The Dachshund breeds, with their unmistakable long body, small legs and big personality, are truly iconic in purebred dog breeding.
Dachshunds can be of standard size (generally between 7 kilograms to 14 kilograms), and come in one of three coat types: smooth, wire-haired or long-haired.
Dachshunds are not designed for long distance running, jumping or vigorous swimming, but otherwise, these tireless dogs are playful about anything. Intelligent and watchful, with a big dog bark, they make excellent watchdogs.
For an independent hunter of dangerous prey, they can be brave to the point of being reckless and a little stubborn, but their endearing nature and unique appearance have won millions of hearts around the world.
The Dachshund may be one of the smallest of dogs, but he has a very big spirit. Their distinctive shape is what first catches the eye, but people who know them appreciate them for their character, intelligence, hunting spirit and absolute devotion to their people.
These dogs were described by H. L. Mencken as ‘a dog of medium height and medium length’; in fact the Dachshund is among the most popular dog breeds in the world. These short-legged, long-backed dogs are courageous, bold and, at times, reckless.
The personality and temperament of Dachshunds
One of the words most associated with the Dachshund breeds is ‘determined’. The breed standard is described as intelligent, lively and courageous to the point of recklessness.
This is a dog that never gives up, and size does not matter. A mini Dachshund is no less determined simply because he is smaller.
While all Dachshunds must be brave and bold, each type has a distinct personality.
Wire-haired Dachshunds have a terrier-like temperament, with a clownish attitude and a propensity to get into trouble. They are the ones you’ll find grabbing one end of a toilet roll and running around the house with it.
Longhaired Dachshunds tend to have a softer temperament to match their silky coats. They are quiet and elegant, with a slightly more docile personality, but are just as active as the smooth Dachshunds.
And mild Dachshunds, for mild is their middle name.
They are naughty, of course, it wouldn’t be a true Dachshund if they weren’t, but not as wild and crazy as the wire-haired and not as quiet as the long-haired.
The Dachshund is many things: stubborn, curious, independent, but one thing he should never be is shy. This is a dog who boldly goes out to meet friends and, as necessary, to battle enemies.
He is an outstanding watchdog but welcomes guests.
A Dachshund that will work for you rather than against you can become a great competitor in obedience trials, rally and other dog sports. It’s just a matter of finding what motivates him.
Food usually works, but Dachshunds have their own way of thinking and no matter how good the treats are, sometimes their desires just don’t match what you’re asking them to do. Dachshund training requires patience, consistency and a great sense of humour.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease.
You should shy away from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee for the puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100% healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that their puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur.
The most common health problems of Dachshund breeds are back problems. Conditions severe enough for paralysis of the back are so common that Dachshunds are one of the breeds most likely to spend part of their lives in canine wheelchairs: carts with wheels that support the dogs’ backs.
Because of their long, low spines, normal canine behaviour, such as jumping off the couch, can result in a slipped, herniated or ruptured disc. Depending on the location of the disc injury, the forelimbs and/or hind limbs may be affected, and could influence the dog’s ability to urinate or defecate.
If your dog is having difficulty walking, or appears to be in pain, seek immediate veterinary attention. While all dogs do not require surgery, in some cases, immediate surgery can help prevent permanent loss of limb function in Dachshund breeds.
Choosing the right Dachshund breeder
Finding a good breeder is the key to finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will certainly have performed all the necessary health certifications to eliminate health problems as much as possible.
He or she is more interested in placing puppies in the right homes than in making a lot of money.
Good breeders will welcome your questions about temperament, health clearances and what the dogs are like to live with and will answer questions about what you are looking for in a dog and what kind of life you can provide for the dog.
A good breeder can tell you about the history of the breed, explain why a puppy is considered a pet, and talk about health problems that affect the breed and steps to take to avoid them.
Avoid breeders who only seem interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will be swiped. Breeders who offer puppies at one price ‘with papers’ and at a lower price ‘without papers’ are unethical and should be reported.
You should also be aware that buying a puppy from websites that offer immediate delivery of your dog can be a risky venture, as it leaves you with no recourse if what you get is not exactly what you expected.
Put at least as much effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. This will save you money in the long run.
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