Wire-haired Dachshund

Portrait of a beautiful yellow wire-haired dachshund on a gray background

The wire-haired dachshund is a variation of the standard dachshund breed of dogs. Unlike standard dachshunds, which usually have a smooth, short coat, the wire-haired variety has a double coat consisting of a coarse outer coat and a softer inner coat.

These dogs are well-loved for their spunky personality and quirky character. Affectionate dogs that love their humans, this breed is friendly and loyal. With a long lifespan of up to 16 years, the wire-haired dachshund makes an ideal pet.

Because the dachshund is a small dog, it is well-suited to apartment living. However, this little dog is vibrant and active and needs lots of exercise and daily walks from an active and attentive owner.

Wire-haired dachshunds make good family dogs because they enjoy human interaction, but these dogs aren’t ideal for households with small children. Prone to painful back problems, the dog should be handled carefully and may become aggressive towards a small child who handles the dog poorly.

Wire-haired Dachshund Quick Summary

Breed typeHound
Size8–9 inches
Weight16–32 pounds
CoatDouble-coated; coarse wire-haired outer coat and soft inner coat
Color variationsBlack and tan, chocolate and tan, red, varied dapple combinations
Suitable forActive, attentive owners
Daily exercise High, 3 times a day
Daily food consumption½ cup good-quality kibble twice per day
PersonalityLoyal, friendly, feisty, stubborn
Lifespan12–16 years
Cost$500 to $3,500
Alternate namesDoxie, Weiner, Sausage dog

Wire-haired Dachshund Appearance

An adorable wire-haired dachshund on a yellow pillow and gray background

The wire-haired dachshund has short, stubby, thick legs, a straight-backed, elongated torso, long, floppy ears, and deep chocolate-brown eyes with bushy eyebrows. This dog’s protruding chest and long snout create a look of confidence, and a little beard makes the dog look old and wise.

Height and Weight

With an average height of 8 to 9 inches, the wire-haired dachshund is a small dog weighing between 16 and 32 pounds.

The puppies grow rapidly and reach full adult height and length at one year old, while continuing to gain weight and fill out until about 18 months.

Miniature wire-haired dachshunds are 5 to 6 inches in height and weigh up to 11 pounds.


The wire-haired dachshund’s coat is made up of two layers — a longer, coarse, and wiry outer coat and a shorter, soft inner coat. Dachshunds were bred for hunting, and the coarse, wiry outer coat offers protection against rough terrain.

Colors range from black, chocolate brown, tan, and red, with numerous combinations of these colors. Often the dog has a brown nose and feet with a black body.


Like other dachshunds, wire-haired dachshunds have floppy, low-hanging ears. The breed’s long ears prevent dirt and foreign objects from getting into the ear canal while the dog digs in the earth.


Wire-haired dachshunds have beautiful, deep chocolate-brown eyes. These dogs have bushy eyebrows that need occasional trimming to prevent eye irritation.


The tail is almost an extension of the wire-haired dachshund’s backbone, following the same straight line as the back, with an upward-curving tip. The average tail length is 9 to 10 inches.

Wire-haired Dachshund Origins

The standard dachshund was originally bred in Germany to hunt and dig for badgers. The German word dach means badger and hund means dog, giving this breed its name.

First introduced in the 16th century, the dachshund received official recognition in 1885, when the dog was registered by the AKC (American Kennel Club).

Smooth-coated, short-haired dachshunds were the first of their kind. Wire-haired and long-haired dachshunds came later as a result of crossbreeding with the Scotch terrier.

Wire-haired Dachshund Personality and Temperament

Wire-haired dachshunds are spunky dogs with a loyal and friendly nature. These dogs love spending time with their owner and enjoy receiving a lot of attention. The breed tends to have a jealous streak and often resents other animals in its space, preferring to be the only pet in the household.

Known for their feisty, quirky personality, wire-haired dachshunds rarely demonstrate aggression. However, because they sometimes experience painful spinal problems, these dogs are known to react aggressively when handled roughly. The small dogs aren’t recommended for families with young children who don’t know how to be gentle with dogs.

Taking Care of a Wire-haired Dachshund Dog

Two wire-haired dachshund dogs standing on a green grass in the summer park

Caring for a wire-haired dachshund is easy because these dogs don’t need any special treatment. Like other dachshunds, the dogs need food, water, shelter, exercise, medical checkups and vaccinations, regular grooming, and lots of attention and love. With all its basic needs met, a wire-haired dachshund can live for 16 years — making caring for this breed a long-term commitment.

Food Needs

An adult wire-haired dachshund needs 1 cup of good-quality dry kibble per day, split into two meals — ½ cup in the morning and ½ cup in the evening. Feeding high-quality dry food keeps the gut healthy, prevents skin and coat problems, and protects the teeth from decay.

All dachshunds are prone to obesity, which causes health problems and places strain on the back, so overfeeding should be avoided.

Grooming Needs

Wire-haired dachshunds shed moderately and need brushing two to three times a week. Dead hairs should be plucked every six months, either by hand or using a special stripper.

Trim your dachshund’s beard and eyebrows every three months, or as often as needed to keep the hair looking neat.

To prevent body odor, bathe your dog once a month, using good-quality dog shampoo. Clip nails monthly and brush teeth weekly with special dog toothpaste. Start brushing teeth and clipping nails when the wire-haired dachshund is still a puppy so the dog gets used to a hygiene routine from an early age.

