With its iconic body shape and indomitable spirit, the Dachshund is among the Top 10 most popular dogs in the United States. Millions of pet parents dote on their adorable Dachshunds. They were bred hundreds of years ago to be fierce hunters and are incredibly brave. They’re also more stubborn than many dog breeds and need a parent who will take the time and energy to train them well.
One aspect of the Dachshund that you might not realize is that, like many small breed dogs, they live exceptionally long lives. On average they live around 12 years. If you’re interested in knowing more about their lifespan, their life stages, and why some Dachshunds live longer than others, we have your answers below. Read on to see why, when you adopt a Dachshund, you’re getting a furry friend who will be with you for many years.
What’s the Average Lifespan of a Dachshund?
According to multiple sources like the American Kennel Club and PetMD, the standard Dachshund has an average lifespan of 12.7 years, although many reach 15, 16, 17, and even older. The average lifespan of dogs, in general, is just over 8 years, meaning the Dachshund lives potentially 50% longer.
Of course, many factors determine how long any dog, including Dachshunds, will live. Amazingly, the oldest Dachshund on record was a Doxie named Rocky, a Smooth Dachshund who lived to be 25! Chanel, a Wire-haired Dachshund, lived nearly 21.5 years, while others have lived well past 18. In short, when you adopt a Dachshund, chances are they will be with you for a long time.
Why Do Some Dachshunds Live Longer Than Others?
Many factors determine how long any dog, including a Dachshund, will live. The good news, as you’ll see below, is that with proper care (and a pinch of good luck), ensuring your Doxie stays with you for a long time is possible.
Dachshunds require a complete and balanced diet with good quality nutrients. Several studies also show that keeping dogs lean throughout their lives increases their life span. For Doxies, this is especially true, as they need to be kept at a healthy weight due to back problems the breed suffers. An overweight Dachshund will have a higher risk of vertebral disc protrusions that can be very painful and require surgery.
2. Environment and Conditions
A Dachshund in a loving home where it is well cared for will generally live longer than one in the opposite conditions. Dachshunds need a lot of attention and a decent amount of exercise to stay in shape and maintain muscle tone. You also need to be aware of their activities as their spines are prone to injury. Lastly, like most breeds with long, droopy ears, keeping your Dachshund’s ears clean is imperative to avoid infection.
3. Enclosure Size/Living Quarters/Housing
Dachshunds are small dogs that aren’t made for freezing weather. While they tend to sleep a lot, they also need room to move around when they’re active. A warm, loving home is best. If you choose to crate your Doxie, purchase a crate big enough for them to move around, sit, and lay down without any problems. As for keeping them outdoors, experts don’t recommend Dachshunds for outdoor living, especially where there are cold winters.
One of the reasons that many believe Dachshunds live longer than other breeds is their small size. One major ongoing study of more than 56,000 dogs concluded that larger dogs age at a rate that’s much faster than smaller dogs. The study suggested that small dogs, since they grow more slowly, experience less risk of abnormal cell growth that leads to cancer.
Generally, female dogs live longer than males. For Dachshunds, that seems to be about 6 months, which is not a huge difference.
Genetics plays a role in the health and lifespan of many dog breeds. In the case of Dachshunds, however, there are fewer known inherited life threatening disorders and thus fewer problems that end their life early. That’s likely why the #1 cause of death for Dachshunds is old age rather than a specific disease.
7. Breeding History
One of the most significant breeding problems with Dachshunds concerns those with a Piebald coat. The Piebald recessive gene can cause several health problems for Dachshunds, affecting their hearing and vision.
Dachshunds are one of the healthiest dog breeds and are usually in the Top 10 list of most healthy dogs. Ensuring they get enough exercise and regular checkups will help them stay in good health and live longer.
Length of life is obviously highly individual and many factors affect this, sadly despite our best efforts sometimes a pet will pass away at a younger age.
The 4 Life Stages of a Dachshund
Dachshunds, like all dogs, go through 4 life stages. They include:
A Dachshund is considered a puppy until they reach around 6 months old. Like all dogs, they are born blind and deaf and are utterly helpless. At about 3 weeks of age, their eyes open, and they start to hear. Dachshund puppies nurse for about 4 weeks and should be completely weaned by about 8 weeks.
At 6 to 9 months, give or take a few weeks, your Dachshund is considered an adolescent and, like most teenagers, may well be their wildest, inattentive and most frustrated. Most of this behavior has to do with their hormones and brain development. Consistent exercise and training will help guide them through this time.
Dachshunds become adult dogs around 12 months when they become skeletally mature. However, their adolescent behavior might continue until they reach 2 to 3 years of age. They become sexually mature usually before a year of age, closer to 6 months old.
A senior Dachshund is over 8 years old, which is older compared to other dog breeds. Since they live so long, however, you might not see any signs of their old age at this point.
Dachshunds are a long-lived dog breed that will typically pass 10 years with no problems. Of course, the better you treat them, feed them and care for them, the longer most will live. We hope today’s information about how long Dachshunds live has been beneficial and informative. Also, we hope your adorable Dachshund lives a long and happy life.