- Voice actor: Eric Stuart (both English and Japanese)
Sandshrew is a tailed, bipedal, ground-dwelling pholidote notable for its defensive capabilities. Its body is mostly covered in a dry, tough hide, which is colored to blend in with the sands of the desert. It has two sharp claws on each foot and has three small but sharp claws on its paws, which are also useful for burrowing and can sometimes be poisonous. It can curl into a tight ball about the same size as a basketball to protect its soft underbelly. Its height is 2'00" and weight is 26.5 lbs.
Sandshrew's special abilities are extremely limited compared to other Pokémon. It has a greater control over the ground and sand than the average Pokémon, mostly derived from adaptation to its habitat.
In the wild, Sandshrew are mostly defensive by nature. They spend much of their time hidden underground in their burrows and will kick up sand or instantly roll into a ball to escape predators. They may venture out to hunt, taking advantage of the desert sands to hide themselves.
However, with the help of a Trainer, a Sandshrew can become bolder and much more daring, and can even be trained to swim despite the fact that the water weakens them. They are still fond of curling up, though, even if not for defense. Although Sandshrew are usually bipedal, they are able to run on all fours.
Disliking water, Sandshrew are adapted to dry, arid areas. Thus, they can be commonly found in deserts and grasslands, and sometimes in river valleys or the upper levels of caves as well. For the cave varieties, they also dry up if exposed to concentrated doses of light, particularly lights strung together in the cave. Wherever they are, they live underground in deep burrows. It can be found in Kanto, Johto and Hoenn, but it is hardy enough to survive in Orre and can occasionally be found in Sinnoh as well.
- Main article: Pokémon food
Sandshrew do not require a lot of water, due to a very efficient system of staying hydrated with minimal moisture. They hunt for prey in the wild. They are hard to raise and train because of their picky eating habits.
Sandshrew was first featured in The Path to the Pokémon League. It was owned by a Pokémon Trainer named A.J.. Despite A.J.'s seemly barbaric training methods (e.g. using a whip, training in a pool), it was very loyal to him.
An ailing Sandshrew is seen briefly near the beginning of Clefairy and the Moon Stone. It was seen lying down, which Seymour described as it "drying out" because of the significant increase of light sources inside Mt. Moon.
A Sandshrew appeared in Electric Shock Showdown under the ownership of an unnamed Trainer.
A Sandshrew also appeared in Pokémon Fashion Flash.
A Sandshrew appeared in The Breeding Center Secret.
A Sandshrew appeared in Mewtwo Strikes Back.
Sandshrew made an appearance in Tanks a Lot!.
Multiple Sandshrew also appeared in Celebi: Voice of the Forest.
A Sandshrew was one of the Pokémon that played Hide-n-Seek in Pikachu's PikaBoo. Sandshrew hid in front of a brick wall.
A Sandshrew was one of the inhabitants of an oasis just for Pokémon in Got Miltank?.
A Sandshrew was seen in the wild in The Legend of Thunder!.
A Sandshrew appeared under the possession of a Coordinator in Hi Ho Silver Wind!.
It also appeared in Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Part One.
A Sandshrew appeared in Camping It Up!.
Multiple Sandshrew made a cameo in Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
Sandshrew also appeared in The Power of One.