The word “icon” is terribly overworked, but the Dachshund—with his unmistakable long-backed body, little legs, and big personality—is truly an icon of purebred dogdom. Dachshunds can be standard-sized (usually 16 to 32 pounds) or miniature (11 pounds or under), and come in one of three coat types: smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. Dachshunds aren’t built for distance running, leaping, or strenuous swimming, but otherwise these tireless hounds are game for anything. Smart and vigilant, with a big-dog bark, they make fine watchdogs. Bred to be an independent hunter of dangerous prey, they can be brave to the point of rashness, and a bit stubborn, but their endearing nature and unique look has won millions of hearts the world over.