The Dachshund is one of the most popular breeds in Sweden. It comes in three different sizes, the standard, the miniature and the rabbit variety. It exhibits three different coat varieties: short hair, long hair and wire-hair. In Sweden, the most popular varieties are the three standard size Dachshunds: the standard short hair, the standard long hair, the standard wirehair and the miniature long hair. The aims for this study have been to look into the reproductive patterns, any signs of partner preference, or seasonal variations in Dachshund bitches of the four most popular varieties.
Reproductive data found in the studied bitches indicates that it is a well functioning breed by reproductive means. Onset of puberty, time interval between heat periods and the length of the heat period all show data describing a reproductively normal bitch. Dachshund bitches are properly influenced by their sexual hormones, mate readily and, when not mated, many show apparent signs of pseudo pregnancy. Almost one bitch in four shows a partner preference. Gestation is of normal length in all of the studied breeds. The standard wire-hair has shorter pregnancies than the others. The bigger the litter, the shorter the pregnancy. Gestation is about half a day shorter in springtime than in fall and winter. In standard short and wire-hairs, litter number is a significant factor; the first litter gives a shorter and the third litter a longer pregnancy. All four breeds have a high whelping percentage.
Most births proceed without dystocia and Dachshund bitches have a low frequency of ceasarian sections. Litter sizes for all the four breeds are within normal range. The long hairs have smaller litters than short and wire-hairs. Litter number and season of the year play a significant role in different ways depending on breed. Wire-hairs produce fewer male puppies than the other breeds.
Neonatal deaths are not common within the breed. More puppies die in the larger litters and the longer the pregnancy is. There are no differences depending on breed, season of the year or litter number. Seasonality is seen in the breed: in accordance with breeder preference there are more litters born in spring. Gestation lengths are influenced by season: the bitches have longer pregnancies in spring than in fall. Some differences depending on breed exist; wire-hairs have larger litters during season 1, and short hairs have larger litters both in season 1 and 2. Long hairs show no difference in litter size depending on season. Further studies are required to investigate the breed differences in litter size versus season of the year.
In conclusion, the Dachshund can overall be considered a healthy breed by reproductive means. It is recommended that breeders continue focusing on breeding individuals that reproduce without difficulty.