Because of their long body and short legs, dachshunds are often called weenie dogs. The miniature longhair marries the cute, compact size of a miniature dachshund with the long-flowing coat of a spaniel. If you're looking for a fluffy pal for a small space, a miniature longhaired dachshund fits the bill.
Dachshunds were originally bred in Germany, and their name literally means badger dog. Their long bodies and short statures made them perfect for getting into badger burrows. Size wasn't the only factor in breeding a dog to hunt badgers. Dachshunds were bred to be brave, fearless little dogs with keen sense of smell. While it makes them terrific guard dogs, dachshunds are wary of new people and often grow attached to only one or a few members of the family.
While standard dachshunds typically weigh between 16 and 32 pounds, miniature dachshunds weigh less than 11 pounds. This makes them easier to pick up and handle, and makes them suitable for small domiciles like apartments. German hunters desired a smaller version of the dachshund to hunt rabbits. By selectively breeding small standard dachshunds, they created the miniature dachshund. Imported to the United States in the 1930s, they were popular pets by the 1940s.
A little bit of mystery surrounds the origins of the long-haired dachshund. It was either a natural mutation of the standard breed, or a result of breeding dachshunds and spaniels. A miniature long-haired dachshund has a flowing, wavy coat similar to the fur of an Irish setter. Long-haireds make great family dogs because they tend to be more laid back and calm than the standard variety. Keep in mind, a long-haired dachshund will require more grooming than a smooth or wirehair.
Like all dachshund varieties, miniature long-haireds have some health concerns. Hip dysplasia is when the leg bone does not fit properly in the hip joint. This can lead to pain and arthritis of the joint, causing him to have trouble walking or to lift up a leg when he runs. Their short legs make knee cap dislocation a common issue. Keeping your dachshund at a healthy weight by making sure he has a good diet and exercise will help prevent joint and back issues.
By Melissa Schindler
About the Author
Melissa Schindler has been writing professionally since 2010. She writes about pets, animals, technology and parenting for various websites. Also a fiction writer, she is author of "Houston After Dark." She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.