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What is the Difference Between English and American Dachshunds?

Funny sausage dog, dachshund puppy posing isolated on white background

The variations between these two types of Dachshunds may seem minimal at first glance, but a closer look at their physical traits and temperaments can reveal some fascinating distinctions. To appreciate the nuances that make each breed stand out from the other, it’s important for prospective owners or breed enthusiasts to understand these disparities.

In doing so, one can gain a better insight into what makes each Dachshund uniquely endearing and well-suited for specific environments or families. By discovering the characteristics that set these breeds apart, one can develop a deeper comprehension of this beloved canine companion and make informed decisions when looking to welcome a Dachshund into their home.

English Dachshunds

Origins and History

English Dachshunds trace their origins back to Germany, where they were initially bred for hunting purposes. Their small size and elongated bodies made them highly efficient in navigating through dense underbrush and burrows to locate their target animals. Although still popular in Europe, like their American counterparts, the English Dachshunds have evolved to be more of a companion dog in recent years.

Physical Characteristics

Miniature Dachshund on tree in English woodland.

While English Dachshunds and American Dachshunds have many similarities, there are some distinct physical characteristics that set them apart. English Dachshunds tend to have a slightly heavier build, with their bodies being slightly longer and their chests appearing deeper. Their legs are shorter and sturdier than those of American Dachshunds, giving them a more grounded appearance.

In terms of coat types, both American and English Dachshunds come in three main varieties:

  • Smooth-coated: Short, shiny coat
  • Wirehaired: Dense, wiry coat
  • Longhaired: Long, silky coat

However, English Dachshunds can be found in more colors and patterns compared to their American counterparts, such as:

  • Solid colors: Red, cream, chocolate, black, and fawn
  • Bi-colors: Black and tan, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, Isabella and tan
  • Dapples: Merle patterned coat with patches of lighter and darker fur
  • Brindles: Striped pattern, usually with a base color of red or cream

Despite these differences in appearance, English Dachshunds still share many personality traits with their American counterparts. They are friendly, intelligent, and fiercely loyal to their families. These characteristics make them a beloved pet in homes around the world.

American Dachshunds

Origins and History

A patriotic little purebred Dachshund breed puppy dog wearing a red, white and blue hat and holding an American Flag in his mouth.

American Dachshunds have a long and storied history, dating back to their European origins. The breed is of German origin, where they were initially bred to hunt badgers and other small animals. The name “Dachshund” translates to “badger dog” in German, reflecting their original purpose.

During the early 20th century, Dachshunds were introduced to the United States, where they quickly gained popularity. Due to their distinctive appearance and friendly nature, American breeders developed their own breeding lines, creating the American Dachshund we know today.

Physical Characteristics

While American Dachshunds share many similarities with their English counterparts, there are some slight differences that set them apart.

Physical FeatureAmerican DachshundEnglish Dachshund
Weight16-32 pounds20-26 pounds
Height8-9 inches9-11 inches
Body shapeLonger bodyStockier build

The American Dachshund typically has a longer body compared to the English Dachshund, which lends itself to a slightly more elongated appearance. Additionally, American Dachshunds can vary more in weight than their English counterparts, ranging from 16 to 32 pounds, while English Dachshunds typically weigh between 20 and 26 pounds.

Visually, the American Dachshund may also have a slightly different head shape and a marginally higher arch in the back, which accentuates their length. Despite these small distinctions, the general appearance of American and English Dachshunds remains quite similar, particularly to the untrained eye.

Both American and English Dachshunds come in three varieties: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired, each with its own unique charm and features, which further contribute to the breed’s widespread appeal.

Differences in Breeding Standards

Size and Proportions

Two Dachshund dogs are draped in a shawl that looks like an antique American flag.

Both English and American Dachshunds are small, elongated dogs belonging to the hound family. However, there are some differences in size and proportions between the two varieties. English Dachshunds generally have a slightly larger and heavier build, while American Dachshunds are often more petite and slender. The most distinguishing feature in body proportions is that American Dachshunds have a longer and more graceful neck, which emphasizes their elegant appearance.

  • English Dachshunds: Larger and heavier build, shorter neck.
  • American Dachshunds: Smaller and slender build, longer and more graceful neck.

Colors and Patterns

When it comes to colors and patterns, there are some variations between English and American Dachshunds. The most common colors for both varieties are red, chocolate, black, and tan. However, American Dachshunds may also be found in other colors, such as cream and blue. In terms of patterns, English Dachshunds often have a more solid and uniform color, while American Dachshunds may have dapple patterns, piebald, sable or brindle markings.

English DachshundsAmerican Dachshunds
ColorsRed, Chocolate, Black, TanRed, Chocolate, Black, Tan, Cream, Blue
PatternsSolid, Uniform colorDapple, Piebald, Sable, Brindle

Despite these differences in size, proportions, colors, and patterns, both English and American Dachshunds share their loveable personalities, loyalty, and the distinctive long wiener-like shape that endears them to people worldwide.

Temperament Differences

Two Duchshunds running.

American Dachshunds tend to be more energetic and lively. They have a stronger prey drive, which may lead them to be more interested in chasing smaller animals such as squirrels or birds. This heightened prey drive can also make American Dachshunds a bit more stubborn and independent, requiring patient and consistent training from their owners.

Socialization is important for both English and American Dachshunds to help them develop into well-rounded dogs. However, American Dachshunds may need extra attention in this area, as they can sometimes be more reserved and less trusting of strangers. Early exposure to different people, animals, and environments can help American Dachshunds become more relaxed and friendly.

Health Concerns and Lifespan

English and American Dachshunds share similar health concerns due to their unique body shape and genetic predispositions. Both varieties may suffer from Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which results from the degeneration of the discs between their vertebrae. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help in reducing the likelihood of IVDD in these dogs.

Another common issue in both English and American Dachshunds is obesity. Their elongated body and short legs can make it challenging for them to lose excess body fat, so proper diet and regular physical activity are essential to maintaining a healthy weight.

In terms of eye conditions, both types of Dachshunds can be prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a genetic condition that can lead to vision loss. Responsible breeding practices can help minimize the risk of PRA in these dogs.

Some other health concerns that can affect both English and American Dachshunds include:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Thyroid issues
  • Skin allergies

Although there might be slight differences in lifespan between English and American Dachshunds, both types generally have a long life expectancy. With proper care, a healthy Dachshund can live anywhere between 12 to 16 years. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and daily exercise contribute to a long and happy life for these dogs.

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