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Dachshund Lifespan: How Long Do Dachshunds Live?

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Last Updated: February 29, 2024 | 10 min read | Leave a Comment

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Dachshunds are popular canines worldwide, and in America, they often breach the top ten most popular dog breeds. Their iconic long and low body and cheeky personality make them irresistible for dog lovers, including me. I’m the proud parent of a Doxie, named Chips. I assure you that with the proper training, regular exercise, and lots of mental stimulation, this wiener breed can make an excellent family pet.

With so many families looking to adopt a Doxie, one of the main questions on their minds is how long they live. The Dachshund, whether a standard or miniature, has an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years. Many factors influence how long a dog lives. Many of them you can control, but unfortunately, there are a few things you can’t.

Sadly, there isn’t a secret to the Dachshund’s immortality, but you can help them live their healthiest lives. I look at which factors you can influence, such as their lifestyle and diet, and those you can’t, such as their genetics. I’ll explore the Dachshund’s lifespan and how to keep them healthy. That way, you may be able to keep them with you for longer. I’ll help you take a closer look.

Dachshund Breed

Dachshund sitting in a dog bed.
Dachshunds are known for their petite size and personality.

Dachshunds are popular for so many reasons. They are active and always on the go, providing endless entertainment for their family. They also love to cuddle with their favorite humans, seeking strokes and cuddles wherever they can. Their small size means they can fit into most homes no matter how small. They are also super cute, thanks to their little legs and cheeky smile, and kids and adults love them.

There are two sizes of Dachshunds: standard and miniature. Standard-size Dachsunds weigh between 16 and 32 pounds and measure between 8 and 9 inches tall. Miniature-size Dachshunds weigh 11 pounds and under and measure between 5 and 6 inches tall. They come in three coat varieties and lots of coat colors, too. Doxies have a high prey drive, and they are original German hunters. So, expect your pooch to chase and bark at everything. You’ve got to be cautious with this canine because this trait can lead them into trouble.

How Long Do Dachshunds Live?

Dachshunds have an expected lifespan of 12 to 16 years, which is an excellent lifespan for a dog — especially when compared to larger breeds like the Dogue de Bordeaux, who are only expected to live between 5 and 7 years. All dogs are different, as are all Dachshunds. Some Doxies live beyond 16 years; sadly, others don’t reach their 12th birthdays.

The oldest Dachshund is believed to be a beautiful boy named Rocky, and he lived until he was 25. Rocky’s owner thinks the key to his long life is being active and spending lots of time together. According to various online sources, a few other Dachshunds have reportedly lived beyond 20 years.

Health Factors That Impact Dachshund Lifespan

Little Dachshund showing fear for the veterinarian.
Here are some health issues that Dachshunds can be prone to, especially later in life.

All dog breeds are prone to various health conditions, and the Dachshund is no different. We explore the most common health conditions in the breed and the symptoms to look out for. But remember that all Doxies are different. Some might not experience these issues, and some might encounter other health conditions. It’s important to consider pet insurance for your Dachshund, as it can help families manage the sometimes high costs of emergency or long-term veterinarian expenses.

Eye Conditions

Dachshunds are prone to several eye problems. These include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, glaucoma, and distichiasis. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness in Dachshunds in later life. Many eye concerns can lead to complete vision loss if left untreated.

If you notice any changes to your dog’s eyes or redness, swelling, or excess discharge, it’s time to see the vet. Although eye conditions do not directly lower a dog’s lifespan, they can cause stress, which can shorten lifespan. Plus, vision loss increases the risk of injury or fatal accidents.

Heart Problems

There are several heart conditions for Dachshund owners to be aware of. The most common is mitral valve disease (MVD), which occurs when the mitral valve thickens and becomes floppy. This degenerative change means the heart cannot work efficiently, and it can lead to heart failure. MVD is commonly associated with heart murmurs, so it is essential to see the vet for regular health checks. MVD and other heart conditions can shorten lifespan and can lead to sudden or premature death.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a degenerative disease that affects the spinal cord and causes mobility issues and pain. It causes the spinal discs that usually absorb shock to harden and rupture over time. Something as little as jumping from the sofa to the floor could damage a disc. This is why many owners of long and low breeds invest in sofa ramps to prevent the need for jumping.

