Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Posted June 27, 2014
I got Slinky when I was five years old and she was just a puppy. She is now fifteen years old, so she and I have had many experiences together. Good and bad. I will break up the negatives and positives of our companionship.
1. Loyalty- Slinky is my best friend and she has always been very loyal to me, though she will not follow orders from anyone else. She will follow me wherever I go. Every morning, she follows me into the bathroom and lies down on the floor to wait for me to get out of the shower. I never taught her this, she simply loves being beside me. If you do not want an attached dog, a Dachshund might not be good for you, although some Dachshunds differ.
2. Easy Grooming- Slinky is a short-haired Dachshund and therefore doesn’t require very much in the grooming department. I brush her occasionally to keep the shine going, and I bath her every month or two just to keep her clean and happy, (though she actually enjoys rolling around in the dirt). I also brush her teeth every other day to prevent rotting. She is good when I brush her teeth and actually likes having it done.
3. No Begging- Slinky has never begged for food, and it is one of my favorite things about her. She can sit right beside me while I eat and won’t even so much as look at my food. Human food doesn’t interest her in the slightest, and I am thankful for that. It also makes keeping her healthy much easier.
4. Strong- In my almost fifteen full years of time with Slinky, I have learned that she is one powerful dog. She rarely gets sick, and injuries don’t really phase her. She was taken to the vet as a puppy with Parvo, and was left over night for care. But she recovered very quickly from it and bounced right back into being cheerful. Parvo normally causes dogs a very hard time and isn’t very easy to bounce back from, but she proved to us that she wasn’t going to let anything keep her down for long.
5. Cuddly Nature- Dachshunds love to be snug. Slinky sleeps in my bed with me and helps keep me warm. She likes to be close and under the covers (as Dachshunds quite enjoy burrowing). She also enjoys sitting on my lap whenever I am relaxing on the couch or in a chair.
1. Territorial- Slinky has always been a very territorial dog when it comes to food, and her dog bed. I tend to feed her away from the other animals, but always at the same time. That way all the dogs are fed at once, and I don’t have to worry about her seeing them eating later, (as she will be jealous), and she can eat in peace in a separate room so that she doesn’t feel threatened. Although territorial nature is evident, it is very easy to work with.
2. Difficult to Potty Train- Slinky, like most Dachshunds, is very stubborn. Her stubborn nature made it very difficult to potty train her. I had to spend a few years trying, and she wasn’t fully potty trained until she was about five years old. I placed puppy training pads near the door and any time she went to it I would open the door and go outside with her, so that she would be encouraged to go outside instead. I also took her out every two hours so that she could have the opportunity to go if she needed to, and get used to the routine. Now that she is older she doesn’t typically go in the house. I do leave a pad in the house if I am going to be gone for a while, though, as Dachshunds are impatient and will go in the house if you have been gone too long for them to wait.
3. Need to be socialized early- I learned this the hard way with Slinky. Dachshunds are friendly and playful, but only really if you socialize them early on in life. I didn’t start to really socialize Slinky much until she was about four years old. It wasn’t impossible at that point, but it was definitely very difficult. To this day, she doesn’t like men very much, though she seems fine with most everyone else. Children was a different story. She never needed to be trained to be good with kids. She was always patient with children, even if they gave rough pats or pulled her tail, as they do.
4. Spinal problems- Slinky had a healthy back until she was about thirteen, when she slowly started to have back pains. However, keeping her back healthy for those thirteen years required some effort. Dachshunds are notorious for back trouble if they are not cared for properly. I try to avoid letting Slinky jump onto high surfaces at all costs, so if she wants on the bed or couch I pick her up and put her there. Same applies for jumping down. I never leave her high up unattended, as she will try to jump down by herself and this can hurt her back. Buying a set of portable dog stairs helped a lot.
5. Digging- Due to the fact that Dachshunds are bred to hunt badgers in their tunnels, Dachshunds like to dig and burrow. Slinky never dug very much, though, as I got her out of the habit early on. Anytime she would start to dig under the fence, I would simply take her to something else such as a toy, or the water bowl for a drink. Once she lost interest in the hole she was digging, I would give her a treat. She still occasionally has a playful dig in the dirt, but won’t make big holes. I allow her to dig small ones because it is in her nature due to her breed.
A Dachshund is a wonderful pet if you have the patience to help them over a few hurdles such as potty training and socializing, and if you are willing to keep an eye on their fragile backs. I love Slinky and she has been the best companion I could ever have imagined.