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Dachshund Vs. German Shepherd


Dachshund Vs. German Shepherd – both breeds come with their own set of pros and cons. Let’s investigate further.

dachshund vs. german shepherd

When choosing a dog, their personality and traits play a significant role. In fact, they’re decisive factors when choosing which furry companion to extend your family with. 

Dachshunds and German Shepherds are two popular breeds with unique personalities and traits that make them stand out from other dogs. 

Dachshunds, also known as wiener dogs, have distinctive long bodies and short legs, while German Shepherds are known for their muscular build and fluffy coats. However, these are mere physical differences that anyone can spot – the differences that truly matter are the ones you can’t see with the naked eye, such as their differences in personality and temperament. 

In this article, we delve into the contrasting personalities and traits of these two breeds, giving you a better understanding of which breed is suitable for your lifestyle.

Key Points

  • Dachshunds are known for their adorable appearance, with a long body, short legs, and floppy ears.
  • German Shepherds are highly versatile, intelligent, and protective dogs with a bold and hardworking nature.
  • Dachshunds originated in Germany, bred specifically for hunting purposes.
  • German Shepherds have a relatively more recent history, developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz in Germany for herding and working purposes.
  • Dachshunds are characterized by loyalty, independence, and a tendency to dig, while German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, trainability, and loyalty.
  • Dachshunds are suitable for various lifestyles, including active families and those with limited space, while German Shepherds require ample exercise and mental stimulation, making them ideal for active individuals.

Dachshund Vs. German Shepherd: Comparison Table

dachshund vs. german shepherd
TraitDachshundsGerman Shepherds
AppearanceLong body, short legs, floppy earsMuscular build, strong-willed nature
Size8-32 pounds, 8-9 inches tallUp to 90 pounds, up to 26 inches tall
CoatsSmooth, wire-haired, long-hairedDual-layered, various colors
PersonalityLoyal, playful, independentIntelligent, loyal, protective
TrainabilityCan be stubborn, independentHighly trainable, responsive
Suitability for LifestyleActive individuals and familiesActive individuals and families
Living SpaceIdeal for apartments, small spacesRequires ample space to run around
Interaction with ChildrenGood with childrenGood with children
Exercise NeedsModerate exercise requiredHigh exercise and mental stimulation
TrainabilityChallenging to trainHighly trainable
Guarding TendenciesProtective and can be territorialProtective and territorial



Dachshunds are beloved for their adorable appearance, which includes a long body, short legs, and floppy ears. They come in three types of coats – short, long, and wiry. On average, Dachshunds tend to have a weight range of 8 to 32 pounds and a shoulder height of approximately 8 to 9 inches. They were originally bred for hunting purposes, and their size and physical traits were tailored to help them dig into burrows and chase prey.

Uncover how the Dachshund compares to another lap dog – the Yorkie Terrier.

History and Origin

The Dachshund, a small but spirited breed often referred to as the “wiener dog” or “sausage dog,” has a fascinating history that traces back to Germany. Originating in the 16th century, these dogs were specifically bred for hunting purposes. The name “Dachshund” translates to “badger dog” in German, which reflects their original role in hunting badgers and other small game.

Personality Traits

Dachshunds are small dogs with big attitudes. They are loyal and also known for their independent personalities, which can sometimes make training them a challenge. 

They have a strong instinct to dig, so don’t be surprised if they try to find a spot to burrow into in your backyard or under your blankets! Additionally, they can be stubborn and require patience and consistency during training.

Suitability For Various Lifestyles

Dachshunds are perfect for families with active lifestyles. They are small and portable, making them easy to take wherever you go. They are also relatively low maintenance, making them ideal for people who live in apartments or have a limited amount of outdoor space.

They are quite adaptable and are happy living in almost any environment as long as they receive plenty of love, attention, and exercise. Overall, Dachshunds make loving and loyal pets that bring joy and entertainment to any household.

German Shepherds

german shepherd

German Shepherd dogs are widely renowned for their bold, hardworking, and protective nature. They are among the most popular dog breeds worldwide due to their loyalty, intelligence, and physical capabilities. German Shepherds are versatile animals that can undertake various activities, making them suitable for various lifestyles.

See how the German Shepherd compares to a much bigger creature – the Tiger.

History and Origin

The German Shepherd, a highly versatile and intelligent breed, has a relatively more recent history compared to some other dog breeds. Captain Max von Stephanitz developed it in Germany in the late 19th century. Initially, the breed was bred for herding purposes, particularly for guiding and protecting sheep.

Captain von Stephanitz aimed to create a working dog with exceptional qualities such as intelligence, strength, and loyalty. He wanted to develop a breed that could excel in various tasks and adapt to different environments. With careful selection and breeding, he produced the German Shepherd breed as we know it today.

