Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Previous owner
New York, United States
Posted November 17, 2013
I've been around dachshunds most of my life. My parents have always had one in their home and my brother has one as well. My dog is the offspring of my brother's dog (and his girlfriend's Yorkie). She has a short coat and the body of a dachshund but she is slightly taller, and her ears can stand up like a yorkie. She weighs approximately 13lbs at 4 years old.
She was raised with my children around, so she is exceptionally good with them. I've heard before that doxies aren't good family pets because they can be moody and temperamental. That has not been my experience with my dog or my parents dog. The one exception is a rescue doxie my parents owned -- he was quite fearful of my kids. I'm of the opinion though that much of dog behavior is conditional.
Doxies, in my experience growing up with them and now owning one, are very keen watch dogs. They enjoy watching what's going on outside and will chase away squirrels and cats from the yard. My dog has even chased deer out of my yard (and into the woods). But after a burst of energy, they tend to become lethargic again. Of course, they're very small, so they would not make ideal guard dogs at all.
Dachshunds aren't for runners or avid walkers. My dogs have always enjoyed walks, but on more than one occasion, their little legs have just given out and they will sit down to rest or lie down and refuse to move. I sometimes end up carrying my dog back home after a long walk.
Health wise, my dog has been pretty stable. She did have an allergic reaction to a rabies vaccine, which triggered an autoimmune disorder that is rare, but more common in dachshunds. The tips of her ears began to crumble apart. She overcame it with help from her vet and the lab at the Cornell Vet School, but it was scary and sad for several months while she was struggling with it.
My parents have an older doxie who hurt his back jumping. The vet told them he would not walk again and my parents had a wheelchair built for him. Miraculously, he did recover some mobility and has been able to walk without the wheelchair for years (he can't jump or run very well). He's 18 now. It was a very expensive ordeal for my parents though.
They are also notorious for teeth problems, so we take Lula to the vet for dental cleanings regularly.
All that said, Lula is the best dog I've ever had. She's funny and curious and sweet. She loves to cuddle and sit on your lap. We could never break her of sitting on the furniture, so we just go with it. She's very small and doesn't shed much, so it's not a big deal. She is playful and always ready to go outside for walks or car trips (though walking back is sometimes too much for her). She is a fairly mellow, low energy and low maintenance dog. She travels well.
If you have a family, I would recommend getting a puppy though. They are fantastic dogs for city and suburban dwellers with small spaces.