Dachshund FAQ

 

 How do you pronounce Dachshund?

 

Dachshund (pronounced DAKS hund  — like "say aahh  " never dash-hound)

 

What are they like to live with?

 

Cheerful praise should be offered freely, as Dachshunds are proud little dogs who resist force. Dachshunds are full of character. They can become very devoted to one person in the family, whoever they spend the most time with. Basically they are fun-loving dogs who want to be involved in everything their owners do. They do have very strong characters and need to know who the boss is, otherwise they can definitely rule the house. They do not need to be smacked in order to get them to behave; tone of voice is all that is needed.

 

No matter what their size, Dachshunds are a delightful addition to any family, which is why they have ranked near the top of most popular dogs lists since the 1950s. Their cute appearance and lively disposition have inspired many affectionate nicknames for the breed, including wiener dog, hot dog, sausage dog, and Doxie

 

Dachshunds are a good choice for apartment dwellers and people who don't have a backyard.

 

They're usually good with other family pets, too, though they can be jealous when they want attention and they can be possessive of their toys.

 

Though the Dachshund makes a great house dog, he does need his daily walks (on-leash!) Dachshunds are chasers who will take off! -- and plenty of companionship. Loneliness will lead to excessive barking. You'll also hear his sharp, persistent bark when people approach. Dachshunds are alert watchdogs who do not take kindly to strangers intruding on their domain.

 

Do they have good temperaments?

 

At home, the Dachshund's playful nature comes out. He loves to be close to you and "help" you do things like tie your shoes. Because of his intelligence, he often has his own ideas about what the rules are when it comes to playtime-and those rules may not be the same as yours or even other breeds of dogs. Dachshunds are known for being lively and enjoy chasing other small animals, birds, and toys. The breed standard probably describes their personality best, saying "the Dachshund is clever, lively, and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed.

 

Comparing the three coat varieties:

 

• Wire haired Dachshunds tend to be the most energetic, the most mischievous, and the biggest clowns

•Long haired Dachshunds tend to be the quietest and sweetest-natured

 

•Smooth Dachshunds are most often more aloof with strangers and more obstinate.

 

But remember, these are just generalities!

 

 

Are they good with children?

 

Yes, provided they are brought up with them from puppy-hood. Provided you supervise your children with the puppy, your Dachshund will become a great friend to your children and will enjoy joining in all their games. They make excellent family dogs, being sturdy and robust in stature.

 

Should I get a male or a female?

 

There is little difference in size and temperament between males and females in this breed. Males tend to be more fun-loving and want to play games and join in, whereas females can prefer a quieter life, just sitting on the chair all day.

 

Choosing between male and female dogs is a matter of personal preference.

 

So which sex makes the better pet?

 

Generally, MALES are apt to be "lovable slobs" and "good ol' boys." They tend to be more forcefully affectionate, more "in your face." Males tend to be more reliable in mood, less prone to emotional swings. Though sometimes clumsy and silly, and prone to acting like oversized puppies, they mean well and are easy to love. (Come to think of it, this is similar to their human counterparts...)

 

Most males lift their leg to urinate, a consideration if you have expensive shrubbery or lawn ornaments. Some males are territorial markers. This usually is not an issue if you have them fixed prior to 7 months.

 

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Generally, FEMALES are more subtle than males. They're affectionate on their own terms. They'll ask for petting, then assert their independence by moving away when they've had enough. They are less likely to engage in open dominance challenges, but they can be clever and manipulative about getting their own way.

 

Remarkably, female dogs also resemble their human counterparts...they're prone to mood swings and emotional theatrics. They can be sweet one day (or one hour) and grumpy the next. They are masters of The Dirty Look and The Sulk.

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In some breeds and lines, certainly in many individuals, these sex-based generalizations may be reversed.

 

Are they easy to house-train?

 

If you put the time in when the puppy is very young, then maybe. You must be prepared to keep letting your new puppy out to relieve himself every 45 minutes or so, while he is awake and playing. As they puppy grows, extend the time interval. The secret is never to let him mess in the house so that he learns the right habits and does not make mistakes. They can become "confused" and end up playing outside in the garden, and relieving themselves indoors and once your dachshund gets into this cycle, bad habits can be extremely hard to break. However, with consistency and reward for good behavior your new pup should be well on the way to being clean in the house by about 4 months of age. Even as adults, make sure to let your dachshund out to relieve himself at regular intervals, to avoid any chance of him making a mistake.

 

Are they destructive?

 

They can be, especially when young and certainly if they are left alone for long periods of time. Dachshunds can suffer from "separation anxiety", which basically means they dislike being apart from their owners and will take their frustrations out on the furniture, carpets etc. Provided you are only going to be out for a couple of hours, putting your Dachshund in a dog-crate can be the best answer. Make sure he is exercised before you shut him away and give him a blanket to lie on and some interesting toys to play with. They are not suitable pets for people who are out at work for long hours, although they can cope with part-time hours. As the dog gets older he should become less destructive.

