A typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular, with short, stubby legs. Its front paws are unusually large and paddle-shaped, for extreme digging. Long coated dachshunds have a silky coat and short featherings on legs and ears. It has skin that is loose enough not to tear while tunneling in tight burrows to chase prey. The dachshund has a deep chest that provides increased lung capacity for stamina when hunting prey underground. Its snout is long with an increased nose area that absorbs odors.
Dachshunds exhibit three coat varieties: smooth coat (short hair), long hair, and wire-hair. Wirehaired is the least commonly seen coat in the US (it is the most common in Germany) and the most recent coat to appear in breeding standards
Dachshunds have a wide variety of colors and patterns. They can be single-colored, single-colored with spots (“dappled”-called “merle” in other dog breeds), and single-colored with tan points plus any pattern. Dachshunds in the same litter may be born in different coat colors. Dachshunds also come in piebald. The dominant color is red, the most common along with black and tan. Two-colored dogs can be black, wild boar, chocolate, fawn, with tan “points”, or markings over the eyes, ears, paws, and tail, of tan or cream.
Dachshunds are playful, but as hunting dogs can be quite stubborn, and are known for their propensity for chasing small animals, birds, and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity. Many dachshunds are stubborn, making them a challenge to train.
Dachshunds are statistically more aggressive to both strangers and other dogs. Despite this, they are rated in the intelligence of dogs as an average working dog with a persistent ability to follow trained commands 50% of the time or more. They can have a loud bark. Some bark quite a lot and may need training to stop, while others will not bark much at all. Dachshunds are known for their devotion and loyalty to their owners, though they can be standoffish towards strangers. If left alone, many dachshunds will whine until they have companionship. Like many dogs if left alone too frequently, some dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety and may chew objects in the house to relieve stress.
The breed is known to have spinal problems, due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury may be worsened by obesity, jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise, which place greater strain on the vertebrae.