So you’re thinking about getting a dachshund – well you might want to ask yourself the following two questions first:
1. Do you have a pronounced affinity for small, brave creatures with Napoleon complexes?
2. Do you have food that you are willing to share?
If the answer to both these questions is yes, then a dachshund may be right for you! There may very well be a lot more that goes into raising this popular breed but those are the two most salient points.
However, these loveable creatures are easily summed up as being:
Lets jump into each characteristics in a little more detail:
Don’t let their small stature fool you, these dogs were originally developed as hunting dogs! It’s no surprise then that this breed is well-known for their courage.
Dachshunds often will chase and sometimes kill any small animals that they encounter. They have also been known to pick fights with larger dogs.
The American Kennel Club breed’s standards stated it best when they said that dachshunds were “courageous to the point of rashness.”
E.B. White, a famous author, detailed this particular trait by saying, “I like to read books on dog training. Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humour. Every sentence is a riot.”
These dogs can sometimes be hard to fully housebreak as a result of their stubborn natures and owners will need to have patience with them once they have peed behind the couch for the umpteenth time.
Members of this breed are generally very loving dogs. They will go so far as to insist upon tummy rubs and other token of affection from their devoted human fans (read: minions).
In addition, these dogs tend to be attached to their families, though sometimes this translates to just one person in particular.
Stanley Coren in his book The Intelligence of Dogs cites dachshunds as having what he considers as being of “working intelligence” as they obey half of their known commands on their first utterance.
They made the 49th spot on his list. Dachshund owners will attest this because dogs may not always listen to them but they are clearly not lacking in intelligence.
Houdini has nothing on the smart & sneaky Dachshund. It is a given that dachshunds will always discover a way past the fence and leaving them outside unsupervised isn’t recommended.
This tends to be the culmination of many of the aforementioned traits and their independent natures. As was mentioned earlier, dachshunds regard a fence an obstacle course and they frequently will escape.
They also love food and are forevermore trying to convince their owners to give them just one more treat. Dachshunds will beg but, if that fails, they are not above stealing what they want.
These dogs simply have a propensity for trouble that can be either charming or exasperating depending on your perspective.
The Downside of Owning a Dachshund
These dogs are small in stature and have delicate backs. They could be easily be hurt by small children and toddlers who are only playing with them.
Dachshunds may also snap at children who are playing too wildly for their liking. As is the case with any pet, young members of the family and guests should be taught how to handle the dogs to avoid this from becoming problematic.
Owners have to keep an eye on this breed to keep them from becoming overweight, a condition which may place a strain on the dogs’ backs and cause other ailments to arise. This is more difficult than it sounds because dachshunds will consume just about anything edible that crosses their path.
Dachshunds additionally tend to bark loudly at anything that crosses their path, which makes them effective watchdogs but can also cause problems in certain situations. As a result, they may not be the best dogs for people living in apartment complexes.
In keeping with their original purpose, dachshunds generally like to burrow and dig. This might not be problematic if your pet is tunnelling through the blankets on the bed or hiding under the laundry pile, but it can sometimes cause problems for avid gardeners as well as anyone who wants to walk through the backyard without falling in a hole.
These fun loving dogs make great pets under the right circumstances but, if they are allowed to rule the household that is exactly what they will do.
If you would like more information on the Dachshundjump over and have a read of our Dachshund Breed Guide.
Bonus! The Guardian has a Halloween feature – Dachshunds in Costume. There are some great pics, check it out!
American Kennel Club Website, Wikipedia, Vetstreet, Animal Planet, Dog Breed Info Center, Dachshund Club of America, Alberta Dachshund Rescue, “What Do Dogs Know” by Stanley Cohen, Almost Home Rescue page, Dachshund Owner Guide, Everything about Dachshunds, Your Purebred Puppy by Michele Welton, Dummy’s website “Is a dachshund right for you” article by Eve Adamson, Dog Channel Breed Profile, Behavioral Traits of Dachshunds on The Nest website, dachshund world, owner of three purebred miniature dachshunds that are about 8 years old,