Nicknamed the Weiner Dog, Dachshunds pack a lot of punch in their small size. Originally bred as hunting dogs in Germany, specifically for animals that burrow such as badgers, they still maintain their penchant for digging. Dachshunds have a high all-around friendly rating and are a great family pet because they are very good around children if they grew up with children from puppyhood. Weiner dogs can take a rough play and noisy kids in their stride. It is important for adults to supervise play with all dog breeds and very young children.
These small dogs have a big-dog bark and make good watchdogs. The independent hunter is deep in their soul, which makes them brave beyond belief and a little stubborn. They adapt well to living in an apartment but are not suited for climbing stairs, so if you have long staircases, this dog may not make it.
Dachshunds tend to shiver when they get cold, which they easily do. They tolerate warm weather better than they tolerate cold weather. This may be one reason you often see them wearing little jackets. With their long body and short legs, Dachshunds are not built for running and tend to gain weight easily. They are fairly easy to groom and are not big-shedders. They come with smooth, wirehaired or longhaired coats and each type has several colors, including solid, cream, dappled, black, brindle and chocolate with white markings.
Dachshunds love to play and chase sticks and balls, but being bred as hunters, they take the game very seriously and can be stubborn. The writer E.B. White once said he would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than try to get a Dachshund to heed his simplest command. While this characteristic may be frustrating for some, it is endearing to others because the dogs are fiercely loyal. According to Stanley Coren, author of Intelligence of Dogs, the Dachshund ranks 49th with average working and obedience intelligence. Here are 10 Things You Should Know Before Owning a Dachshund.
10Dachshunds Are Known for Their Determination
The breed may be small in size, in general, but its courage is as big as it gets. In some cases, these dogs are stubborn to the point of rashness. It will take on a dog much larger in size if it feels threatened or its pack is threatened. While it can be gentle with children, it may be aggressive with other dogs and strangers. A Dachshund never gives up whether it is mini or standard size. As a hunter of burrowing animals, this was one of its best qualities.
This is one reason Dachshunds make good watchdogs. Some have a loud bark and tend to bark a lot. In some cases, the dog needs to be trained to reduce its barking. Since it was originally bred to hunt burrowing animals, it still has a propensity to dig, which may not be welcome if you have a beautifully landscaped garden. In fact, Dachshunds rank high for destructiveness. Fortunately, they are great as pets for people who live in an apartment and keep them on a leash when they go outdoors. There is a good reason why the term obedient Dachshund is considered an oxymoron.
Dachshunds also rank high for mouthiness. This means they like to chew things and gently bite people without any puncture wound. This is part of their determination to be in control. Since they respect the pack, you need to establish yourself as the pack leader. After all, your Weiner Dog believes he or she is responsible for protecting its family. It’s a fairly harmless characteristic that can be curbed with good chew toys. It is another reason these dogs love a game of fetch.
9Dachshunds Are Prone to Spinal Injury
Spinal problems are the most common health problems for Dachshunds. Because of their long spine, they may not be able to jump on furniture as easily as other breeds. This doesn’t mean they won’t try. It would help your pet to have small ramps up to the sofa or bed so it doesn’t try to jump, which could result in a spine injury. The most common injuries are pinched, slipped, ruptured or herniated discs.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a medical condition that one in four Dachshunds are prone to have. It is hereditary and if your pet has it, he or she will most likely have problems in their neck or back. As a human companion to a Dachshund, you must be careful that your pet doesn’t get fat. Dachshunds are prone to gaining weight and this isn’t good for its long spinal column.
Jumping, in general, should be avoided especially during play because it can put pressure on the spine. Having said that, don’t think your dog is fragile. It likes hiking and other outdoor activities especially if it can dig to its heart’s content. In addition, when you lift up your pup, remember to support the spine by putting one hand under the chest and the other one under the back side so the spine has no pressure and remains level. If you have children, friends and relatives who love your pet too, make sure they know the right way to pick him up. Get your dog to the vet as soon as possible if he seems to be in pain, is shivering when it is not cold, is reluctant to move, is wobbly walking and has no bladder control.
8Dachshunds Have Three Types of Coats
Wirehaired, longhaired and smooth haired are the three types of coats. The most energetic type is the wirehaired with terrier heritage. It is also the most stubborn and mischievous. The smooth haired may be more aloof with strangers and become loyal to one member of the family. Longhaired Dachshunds, with spaniel heritage, are the quietest and sweetest natured.
