Dachshunds are a popular and well-known dog breed, with their characteristic long bodies, deep chests and short legs. They have been referred to as being “half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long”. Dachshunds are playful, devoted, dynamic and small, all of which make adopting Dachshund puppies very desirable. However, you must keep in mind that the Dachshund was bred as a hunting dog. This means that it is tenacious and independent. Only once you have considered all the information available on Dachshunds, should you attempt to adopt one.
The origins of the Dachshund can be traced back almost 600 years to Germany, although archaeological findings indicate evidence that these dogs can be traced even further back, to ancient Egypt, where engravings depicting short-legged hunting dogs have been discovered. Similar looking dogs have, in fact, been found mummified in burial urns in ancient Egypt.
In more modern times, however, Dachshund puppies were bred from German, French and English hounds and terriers. The Germans wanted a hunting dog that could sniff out and chase away badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals – thus the name, German “dach” for badger and “shund” for dog. The smaller version of Dachshunds was used to hunt smaller prey, such as rabbits.
Dachshunds have long buddies and muscular but short legs. Their legs, which are built for digging, are larger than normal and paddle-shaped. They have deep chests which provide a larger-than-normal lung capacity so they can stay on the hunt. The Dachshund’s extra-long snout is especially helpful in absorbing scents and smells. However, because of their extra long spinal cord, this dog is prone to back injuries. You must be extra-careful how you hold or carry your Dachshund.
There are three varieties of Dachshunds; smooth or short-haired, long-haired and wire-haired. The wire-haired and long-haired breeds were developed from the short-haired or smooth Dachshund.
Character and Temperament
As they were bred to sniff out and chase prey, Dachshunds are normally playful and active, as well as determined. They are relentless and will ferociously hunt down birds, small animals and toys. Dachshund puppies will be harder to train than normal because of their stubborn nature. Dachshunds tend to be fiercely loyal to their owners but standoffish and even aggressive, unless trained early on, when faced with strangers. They are burrowers, and will burrow under blankets and other items around the house, especially when they feel bored or want to take a nap.
Training your Dachshund puppy
Training Dachshund puppies is undoubtedly a difficult task and requires a lot of patience and firmness from the owner. It is not recommended to have these dogs around small children, especially when they are not yet properly trained. It is of the utmost necessity that your pet be trained, for his own sake. Dachshunds are fearless, and will take on things they should have more respect for. Without training, your Dachshund might injure himself.
When you bring your puppy home, the first step will be to housebreak him. Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to housebreak, and some owners never manage to completely do so. Toilet training is a major part of housebreaking your Dachshund. There are 2 methods of doing this; The Direct Method and The Paper Method. The former is used when you want your pet to relieve himself outdoors, and the latter is used when going outside is undesirable or not a viable option.
In either case, the key is consistency. You must always praise your pet when he does something right, and never hit him or rub his nose in his mess, when he has done something you do not like. If you react negatively, your pet will be confused and scared, and your training will be set back. Obedience training is best done at obedience school, by qualified experts. Dachshunds require a lot of exercise. It is necessary, as they are active and were bred to hunt.
Giving your pet enough exercise-opportunities will not only reduce problems with aggression, but will also be a great opportunity to bond and cut back on the risk of your pet developing back problems, as obesity increases the likelihood of back injury in Dachshunds. The average life span of a Dachshund is 12-15 years, and if properly trained, Dachshund puppies will live long, healthy, happy lives.