Symptoms of IVDD include arching back, whimpering, mobility problems, inability to stand or support themselves, and more. Sometimes, corrective surgery is required, which can be expensive. A delay in treatment could cause irreversible damage. IVDD can reduce quality of life significantly, causing stress and putting strain on other areas of the body. In severe cases, it can cause respiratory arrest and death.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is most commonly seen in smaller breeds. It occurs when the kneecap slips out of place. It might only happen once in a lifetime or several times a week for some unlucky pups. If it occurs just once, a vet might be able to slip it back into place. In severe or persistent cases, corrective surgery is required.

Patellar luxation is often painful and causes mobility issues, kicking out, and overcompensation on other limbs, leading to arthritis. Some dogs might become inactive, further straining their cardiac system and decreasing overall wellness. Please seek medical attention if you notice an odd gait or other symptoms.

Other Factors That Impact Dachshund Lifespan

4 Dachshund pups on a white back ground.
No matter what color or sized Dachshund you have, there are several things to keep in mind for their well-being.

Let’s look at the other factors impacting a Dachshund’s health and lifespan.

Care & Lifestyle

The lifestyle your Dachshund leads has a significant impact on their health. Doxies are very energetic dogs and need to lead an active lifestyle. Otherwise, they become stressed, overweight, and unhappy, which can lead to further health problems. Doxies need around one hour of daily exercise, with plenty of playtime in between. Be mindful not to overexercise your Doxie as a pup, and limit jumping from heights.

Dachshunds need a happy and loving environment, too. They are people-orientated and need a family who can spend lots of time with them. Doxies can be stubborn, so proper training and socialization are required to improve their manners and confidence. A happy and polite pup is a well-rounded and healthy one. You must also be safety conscious and ensure they cannot dig out of their yard or have unsupervised access to heights.

Genetics

Genetics is among the most influential factors in a Doxie’s health and lifespan. Unfortunately, the genes they inherit from their parents are something that you cannot control. But you can work with a responsible breeder who only breeds healthy dogs and provides parents and puppies with a safe and loving environment. Always research the breeder you want to work with. A great place to start your search for a reputable breeder is on the AKC’s Dachshund breeder page.

Unfortunately, many irresponsible breeders are out there, especially for popular dog breeds like the Dachshund. They breed unhealthy dogs, provide little to no healthcare, and only want to make money rather than promote the breed’s health. Puppies from unhealthy and poorly cared-for dogs are likelier to be sick and have a shorter lifespan. Ask to see their dog’s health certificates and meet the pups in person.

Health & Vaccinations

Visiting the vet regularly for health checks and keeping up to date with their vaccination schedule is one of the simplest ways to fight infection and disease. Seeing the vet can also help to detect problems early, such as a heart murmur that might suggest an MVD in your Dachshund. Early detection and treatment are critical to a healthy dog and prolonging their lifespan.

Nutrition

Dachshunds are forever hungry doggos and eat anything you give them. But they need a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs. Choose a diet that meets the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which is specified on the packaging. Their diet must be age-appropriate, especially during their first year when their body develops. Puppy food can make a massive difference to their long-term health.

Dachshunds are curious canines and eat everything they can get their paws on. You need to keep dangerous foods out of their reach. It’s also important to feed them according to the food instructions. Do not overfeed them because they put on weight quickly. Being obese leads to many secondary health problems and puts further strain on the cardiac system, joints, and spine.

Spay & Neuter

Neutering and spaying procedures are more than just breeding control. They also improve health and lengthen a dog’s lifespan. The University of Georgia found that these procedures can increase a dog’s life expectancy in males by 14% and females by 26%. Not neutering or spaying your Dachshund can lower their lifespan by approximately two years. It can also increase the chances of developing infections and certain cancers. Unless you plan to breed your Doxie, it’s essential to consider this.

