Ah, the brave little dachshund. This miniature member of the hound group comes in two sizes, three coat types and a rainbow of colors! There is a Standard Dachshund and a Miniature Dachshund and various other “designer” sizes that are cropping up in the breeding world. Both size groups each have three coat types: smooth coat, long-haired, wire-haired. For the most part, all the different varieties of dachshunds have similar temperaments.
The dachshund is a busy little dog. These tiny hunting dogs compete with cats as mice hunters in the house. The dachshund has an alert mind, always watching and listening for anything that might move–inside the house or outside. And they like to tell people about it–loudly and often! As with other hound breeds, this dog barks–a lot. Although, my mantra is “all dogs are individuals”, so some people may be lucky enough to have a quiet dachshund–I’m sure it must exist somewhere! Anyone who wants to adopt a dachshund though, needs to be ready to accept a certain level of barking. Training will minimize it, but not stop it.
I don’t find dachshunds to be particularly good with young children. These dogs tend to be full of themselves and quite opinionated (think of them as primadonnas) and this can come across as “grumpiness” with little children. Most dachshunds will not tolerate being poked and prodded or roughly petted by children. This is not to say they don’t make good pets. Dachshunds are extremely loyal to their owners and can be very sweet and loving. They do require training though. These strong-willed little critters love to rule the roost and be in charge and they will take control if you let them.
Dachshunds have notoriously bad teeth, fast growing, long toenails and obesity problems. One of the most important things you can do with a new dachshund puppy is play with its feet and practice toenail trimming regularly. If you don’t, the regular toenail trimmings they require will either become nightmare sessions where your pretty little pet turns into a snarling beast, or you’ll have to pay to have the vet or groomer do it several times per year. If the toenails don’t get cut, the curly nails of the dachshund can grow long and curl around to grow back into the foot! This is painful and requires surgery to correct.
Dachshunds also have their own ideas about potty training–a nice warm floor always seem preferable to the outdoors! Be firm and consistent with potty training from the very beginning. They are also very clean little dogs so crate training usually works very well for them.
The good news is, they are easy to exercise, don’t need a yard and they cost little to feed.
So, if you have a home free of small children, a desire for a loyal, lap dog who is bold as brass, and have the time and patience to devote, a dachshund could be for you!