So you just brought home your lovely new dachshund. He or she is perfect in every single way. Like a proud parent, you’re about to embark on a journey of care and love that’ll last years to come. You’re probably thinking — it’s just a dog, how hard could it be? Every dog breed is different and you’ll want to take a few little things into account when you bring your new sausage dog home, to ensure that they get off on the right foot, enjoy a happy and safe experience and you both enjoy a much-cherished dog-parent relationship.
1. Dachshunds are Tricksters
Keep in mind your dog’s genes. These little guys were bred to hunt small rodents that lived in burrows. They’re resilient and stubborn and they’re expert problem solvers. This makes them very adept whenever they want to get into a little mischief, and sometimes even harder to train. Don’t expect that the same training that worked with your golden retriever might work with a dachshund, because they’re not quite as into people-pleasing as some other dog breeds might be. Just remember — give them a little motivation, as these dogs respond better to a carrot than a stick.
2. When it's time to go...
Dachshunds can be particularly bad to potty train for a variety of reasons and it’s only worse if you have a dog with anxiety or an older dog. However, just remain patient and consistent. This is not a breed that you can expect to potty train quickly and then dust your hands off for the rest of their life. Training a dachshund is an ongoing process and you’ll be at it for a while. This is particularly true if there’s inclement weather; these low-to-the-ground guys don’t necessarily want to go out and about in the snow or rain, but stand firm. They need to learn who’s boss.
3. Health Issues
There are a few health issues you’ll want to look out for with your dachshund, starting with obesity. Sausage dogs can get quite the little tummy on them if you don’t watch out. They’re not a dog that’ll leave food in the bowl, so don’t rely on them to stop eating when they’re full. Carefully monitor their intake and exercise. Otherwise, one of the main health concerns for dachshunds is intervertebral disc disease, a genetic condition that can happen regardless of how careful you are. There are some precautions you can take though, such as watching that your dog doesn’t jump from heights on a regular basis (like the bed) and carrying them in a supportive way that doesn’t stress their spines.
Since they were bred to hunt small rodents that burrow, dachshunds are also excellent diggers. They’ll dig any chance they get, all over the yard, under fences and even indoors, in piles of blankets and clothes. Keep an eye out for the digging, particularly where fences are involved, and if you have some sort of burrowing yard animal taking up residence in your garden, you might want to consider getting that taken care of before bringing your new dachshund home.
While it can be tempting to just pamper your doxie all day, every day, don’t let them become too much of a pampered pooch. Though their small, adorable bodies make them easy to carry about the house and on walks, let them rough it a bit by walking on their own four legs and experiencing the world as a real dog as much as possible. If you give them too much attention and pampering, you might just end up with a dog that’s nervous and anxious without you around.