Dachshund is without exaggeration the most “charming and attractive” among a huge number of breeds. The charm of this dog allowed it to ignore the trends of capricious and fickle fashion, remaining for more than two centuries in the top lists in popularity. Among the faithful fans of the breed, you can find both avid hunters and people who sincerely perceive the Dachshund as an exclusively indoor dog. The main thing is that they all consider their favorites to be the standard of a dog’s mind, courage, devotion, love, and beauty.
- Breed name: Dachshund
- Country of origin: Germany
- Time of origin of the breed: XVI century
- Weight: up to 12 kg
- Height (height at the withers): up to 35 cm
- Life span: 10-13 years
- Originally bred as an assistant for burrow hunting, the Dachshund has retained the best properties inherent in its ancestors to this day – activity, intelligence, agility, fearlessness, and independence. However, it is great for home use.
- The dog requires adherence to a number of rules: it must not stand on its hind legs, jump from a height. These conventions are associated with the structural features of the animal’s body and are aimed at avoiding harmful effects on the spine and the musculoskeletal system of the dog.
- A Dachshund is a tireless dog who is infinitely loyal to its owner. Be prepared for the fact that you will have to reciprocate her and devote a lot of time to communicate with your friend. If you are a very busy person or are simply prone to a quiet philosophical pastime, this pet is not for you.
- A walk for Dachshund is always an adventure. Moreover, the dog does not even try to turn off its hunting instinct. She is keenly interested in everything that only moves, so the best means of control during walks will be a roulette leash. Without it, a dog in the heat of hunting excitement can go very far.
- Dachshunds treat children well. The main thing is to make sure that your family members, in a fit of sincere delight and admiration, do not harm the puppy, because the little dachshund, despite its desperately brave disposition, is still a very fragile creature. Representatives of the breed are friends even with cats, but they usually take time to establish a relationship.
- The Dachshund is interested in everything, so items that can be potentially dangerous to the dog’s health (electric wires, household chemicals, house plants) should be removed in advance in an inaccessible place. Also, put small things that the puppy can inadvertently swallow.
- Dachshund is a big food lover. But gaining excess weight is just something that is impossible. Developing a balanced diet and adhering to a diet is one of the most important tasks.
History of the Dachshund Breed
The Dachshund is a hunting dog intended for burrow hunting, and in this segment, it can rightfully be considered the oldest breed. Although dogs similar in appearance to Dachshunds are found even in ancient Egyptian images, it is believed that the modern phenotype began to form in the 16th century. The birthplace of the breed is the German state of South Saxony.
The main ancestors are the German Short-legged Badger. Having retained all the best hunting qualities of the latter, the Dachshund was able to turn their disadvantage – short limbs – into a big plus and became an indispensable dog for burrowing hunting.
German burghers, suffering from badger raids on agricultural land, quickly appreciated all the benefits of Dachshund. The breed did not give up its positions during the active development of cities in Germany, because it was convenient and not expensive to keep a dog.
Very energetic, intelligent, and loyal, Dachshund by the end of the 17th century more and more won the hearts of the Germans. Active breeding of representatives of this breed began. The number of Dachshunds increased very quickly, the first nurseries appeared in Germany, and soon the breed began to spread throughout Europe. There was no single approach to breeding principles then. Each breeder solved the problem based on their personal ideas and preferences. As a result, two main directions in breeding gradually developed – working and decorative.
The logical conclusion of the breeding work was the adoption of the first breed standard in 1870. The main purpose of breeding Dachshunds was the use of hunting. Ten years later, von Bosch developed an artificial training burrow for Dachshunds, and since 1893 this structure has been used for working dog testing. The modern FCI classification distinguishes Dachshunds into a separate group with the greatest variability – 9 varieties of the breed are officially recognized and standardized.
The main distinguishing feature of this breed of dogs is a long body with short limbs. There is a subdivision into varieties depending on the size and type of coat.
