By Eve Adamson from Dachshunds For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Is the Dachshund the right breed for you? Before you proceed further in your quest for the Dachshund of your dreams, think carefully about the pros and cons of Dachshund servitude (because, as you’ll soon see, Dachsies own you, not the other way around).
The pros of owning a Dachshund
There are some major benefits to owning a Dachshund:
- Dachshunds love you unconditionally.
- Studies show that having a pet lowers blood pressure and helps to manage stress.
- Fulfilling your dog’s exercise needs may keep you in shape.
- Dachshunds are great companions and listeners.
- Dachshunds are good at warning you if someone is outside the house — welcome or not.
- If you bring home a rescued Dachshund, you can feel good about saving a life. And your dog will show his gratitude every day.
- Dachshunds can help teach children to respect and be kind to animals.
The cons of Dachshund ownership
It’s one thing to prepare for a dog; it’s another thing to prepare for a Dachshund. Dachshunds have all the basic needs of a dog, but they come with a few unique quirks and considerations. As sweet and lovable as Dachshunds are, if you want a Dachshund, you need to understand the realities of Dachshund ownership:
- Dachshunds have fragile backs. Because of their shape (big dog, short legs), Dachshunds are genetically predisposed to have bad backs that can easily be injured and can sometimes have problems for no reason at all. Certain ordinary things can injury a Dachshund’s back:
- Going up and downstairs
- Jumping off furniture
- Even running quickly around a sharp corner.
- Dachshunds love to jump. But jumping can injury a Dachshund’s back, so you need to keep your Dachsie from jumping off high places like beds, couches, porches, and so on. Some people install ramps in their homes to help their dogs.
- Dachshunds need plenty of attention and affection. They want to be with you, not tied to a chain in the backyard.
- Dachshunds live to eat. Obesity puts further strain on a Dachshund’s back — not to mention his heart and entire body. You must be prepared to keep your Dachshund’s eating under control.
- Dachshunds bark. Barking is actually bred into this breed. They were bred to hunt small game and bark to alert his human. Although you can train him to not bark as often, but if you can’t get used to it, or don’t get a Dachshund.
- Dachshunds aren’t easily housebroken; until they are, your carpet or other household surfaces may suffer.
- Dachshunds are manipulative. They’re cute, and they know it. They’re clever, too. They can get you to do just about anything, unless you have rules and you stick to your guns.
- Dachshunds require an extra dose of patience. They can be stubborn and hard to train. If you freak out every time your Dachshund makes a mistake — accidentally or on purpose — you’ll give one of you a coronary. Teaching a Dachshund is a lot like teaching a child: Keeping your cool will prove that you’re the pack leader and the one with all the power.
Dachshunds are more stubborn than some breeds, so training can be frustrating for the beginner. Don’t give up. If all else fails, talk to your vet, hire a trainer, and practice, practice, practice. How’s that for a reality check? Think long and hard about the commitment you’re about to make before you bring home a Dachshund.