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Dachshunds are a toy breed that gives birth to about 1-3 puppies per litter. The breed lives for about 12-15 years. Both males and females typically grow from 14-18 inches and weigh 9 to 20 lbs.
The Dachshund was initially bred as a hunting dog that went after badgers and other small animals. They are known to be lively, clever, and brave. The Dachshund is a social breed that wants to be with people. They love attention and affection so much that they are known to demand it! They make loving and loyal pets.
Dachshunds have a great deal of energy and do require a lot of activity. They are very intelligent, but can get bored quickly. They love to play, go for walks, and enjoy new games. It is important to have plenty of toys on hand to keep them occupied.
With socialization, Dachshunds will do well with other pets in the home. Given their past as a hunting breed, they do like to chase. This is something important to keep in mind when they are out in the yard or on a walk. As a hunter, Dachshunds would frequently dig through brush or ground in search of their prey. Because of this, they are known diggers who will quickly tear up a yard. This is something that should be addressed in training.
This breed is unaware of its size, and will be quite vocal when accounting other, especially bigger dogs. They will also let their owners know when a stranger approaches. The can be fiercely protective little watchdogs.
Dachshunds can become quite spoiled and willful, and somewhat possessive of their toys and territory. They are not recommended for homes with small children, though they do fine with older kids. If they do not receive enough attention or activity, they can become bored and from destructive habits such as chewing or barking incessantly.
Dachshunds have three coat varieties: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired.
The smooth coat is short and shiny. Smooth coated Dachshunds do not require as much grooming as the other varieties. The coat only needs brushing once a week, and a wipe down with a damp cloth.
The wirehaired coat has a soft undercoat with a thick outer coat. The outer coat has a rough, coarse feel to it. The wirehaired Dachshund features a beard on its muzzle. This type requires frequent brushing to prevent tangles, mats, and to remove dead hairs. The coat needs to be stripped several times a year. This is the process of pulling dead hairs from the coat. Wirehaired Dachshunds also require frequent baths.
Longhaired Dachshunds have a silky coat that is wavy and lengthy. This type also requires frequent bathing, and the coat needs to be thoroughly dried in order to prevent matting. Daily brushing is suggested to prevent tangles and to help deal with shedding.
All three types will require nail trimmings, teeth cleanings, and for their ears to be checked for infection or irritation.
Diet is something important to consider for the Dachshund, as the breed’s size and shape can lend itself to obesity or heaviness. The Dachshund has some other health conditions to watch out for as well. Some of these include heart disease, deafness, diabetes, and urinary tract issues. Dachshunds are also prone to a spinal disc problem, due to the shape of their bodies. This condition is sometimes referred to as Dachshund Paralysis. It causes complete paralysis in the breed, and is caused by the longer spinal column and short rib cage. Regular vet care is recommended to ensure the continued health of the dog.
Exercise is essential to the health of this breed. Puppies and young dogs are quite mobile and playful, but as the breed ages it tends to become lethargic, which can lead to weight problems and other health issues. Daily walks, play sessions, and activities are necessary in order to ensure that the dog lives a long and healthy life.
Despite that tendency towards laziness as they get older, Dachshunds are frequently featured in competitions. They participate in field tests, hunting tests, agility and conformity competitions, and a variety of other organized pet event. The breed loves a challenge, and appears to thrive in these activities.
Dachshunds are very trainable dogs, though they have a reputation for being somewhat difficult to housetrain. Training should begin when they are young, though older dogs can be worked with. Crate training, persistence, and consistency are recommended in regards to housetraining. In all other aspects of training, it is suggested that owners are firm, yet positive and rewarding. The Dachshund is a fairly independent thinker and will require some patience, as well as a bit of convincing, in training.
Dachshunds should have a fenced in yard or be kept on a leash when outside, as they will chase after birds or other small creatures. Owners may want to address barking and digging in training as well.
Owning a Dachshund
Because of the spinal disk problems the breed can inherit, it is very important to make sure that the breeder the puppy is acquired from is well researched. The breeder should have a good reputation and be able to provide information about the dog’s bloodlines and health history. They should also be licensed. Once the puppy is at home, it is important for new owners to begin training immediately.
Dachshunds do end up with rescue organizations or in shelters, and potential owners may decide they want to re-home instead of starting with a puppy. Most shelters or rescues will provide whatever information about the dog that is available, so it may be possible to learn about the dog’s personality, habits, quirks, and health. Older Dachshunds will require a great deal of patience and consistency with training, though it is possible to re-home them successfully.
Whether choosing a puppy or an older dog, this little breed is sure to delight with its spunky, playful, loveable personality. Unique and independent, Dachshunds are a wonderful breed.