- standard Dachshund. Male weight – 7-9 kg, female – at least 6.5 kg;
- small Dachshund. Male weight – up to 7 kg, female – up to 6.5 kg;
- rabbit Dachshunds. Weight up to 4 and 3.5 kg, respectively.
- Smooth-haired Dachshund. The coat is short, thick, shiny, without the slightest signs of bald patches. Adheres well to the skin. Tough and dense to the touch. Hair length – up to 2 cm.
- Wire-haired Dachshund. Thick, undercoated hair, straight, close-fitting on all parts of the body except for the ears, eyebrows, and muzzle. The beard is well pronounced on the face, bushy eyebrows. The hair on the ears is almost smooth and noticeably shorter than on the body. Tough to the touch. Hair length is on average about 3 cm.
- Long-haired Dachshund. Smooth, shiny coat with undercoat, well-fitting on the body. Forms a fringe on the ears. Feathering well defined on the back of the legs. It reaches its greatest length on the underside of the tail.
The color of Dachshund is yellow-red and pure red of various shades, black, gray, or brown with rusty-red or yellow distinct tan marks, marble of the listed colors. For wire-haired, “boars” color is characteristic from light to dark shades.
“With a sense of dignity, with a strong character and therefore arousing such sympathy,” says the inscription on the emblem of the German Tekel Club. This phrase can be safely considered one of the most accurate and capacious characteristics of this animal.
Fearlessness, pronounced individuality, amazing ingenuity, and independence in decision-making, which testifies to high mental abilities – all this is Dachshund.
Some owners note a certain stubbornness and disobedience in the behavior of their pets. One can agree with this, but one should not forget that Dachshund is a hunter, moreover, for a burrowing animal. And not only the success of the hunt, but also her life depends on her ability to make the right decision without the commands and prompts of the owner during a fight with a badger or a fox in a narrow hole. And Dachshund is stubborn not because of harm – she just understands this situation better than you (in her opinion). If your opinions coincide, then the command will be executed accurately and without delay, which is why it is so important to establish close contact and mutual understanding with the pet. With a good loving owner, Dachshund is always responsive and obedient.
Despite their small size and original appearance, dogs of this breed are distinguished by self-confidence and, in modern language, the absence of complexes. Nature left no room for servility in the heart of this dog. The Dachshund will never forgive a rude disrespect to himself, the reaction will be adequate. Disobedience, sabotage, spitefulness – the dog uses all available means to assert his “I”. The basis for building good relationships can only be mutual respect.
The Dachshund has proven itself as a companion. She can behave balanced and even somewhat philosophical, but in a suitable atmosphere becomes a fun, inventive minx. These dogs get along well with children, taking part in a variety of fun with pleasure. In addition, the breed is very clean.
Many are struck by the discrepancy between the size of the Dachshund and her voice. Powerful and loud barking can mislead not only a fox hiding in a hole but also an uninvited guest who has approached the door of your house.
This dog is very fond of walking and will be happy to accompany you even on the most distant hikes.
Dachshunds are great connoisseurs of comfort. In the house, they choose the warmest and most comfortable corners for themselves, they like to relax, climbing under the blanket or on the knees (or even on the neck) of the owner. They gladly accept affection from the household.
Dachshund’s character is an amazing combination of integrity, strength, tenderness, and love for a person.
Dachshund is an intelligent and quick-witted dog. She will quickly understand that permissiveness and connivance on the part of the owner are very cool, so you need to start raising your pet from the very first day of your acquaintance.
Training can wait for a little, but to accustom the dog to the name, diet, place, to explain to the kid, “what is good and what is bad”, you need right away. Success in upbringing can only be achieved on the basis of establishing close contact and mutual understanding with the animal.
