Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Attended conferences / shows
Missouri, United States
Posted September 21, 2014
As a vet tech for nearly a decade at a walk-in vet clinic, I saw hundreds of Dachsunds waddle through our doors. Unfortunately, there were very few of them that were truly healthy dogs living with owners who had done their research. While cuteness is a factor in which dog to choose, it should never be the sole factor. Dachsunds have several physical conditions which make them potentially the most expensive dog you will ever own. Primarily, the biggest no-nos that most Dachsund owners suffer from are: 1) Overfeeding or scrap feeding leading to overweight unhealthy animals; 2) excessive jumping or rough play allowed; and 3) Insufficient socialization. Dachsunds are small dogs to begin with, their legs are not proportioned to the rest of them, and this means that more stress is being put on the elbows and knees than on most other breeds. In addition, their backs are twice as long as most other breeds in comparison with size. This means that the center spinal column and discs have much less support than those of other breeds. Overweight dogs not only suffer from liver, heart, and kidney disease, Dachsunds especially also tend to suffer early arthritis, stress fractures, and severe spinal problems leading to paralysis or death. Dachsunds accounted for nearly 80% of all back/spine/paralysis related injuries we took in. All of these are due to the first two major problems I mentioned. The third major problem (insufficient socialization) leads this breed to be in the top ten most untrustworthy breeds I've ever worked with. While a majority of these animals were very sweet to their owners, their hyperactive and intelligent natures make them easily aggressive to strangers, including children and other pets. The most severe injury to an owner I ever witnessed while working with dogs and cats of all sizes was committed by a Dachsund. That said, there are no bad dogs, only uninformed owners. With extra attention paid to socialization and healthcare, Dachsunds can be a very loving addition to any family.