‘Dachshunds Are King’ the title reads. Well, at least they think so. That’s part of their charm. But they add to that with cute looks, curiosity and an adventurous spirit.
They’re small, like most terriers. Like that breed to which they are distant cousins, they were bred to hunt small, tunneling animals. That has left them with intelligence and a ‘can do’ attitude – even when you sometimes wish they wouldn’t.
That temperament varies, though. Each individual is different, of course. But there are also remarkable trends among the three major types: Smooth-Coats, Wire-Hair and Long-Hair. That behavior ranges from near aggression to a more gentle nature. But whether kind or crazy or caustic, every Dachshund is a canine work of art.
Sadly, they do tend to have some particular health problems that are less common in other breeds. Spinal conditions are the most likely, with some estimates as high as 1 in 4 that one will be struck with some kind of disc disease. But there are other risks, such as Cushing’s Disease, kidney stones and eye problems.
The right diet can’t eliminate those genetic tendencies, but it can help keep your Doxie in top shape. They are high-energy dogs and a balanced diet of protein, fat, and essential vitamins and minerals of high quality is a major factor in keeping them fit.
Exercise is another. Dachshunds love to play. They are natural clowns and will take to an obstacle course or play fetch anytime they can. Even though, unlike Retrievers, you may not always get the ball back when you want…
Training can help modify that willful nature. They are loving and loyal and, while not as eager to please as Goldens or German Shepherds, they will still recognize the alpha with the right techniques.
Consistency and patience are a must, as is a willingness to keep a regular schedule. They are very bright, but obedience does not come easily. They will require time to learn and accept who is top dog in the house.
Sometimes a little extra instruction and firmness is needed, for those Dachshunds who display aggressive tendencies. That isn’t common but it’s more likely with this breed than most others. It comes out most frequently with strangers or strange animals, but sometimes it will be seen with other family members.
Rough handling and sharp yells will only increase that problem. More creative techniques are needed to mold them in more positive directions.
All will need proper and regular grooming along with that regular training. Smooth-Coat Dachshunds require the least care, but a monthly bath and a weekly brush are still a must. Long-Hairs will need much more, because of the longer fur and the dog’s short legs, which make getting dirty a near certainty.
Training, grooming and just plain having fun will be a lot easier with the right Dachshund accessories. A good halter, plenty of Dachshund-sized balls and chew toys, a crate for housebreaking training and a carrier for trips around town will all make your life easier.
They will make your Dachshund’s life easier, too, which they will really enjoy. Just ask them and they’ll tell you in no uncertain terms. They are, after all, the king. Why shouldn’t they be treated like royalty?