Dachshunds, as a breed, come under the category of the 'Hound Group' of dogs. The word Dachshund means 'Badger Dog' ('Dachs' meaning
badger, 'Hund' meaning dog). They were bred and used originally as working/hunting dogs with the purpose of going down into badger sets and/or rabbit warrens to retrieve prey. Even though not used
for these purposes as often nowadays, they still love to hunt when off lead and you will often notice them, nose to ground, snuffling around in the hedgerows.
Within the UK, Dachshunds are mainly found in two sizes - Standard and Miniature. Within these two sizes are 3 coat types - Smooth, Long
and Wire - making 6 types in all.
We are very privileged within the breed, and the UK, to have a very active Breed Council and three invaluable websites dedicated to
Dachshunds that owners and breeders can use as point of reference. These websites are the 'Dachshund Breed Council UK', 'Dachshund Health UK' and most recently, 'Dachshund-IVDD UK' which I personally
helped design with the Breed Council (please see 'link's page).
In the pages of these three sites you will find endless information regarding 'Everything Dachshund'. Topics covering buying and owning
Dachshunds, health and welfare, breed standard and breed clubs, to name a few.
As with all dogs, there are some prevalent health isses within the breed that current owners, breeders and future owners must be aware
of . PRA and IVDD are the main health issues within Miniature Smooth Dachshunds - please see the seperate pages regarding these.
As with any breed, Dachshunds have their particular traits. Those looking into owning a Dachshund should be fully aware of some of these before reaching out to make
contact with a breeder. Dachshunds are quirky and there are things to bear in mind:
- Dachshunds were originally bred to bark and 'react', to alert their owners (hunters) to prey and for their bark to be heard from underground. When fully
grown they can be reactive towards other dogs and people they don't take a shine to - even getting off the sofa or coming down stairs can create a reaction from them (a chorus of
barking). Socialisation as a puppy is key, however, this won't stop them from being reactive if it is within their nature to do so. Each pup is different and becoming vocal, if they are going to,
usually starts around puberty (6 months). A lot of this can be hereditary, so obtaining a puppy from a Dam with a sound temperament is imperative, however, equal parts of their temperament is
down to 'nurture' during 8-16 weeks, so it is extremely important that Dachshunds are placed in a home that suits them, hence why a good breeder will vet potential new owners thoroughly. (NB - Dam's
can be very different in temperament after giving birth, especially when strangers come to visit and handle their puppies. This is purely down to hormones and they can be more vocal due to their
natural instinct of protecting their offspring. This shouldn't be confused with having a bad temperament).
- Miniature Smooth Dachshunds are notoriously hard to toilet train and this can be a very real problem. They need to be taken outside every 30 minutes
initially, moving up in 15 minute increments as the weeks pass. They are not a breed that will be fully trained by 12 weeks like others you may have heard of - if you have cracked it by 6 months
then you are doing well. Please do not expect, because you may have experience with dogs, that you will be the one to get on top of this quicker than most - you won't, honestly.
- They don't like cold, wet or windy weather, they will point blank refuse to take a step outside for the toilet in these conditions unless you go too (and even
then it is a 'hit and miss' as to whether they 'relieve' themselves, no matter how long you stand out there).
- Recall can leave something to be desired if they spot or smell something that takes their fancy, regardless of how fantastic they were previously. They are scent
hounds and any new scent will interest them.
- Up until 9 months of age, Dachshunds should only be walked for 5 minutes per month of age (eg 3 months = 15 minutes walking per day, 4 months = 20 minutes walking
per day). Over walking can cause deformity of the bones in the legs and lead to future problems.
- However, contrary to popular belief, after this age they can walk for miles and miles - they will out-walk you! Short legs do not equal short distances and they
are very fast and extremely powerful when running.
- Dachshunds are not the type of breed who like being alone for long periods of time, they crave company and can suffer terribly from seperation anxiety which
can lead to a very nervous, vocal, destructive and unhappy dog. Their humans are their pack, so being without them for long periods can have a massive impact.
- Having two is a great idea, but buying two pups at the same time is not! No reputable breeder would sell you two, for various reasons. Firstly, 'Litter
Sibling Syndrome' can be a real issue, secondly, they can also bond with each other and not their family, and lastly, being so difficult to toilet train, having two can be impossible. If one
regresses, so will the other. It's better to buy one puppy, develop a strong bond and get on top of training, then introduce another.
- IVDD is an extremely common condition (please see seperate page). No breeder can ever tell you it won't happen as there is no definitive health test
available. As someone interested in the breed, please make sure you are fully aware of this disease before starting your Daxie journey - any breeder you contact should also be able to answer any
questions you may have. It is by far the most prevalent, deeply concerning condition within the breed and is as common as cancer within humuns (1 in 4).
- Dachshunds are great with kids as long as they have been used to them from a young age. Our pups are raised with our 4 children which makes a huge difference to
their personality and when they leave us, they are extremely confident and tend to always love children, even if they don't live with them in their forever home.
- They are fine with cats as long as they have been used to them from a young age. They can be introduced at an older age but it will take more time to adjust.
Generally it is the cat who is more 'put out' than the dog!
- They are hounds, they aren't lap dogs, and they do act as such. Small does not equal easy - you get a lot of dog for the size!
- Many websites state that Dachshunds are a suitable breed for those who live in flats or apartments but this is only partly true. Yes, the can live in either as
they don't take up much space, however, their home must have direct access to a garden and not just a park nearby. Firstly, as mentioned above, they are extremely difficult to
toilet train, so donning shoes, jackets, keys, collar and lead to carry a pup/dog down flights of stairs and across a road to get to a park, hourly, hail, rain or shine, is not feasible or
realistic. Neither is it fair for the pup/dog to have no personal, safe and enclosed outdoor space where it can roam around freely. Time spent outside in the garden is essential for a pup,
for learning and development.