Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Training: Previous owner, Attended conferences / shows
Posted June 3, 2013
I have owned dachshunds since I was 12 years old, I am now 23 and in all that time I have found nothing but pure joy and hilarity. Dachshunds are tiny clowns, full of personality that is just way to big for their bodies. They are fiercely loyal companions and will often times go from body guard to cuddle buddy multiple times throughout the day. Because I love this breed so much I will walk you through the scores that I gave.
The appearance and grooming of the dachshund can vary depending on which coat type you get, smooth coats are the easiest to groom, wire haired seem to require a bit more grooming effort as far as brushing and trimming goes as their hair can sometimes get into their eyes. Long haired doxies are by far the most time consuming as far as grooming (and as far as appearance everyone will think a long haired is a girl, even when he's not). Most long haired have soft downy fur, which will need brushing at least once a week as their low to the ground stature will pick up dirt and debris very easily and matting along the ears and armpits is a fact of life.
Temperament and trainability depend on the dog itself. My older doxie was always impossible to train, he was never fully housebroken, and that is one of the most important facet of owning a doxie, HOUSE BREAK THEM EARLY. They are very strong willed little dogs and if you are going to train them you must be firm and in charge. Though they are small they will run it like they own it. They are incredibly intelligent but stubborn, start training early and stick with it! Temperament is also dependent on the dog itself, but most are very self protecting because of their small size. They do not like being crowded or roughhoused by other dogs or children and for this reason I would not suggest them for a child under the age of 8 years old. If you are introducing a bigger dog or another dog into your home, do so slowly with constant supervision.
Doxies are active little guys, but because of their size do not require very long walks, most of the time running around your backyard (if you have one) is sufficient and because of this they work great in apartments. Because they are hunting dogs they will LOVE to go on hiking trips, just make sure that they are secure in a harness and equipped with a sounder and reflective tape. Once they lock on to their target they tend to tune everything else out.
I have found that most dachshunds are not yappy dogs, though they will inform you if you have company or if there is someone unwelcome on your property.
Health is a tough subject with this breed, because of their anatomy; i.e their long backs they will encounter issues with slipped discs, general back issues and hip issues. Once your dachshund gets a bit older spending a little extra on glucosamine and chondroitine supplements is a fantastic idea, one your doxie will thank you for.
Most doxies are friendly with adults if they are properly introduced. This breed is put with the "Lap dog" category as they will be nothing short of euphoric sitting in their favorite persons lap. However they can be choosy, don't be surprised if they are not a fan of your new friend or a certain family member.
Some dachshunds are perfectly fine with young children, although most are not because of their size and the fact that young children can be rough and loud.
Because doxies are hunters they can be very aggressive with cats, mostly because they are seen as prey and will more often than not chase them endlessly. Personally I have never seen a dachshund actually hurt a cat, though I have seen the cat hurt the dachshun. Be wary of that if you have a cat already and are planning on introducing a doxie into your family.
This breed is usually very friendly with other dogs, however big dogs can sometimes cause them be insecure and therefore defensive. Big dogs can also play to hard with your doxie and hurt him.
As far as the cost to own its better to weigh pros and cons. Dachshunds are smaller therefore will save you money on dog food, however because of their back and hip issues be prepared to spend extra money if your dog shows signs of a sore back of stiffness. Having their teeth done is another issue. Small dogs have small mouths, and therefore are more prone to having periodontal disease; which is just a super fancy way of saying, their mouths are gross gross gross and they get rotten teeth and inflamed gums much easier than dogs with bigger mouths. Give them safe chew toys that will help to clean their teeth and massage their gums, give them tooth loving treats like greenies and invest in a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste. Make a tooth check a regular part of your vet visits and your dachshund will have a pearly white smile up until his last days.
As with all dogs your need to do plenty of research on the breed you wish to get, spend some time with the breed and introduce them slowly into your family. This breed will give you years of joy and laughter and best of all, love.