Clean the ears weekly by wiping gently inside the ear with a cotton ball dipped in water. Never insert a cotton bud into a dog’s ears because the cotton can become stuck in the ear.

Exercise Needs

Keep your wire-haired dachshund fit and healthy with regular exercise. This active dog needs three 30-minute walks a day. Because dachshunds are hunters by nature, the dogs will want to chase after everything in sight, so keep your pet on a leash.

Try to discourage your wire-haired dachshund from jumping up onto beds and furniture. The jarring action involved in jumping and landing strains the back and may lead to problems with the spine.

Mental Needs

Like other dachshunds, the wire-haired dachshund needs lots of stimulation and attention. This highly intelligent dog often suffers from anxiety, and needs a loving and caring owner who can devote plenty of time to the dog.

These dogs don’t enjoy being left alone and often develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. This breed is affectionate and friendly and needs human interaction.

As hunting dogs, wire-haired dachshunds developed a loud, piercing bark to alert their owner when they had found a badger on a hunt. This bark is often problematic because the dog will bark to express feelings of displeasure, boredom, anxiety, and neglect.

Leave doggy toys, bones, and balls for your dog to chew or play with to combat boredom and anxiety. Regular play prevents destructive behavior when the dog is home alone.

Common Health Concerns

Wire-haired dachshunds suffer from numerous severe health problems, according to the BVA (British Veterinary Association).

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is the most common serious disease affecting wire-haired dachshunds. Because of its elongated body shape, this breed has a particularly long back that’s susceptible to severe spinal and neurological disorders. It’s a painful condition that can only be corrected by major surgery.

Other common health concerns are skin cancer and ear infections. There isn’t any way to predict or prevent skin cancer, which can be fatal. Ear infections can be avoided by cleaning the ears regularly.

How to Train a Wire-haired Dachshund

The wire-haired dachshund’s intelligence also makes the breed extremely stubborn and difficult to train. Training these dogs requires a delicate balance between loving patience and firm handling, and is best executed by an experienced dog handler.

Here is some helpful advice for training a wire-haired dachshund:

  1. The younger the dog when training starts, the more successful the training is, so start training a wire-haired dachshund as a young puppy
  2. Wire-haired dachshunds respond best to praise and positive reinforcement. Offer treats as rewards for obedience instead of punishing disobedient behavior
  3. Wire-haired dachshunds have a short attention span, despite their high intelligence, so training sessions should be short
  4. Keeping to a regular training schedule helps the dog get used to the training routine and encourages cooperation
  5. Wire-haired dachshunds are sensitive and easily upset, so don’t shout at your dog. Simply remain firm and calm

Wire-haired Dachshund Price

Portrait of a wire-haired dachshund in a natural park

The wire-haired dachshund is a rare variety of the dachshund breed, and therefore one of the most expensive. Expect to pay more for a wire-haired dachshund than for a standard dachshund.

How Much is a Wire-haired Dachshund?

A wire-haired dachshund is $500 to $3,500. The price may vary from breeder to breeder, with an ethical and reputable breeder charging more for a highly-pedigreed puppy. Good breeders limit the number of litters bred from each parent, in order to minimize the risk of genetic defects from inbreeding. This practice raises the cost of these dogs.

An adult wire-haired dachshund bought from a shelter or rescue center costs much less because an adopted dog’s lineage is unknown and the dog has no pedigree papers. Expect to pay about $250 to the shelter for vaccination, a medical check-up, and a small amount for the dog, itself.

How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Wire-haired Dachshund?

First-year expenses for owning a wire-haired dachshund will be between $1,000 and $1,500 for equipment, vet bills, vaccinations, and food. After the first year, budget $1,000 per year for food, grooming, and medical care.

Wire-haired dachshunds have a long lifespan, so be prepared for these expenses for the next 16 years. Prepare for the possibility that the dog may become ill with age and need more expensive medical care.

Should You Get a Wire-haired Dachshund?

The wire-haired dachshund is a great dog and makes a wonderful pet, but this breed may be unsuitable for some people and incompatible with some lifestyles.

Wire-haired Dachshunds are Suitable for:

The wire-haired dachshund’s friendly, but needy personality makes this breed suitable for an attentive owner or a family with older children who have time to devote to their dog. This breed is small, but active, and lives well in an apartment when walked at least three times a day.

Wire-haired Dachshunds are NOT Suitable for:

Don’t bring a wire-haired dachshund into a multiple-dog household. These little dogs are possessive of their owners and get fiercely jealous of other dogs. The dogs often become aggressive towards animals competing for the owner’s attention.

Because dachshunds need careful handling, they aren’t suitable for households with small children who don’t know how to handle a dog gently.

Avoid a wire-haired dachshund if your dog has to spend long days alone at home or you may come home to chewed-up furniture and possessions.

About John Woods 299 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. Looking for a standard female blk and tan or wild boar wirehair dushshund my wirehair dushshund recently passed away want another companion

    • I just received 2 female pups from a breeder in Iowa. They are standard wirehair. Breeder is John Berger at Mule Creek Dachshunds.

  2. We have had long hair and short hair dogs before. The temperament of our new wire haired is so different. She is very energetic and feisty but a real pleasure to own. I’m still getting used to pulling out her fur to groom her but I have enjoyed having this type of dachshund.



  4. I am willing to purchase a puppy, male or female. I have two kids, 6 and 3, and would love for them to have a baby borther/sister.

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