Your Guide to Owning a Dachshund

The original ‘badger dog’, these cute hounds are generally loyal and affectionate, and suitable for most families.

Different types of Dachshund

Dachshunds come in two different size varieties: standard and miniature, and three fur types: smooth-haired, long-haired, and wiry-haired.

Personality-wise, they are all normally fairly amiable creatures, although they can sometimes be irritable and snappy. The wire-haired Dachshunds are said to be the most extrovert and active, while standard long-haireds tend to be the most laid-back. Standard smooth-haired Dachshunds are very loyal, and are ideal one-person dogs, although they don’t tend to take so well to strangers. Miniatures, meanwhile, are great pets for anyone who wants a small dog that doesn’t need too much walking.

Miniatures can be harder to train than standard-sized dogs, and Dachshunds as a whole aren’t the easiest breed to train, but with patience and effort, and maybe some help from a good dog trainer, you should reap rewards.  

Other family members

With their even temperament, Dachshunds usually get along fine with cats, especially if they are raised with them. A strange cat in the back garden is unlikely to be tolerated quite so well, though.

Dachshunds can become territorial if a new dog is introduced to ‘their’ family, and it can cause problems, especially as they tend to see themselves as bigger than they are, and have no qualms with squaring up to a bigger dog!

Children of the family aren’t usually a problem for Dachshunds – in fact their loyalty can make them very protective over family members.  However, they can sometimes snap at strangers and children they aren’t used to, particularly if they feel threatened. The best way to avoid this is to get your dog socialized and used to being around people and other dogs from an early age.

Training a Dachshund

They aren’t the world’s most obedient pets, but, with patience and persistence, you can probably get your Dachshund trained to a basic level. Don’t expect to be able to teach them to do tricks though. Also, be aware that if they are out and about and they pick up a scent, nothing else matters. Dachshunds have strong characters so you’ll need to show them who’s boss!

Exercise

Dachshunds are usually lively and energetic dogs, and trainable enough to be fun to take out on walks. They love to get out and will take as much exercise as you’re willing to give them. They aren’t particularly demanding when it comes to being walked though. A miniature probably only needs an hour or less of exercise per day, while ideally a standard would probably be happier with up to two hours.

Care and Grooming

Dachshunds can have one of three types of fur. Smooth Dachshunds have a close, short coat that doesn’t need too much maintenance. Long-haired Dachshunds need to be groomed regularly to maintain their fur, and wire-haired Dachshunds have cute, almost curly-looking fur. The wire-haired dogs have a double coat, which means it doesn’t moult quite as much as other breeds.

All Dachshunds need to be groomed weekly. Long-haired breeds also need to be combed every day. If you opt for a wire-haired you’ll need to get them professionally trimmed twice a year, and short-haired dogs also benefit from a regular rub down with a damp cloth.

Health Considerations

Dachshunds can be prone to back problems and, because of their size, their spines can be easily damaged by children being too rough.  Other conditions that affect these little dogs include urinary tract problems, heart disease and diabetes. They can also get lazy, which leads them to become overweight and also strains their back, so you’ll need to keep an eye on their weight. It might be a good idea to take out comprehensive pet cover for peace of mind.

Image of Dachshund from Wikimedia Commons

 

Filed under: Dog Breeds

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