PROUD, CHARMING, STUBBORN
History & Origin
The Dachshund was bred in Germany to be a hunting dog. Their name, Dachshund, means ‘badger dog’. They were used to hunt wild boar while their small size made them ideal for climbing into badger dens.
It is believed that their ancestry includes smaller mutations of other hunting dogs like the Bibarhund and the Schweisshund or bloodhound. Selective breeding resulted in what is today the common Dachshund. These dogs were usually used in packs while hunting.
Due to even more selective breeding, a smaller version of the dog was created, enabling it to go down rabbit burrows where it would flush out the prey so that their owners could kill it.
Dachshunds were apparently also used to track wounded deer and alert their owners to the injured animal’s whereabouts, as well as in fox hunting.
The Dachshund was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885 and has since then gained tremendous popularity.
Today, there are two sizes that are recognized by the AKC, the standard, and the miniature, while they come in all colors and combination and their coats can be short-haired, long-haired or wiry.
PERSONALITY AND TEMPERAMENT
Your Dachshund puppy is going to grow up to be a proud, stubborn little dog with a heart of gold. They are extremely loyal to their families to whom they tend to grow extremely attached and are great watchdogs in spite of their size. Nothing gets past a dachshund without them knowing about it!
This is a breed that needs human company or, at least, another dog (preferably another dachshund) to keep it company, otherwise, it will probably start barking in a bid to get some attention, while at the same time, it is prone to jealousy, especially with regards to what it perceives as its ‘toys’.
Because of their innate stubbornness and tendency to approach all strangers or strange circumstances so suspiciously, proper training is recommended for your new puppy.
Although they make excellent house dogs and are not in need of a large yard to keep them happy, the do need enough exercise, and to this end, needs a daily walk, on a leash. They tend to get excited when out and about and are in the habit of taking off in chase of something that looks or smells interesting. This could, of course, have disastrous consequences.
Dachshunds may be fun-loving, caring and charming, but they do not like being pushed around too far, may get irritable at any behavior towards them that they feel is harsh, and snap at the one they deem responsible. It does not hesitate to defend itself if it feels it is being wronged.
Dachshunds tend to get cold quite easily, which can make its housetraining a bit of a challenge. If the weather is cold, it is preferable that it has a covered area in which it could do its doggy business.
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
Your new puppy has short legs and a long back, and it was bred that way in order to be able to get into small holes and spaces that larger hunting dogs were not able to.
As they tend to love eating, it is extremely important that you watch your puppy’s diet, because they tend to get obese and develop back problems if their eating habits are not kept in check.
Your new puppy needs food that is higher in energy than what it needs as an adult. This is in order for it to grow, both in size and bone structure.
Dachshunds tend to do equally well on both dry commercial dog food and the homemade variety.
If opting for homemade, poultry, chicken, and red meat are quite suitable, as well as vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes as well as rice. Giving your puppy the occasional egg is also a good idea, as eggs are high in protein You should never feed your puppy or adult dog, for that matter, chocolate or raw onion and garlic. It can make your dog extremely ill.
When it comes to commercial pet food, make sure that it is of good quality and meets your puppy’s nutritional needs. The more common, popular kind tends to be full of fillers that on a nutritional level mean nothing, as they tend to pass right through you dog while only serving to fill up its tummy.
When giving your dog dried food, however, either wet it first or make sure that there is a plentiful supply of fresh water as eating dried food can make it very thirsty.
Your new puppy may start out by eating three to four meals a day, which, by the time it is approximately six months old, should be down to two times a day.
Although many people tend to opt for feeding an adult dog once a day only, it could lead to gluttonous behavior and the dog wolfing down its food, swallowing large amounts of wind, and bloating. Two smaller meals twice daily, on the other hand, mean that your dog is never that hungry.
A dachshund will tend to eat any- and everything it can lay its paws on, so with this respect, you need to keep a careful watch on it.
COAT AND GROOMING
The breed stands low to the ground with short legs and a long body. It is, for its relatively small size, a very muscular dog. It has an alert demeanor, with large, floppy ears and has an acute sense of smell.
Dachshunds come in two sizes, standard and miniature. Typically, the standard dog weighs in between 16 and 32 pounds, while the miniature version of the breed weighs in at around 11 pounds and less once fully grown.