Dachshunds are very clean, so it is not difficult to train your baby to relieve himself in the tray. You just need to take the puppy to the toilet on time (after sleep, after eating, or if the dog starts to behave restlessly). It is clear that he must stand in a specific place. When you start walking outside, you can remove the tray. At the same time, attempts – especially successful ones – to go to the toilet in an apartment to evaluate negatively (in no case punishing), and to encourage the same actions on the street in every possible way.
Dachshund is a dog that, by its nature, actively reacts to external stimuli, therefore it is important to transfer your activities to the street from the age of three months so that the baby gets used to extraneous noises and learns to respond only to your commands.
The training process should not contain any elements of violence. If the dog is tired and ignores you, reschedule the class.
Dachshund training is fun, and how far you want to go in the process is entirely up to you. Basically, you can teach your pet almost all the skills and abilities that a dog’s mind can do.
Conditions of Detention and Care
The Dachshund is perfect for home keeping, and caring for it does not require any excessive effort from you.
Before you bring the puppy into the house, you need to do some preparatory work, namely:
- carefully inspect the apartment and remove all household chemicals, indoor plants in places inaccessible to the dog, pack loose electrical cords in special boxes;
- wash the floor and hide all your shoes;
- prepare places for feeding and resting the dog, buy all the necessary accessories;
- stock up on moisture-wicking diapers and purchase a special tray (with or without a bollard). The Dachshund (especially the little one) has very active metabolic processes, and these items will definitely come in handy.
You will also need a nail clipper, a tape measure up to 5 meters long, products for bathing, eye and ear care.
The Dachshund mat should be placed in a warm, cozy place, away from drafts and heating appliances. A soft fleece blanket covered with a sheet that can be washed as it gets dirty is best.
Basic rules for caring for a Dachshund:
- Use specially formulated shampoos for bathing. The frequency of water procedures is once every three to four months, not more often. It is not recommended to bathe small (up to six months) puppies. Washing dirty paws after a walk do not count.
- Be sure to trim your baby’s nails every two weeks. An adult Dachshund herself grinds them off during walks, and she may need such manipulation about once a quarter.
- Examine your eyes and wipe with a clean cloth dipped in warm water, removing accumulated secretions.
- Ears, as they become dirty, are cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide.
- Smooth-haired representatives of the breed can be wiped off with a terry towel or mitten. Long-haired Dachshunds need to be brushed systematically with a special brush.
- Clean your dog’s teeth regularly. This is the best prevention against tartar and possible gum disease.
- Dachshunds should not be allowed to jump down, even from low heights;
- it is forbidden to take puppies by the scruff of the neck. When lifting the baby, take it under the chest with one hand, and support the hind legs with the other. To avoid injury to the elbows, do not lift the puppy under the paws;
- young children should not be allowed to carry a puppy in their arms – they simply may not hold it;
- as companions for games, it is better to choose suitable-sized dogs for your Dachshund;
- do not take the puppy outside until all the necessary vaccinations have been received.
It is very important not to overfeed the animal. Excess weight is Dachshund’s enemy, as it creates an unnecessary load on the spine.
It is undesirable to use dry food for the puppy. This dog is not so big as not to be able to organize a balanced diet from natural products.
The Dachshund menu must include the following products: low-fat cottage cheese, cereals (rolled oats, rice, buckwheat), which can be cooked in meat broth or added to the dish with pieces of meat (beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey meat), although dairy products will be preferable for puppies porridge. Vegetables are also useful in the diet, twice a week, you can give Daks eggs, mixing and grinding them with cottage cheese. It is perfectly acceptable to give fish (sea and boneless) once or twice a week. But milk in its natural form will not bring benefits to the dog – it simply cannot be absorbed by the animal’s body.
Do not forget about mineral supplements, especially powdered clay, which is very useful for Dachshund.
I don’t need to offer food from our table, sweets, spicy and spicy dishes.
Dry mixes are best for an adult dog. In this case, premium food is a perfectly acceptable alternative to a natural diet.
