realistic about what it will to take care of them and keep them healthy.
This information is easy to find with a simple Google search but, generally, the smooth coat is the easiest to take care of. Long and wire haired Dachshunds can require more baths and brushing or stripping (in the case of some wire Dachshund coats.
No matter what coat type you choose, Dachshunds have a special personality that can add much happiness to your life.