 

How much exercise do they need?

 

About an hour's walking each day once they are adult. They are an active breed and need regular exercise if they are not to become bored, noisy and destructive in the house. Teach your new puppy to walk sensibly on the lead and get him used to traffic. Teach him to come back off the lead while he is still small. However, don't over exercise young Dachshunds. About 20 minutes a day is plenty for a pup of 4 - 6 months old. By the time they reach maturity at about 1 year old increase the time spent walking to about an hour each day.

 

Do they come back, if let off the lead?

 

It depends!!! If you let them off the lead when they are young puppies you can usually teach them to come back by use of encouraging commands, treats and training. However, some dogs have a very strong hunting instinct. The secret is to start young and make it fun for them to come back.

 

Does my yard need to be "dog-proof"?

 

Yes. All Dachshunds can be great escape artists; they love digging. Your yard needs a good fence all round. Make sure any gates are clearly marked so that visitors shut them properly.

 

Do they bark much?

 

In general, they are a noisy breed, but some "lines" are more noisy than others. They can become persistent barkers so you do have to work hard with them as puppies to ensure they know when to be quiet.

 

Do they Shed?

 

Yes, all dogs shed even those hypoallergenic dogs shed a little.

 

Dachshunds are considered moderate shedders, some tend to be light shedders and some more moderately so.

Smooths are thought to be the lightest shedders but this is mainly due to their short hairs you don't' notice them as much, in truth the wires are the ones that shed the least and are considered good dogs for allergy sufferers.

How much grooming do they need?

 

Your Dachshund will need regular grooming but all 3 coats are very easy to manage and this is a good chance to check all round health. Make sure his ears are clean, eyes free of discharges and feet free of debris between the pads. It is as well to get your Dachshund  used to having his teeth brushed with a toothbrush and "doggy" toothpaste as this avoids health problems with tartar accumulation and associated gum disease. Regular grooming and general handling will make your dog  easy to cope with.

See Dachshund Grooming for more info

 

 

Are they healthy as a breed?

 

Generally, Dachshunds are very healthy dogs and given a good, balanced diet, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and you get form a good reputable breeder, they should live a long healthy life.

 

Are there any particular health problems to look out for?

 

Patellas, Eyes, PRA, Degenerative Myleopathy, IVDD

 

As long as you get from a breeder who tests their breeding adults and who breeds accordingly you should end up with a healthy happy puppy.

 

As with all Dachshunds, back injuries can occur more easily than with more "normal" shaped dogs. Simple precautions like not allowing them to climb stairs and supporting their backs when you pick them up really are important.

 

Some Dachshunds can be prone to itchy skin or grass allergies. Here, the only real solution is to keep them off the grass (usually early in Spring).

 

Do your dachshunds have back problems?

Not so far, in over 25 years we have not had any back problems in our dogs other then a couple that had accidents, (knocked off couch and down steps by bigger dogs) but those were accidents and not hereditary. All our dachshunds are very active and happy!

 

What is Color Dilution Alopecia?

 

Affects Blue and Isabella colored dogs

 

Alopecia is a term that refers to hair loss regardless of the cause. Color Dilution Alopecia is a condition in which dogs develop a gradual thinning of hair on their bodies often progressing to widespread permanent hair loss. This condition develops in some, but not all dogs that have been bred for unusual coat color, especially “Isabella” (a dilution of a normally brown coat) or “Blue” (a dilution of the normal black and tan coat).

 

 Dachshunds are most affected by this condition but it has been seen in other breeds bred for unusual coat colors including Doberman, Chows, Great Danes, Chihuahuas and others.

 

Color dilution alopecia is an inherited condition and the coat will appear normal at birth. Most affected dogs will show signs between 6 months and as late as 2 or 3 years of age.  The first signs are hair loss and dry skin and possibly a recurring bacterial infection, generally on the back where small bumps will reveal infected hair follicles. While the primary condition has no specific therapy, the secondary infection is treated with antibiotics.

 

How do I know if my dog has alopecia?

Have your veterinarian perform a microscopic examination of the hair follicles, called a trichogram. Skin biopsy will also show characteristic changes in the epidermal cells.

 

How color dilution occurs

 

Color dilution is a common occurrence in many dog breeds. The color blue comes from diluting black and Isabella comes from diluting brown, the colors Blue and Isabella are considered color-diluted. Color dilution occurs during the breeding process and is determined by the type of color genes that the parents pass to their offspring. Color dilution alopecia is a skin condition that affects a large number of color-diluted dogs. Affected dogs should not be used for breeding. Not all dilute dogs have alopecia.

 

What to do if you dog has Alopecia (Treatment)

 

Dogs with alopecia can lead a normal healthy life with routine bathing in a benzyl peroxide shampoo such as OxyDex, or Pyoben along with a moisturizing rinse such as Avoderm or Perfect Coat. Feeding a good food with high dosage of essential fatty acids, omega 3 & 6 and giving a vitamin supplements (we recommend NuVet Plus) can be very helpful.

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