Dachshunds are classified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as hounds. They appeared in historical records in the 1500s. At that time, they were called badger dogs. The smooth-hair variety was the first and they came from a cross between Pinscher and a miniature French pointer. It is believed that the smooth-hair Dachshund was crossed with the German Stoberhund and spaniels to create the long-haired type in the 16th century. They were highly valued because of their strong scenting ability, small size and fierce determination. They have short, strong legs that are well proportioned for digging.
7Dachshunds Are Easy to Keep Clean
Along with the tendency to dig, your pup may also like to roll in the dirt, especially if it smells great. You may not agree with your dog’s idea of great smelling dirt and begin the bathing process. If there is no added odor, you may need to bathe your dog only once every six weeks.
Another of the top 10 things you should know before owning a Dachshund is that they are moderate shedders, so it should be enough to brush smooth and longhaired dogs once a week. Wirehaired pups need a different kind of grooming. The dead hairs in the coat need to be stripped twice a year. It can be professionally done, or you can learn how to do it. Wirehaired Dachshunds have bushy eyebrows and beards that need trimming. Both wirehaired and longhaired dogs have hair between their paw pads that also needs to be trimmed. According to some owners, the short-haired type smells the most doggy.
If you want to clean the ears yourself, be gentle and don’t use a cotton bud. You may get a cleaning solution from your vet and wipe out the ear with a cotton ball without going deep into the ear. Finally, make sure you trim the nails every other week and never hear them clicking on the floor.
6Dachshunds Are Notoriously Difficult to Train
It’s that stubborn streak that makes Dachshunds resist training. It appears they don’t see the point since they are in charge of things anyway. However, with bribes, usually treats, it is possible to get them to do what you want eventually. It’s important because being housebroken is necessary if he is going to live indoors. Dachshunds get cold easily and may not want to go out on a cold night if he thinks there is any other option, such as peeing on the living room rug.
While a Dachshund may not be naturally obedient, once you take the time and effort that may be required to teach your dog to obey, his loyalty knows no bounds. If you can find a good motivator, usually food, you may have a chance, but you will need a sense of humor, patience and consistency. In many cases, the Dachshund will not conform willingly and only regular, unwavering orders along with treats, of course, will eventually be obeyed.
Since Dachshunds love to eat, which is why food may be the right motivator, they are also prone to gain weight. When you treat your dog during training, it may be better to find low-fat treats. Overweight pets are not healthy, but overweight Dachshunds can develop serious problems with their backs. The extra weight on their belly pulls the spine putting pressure on the vertebrae.
5Dachshunds Enjoy Outdoor Recreation
Dachshunds need a moderate amount of exercise not only to keep their weight down but also because they like having fun. Unless you are in a fenced-in dog park, you should seriously consider if it is wise to let your dog off the leash. They have a tendency to take off, enjoy the free run and not come back when you call.
If you are in open fields, they will smell all the critters in the area and may start to chase a few. Rabbits and field mice may have to run for their lives and going to ground may not help as most Dachshunds love to dig. Not all Dachshunds love to dig, but if your does, look out for your lawn and flower beds. Your dog could dig a tunnel under your fence and get away. This is another place you will see their stubbornness. They do not like to give up. Along with excessive barking, this in another reason not to leave your Dachshund outside unsupervised.
Exercise helps Dachshunds run off steam. They may appear little, but they have big appetites in every way. They can take down a badger, which is no mean feat. Think of your Dachshund as a big dog in a little body. If you live in an apartment, you will need to make sure your dog gets enough running time each day.
4You Might Consider Getting Two
Dachshunds don’t like being left at home alone. They can be trained to accept being alone, but they may also get stressed out and start tearing up your house. If you have close neighbors, they will hear whining and loud barking, remember Dachshunds have big voices. The lonely dog may start clawing the walls and chewing up the furniture. One way to help prevent all of the above is to get another dog, which would preferably be another Dachshund.
If owning two dogs is out of the question, you can crate-train your dog and take him or her with you. There are many places that allow dogs even some restaurants and bars as well as shops. Although big at heart, Dachshunds are relatively small dogs and easy to put in a pet crate and a miniature may fit in a large purse. Most Dachshunds don’t mind being in a crate as they can curl up and feel secure.
Other pets may serve to help a Dachshund not feel abandoned. However, they don’t always accept other pets at first and it may take some time before they all feel like family. According to the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, the Dachshund is the most aggressive dog breed.
3Some Pros and Cons about Owning a Dachshund
If you are looking for a small dog with lots of spunk, a Dachshund may be your best choice. They are comical and entertaining and come in a variety of sizes, colors and coats. Dachshunds are extremely loyal to their pack, which means you and your family and make good watchdogs, with their louder-than-life bark. They require only moderate exercise and are very tolerant of children and other pets especially other Dachshunds. They have a long life expectancy.
