Dachshunds are freaking ADORABLE and they know it! Nicknamed the “Weiner” or “Sausage” dog, these cuties may be tiny but they pack a ton of punch. They were originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers which is why they still have a penchant for digging and burrowing. They are also super-friendly, spunky, and eager for affection. If you’re thinking of adopting a Dachshund, here are a few things you must know before you bring them home.
They Are Strong-Willed and Determined
Dachshunds may be small but they have huge personalities. Because they were originally bred to be hunters, they are independent and never back down from a challenge. They like to have their own way. This means that they are often stubborn to the point of rashness and can be difficult to train. That being said, patience and consistency always work wonders. Dachshunds are motivated by affection, toys, and treats, so use these as positive reinforcements while training them.
They Dig Digging
If you have a well-landscaped garden or backyard, you may want to think twice before bringing a Dachshund home. These dogs are scent hounds and were bred to literally dig tunnels and sniff out badgers, rabbits, and other small game. They are pretty good at it too thanks to their paddle-like feet, strong nails, and determination. So, it’s quite common for Dachshund-owners to see dug-up flower beds and unsightly holes in their yard. They may even try to dig under the gate to escape. The good news is that they are controlled by their nose and belly. Keep their digging and natural hunting drive in check by making them feel like they are “hunting” for treats and food. We are talking exercises involving nose work, puzzles, and snuffle mats.
They Need Plenty of Exercise
Dachshunds may have tiny legs but they have tons of energy! They love to go on walks and explore the great outdoors. They also thoroughly enjoy playing a game of fetch, tug of war and excel in activities related to agility. Whether you live in a huge house or a tiny apartment, you have to ensure that your Weiner gets a decent amount of exercise, or else you’re going to encounter destructive behavior, incessant barking, and unwanted chewing. Remember, an active Dachshund is a happy Dachshund!
They Are Very Vocal
Back in the day, Dachshunds would bark to alert their humans after they had successfully caught their prey. They may no longer be ace hunters but their bark remains loud and persistent. Of course, some Dachshunds bark more than others but it’s quite a common trait for this breed. It’s what makes them amazing watchdogs but you may find yourself reaching for earmuffs more often than you’d like!
They Live Long Lives
The average lifespan of Dachshunds is between 14 to 16 years. Some may even live up to the age of 20! If you are thinking of bringing a Dachshund home, be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Of course, it’s also important to give them nutritious food so that they stay healthy and strong. The good news is that they love food and will pretty much eat anything including dry, wet, raw, and homecooked food. Adults need two meals a day and puppies need at least three. As far as treats and dental chews go, look for options that don’t have artificial colors, preservatives, or flavorings. They also enjoy veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and broccoli as well as juicy chunks of watermelon.
They Are Prone to Back Problems
Dachshunds may not be able to jump on furniture as easily as other breeds but that doesn’t mean they won’t try. Too much jumping can put pressure on their spine, though, so it’s better to have small ramps that they can use to get up on the sofa or bed. They are also prone to gaining weight and that’s not good for their spinal column. “Sausage dog” may sound cute but it comes with its share of health problems. So, ensure that they’re eating right and exercising enough. Whenever you lift them up, support their spine by putting one hand under the backside and the other under the chest so that there’s no pressure on the spine. Because of their long spine, one in four Dachshunds is prone to “Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)” which is hereditary. If they do have it, they could develop neck and back injuries even if you’re careful. The unfortunate part is that IVDD cannot be detected until after your dog is injured so there’s nothing you can do as a precaution.
They Have a High Prey Drive
It’s in their nature to hunt small game so they will see anything that’s tiny, furry, and fast as potential prey. Having said that, many Dachshunds do learn to co-exist with other small pets but they tend to chase and hunt unknown critters. Ensure that they are on a leash whenever they’re near small animals they don’t know. In case you’re wondering, yes this means that they’re also going to destroy their squeaky toys in a matter of minutes!
Regardless of what type of Dachshund you have, they all shed only moderately. When they are puppies, they need minimal bathing and brushing. As they get older, their grooming needs change based on what type of coat they have. Smooth-coated Dachshunds just need a quick wipe-down with a towel while long-haired ones need to be brushed regularly. As for wirehaired Dachshunds, they may need to get plucked and hand-stripped a couple of times a year. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly to keep digging to a minimum.
They are Social and Fiercely Loyal
The one thing that stands out about this breed is that they are fiercely loyal to their human pack. They will follow you around and snuggle with you whenever the opportunity presents itself. They usually get attached to one particular member of the family. Some Dachshunds may show signs of jealousy and overprotectiveness, which is why it’s important to socialize them correctly from an early age. They are extremely social so they can get bored quickly if left alone for long hours. Bringing another Dachshund home may not be a bad idea as they can keep each other company. They make for an amazing family dog and are great around children as well. Dachshunds live to love and be loved and that’s why they are one of the best breeds out there!
What do you think of the small in size but mighty in spirit Dachshund? Let us know below.