Dachshund temperaments – 2012 Breed Survey results

In November 2018, an Open Access paper “Prevailing Clusters of Canine Behavioural Traits in Historical US Demand for Dog Breeds (1926–2005)” was published. The analysis identified 6 clusters of breeds, each of which had behavioural traits in common. They used the breed whose average behavioural score most closely matched the cluster average as the title for the cluster. Dachshunds were in the small-breed cluster of dogs that score high on aggression, fear, separation, excitability and are motivated by owner attention.

In 2012, we conducted a survey of Dachshund temperaments and had around 1400 responses. The summary is shown below:

Temperament Survey Results

The majority (85%) of Dachshunds were described by their owners as Always or Often Outgoing and Friendly, but 1 in 50 was described as Never behaving in this way.  We tend to describe Dachshunds as being a noisy breed, after all they were originally developed to have a loud bark.  15% of owners said theirs Always or Often barks excessively or persistently.  What we don’t know is how much physical or mental stimulation any of these dogs get with daily exercise and it would be interesting to know the extent to which more exercise would make a difference.

In general, although there appears to be little difference between the male and female results there are some differences which are statistically significant:

  • 9% of Dogs that Always/Sometimes suffer from Separation Anxiety vs. 6% of Bitches
  • 1% of Dogs that are Always/Sometimes aggressive with people vs. 0% of Bitches
  • 6% of Dogs that are Always/Sometimes aggressive with other dogs vs. 4% of Bitches
  • 7% of Dogs that are Always/Sometimes nervous/fearful of people vs. 5% of Bitches

Smooth-haired Dachshunds:

The statistically significant differences between Smooths and the overall population in the survey are as follows:

  • They are less outgoing/friendly (and just under half are aggressive with other dogs, at least sometimes)
  • They suffer more from Separation Anxiety
  • They are more nervous and fearful of people (and 1 in 4 are aggressive with people, at least sometimes)
  • They are more destructive

Long-haired Dachshunds:

The statistically significant differences between Longs and the overall population in the survey are as follows:

  • They are easier to house-train
  • They are less likely to be submissive piddlers
  • They are less likely to be aggressive with people (only 4% are sometimes aggressive and 1 in 4 are nervous/fearful at least sometimes)
  • They are less likely to be aggressive with other dogs (although 1 in 5 is at least sometimes aggressive)

Wire haired Dachshunds: 

The statistically significant differences between Wires and the overall population in the survey are as follows:

  • They are more outgoing and friendly (but 1 in 3 is aggressive with other dogs, at least sometimes)
  • They are easier to house-train
  • They are less likely to suffer from Separation Anxiety
  • They are more likely to suffer from Noise/Thunderstorm Fear
  • They are less likely to be nervous/fearful of people (but 7% are aggressive with people, at least sometimes)

Mini Smooth Dachshunds:

The statistically significant differences between Mini-Smooths and the overall population in the survey are as follows:

  • They are less likely to bark excessively/persistently
  • They are more difficult to house-train
  • They are more likely to be submissive piddlers
  • They are more likely to suffer from Separation Anxiety

Mini Long Dachshunds:

The statistically significant differences between Mini-Longs and the overall population in the survey are as follows:

  • They are less outgoing and friendly
  • They are more likely to be submissive piddlers
  • They are more likely to suffer from Noise/Thunderstorm Fear
  • They are more likely to be nervous and fearful of people (but only 1 in 10 is aggressive with people, at least sometimes)
  • They are less likely to be destructive

Mini Wire Dachshunds:

The statistically significant differences between Mini-Wires and the overall population in the survey are as follows:

  • They are less likely to bark excessively/persistently
  • They are less likely to suffer from Separation Anxiety

The Breed Standard:

The vast majority of Dachshunds live their lives as family pets in a home environment and are neither “working” dogs, nor kenneled.  Their temperaments therefore need to reflect that lifestyle and the expectations of their owners that they will be able to live long, happy lives as pets.  We do have to recognise the breed’s working origins and the fact that their temperaments were originally suited to their work. The UK Breed Standard describes the Dachshund as “Faithful, versatile and good tempered”.  They are also described as: “Intelligent, lively, courageous to the point of rashness, obedient”.  

Temperaments overall:

Taking the scores for the positive traits and negative traits, it is possible to calculate an overall ranking for temperament and behaviour.

  1. Long – most positive traits
  2. Wire
  3. Mini Wire
  4. Mini Long
  5. Mini Smooth
  6. Smooth

Remember, all dogs are different and the results are a sample of the UK Dachshund population.

We all know, however, that our Dachshund is the best!