Darling and delightful the Dachshund is one of the most popular breeds in America. Those who are lucky enough to be owned by this little dog find them to be loyal, loving, fierce protectors, and the funniest clowns in all of dogdom. Beautiful and even elegant with its smooth body lines, these little dogs never cease to delight all who come under their spell.
As at home in the 10th floor apartment as it is on the farm, the dachshund (badger dog) was originally bred in Germany for hunting, what else, but badgers. Their tenacious persistence and relentless pursuit of their prey, along with their long, low bodies, make them perfect for following the badger right into the animal’s den. Their strong jaws can snap shut on a badger’s snout, and hold on, never letting go, until the animal has ceased its struggle, and it is bagged by the farmer or hunter. Dachshunds have even been known to die in the tunnel, always holding onto its prey. Its a pretty chilling thought for those of us who love the little dachshund.
Dachshunds come in two sizes: miniature, under 12 pounds, and standard, over 12 pounds. Both sizes compete in the show ring with great distinction. A dachshund’s coat can come in smooth, rough, or long hair, and a variety of colors. Each is just as adorable as the other. Beautiful and bright, a dachshund is full of surprises. Their intelligence is such, that it is not unusual, in the show ring, for the breed to gobble a snack, in passing, should a cookie or ice cream be within reach, without missing a step.
The dachshund is a scent-hound, whose sense of smell is so sensitive that it must never be kept off of the leash. If so, the dachshund will catch a smell and follow it forever, often becoming lost or hit by a car.
Dachshunds, especially the male, can be stubborn in house training. The males are markers, and they will have their territory “marked out,” no matter how many times they are crate trained. As a result dachshunds are often found in shelters, because the owner has grown tired of the failure to train. Thankfully there are numerous dachshund rescue groups, that seek out new owners who have more patience and persistence in training.
With shiny coat and black shoe-button eyes, the dachshund is irresistible as it meets its owner’s gaze, often making one think he has the wisdom of the ages in his glance. Dachshunds do have back problems, so they should be restrained from jumping up on things, or down from beds and sofas. This is second nature for the dachshund, so it is a difficult thing to train.
Proper weight is paramount. Always feed your dachshund the best dry dog food that you can afford, and only in amounts recommended by the veterinarian. The dachshund in the picture is seven years old, and he has had two back surgeries. He has been kept at a healthy weight, and his low body fat is one of the reasons he has come through so beautifully. He walks, runs, and plays, and due to his good health he will, no doubt, have many more years of joy to share with his owner.
I cannot stress enough, do not over-feed your dachshund! A dachshund will eat until he bursts. Keep him on a premium, healthy diet, and you with be thrilled to have your dachshund bless your life for many years to come. Jaye Lewis