Dachshunds are a dog breed that might have the most interesting personality and physical characteristics on the planet today. Their shape and size lead them to be called “wiener dogs” because they look like a sausage placed in a hot dog bun as they walk. This physical appearance is due to their extended length and low profile.
Because of their size and shape, it is imperative that these dogs not be allowed to become overweight. The additional strain that happens in that situation can lead to ruptured or slipped discs. You’ll get the pleading eyes, wiggling eyebrows, and perky ears to convince you that table scraps are an excellent dinner option, but you’ll need to ignore their begging. Cooked bones and foods with high fat content are a recipe for trouble with this breed.
A Dachshund has an incredible nose that can find food almost anywhere. Their intelligence is high as well, which means they’ll get into whatever is available to them at their level. You will want to always keep the food well out of reach to protect the health of your dog.
List of the Pros of a Dachshund
1. Dachshunds are incredibly loyal.
Once your Dachshund decides that you are their forever person, then that attitude is not going to change at all. You’ll find that your dog loves to follow you around the house to see what you’re doing at all times. That includes joining you in the bathroom since it doesn’t make sense for a human to want to be alone in their eyes. This trait can make it a challenge to adopt them from a shelter at times because they are still waiting for their first person to come back to take care of them again.
2. This breed comes in three different varieties.
How do you like your Dachshund? There are three different options from which to choose if you’re looking at this breed. Their coat can be smooth, long-haired, or there is a wirehaired option if you prefer. They also come in a miniature or a standard size. All of them meet the breed standards that are in place for these dogs, and they each have the strong, short legs and long bodies that are their trademark.
3. Dachshunds think outside of their breed size.
Dachshunds have a distinguishable bark that will alert you to any potential adverse situation that’s in or around your home. Their courage and loyalty make them a formidable guard dog, especially since you can hear them confronting someone from the other side of your property. They also like to bark at almost everything that comes around because of their high prey drive, so you can expect warnings for squirrels, cats, postal workers, or random leaves that smack into your door and make a sound.
4. These dogs are perfect for city life.
If you live in the city, then a Dachshund is the perfect dog companion to consider having. They are an exceptional co-pet, especially if you have another Doxie at home already. There is an intense desire within this breed to have companionship. They love to have some snuggle time every day while having some time to play with others. That’s why they tend to excel in home environments where someone is home all of the time. If you leave them alone without any companionship, then this breed can develop social anxieties that can lead to unwanted behaviors, like chewing and scratching.
5. It is very easy to groom Dachshunds.
If you don’t like the idea of spending lots of time trying to groom your dog, then you’re going to love having a Dachshund around. Their short hair usually stays pretty clean, even if they found something fun and stinky outside to roll around in for you. There is no need to comb their coat because of its size unless you opt for the long-haired or the wirehaired varieties. Then you’ll need to brush them out about once every other day to help them stay looking sharp.
Their low maintenance advantages extend beyond the grooming as well. They don’t need a lot of exercise beyond the daily walk, although giving them an open field in which to run will definitely make their day. You’ll usually find your Doxie lying in a sunbeam or tucked into covers, happily snoring away until you are ready to start playing.
6. Dachshunds are a long-lived breed.
A Dachshund’s average lifespan is between 12-16 years if they receive proper care, so keep them on a good diet with food meant for their breed. You’ll want to make sure that the pup gets enough exercise to maintain good muscle tone as well. Outside of their eating habits, you’ll want to pay close attention to the dog’s activities so that they can avoid a back injury. If you can manage these circumstances effectively, then you and your new pup can hopefully live a long, happy, and fulfilling life together.
There are no recommended health tests that you should evaluate before selecting a pup according to the American Kennel Club.
List of the Cons of a Dachshund
1. When you have a Dachshund, then you have a digger.
Dachshunds were originally bred to be a hunting dog in Germany. Their name translates to “badger dogs,” and that was their job. When a badger would try to burrow away to escape, these short hounds would pursue them at full speed. There are more than 400 years of breeding history to support this behavior, even in the modern domesticated breed. Their short legs and loose skin made them ideal for digging, going into tunnels, or even fighting off a stubborn critter.
You can’t leave your Dachshund unattended in the backyard. If there are flower beds or a garden there, then you’ll find holes. Some individuals are pretty good at digging up lawns too.
2. Dachshunds tend to be very stubborn dogs.
You don’t earn the reputation of being a badger dog if you are willing to give up at the slightest difficulty. The stubbornness of this breed is directly attributed to the jobs that they used to do over in Germany. Although they have been present in the United States since the late 19th century, their attitude can get in your way when it is time to do some training. Housebreaking these dogs is possible, but it can be exceptionally challenging to manage that process. Doxies are notoriously bad for having in-home accidents. The only way to teach them a new trick is to be more stubborn then they are.
3. The extended spine of a Dachshund can create some health concerns.
Dachshunds love to eat. Their small size doesn’t like a lot of extra calories, which means you’ll see your dog putting on some weight quickly if you don’t control their diet. If they are overweight for too long, then the extra pressure that interacts with the spine can lead to some severe back problems. It is not unusual for those with this breed to pay for pet insurance so that they can manage the cost of future procedures, including surgeries, more effectively.
4. Dachshunds don’t do well in homes with small children.
Most Dachshund pups love to play. They just aren’t a toddler-friendly breed because of their shape and size. If you have small children at home, then you’ll want to create workarounds to ensure that your dog can be safe and have fun while you teach them the rules. That includes teaching kids how to pick up the dogs correctly to avoid having an unintentional injury happen to their back.
Another issue to consider with Dachshunds is their sensitivity. These dogs do not react well if you give them a harsh command or some kind of punishment. They might be loyal to a fault, but this breed will not forget an incident that they didn’t appreciate.
5. A Dachshund can always find something that is more interesting.
Dachshunds were bred to have a robust prey drive. These dogs also have an excellent sense of smell. The goal with their breeding was to create a dog that could stay focused and follow a trail even if there were distractions in the environment. This behavior translates to being busy doing other things when they are with you, so they might not always be paying attention to your commands. That’s why you’ll generally want to walk this breed on a leash instead of letting them run free. If there’s a squirrel around, you can bet that your dog is going to want to chase it.
6. Some dogs can suffer belly injuries from their activities.
Dachshunds are naturally curious as a breed. They will want to explore every nook and cranny of your home. If you have a backyard, then expect it to get thoroughly sniffed. Because the dogs are so low to the ground with their physical stature, you can find some of them picking up injuries along the stomach and chest. Although the keen nose of the breed gives it an advantage over others for tracking and trailing, there are times when its bold confidence can lead to problems. If your pup has been outside for any time, you’ll want to go through a complete inspection to ensure there isn’t an injury present.
7. Some Doxies love to nip.
Most Dachshunds do well with other pets and people, but there are some exceptions. Many of them will nip at others when they feel cornered or scared, so that can be an issue that young families may need to manage. Most breeders and associations recommend that children should not be left unsupervised with this breed because of this behavioral trait. Some individuals can be trained to use an alternative defensive mechanism that is less threatening, but it is still a disadvantage that you’ll want to consider – especially with the known stubbornness of this breed.
The pros and cons of Dachshund are essential to consider if you like the idea of bringing this small dog home with you. These dogs are moderate shedders, but they are relatively clean and have little body odor. The traits apply to all coat and size types as well. If you can manage their care needs effectively, then you will find that having this companion around can be a very rewarding experience.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.