The Dachshund Breed
Dachshunds are curious, energetic, mischievous, stubborn and loveable.
Naturally curious, dachshunds seem to be bursting with energy at times, especially when they're just kids. At other times they would rather be doing nothing more than just curling up with you. As dachshunds mature those crazy antics slow down a bit (don't we all) but they always have that edge that makes them different from most other dog breeds.
If you're new to Dachshund World, your first question is probably about their short legs and long bodies. These features make them truly unique in the dog world.
Stubborn dachshund characteristics (which also make them difficult to train) can be traced to days spent learning and evolving into being great underground and field hunters. If they were easily swayed, they couldn't have survived.
Not many dachshunds are called upon to go into dens and face down a killer badger. They still have that hunting instinct, but it is usually reserved for unfortunate rodents wandering into their domain.
Training dachshunds will require determination
Training dachshunds requires an equal or superior determination of the trainer as that already mastered by their dachshund. The trainer must be patient, loving, but firm. Many dachshunds are happy to never go through life without training. They can be trained though— if you persist.
The Dachshund World goal is to make people not familiar with dachsies, more aware of what it's like to bring one into the family circle. Dachshunds are manipulative, independent dogs and will soon win the hearts of anyone willing to give them more than just the time of day.
Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs. They would go into the dens of a badger or fox and chase it out. This required some iron determination to prevail. In fact, the name dachshund means "badger dog."
Imagine facing a badger underground, face-to-face where there's no room to turn around. That's what a dachshund was capable of doing successfully, time and again.
I've read that pound for pound, a badger is one of the fiercest animals in the world. I'm guessing that whoever put those statistics together weren't considering house pets in the equation.
There's more differences than just size
Despite their small stature, they are often the first to speak and the last to back-down. They tend rely on their wit and clever nature to make up for their size.
As you might expect, dachshunds differ from larger breeds in more ways than reduced size. Consider that per pound of body weight, dachshunds require higher levels of energy in their diet, while having a much smaller stomach size. In addition, on average dachshunds live longer (up to twice as long) as some large breed dogs. This longer life span means dachshunds have a higher risk for experiencing some health conditions that may be associated with advanced age, including: teeth and gum disease, heart conditions, skin conditions, and ear and eye disorders.
Dachshund nutrition should go far beyond smaller kibble. Their physical and health differences are best nutritionally supported by food fully designed for small breed dogs.
When describing typical features of the dachshund you have to state the obvious: they're small and elongated dogs with short legs. These breed characteristics were determined over 100 years ago. Some changes through selective breeding have happened over the years and today a standard has been set forth by the German Dachshund Club (DTK) and the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Dachshunds use a combination of body language, tail wagging, hair raising and articulate language (vocal utterances) to convey moods, needs and warnings. With some careful observation you can easily learn what your dachshund wants without an interpreter or being a mind reader.
Given the chance, the dachshund will put itself at the top of the pack if an owner doesn't show that they are clearly the pack leader. Keep this in mind as your dachshund tries to take your seat, grab your food if given the opportunity, or takes over your bed.