Despite their size, spunky dachshunds are known for their courage and will probably take on animals much larger than themselves. This breed may be aggressive toward strangers and other dogs, thus making them good watchdogs. As family dogs, dachshunds are loyal, and are good with children if treated well. Since dachshunds are prone to disk problems due to their long back, this dog is not a good choice for anyone with a lot of steps in their home. To further protect the dachshund's back, the dog should not be allowed to jump on and off furniture, and his weight should be kept in check. There are three varieties of dachshunds — smooth, wire, and long-coated. The smooth- coat dachshund requires little coat care. For the long-coat variety, daily brushing and combing is advised, whereas the wire-coat dachshund requires stripping at least twice a year. The breed is considered an average shedder.