Research conducted by the Royal Veterinary College found that sausage dogs whose backs are two-thirds longer than their shoulder height, have double the risk of slipping a disc by the age of five.
According to the British Veterinary Association (BVA), a fifth of all dogs of this breed will develop IVDD at some point in their life.
BVA Vice President Daniela Dos Santos told The Sunday Times: “If you think about it mechanically, it’s a lot of weight to be carrying on a very long part of your body. Their backs go and they end up unable to walk. It’s a real problem.”
The Kennel Club said the rise in popularity of miniature sausage dogs is due to them being “the breed of choice with celebrities” and that the exaggerations were “perceived as cute”.
The breed is popular with the likes of David Hockney, Princess Margaret and the Kardashians and there are over 16 million posts with pictures of the dogs on Instagram.
The Kennel Club, which runs the well-known dog competition Crufts, registered more than 14,000 pedigree puppies in 2020 – a huge jump compared with 7,200 in 2016.
The average price of a puppy is now nearing £2,000 according to The Dogs Trust, having been £970 pre-pandemic.
Ian Seath, the chairman of the Dachshund Breed Council, said the changes are of “little significance” to most owners but were important for breeders, exhibitors and dog show judges.
He said: “They are intended to help protect the future of the breed by keeping it in a form that can continue to be fit and active.”
Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers and first came into existence in Germany in the 15th century.