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 hair Dachshunds have different personalities too.
The short answer is yes, smooth, long and wire haired Dachshunds do have slightly different personalities.
Smooth haired Dachshunds are loyal, stubborn, and have a high prey drive like their hunting ancestors. Long haired Dachshunds, in contrast, tend to be more gentle, sweet and calm, whereas wire haired Dachshunds can be more feisty, comedic, and clownish.
However, smooth, long and wire haired Dachshunds also share a lot of similar traits that are typical of the breed.
And coat type is not the most important factor in your Dachshund’s personality.
In this article, we will discuss a little about the history of the Dachshund breed, their general personality traits, personality differences between smooth, long and wire haired Dachshunds, and the most important factors that influence your Dachshund’s personality (spoiler alert: It’s training and socialization).
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 coat type 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.
The Difference In Personality Between Smooth Haired, Long Haired and Wire Haired Dachshunds
The three Dachshund coat types definitely look different.
Smooth-haired Dachshunds have a short, slick fur. The shape of their body is easily seen as it’s not obscured by hair.
Long-haired Dachshunds have longer, silky fur all over, a tail with hair fringe on the underside, and ears that resemble cascading locks of hair.
Wire-haired Dachshunds have hair that is not as short as a smooth-haired Dachshund but not as long as a long-haired one and often has a kink to it. They are known for their scruffy beards and eyebrows, which are often longer than the rest of their hair.
Not only do smooth, long and wire haired Dachshunds all look different, but they have slightly different personalities too.
Below are the general personality differences between each Dachshund coat type.
Keep in mind though, as soon as you say “this is how *insert coat type here* Dachshunds are”, many people will come out of the woodwork to tell you that theirs is not like that.
After your done reading how the nature of smooth, long and wire haired Dachshund personalities vary from each other, read on to find out what other factors influence how your Dachshund acts and behaves.
Smooth Haired Dachshund Personality
Smooth haired Dachshunds were the original coat type for the breed so they are the most likely to display the general breed characteristics listed above without variation.
The smooth coat Dachshund is a creation of German breeders and includes elements of German, French, and English hounds and terriers.
The exact dog breeds that were mixed to make the short haired Dachshund are unclear but it may been one of these combinations:
- German Shorthaired Pointer, Pinscher, and Brake Bloodhound
- Miniature French Pointer and Pinscher
- Short Bruno Jura Hound and Pinscher
Smooth is the most common Dachshund coat type in the US so you will likely see them the most often of the three.
Smooth haired Dachshunds are Intelligent, alert, and playful.
They are also very loyal and are 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.
One theory is that the smooth coat Dachshund may have been crossed with a spaniel so they would have longer, warmer coats that would help them stay out hunting for longer.
Another theory is that the original Dachshund was crossed with a spaniel to even out their temperament – to create a calmer breed that would make a better pet than a working dog.
Because of this cross, long-haired Dachshunds have some personality traits that are considered more spaniel-like.
How the long haired Dachshund’s personality is different.
Long haired Dachshunds are known as being sweet, calm, gentle, and laid back.
They are more likely to be friends with everyone and less defensive against strange dogs.
They may be slightly less likely to bark than wire or smooth haired Dachshunds (they’re not quiet, just maybe less noisy).
They’re loyal but not as inclined to form a one-on-one attachment and are often best friends with everyone in the household.
They may be less likely to burrow. Their long hair keeps them warmer naturally so sleeping under the blankets can be to warm for them.
Wire Haired Dachshund Personality
Wirehaired dachshunds are the most common variety of Dachshund in Germany but they’re the ones you are least likely to see in the US.
Wire hairs are a result of the introduction of wire haired terriers into the Dachshund lineage hundreds of years ago.
It’s believed that wire haired Dachshunds were originally bred to have thicker, rougher fur than smooth haired Dachshunds to help protect them from harsh brambles and other vegetation while hunting.
Because of this cross, wire-haired Dachshunds have the general breed traits with some variations that may be described as more “terrier-like”.
How the wire haired Dachshund’s personality is different.
Wires are known to be more feisty and outgoing with very strong personalities.
Wire haired Dachshunds are the most likely to bark of the three coat types, although all Dachshunds love to alert you to potential intruders so the difference may be marginal.
Wire haired Dachshunds can be slightly more aggressive, protective, and have more attitude.
This extra attitude can be seen as a positive trait too as wire haired Dachshunds are known to be more comical in their behavior, “clown-like”, and inquisitive.
Other Factors that Influence Your Dachshund’s Personality
Whether your Dachshund is smooth, long, or wire haired only plays a small part in how your dog will behave and act.
Understanding the typical behaviors of each Dachshund coat type can be a useful guide to let you know the likely behaviors and traits your Dachshund may develop.
When it comes down to it, each dog is different though. So many factors play into a Dachshund’s behavior.
Other factors that will influence your Dachshund’s personality include:
- The personality of the parents
- Whether they were the biggest of their litter or the smallest
- If they remained with the Mother for 8-10 weeks or were taken away before
- Whether your Dachshund is male or female
- What your Dachshund’s early socialization and training was
- If your Dachshund is a rescue, what their previous life situation was and how many previous homes they had
Then there are the two biggest factors that will influence your Dachshund’s behavior – socialization and training.
Read on to find out how why nurture is probably the largest factor in determining your Dachshund’s personality.
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, or breed, 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.
Did a puppy get a lot of human contact? Was the puppy around children? Did the breeder begin training for your puppy?
Nurture means how the Mother treated the puppies in general.
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.
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?
Nurture means how you socialize and train them
Do you use training to curb unwanted behaviors? Is your Dachshund regularly exposed to unfamiliar sights, sounds, and experiences so they can learn to handle different situations?
Read on for more about how you can influence your Dachshund’s personality.
How You Raise Your Dachshund Impacts Their Personality The Most
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).
Regular training can teach your Dachshund how to behave in your home, what is expected from them, and help them fit into your lifestyle.
Socializing your Dachshund is important because it helps them develop confidence and adjust to new situations.
Both of these things will affect your Dachshund’s behavior and personality.
Examples of the influences you can have on your Dachshund’s personality and behavior through training and socialization 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 with or without you.
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.
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.
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 other important factors to keep in mind.
Consider how your Dachshund was nurtured at a young age and before they came to live with you.
Unless your Dachshund puppy was born in your home, your Dachshund will come to you with some “baseline” behavior and personality traits that you likely had no control over.
Once your Dachshund is in your home, you can heavily influence your individual Dachshund’s personality (but there are some genetic traits you just can’t change) through training and socialization.
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.