This list of cons may not all be considered cons by everyone, but some consider them negative traits.
- They are very stubborn, which is why they are hard to train
- They don’t like strange dogs and may be aggressive even to a much larger dog
- They love to chase other animals such as rabbits, mice a, d chipmunks
- They are difficult to housebreak
- The love to bark, which can be annoying but is one reason they are great watchdogs
- They are not to be left outdoors as they could find a way to run away
- The love to dig as that is what they were bred for. This is only a problem for those who have gardens and lawns that could be ruined
- They are prone to spinal problems. This could mean large vet bills
2Dachshunds Have a Potential for Playfulness
The fact that they are always ready for a game is one of their endearing qualities. They are rarely shy and there is never a dull moment. Some dogs are serious and sedate but not Dachshunds. In fact, you need to decide if you have the energy to own such an active pet. If you have children or other pets who will keep your Dachshund occupied, it’s great. Otherwise, you have to decide how many games of fetch and tag you can play every day.
If you combine the determination, courage and free thinking that characterize the Dachshund with becoming a pet rather than a hunter, you may get an idea of why this breed needs action. The wire-haired Dachshund is famous for mischievousness and getting into trouble. Think to grab the toilet paper and taking off around the house. The long-haired variety may appear quieter and have a softer, sedate temperament, but it needs just as much activity as its counterparts.
1A Dachshund May Not Be for Everyone
Dachshunds are not lap dogs. On the contrary, while they may like to cozy with you on a rainy night, they much prefer to be out racing around the countryside on a warm sunny day. If you are considering getting a new dog and like the look of a Dachshund, you should think again. They are much more than a pet, as some owners say, they are a lifestyle.
While they are good watchdogs, they bark at just about every bird twitter and may sound the alarm a bit too often. You may need to train them not to bark, which won’t be easy.
Dachshunds are very focused thinkers, which is why they are determined hunters. This tendency makes them stubborn and they are well versed in how to use their soft brown eyes to get their way. It is very important to teach your Dachshund who is boss, you, right from the start. If this isn’t for you, you may need to find a different breed.
Included in their watchdog tendency is their mistrust of strangers including other dogs and children. Again, you need to step in and train your dog to socialize with other people and dogs, or you could end up in a difficult situation if your dog attacks a bigger dog and gets hurt. Called respect training, if your dog respects you as the leader, he will obey you.
Unless you get an adult dog that is already housebroken, you will have to do it and Dachshunds are notorious for being difficult to housebreak. They don’t like to go outside in inclement weather, so you either need to train them to do so or have a place indoors where they can be trained to do their business.
Finally, the potential health problems with Dachshunds are very real and can be heartbreaking. One in four will become paralyzed or crippled in middle age because of their long backs. There are exercises and games a Dachshund should not play because these games may put too much strain on their spine. Special care needs to be taken to avoid spinal problems.
Dachshunds, Weiner Dogs, Hot Dogs and any other name you know make great pets. Their courage, loyalty and sheer joie-de-vivre make them a joy to be around for years. Some people say you don’t own a Dachshund, the Dachshund owns you. They believe they are entitled to every inch of your home and will burrow under the covers as their right. You can find rescue dogs through the American Kennel Club.
The iconic hot dog shape can cause the spinal problems. You can do a lot to prevent problems such as pick them up properly so the back isn’t stretched, have them checked by a vet to see if any spinal issues are developing and help them control their eating because they will overeat every time if they can. Being obese will put pressure on their spine and may result in disc damage. Another tip is to create ramps that make it easy for them to get on the sofa or bed so they don’t hurt themselves by trying to jump on and off the furniture.
You can’t escape the fact that Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers many centuries ago in Germany. The word Dachshund means badger dog. They retain the hunting characteristics such as chasing small animals and digging holes to find nests underground. The larger version was bred to chase fox or deer and the miniature version was bread to chase ferrets and hares.
They hunt like a hound and dig like a terrier. It is the only non-terrier breed that is allowed to participate in the AKC Earthdog trials. Dachshunds are also the only breed to win Best in Show in the Working, Sporting and Hound categories. While they are still used in Europe for hunting, in the United States, they are primarily pets and one of the most popular American Kennel Club breeds.
When you are a Dachshund owner, you will find people making jokes about your dog such as, “where’s the mustard and ketchup?” There are clubs and community groups that are dedicated to the small but powerful pup and you won’t believe how much the owners love their Dachshunds.