Physical Characteristics

German Shepherds are typically recognized for their muscular build and agility. They are medium to large-sized dogs that can weigh up to 90 pounds and stand up to 26 inches tall. They have a dual-layered coat, which can come in several colors, including black, tan, sable, and blue. German Shepherds possess strong, elongated backs, which accounts for their impressive physical strength and endurance.

Personality Traits

German Shepherds are intelligent, responsive animals that love to learn and work. They possess an excellent sense of smell, making them ideal for search and rescue missions, police work, and therapy. Their high intelligence also makes them adept at following commands and responding to cues, making them one of the most trainable dog breeds.

Furthermore, their protective and strong-willed nature makes them a valued asset for personal protection, policing, and military work. German Shepherds are known to be loyal and affectionate to their owners and families, but they can be reserved around strangers. Socialization and training can help mitigate their tendency to become territorial and aggressive.

Suitability For Various Lifestyles


Due to their work ethic, intelligence, and loyalty, German Shepherds are an excellent choice for active individuals and families. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom and frustration. German Shepherds thrive in environments where they have a job, such as agility training, Schutzhund training, or obedience work.

However, German Shepherds are only the ideal breed for some. They require a lot of attention, which can be challenging if you work long hours. Their protective nature can lead to aggression towards other animals or strangers if they are not socialized and trained early on. German Shepherds need a lot of space to exercise, making them unsuitable for small apartment living.

Dachshunds Vs. German Shepherd: Personality Traits

dachshund vs. german shepherd

Dachshunds and German Shepherds couldn’t be more different. The Dachshund is known for its elongated body and small size, making it great for apartments or smaller living spaces. In contrast, German Shepherds are large dogs that need plenty of space to run around.

Personality-wise, Dachshunds are often seen as stubborn, and independent but also loyal and protective. They are known to be good with children and make great family pets. 

German Shepherds are intelligent and fiercely loyal, making them excellent companions for active individuals or families that enjoy outdoor activities. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to be at their best and can be protective of their families.

Dachshunds Vs. German Shepherd: Potential Challenges and Advantages 

There are advantages and challenges to owning both Dachshunds and German Shepherds. Dachshunds are small and low maintenance, making them ideal for people who need more time or space. However, they can be stubborn and challenging to train, which can be a dealbreaker for some people.

German Shepherds are highly intelligent and trainable, but their size and need for physical activity can make them a challenge for some owners. They are also highly protective and can become aggressive if not trained properly.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Dachshund

dachshund vs. german shepherd
1. Adorable appearance: Dachshunds have a unique and cute look with their long bodies and short legs.1. Stubbornness: Dachshunds can sometimes be quite stubborn, making training a bit challenging.
2. Compact size: Their small size makes them fit for various living environments, such as apartments and houses with limited space.2. Prone to back problems: Due to their long spinal structure, Dachshunds are susceptible to spinal issues.
3. Lively and playful: Dachshunds are known for their energetic and playful nature and love to engage in interactive activities and games.3. Tendency to be vocal: Dachshunds can be quite vocal and may bark excessively, especially when they feel bored or want attention.

Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd

dachshund vs. german shepherd
1. Intelligent and trainable: German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, making them easy to train and quick learners.1. High energy level: They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and potential behavior issues.
2. Versatile and multi-talented: German Shepherds excel in various roles, including search and rescue, police work, and service dogs.2. Potential for protective behavior: Their protective instincts may lead to overprotectiveness or suspicion toward strangers if not properly socialized.
3. Loyal and devoted: German Shepherds are renowned for their loyalty and strong bond with their owners.3. Potential for health issues: They may be prone to hip dysplasia and digestive problems, requiring proper care and veterinary attention.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Dachshunds and German Shepherds

When choosing between Dachshunds and German Shepherds, there are several factors to consider. 

  • First and foremost, you need to think about your lifestyle and living situation. A Dachshund may be better if you live in an apartment or have limited space. A German Shepherd may be the better option if you enjoy spending time outdoors and having a lot of space.
  • You also need to consider your experience level as a dog owner. Dachshunds can be more challenging to train, so if you are new to owning dogs, you may want to start with a more trainable breed like a German Shepherd. 
  • You must also consider how much time and effort you will put into training and exercising your dog. Both breeds require regular exercise and training, so make sure you can commit to providing that.

Dachshunds Vs. German Shepherd: Closing Thoughts

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After comparing and contrasting the personalities and traits of Dachshunds and German Shepherds, it is clear that both breeds have their unique characteristics. Dachshunds are loving, affectionate, and playful, while German Shepherds are loyal, obedient, and protective. 

When choosing a dog, it is essential to consider your lifestyle, living situation, and personal preferences. Whether you opt for a Dachshund or German Shepherd, both breeds are exceptional companions and will bring love and joy into your life.

Thank you for reading this article about the Dachshund Vs. German Shepherd! Learn more about other dog breeds – read our comparison of the Affenpinscher Vs. Shetland Sheepdog, American Eskimo Dog Vs. Whippet, or Basset Hound Vs. Miniature Schnauzer.

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