Acquired: Pet store
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted July 30, 2014
I chose a dachshund when I was twenty years old because I wanted a sturdy small dog for my very small apartment. I stress the twenty part because I was naive about what getting a puppy would entail. I read all the books, learned all about dachshunds, and immediately told myself that mine wouldn't be that way.
Mine was exactly "that way."
That way meant stubborn, mischievous, temperamental, independent, smart, and anxious.
When she was a few months older, we enrolled into a 9 week training class. During week 7, I was asked to leave. Kili, who had immediately picked up her commands and made her mother proud, was also a bit of a trouble maker in the class. This should have been the first sign.
She had a few small chewing phase that didn't do too much damage. She was a bit difficult to housebreak because she was terrified of grass. I did not crate train her (something I could not regret more), and I trained her to be a lap dog.
Nine years later I have a loving and affectionate dog who easily filters out the word "no," causes very little damage to the apartment, won't let any delivery men through the back door, tries to start fights with dogs ten times her size, and cannot be anywhere that isn't right by my side.
She sometimes does very well around small children, but I would never leave her alone with one. I do not have any children of my own, so this is not a big issue. Had she grown up with children, I would not be worried. She is cautious around other animals, but once she gets to know them, she is fine. She does snap and bark at strangers, but she also quickly learns new people and settles down.
At 2 years old she was diagnosed with IVDD, a common disk disease found in dachshunds. I have been lucky in having spent only close to a $1000 in vet bills in the past 7 years. She has never needed surgery, and each time she has an episode (at one point it was twice a year), the vet was surprised at how quickly she recovered (especially since I hadn't crated her, ever). To avoid big issues, she's trained to use a ramp to get up and down furniture, and I carry her in a bag when taking her up and down stairs.
I love my little girl to death, and it pains me to see her whiskers and muzzle turn more and more white with each passing year. She absolutely has her ups and downs as you would find with any animal. For families with small children and other pets, I would suggest getting a dachshund from a young age so it can grow up getting used to the environment. Crate train them. Socialize them. And be prepared to give lots of love and attention to them (and receive it ten-fold).