You may know the Dachshund as the wiener dog because of their long, sausage-like bodies. These dogs are known for their distinctive shape, their short and stubby legs, and their vivacious personalities.
When you hear the name “Dachshund,” you might imagine a small dog low to the ground with short, smooth fur. But while a short coat is the most common coat type seen on these dogs, there are actually two other coat types for the Dachshund. The first is the Longhaired Dachshund and the second is the wirehaired Dachshund.
The Wirehaired Dachshund lacks the smooth and short coat that you may expect Dachshunds to have. Rather, they have coarse, thick, and wiry fur. They are officially recognized by the AKC as a variant of the Dachshund, although they are not common in the US.
This coat type offers the Wirehaired Dachshund an even more distinctive look. If you find yourself with a Wirehaired Dachshund, then you can expect a unique, active, and friendly little dog.
The Wirehaired Dachshund’s History
In German, the name “Dachshund” means badger dog. This breed was developed to hunt badgers, their build specifically designed for being able to easily burrow into badger dens.
The breed has also historically been used to hunt other animals like rabbits, foxes, and even wild boars. In fact, Dachshunds are the only breed that hunts both above ground and underground that is recognized by the AKC.
Originally, Dachshunds were bred to have shorter fur, this type being known as the Smooth Dachshund. However, over time new coat types began to make an appearance as breeders combined the Smooth Dachshund with other breeds. This resulted in both the Longhaired Dachshund and the Wirehaired Dachshund.
Wirehaired Dachshunds were specifically developed by breeding in terrier breeds. This wiry coat was especially desirable for dogs who had to work in thornier or thicker areas in nature. This is because the wiry coat offers an added layer of protection.
The Wirehaired Dachshund’s Personality
In many respects, the Wirehaired Dachsund’s personality is similar to that of the Smooth Dachshund or the Longhaired Dachshund. These are super lively and playful dogs that adore their owners, and they also have a curious and inquisitive nature. They tend to be fearless and active, their short legs never an impediment to their desire to explore.
While these are the basics of the Dachshund’s personality, it can vary by coat type. This is because of the different breeds that were used in combination with the Smooth Dachshund to create Longhaired and Wirehaired Dachshunds.
Terrier breeds with wiry coats were used in the development of the Wirehaired Dachshund. Because these breeds tend to be super intelligent and curious, the Wirehaired Dachshund tends to be something of a troublemaker.
This mischievous side can sometimes make training a challenge and a chore with Wirehairs. Their high levels of intelligence allows them to catch onto new concepts during training quickly, but they may enjoy testing your limits and seeing how far they can get.
During training, remember to stay firm and consistent and to use lots of positive reinforcement.
You may also find that this makes them more active and rambunctious than Smooths or Longhairs.
That said, you can still expect an incredibly loyal and affectionate animal when you adopt this breed. If you’re thinking of adopting a Wirehaired Dachshund, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for.
Always do your research when looking at a breeder. Look for someone reputable, and avoid backyard breeders at all costs. Make sure to request the puppy’s parents’ medical history, and when selecting a puppy avoid choosing one that seems shy or anxious. This isn’t normal for the breed and indicates that something may be wrong.
All About the Wirehaired Dachshund’s Coat
Type and Texture
The Wirehair’s coat is one of the most striking things about this dog. While the Smooth Dachshund and Longhaired Dachshund have softer and silkier fur, the Wirehaired Dachshund’s coat is thick and rough.
They have a double coat which means that there is a finer, soft undercoat and a harder topcoat. As the name implies, this top coat is wiry and coarse and should feel rough to the touch.
You’ll find this coarse top coat all over the Wirehair’s body except for in a few places. This includes the ears, jaw, and eyebrows. In these areas, the hair will be long and thick, offering the Wirehair a wise, bearded appearance.
All types of Dachshunds come in a variety of colorations. They tend to be black, fawn, chocolate, gray, tan, or cream. They can also have a combination of these colors.
These colors are all acceptable for the Wirehaired Dachshund, but some colors are more common for this Dachshund type.
You’re more likely to find Wirehairs with wild boar coloring, which is a combination of black, gray, and brown. You may also find them commonly with chocolate coloring, cream, black and tan, or red.
Grooming and Care
Because of their coat type, wirehairs require a different grooming regimen than Smooth or Longhaired Dachshunds.
You’ll want to brush your Wirehair regularly, about two to three times a week. This will help remove any dead hairs in your dog’s coat.
Two or three times a year, your Wirehaired Dachshund will need his coat hand stripped. This is a grooming method specific to wirehaired breeds, that have a different hair growth cycle than other breeds.
With wirehaired dogs, the fur gets thicker and darker as it grows in. Simply cutting the fur shorter isn’t an effective grooming method because this only gets rid of the top of the dead fur. This will result in your dog’s coat looking duller and less vibrant.
Hand stripping involves removing dead fur from the root. By doing this, you are allowing a new, healthier coat to grow in.
If you would like to have your dog’s coat hand stripped, it’s best to bring him to a professional groomer. You can learn to perform this process by yourself, but it’s a good idea to have a trained professional show you how to do it.