They have three types of coats: flat, smooth-haired, wired, and long. The flat haired variety’s hair is short, and they tend to get cold easily. You will often see them wearing dog coat during the colder months of the year. Their grooming needs are also minimal. The longhaired dachshund, on the other hand, has long, wavy hair that needs to be brushed regularly to avoid tangles. Like the longhaired variety, the wire-haired dachshund also needs to be combed regularly.
Their coats come in a variety of colors, e.g. red, black, tan, gray, and all variations and combinations you can think of. All are 100% acceptable.
They are extremely easy to groom and do not need really specialized attention. In order to keep the tartar buildup on their teeth down to a minimum, rawhide chew toys are excellent. As far as bathing goes, they are, fortunately, a breed that only needs to be bathed about every three to four months. A good quality dog shampoo is advised so that your puppy’s skin does not develop rashes of perhaps eczema.
A smooth, short-haired dachshund, like any other dog, sheds hair. To keep their coat smooth and shiny, regular brushing with a glove brush or bristle-haired brush is ideal. Long-haired dachshunds require a little more effort and need to be combed in addition to being brushed in order to keep their manes knot-free. They might also need to go to the dog parlor on occasion for a clipping. Wirehaired dachshunds have a double coat, a soft undercoat topped by a stiffer, wiry top coat that can, at times, get matted. As their coat tends to become extremely thick at times, it is advised that they go to a parlor to get their coats sorted out every so often.
Their large, floppy ears, need to be cleaned as well with a damped cotton-wool ball. If you notice mites or a discharge, your pet needs to be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that the problem can be sorted out.
If you see your dachshund licking at or dragging its rear on the carpet, it could mean its anal gland needs cleaning. If you do not wish to do so, a veterinarian or someone at a doggy parlor could do so for you.
Their nails, if the dog does not get much exercise and where it does not file down naturally, needs to be clipped occasionally.
Other than this, your new puppy is good to go!
This is a breed that does not need a large yard and is great for apartment dwellers. They do have a lot of energy, though, so regular walks in the park would be ideal.
Training, as with all puppies, begins the moment you bring your dog home. A dachshund needs to be near people, and to this end, cuddling it and lavishing it with attention will soon teach it what behavior is acceptable and what is not.
Socialization is an important aspect of any dog’s training, and in this respect, your dachshund puppy is no exception. If these skills are learned before your dog is five months old, all for the better, as this is the time when it is the most receptive to this and includes other animals, people, and ‘things’, i.e. cars, nature, and so on.
This is a breed that does quite well with crate training, as it gives it a ‘safe spot’ in which it can sleep in or when it just needs some time out. It is also great when potty training your new puppy. With regards to potty training, however, remember that a puppy needs to go out and do its business approximately 15 minutes after a meal, and by letting it out, it soon learns where it is acceptable to do so.
The only time to give this breed a reward when training it is when it behaves the way you wish it to. A reward could be some special affection, a pat, or a hug, and should not be dog treats as, besides a tendency towards obesity, this breed is stubborn in nature and may decide to only behave appropriately if fed. This is not a situation that any discerning dog owner wishes for.
Your new puppy needs a lot of sleep – remember, it is still a baby – and it is not unusual for them to sleep up to 16 hours a day. This, of course, will start tapering off as it grows older.
Generally speaking, the dachshund is quite a healthy breed and not prone to many health issues. The main issue with them, however, is related to their backs.
Their long backs and short legs may have made them ideal for crawling down badger holes, but it has an associated risk, i.e. they are prone to developing Intervertebral Disc Disease, which is an extremely painful condition. This is usually the result of the dog jumping off from high places, obesity, or handling the dog incorrectly, i.e. picking it up incorrectly. When picking up your dachshund, do so at both ends simultaneously.
The breed tends towards obesity due to its love of eating. Those soulful eyes can also prompt an owner to feed it extra tidbits, but this is to be avoided at all costs. You can end up killing your dog with kindness, when in fact, its diet should be watched. Besides causing back problems, an obese dog can also develop heart problems and diabetes, both of which are conditions that could be avoided.
Dachshunds are also susceptible to pancreatitis, and this is also tied to its eating habits. It is usually associated with eating fatty foods, which is something a dachshund should avoid due to the obesity problem as previously mentioned. This is an extremely painful condition, and signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
A breed that loves human companionship, children, and other dogs, the dachshund is ideal for those families that live in a smaller space, such as an apartment. They do not need much grooming or even exercise, although their dietary needs need to be strictly adhered to while their stubborn streak can make training a little difficult at times.
With enough love and patience, though, they make an excellent addition to any family willing to put in the initial effort.
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