The official breed standard for the dachshund can be found here. http://www.dachshundclubofamerica.org/breed-standard/
Dachshunds are lovable, clownish and addictive dogs-a common saying among those who are owned by dachshunds is that "They're like potato chips-you can't just have one.". And it's true! Dachshunds are breed snobs; they prefer the company of their own kind. They seem to lack a need for personal space, so they tend to pile on their people's laps, and on top of one another. All dogs are individuals, so this is a generalization, but smooths often have a classic dachshund personality-bold and active, wires are more clownish and fun, and longhairs are more relaxed and calm.
As with any breed, they have some issues to be aware of, before you commit yourself to 13-18 years with one. First, the issue you're going to run into first-dachshunds can be difficult to potty train. They require extreme consistency on your part in order to train properly. You need to get a crate and learn to use it-it will be your best friend in potty training a dachshund puppy. They also have sensitive personalities, and will hold a grudge if they feel they have been disciplined unfairly-wait until you see your first dachshund pout. You have to be strong when it comes to treats and food-dachshunds are a breed prone to being overweight, and it is your job to keep their weight under control. An overweight dachshund is more likely to experience back problems and illness. Which brings us to that famous dachshund shape. Being as long bodied as they are, they are prone to disc problems. There are good resources out there, in particular Dodgers List (http://www.dodgerslist.com/), for advice on what to do if your dachshund has back issues, but I strongly recommend having an emergency fund for this purpose. Back surgery is a distinct possibility, though not the only treatment, and it can be extremely expensive. Generally, dachshunds are a healthy breed, beyond the disc problems, but there are a few illnesses that can occur in the breed, such as cushings disease and epilepsy.
If the dachshund sounds like the breed for you, your next job is to decide whether you want to purchase a dog from rescue, or if you want to buy from a breeder. At the end of this page are several links for rescue web sites. There are a lot of beautiful dogs looking for a loving home, so please, consider rescue.
If you decide that a puppy is right for you, you're probably looking on the web for a breeder. When looking for a breeder, take a long look at the illustrated breed standard on AKC's site http://www.akc.org/breeds/dachshund/index.cfm
Take a close look at the illustrations and fix that image in your mind. When looking at a breeders web site look at the parents first. Do they look like that picture? Are their legs a lot longer, backs arched, rear higher than the shoulders, appear to have little chest in front? If so, you're looking at poorly bred dachshunds, and their offspring will look very much like their parents. That's a problem, not just because they don't LOOK like a dachshund should, but because dachshunds were built that way for a purpose, and an incorrect build can cause physical problems later in life. A properly bred dachshund should also be a healthier dachshund, which means lower veterinary bills for you over the life of your pet.