Two Sizes and a Tweenie
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes two sizes of dachshund: miniature (mini), which must weigh 11 pounds (or under) at 12 months; and standard, which typically weigh between 16 and 30 pounds at 12 months. There are also “tweenies.” The latter is not an official or recognized size but rather an affectionate name given to all those dachshunds too big to be minis but not big enough to be standards.
These dogs are not show quality. In fact, if a dog falls between a miniature and a standard in size, it is typically considered the result of inexperienced or poor breeding. Can you find a great family pet in a tweenie? Certainly! However, be advised the tweenie puppy runs a much higher risk of suffering from inherited (genetic) diseases, chronic poor health (particularly skin and allergy problems), and a potentially lousy temperament.
Standard dachshunds are considered the “original” dachshund because, historically, these larger dogs were used to hunt wild boar, badgers, and fox. They are still used today to hunt some game, trail wounded deer, and work as falconry dogs. Standards are unusually powerful for their height.
The dachshund's deep chest and long, tubular body house the dog's unusually large lungs. These larger-than-normal lungs enable the dachshund to hunt underground, where air may be limited, and also to produce a deep, loud, and prolonged bark that helps their owners locate them during the hunt.
Since the standard dachshund has only a height and weight minimum, with an optimum size suggested by the breed standard, this means you can find big standard dachshunds, tipping the scales at 40 pounds — and this isn't fat we're talking about! That's one large wiener dog.
The miniature dachshund evolved due to the popularity of rabbit-hunting in Germany and the desire to develop a burrow-hunting dog with the ability to fit into the smaller rabbit holes. This smaller dachshund is thought to have been established by the late 1800s, as artwork of the time shows many examples of miniatures with hares.