Dachs-Life 2012

Dachs-Life 2012 was a three-month survey of UK Dachshunds, whether pet, show or working, starting in January 2012 and run by the Dachshund Breed Council.

Why we needed a Breed Health Survey

We like to say to people that Dachshunds generally suffer from few health problems and are long-lived, providing they are kept well-exercised, fit and fed a healthy, balanced diet. The last major survey of the breed was carried out by the Kennel Club in 2004 and reported the average lifespan of a Dachshund to be over 12 years. This year there was a TV report of a Miniature Dachshund that lived to be 22, which is truly amazing.

Our Breed Council Health website has a health reporting page and we have been collecting information from owners for nearly two years now. However, that really only tells us about dogs with health problems. It's already confirming back disease to be the number one issue reported in the breed (no surprises!). But, we don't know what proportion of our Dachshunds suffer from back problems.

Dachs-Life 2012

Dachs-Life 2012, for the first time, provided us with a better picture of the health across the breed by asking owners to submit reports on their healthy dogs as well. For example, it’s much more useful to know that perhaps 20 out of 500 Dachshunds had a particular problem, than simply having 20 owners reporting that problem. This survey helped us put any problems in context and to identify how healthy our Dachshunds are, here in the UK.  The Breed Council will be able to use this data to help focus its Health Plans over the next few years.

What we asked Dachshund owners to do

We asked owners to record on a Survey Form any health problems their Dachshunds currently have and any they developed over the three month survey period (January to March 2012). These should be conditions that had been diagnosed by your Veterinary Surgeon. If your Dachshund was unfortunate enough to die in that period, we asked about the cause (even if it was just “old age”). We also asked owners to submit Forms for all their healthy dogs.

Roger Sainsbury BVM&S, MRCVS is Chairman of the Breed Council's Health and Welfare Sub-committee. He said: “The 2004 Kennel Club Breed Health Survey and our current online survey tool are very useful sources of health data, but with knowledge of the population that the dogs in these surveys come from, the data goes into a different league. This is why we are asking for information on all healthy Dachshunds too – this will allow us to see just how common these conditions really are.”  


The Survey Report
(If you can't see the report below, you can view it here as a pdf file).

Dachs-Life 2012 Report 1


The report on temperament and behaviour is available below or as a pdf download here:

Dachs-Life 2012 Report 2


The analysis of the differences reported by pet-owners and show-owners is shown below or can be downloaded as a pdf here.


You can still submit a health report here.  Please continue to help us find out how healthy and long-lived your Dachshunds are.