Like their standard size counterparts, Miniature Dachshunds come in three coats: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired. They also come in a variety of colors and patterns. Red, cream, black and tan, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, and isabella and tan are seen in all three coats. Wildboar and wheaten (similar to cream) are seen primarily in wirehaired dogs. The coat patterns seen in Dachshunds are brindle, dapple (merle), piebald and sable. Double dappled are not considered acceptable patterns under the American Kennel Club breed standard.
Miniature Dachshunds are low to ground, long in body and short of leg, with robust muscular development. Where the muscles contract, the skin of the Miniature Dachshund is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling. Appearing neither crippled, awkward, nor cramped in their capacity for movement, the Miniature Dachshund is well-balanced with bold and confident head carriage and intelligent, alert facial expression. The keen nose gives them an advantage over most other breeds for trailing.
There is only one size of Miniature Dachshund in the United States, Great Britain, and most English speaking countries. In Germany and those countries which belong to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Federation), however, there are actually two smaller sized Dachshunds: miniature (or zwerg size in their native Germany) and the rabbit (or kaninchen in Germany). The kaninchen are smaller than the FCI miniature dachshunds. The two sizes are differentiated by chest circumference rather than weight.
The Dachshund breed was developed in Germany and has existed since at least the 16th century. The name dachshund comes from the German words dachs (badger) and hund (dog). During that late 19th century, German hunters desired smaller Dachshunds to be used on European hare, which lived in smaller burrows than the Dachshunds’ historic quarry — badgers and foxes. At first, some of these Miniature Dachshunds were just runts of their litters, but later others were created intentionally by crossing Dachshunds with Toy Terriers and Pinschers. Most of the Miniature Dachshunds produced this way did not have the characteristics of the dachshund breed (particularly its hunting prowess), however, and this type of cross-breeding was abandoned by 1910 in favor of the more time-consuming process of reducing the size of the Dachshund through many generations of selective breeding.