Canine diseases, typical for most breeds, can also manifest themselves in Dachshunds to one degree or another, and the methods of their treatment are quite traditional and typical. However, there is one “but” that should please the future owner – these pets, in principle, very rarely get sick. And this is an indisputable fact.
There are two diseases that only occur in this breed. The first is a disease called the swimmer effect. It occurs at an early puppy age and outwardly manifests itself in the fact that monthly puppies cannot get up on their paws and move by crawling, making “swimming movements” with their paws. In most cases, this is a transient condition that does not affect the health of grown dachshunds in any way – they stand on their limbs and walk perfectly. However, the negative development of the disease, although rare, still takes place. As a preventive measure, you can recommend not to overfeed babies and make sure that they are not on slippery surfaces, where it is difficult for their still weak legs to find support.
The second disease, which is classified as hereditary, poses an incomparably great threat to the life of a dog. We are talking about dysplasia of the intervertebral discs. The fairly high incidence of this disease is associated with the characteristic structure of the Dachshund’s body. Problems with the intervertebral discs can lead to infringement of the spinal cord body, deformation of the nerve trunks, and, as a result, paralysis. Statistics show that the most critical age for the onset of the disease is 5-7 years, although earlier cases of diagnosis of this disease are known. In this regard, it is very important to strictly control the intensity of physical activity and properly feed the animal, in no case allowing excess weight to be gained. This will greatly reduce the stress on the spine.
Diseases transmitted in Dachshunds at the genetic level include papillary-pigmentary dystrophy of the skin. Against the background of a violation of the secretion of the sebaceous glands, the integuments begin to thicken, become covered with pigment spots. The characteristic changes most often appear on the chest and abdomen of the dog, on the inner surface of the ears, and in the armpits. The disease belongs to the category of rare, but when it occurs, it cannot be effectively treated.
There are also known cases of seizures of idiopathic epilepsy in Dachshunds, which are characterized by impaired coordination of movements of the hind, and then forelimbs, as well as vomiting. Attacks lasting from 2-3 minutes to half an hour go away on their own. No outside intervention is required. Most often, such phenomena were observed in animals of two to three years of age.
All of the above diseases are hereditary, and it is impossible to completely protect the dog from its appearance. Due to proper care, careful attention to the state of the Dachshund, you can significantly reduce the risks.
One should also not forget the general preventive measures. Timely vaccination, deworming, periodic check-ups with a veterinarian will ensure the good health of your pet.
How to Choose a Puppy
If you decide to have a Dachshund, then you need to start choosing a puppy even before he is born.
First of all, it is worth deciding whether you want to have a working or decorative dog. It depends on where you should go – to the exhibition or in the field to appreciate the qualities of the parents of your future pet.
It will also be useful to make inquiries about the breeder, especially if you are buying a baby not from a nursery, but from a private person.
So, the puppies were born. You will pick up your new friend at the age of one and a half to two months. It is advisable to agree in advance with the breeder about the cost of the animal. It is important to decide in advance whether you will choose the dog yourself or the breeder will find it for you.
When choosing yourself, pay attention to the following points:
- the puppy should not have dewclaws – they are removed in the first days of the baby’s life;
- the tail of the little Dachshund is smooth to the touch and sufficiently mobile without the slightest sign of any kind of deformation. Already by the age of one month, it is clear whether the tail will be straight (in accordance with the standard) or will begin to curl into a ring;
- in a four-week-old puppy, it is already possible to assess the correctness of the bite, but the likelihood of such a defect as double incisors cannot be predicted – you will have to wait for a complete change of teeth;
- the presence of an umbilical or inguinal hernia is not difficult to determine visually. This is not dangerous, but since you still have to operate on the baby, you can have a conversation with the owner about reducing the price;
- take a closer look at how the puppy moves. Support when walking should be on the pads. Any deviation in gait, sluggish hind legs, waddling backside can be signs of serious problems with the musculoskeletal system.
Dachshunds very early show individual character traits, so take a closer look at the dog with what temperament you would like to see at home.