Know Your Dachsie
There is a LOT to know about dachshunds, especially if you are considering adding a dachshund to your home (and even if you already have one!).
Top 10 Things Any Dachshund Parent Should Know
1. IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) is a degenerative condition experienced to some degree by about 20% of all dachshunds. It leads to severe pain, loss of coordination, and, in some cases, paralysis. If you have a dachshund, you need to be prepared for IVDD. But you should also know that IVDD, even if it results in total paralysis, does not need to be a death sentence. Plenty of paralyzed dachshunds lead happy, full lives.
Helpful links: http://users.cyberport.net/~milnerwm/fastfacts.html, www.dodgerslist.com, www.mydachshundismykid.com
2. Cushing’s Disease is another common dachshund malady. With Cushing’s the adrenal glands produce too much corticosteroids and/or cortisol. Dogs with Cushing’s will look potbellied, and they will have increased thirst and urination.
Helpful links: http://www.vetinfo.com/dcushing.html
3. House Training: Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to housetrain. Many never learn it completely. You need to be prepared for a little “compromise” as to what housetraining really means. If your expectation is for your dachshund to “ask” whenever she needs to go out, you may be frustrated for life. Most dachshund homes find it more effective to establish a housetraining schedule and take their doxie out at set times. Keep in mind, for many dachshunds, ALL BETS ARE OFF in the rain. Helpful links: http://www.dachworld.com/housebreaking.htm
4. Other Training: Dachshunds respond well to positive fun training. You will be most rewarded with a happy, well-behaved dachshund if you approach training as something you do to have fun together, rather than something you to do “fix” your dachshund. Look into obedience, agility (no jumps), nosework, and treiball for ways to have fun with your little one.
Helpful links: http://www.dachworld.com/training.htm
5. Submissive Urination. This, along with its cousin, Excitement Urination, is a separate issue from housetraining. When you are feeling very generous, you can view submissive urination as a compliment, recognizing you as the one in charge. But it can also be a sign of fear. Never scold a doxie for submissive urination or excitement urination; that will only make it worse.
6. Marking. Dachshunds have strong personalities, and they will express these personalities sometimes through their urination habits (see Submissive Urination). Marking sends a message, and when it’s done in the home, it is usually a message of insecurity. We often see it when there is a change in the house. A sharp “No” along with a trip outside is a good place to start, but if that doesn’t work, get a “belly band” for your male marker. (You can fashion one out of a tea towel and safety pins, make it yourself, or order cute ones on Etsy.) The belly band at least keeps the mess from happening, and it teaches some dogs not to mark.
7. Teeth. Dachshunds are notorious for having bad teeth, and needing regular (sometimes annual) dental cleaning. Ignoring this doesn’t just mean putting up with bad breath. It means heart disease, general inflammation, and full-body infections.
8. Breeders. Please do not ask us to recommend a responsible breeder. Yes, we know there are responsible breeders out there. But when you deal with hundreds of homeless dachshunds a year, it is difficult to endorse someone who is creating more dachshunds. One day, it will be okay again to breed. That day is not today.
9. Pet Stores. There is no way to sugar coat this. If you bought a dachshund from a pet store, you gave money to a puppy mill and supported them to hurt more dogs. You cannot “rescue” a dog from a pet store or a breeder auction, unless you exchange no money for it. We don’t like this truth either. But if it happened, just promise to not do it again, ok?
10. Love, love, love. These are very emotional dogs. They require companionship and attention, and they demand to be part of everything you do. If you want a dog that lies in the corner and entertains itself, a dachshund is not right for you. Please research other breeds to find one that will mesh more with your own personality and style.
Are you looking for a dachshund? Please know that there is more to this breed than their funny antics and cute long shape. The breed’s stubborn personality isn’t suitable for everyone, and they are prone to expensive health issues.
This “poem” is only partly joking; these are actual adjectives that people have used to describe dachshunds.
What Are Dachshunds Really Like? It Depends on Who You Ask…
Other Dog Lovers Say: Clingy
Dachshund Lovers Say: Cuddly
Other Dog Lovers Say: Reckless
Dachshund Lovers Say: Fearless
Other Dog Lovers Say: Pushy
Dachshund Lovers Say: Confident
Other Dog Lovers Say: Stubborn
Dachshund Lovers Say: Tenacious
Other Dog Lovers Say: Manipulative
Dachshund Lovers Say: Intelligent
Other Dog Lovers Say: Nosy
Dachshund Lovers Say: Engaged
Other Dog Lovers Say: Bad with Kids
Dachshund Lovers Say: Discipline kids that need it anyway
Other Dog Lovers Say: Hard to Housetrain
Dachshund Lovers Say: OK, we’ll give you that one
Other Dog Lovers Say: Needy
Dachshund Lovers Say: Emotional & Loving
Which Are You?