The dachshund is a popular hunting dog, pet, and show dog that comes in two sizes: standard and miniature. The kaninchen or rabbit size dachshund is not recognized by the American Kennel Club but is recognized as a third, smaller size of a dachshund by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The difference between miniature and kaninchen dachshunds in the FCI breed standard is the size of the dog. There are other differences when comparing the FCI standard for kaninchen with the AKC standard for miniature dachsunds.
Dachshund history and general information
The dachshund is characterized by a very long body and short, stubby legs. The name "dachshund" is of German origin and means "badger dog." As the name implies, these dogs were bred to independently hunt badgers. Its long, wiry body made it very good at going down into the burrows of badgers and other prey and flushing them out.
The miniature dachshund and kaninchen were bred to specialize in hunting small prey like rabbits. In fact, the name "kaninchen" is literally the German word for rabbit, and the breed is often referred to in English as the "rabbit dachshund." This small breed is friendly, courageous, clever, and tenacious. Their independence and stubbornness can make them a challenge to train, but they are intelligent and will learn with plenty of positive rewards.
Dachshund coat types and colors
Kaninchen and miniature dachshunds have three differeent coat types. Smooth-haired dachshunds have short, dense, and shiny fur. Slightly longer hair on the belly is permitted. Wirehaired dachshunds have a thick, rough, and wiry outer coat. This variety also has an undercoat. They should also have bushy eyebrows and a beard.
Finally, long-haired dachshunds have sleek, long hair. Wavy hair is permitted, but it should not be curly. The hair should be longer on the ears, chest, and belly. Long-haired dachshunds should not have parted hair on top of the back. Regardless of the coat type, the other aspects of breed standard, including size and conformation, remain the same.
Miniature vs. kaninchen dachshund measurements
Unlike the AKC, the FCI breed standard does not consider the height or weight of the dog. Instead, the FCI differentiates between the miniature and rabbit size dachshund based on the chest width measurement that is taken when the dogs are at least 15 months old. Measure the dog from the top of the withers to the lowest point of the chest.
A miniature dachshund should measure 32 to 37 centimeters, or 12.5 to 14.5 inches for male dogs, and 30 to 35 centimeters, or 11.8 to 13.8 inches, for female dogs. A male kaninchen should measure 27 to 32 centimeters, or 10.6 to 12.5 inches, and a female kaninchen should measure 25 to 30 centimeters, or 9.8 to 11.8 inches to meet the latest breed standard published in 2019.
Under the AKC, a miniature dachshund should measure 5 to 6 inches tall and weigh less than 11 pounds. Dogs that are smaller than this are not recognized as meeting the breed standard.
Breed standard differences
While size is the only difference between miniature and kaninchen dachshunds under the FCI breed standard, there are some slight differences when comparing the dachshund breed standard published by the AKC. For example, the AKC standard expects dogs to be low to the ground with short legs and a long body.
The FCI also calls for dogs to be low to the ground with short legs. The breed standard specifies an elongated but compact body with specific proportions that are not required by the AKC. Dachshunds should clear the ground by approximately 1/3 of the dog's height and the length of the body should be 1.7 to 1.8 times the dog's height.