How To Help Your Dachshund Live A Long Life

Person brushing a Dachshund.
Brushing your Dachshund helps keep their coat healthy and your dog happy.
  1. Work With A Responsible Breeder. This is one of the most crucial steps when looking for a healthy Dachshund puppy. Although you can never guarantee a healthy pup, they are more likely to be healthy than pups from irresponsible breeders. Their puppy prices might be slightly higher, but you are less likely to face hefty medical bills in the future, and they should live longer, too.
  2. See The Vet Regularly. Sticking to regular health checks and keeping up to date with vaccinations are simple ways to fight disease and infection. It can also help detect health problems early, increasing the chance of recovery.
  3. Neuter Or Spay At The Right Time. These procedures can improve health and life expectancy, but timing is key. The right time varies between dogs, so speak to your vet as soon as possible.
  4. Physical Exercise Is Critical. Dachshunds are naturally energetic dogs, and being active is crucial to their health. Give them around one hour of daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
  5. Mental Stimulation Is Important. On top of their physical exercise requirements, they also need plenty of mental stimulation. Please provide them with dog toys suitable for their size to keep their mind busy and prevent undesirable behaviors such as chewing or digging.
  6. Provide Them With A High-Quality Diet. Giving your Dachshund a high-quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs is crucial to their health. Never allow them to become overweight, as this can be detrimental to their health and lifespan.
  7. Dental Hygiene Is Vital. Your Dachshund’s dental health plays a significant role in their health, and a proper routine can increase their lifespan. Brush their teeth several times weekly to protect their cramped teeth and prevent periodontal diseases.
  8. Be Safety Conscious. Dachshunds are mischievous canines who are forever searching for their next naughty adventure. For this reason, you need to be one step ahead of them and aware of their surroundings. Escape-proof your home and yard, and keep all food out of reach.
  9. Provide Training. Ensure your Dachshund receives early and proper training. They can be stubborn doggos, but early training helps them to become happy and healthier.
  10. Shower Them With Love And Affection. Dachshunds need company and lots of it. Otherwise, they become very stressed and unhappy. Happiness is the key to health and is more important than owners realize.

My First-Hand Experience As A Dachshund Owner

Emma's dachshund chips sitting on the bed.

I am the very proud owner of a Dachshund called Chips. I rescued her when she was around five months old, and by then, she already had three previous owners. Before meeting her, I was convinced that there might be a reason she had been through so many homes, but as soon as I met her, I knew she was the pup for me.

Despite decades of experience with dogs, I underestimated the amount of stimulation she needed. I also didn’t realize how clever and mischievous the breed is. If there’s something in the house she shouldn’t have, it has to be way out of reach. Even after puppy-proofing my home, she somehow managed to get hold of a pack of ibuprofen, and I had to whisk her to the emergency vet. She is the best four-legged finder/climber/escapee I have ever met!

Since having her, I’ve spent a lot of time with other Doxie owners, thanks to local meet-ups. This breed needs a lot of exercise and stimulation to be happy and healthy. They also need plenty of company and hate to be left alone for long periods. And to keep them safe, you need to Doxie-proof your home daily. Other than ibuprofen toxicity, we haven’t experienced any health concerns. But I have a pet insurance policy to assist me in the future.

Emma Braby, Author & Proud Doxie Mom

Frequently Asked Questions

Dachshund in a dog collar.
Help your Dachshund live a long life with these tips.

Often, our readers still have many questions about Dachshunds and how long they live for. If you don’t see yours below, ask about it in the comments, and we’ll find the answer.

What Age Can A Dachshund Live To?

Dachshunds have an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years, but all dogs differ. Some might not make it this long, but others can live much longer. Some Dachshunds, like Rocky, have lived past their 25th birthday.

What Is The Difference Between Male And Female Life Expectancy?

Research is inconclusive when it comes to the health of males versus females. Some studies show females are healthier and vice versa. The most influencing factors of a dog’s health are genetics and lifestyle.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Dachshund With IVDD?

The life expectancy of a Dachshund with IVDD depends on the severity of the disease. Their life expectancy can be the same as other Dachshunds if they have a mild to moderate case and are given the treatment they need and further degeneration is controlled. Early detection and treatment of IVDD is crucial, and it can shorten their lifespan if untreated.

Are Dachshunds Healthy?

Dachshunds are a relatively healthy breed, as demonstrated by their expected lifespan. All Doxies are different. But puppies from responsible breeders who only breed healthy dogs are likelier to be healthy than puppies from irresponsible breeders or puppy mills. As a dog owner, you are responsible for providing everything they need to develop and remain healthy.

Learn More About Dachshunds

Dachshunds are crazy cute and colorful canines, and if you’re thinking about welcoming one into your family, there’s tonnes to learn. Doxies have lots of energy that needs burning, and they love goofing around with their family and doggy toys. It’s important to consider pet insurance for Dachshunds because of their long, low back and curiosity that leads them into sticky situations. Training increases their obedience and is a great way to bond with them, too.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Emma has over 20 years of experience with dogs, and she is the proud owner of a little Doxie called Chips. She has also worked as a professional dog walker and sitter for many years, taking care of countless dog breeds with different needs. Emma dedicates countless hours researching the latest pet care, health, food, and training developments to keep her two best buddies and other doggy clients as happy and healthy as possible. She works alongside a professional and experienced team to bring the best, most accurate, and up-to-date information to our readers.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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