Some experts think that the Dachshund dates back to antiquity and was depicted in Egyptian Reliefs. While that may be true, it is widely accepted that the Germans were largely responsible for the development of the dog we know today. Some type of field spaniel and a terrier were likely bred to the smooth to produce the long coat and the wire coat. Their unique shape was developed to search for their quarry, the badger. "Dachshund" translated means "Badger Hound." Hunters of that day used the Dachshund to keep the number of badgers in check while today's hunters use the Dachshund in a variety of settings. His hunting spirit and good nose, loud tongue and distinctive build make him suitable for below - ground work and for excelling in field work. His keen nose gives him an advantage over many other breeds for trailing.
Today, Dachshunds can be seen in many AKC sanctioned activities such as Earthdog, Agility, Tracking, Obedience, Rally, Field Trials, Coursing Ability and Conformation. In addition, some are involved in pet therapy and others have been trained as drug sniffing dogs assisting the police.
According to the standard, "The Dachshund is low to the ground, long in body and short of leg with robust muscles and elastic, pliable skin." The Dachshund is bred in two sizes, which are defined by weight. The standard Dachshund ranges in weight from 16-32 pounds and the miniature Dachshund weighs 11 pounds and under. In addition, he is bred in three coat varieties, the smooth (short hair), the long hair (long, silky coat) and the wire (a dense wiry coat). His small to medium size makes him particularly suited for small yards and apartment living. Commonly seen colors include red, cream, black and tan, black and cream, chocolate and tan and wild boar. Several patterns are also recognized in addition to the above colors. Those include dapple (a merle pattern which displays lighter colored areas contrasting with a darker base area), brindle (black or dark stripes occurring over the entire body) and sable (a uniform dark overlay on red dogs).
The Dachshund is clever, lively and courageous. He is affectionate and loving to his family. The Dachshund craves being the center of all family activities, and he is not a dog well suited to being an outside pet. The Dachshund is protective of his environment and may bark when he senses a potential threat or out of the ordinary event.
All dogs require proper nutrition, a clean environment, routine veterinary care with immunization and dental care to maintain optimal health. This will facilitate a long, healthy life. All new pups should receive a thorough exam by your vet within seventy two (72) hours of purchase. Monthly heartworm prevention is required in most areas as well as flea and other parasite prevention or elimination.
Your breeder will likely recommend a type of dog food or you can seek the advice of your vet. Be aware that dog food labels may recommend an amount that is more than necessary to maintain a fit and healthy Dachshund. Be wary of over feeding and giving too many treats. An overweight Dachshund is prone to many of the same problems experienced by overweight humans, such as diabetes, joint problems, decreased stamina and possibly, problems with their back. Your Dachshund should be kept physically fit and going for walks several times a week will help accomplish this goal.
Your Dachshund should never be allowed to run free. A fenced yard will provide your Dachshund with a safe place to exercise and will prevent injuries such as being struck by a car or attacked by other bigger dogs. In addition it will reduce the likelihood of his being a nuisance to your community.
Dachshunds are generally very clean dogs with little to no body odor. Minimal grooming requirements are needed to maintain the Dachshund, they include clipping the nails, cleaning the inside of ears, bathing when necessary and removing tartar from teeth at least twice yearly, when indicated. The importance of keeping the teeth clean and free of tartar can not be stressed enough. Tartar build up can lead to infected gums which can lead to infection in the heart of your dog. Wire haired and long haired Dachshunds may require professional grooming with frequent brushing of the coat.
Dogs by nature are den animals and contrary to the belief that crates are "jails" they provide your Dachshund with a sense of safety and security. Crates also foster peace of mind when you are away, knowing that your Dachshund is safe. In addition, it can be an important adjunct to the housebreaking regimen. Most dogs don't want to soil their own bed. Introduce your Dachshund to the Crate gradually and make the inside appealing and comfortable. Provide soft bedding and toys for your puppy. Treats can be used to encourage your Dachshund to enter the crate and should be given as rewards for every successful training period. Gradually increase the time your Dachshund remains in the crate. Release your Dachshund only when he is quiet and reward him.
Spaying and Neutering
Spaying or neutering your Dachshund has positive benefits for you and your pet. Spayed females often live longer and have fewer health problems than unspayed females. Spaying eliminates uterine cancer and greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer. You will also be spared the inconvenience and mess of twice-yearly heat cycles.
Neutered males will be less inclined to wander and are usually more tolerant of other male dogs. Neutered males cannot develop testicular cancer and have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Breeding dogs is a great responsibility. You must understand pedigrees and genetics in order to avoid the genetic defects in the breed and to produce quality animals. You must have the financial ability to provide a large litter of pups and their mother with high quality food and veterinary care, and be able to afford medical clearances of eyes and hips, stud fees, shipping expenses, advertising costs and medical emergencies. You must have the time and energy to sanitize the puppies’ quarters and to properly socialize the pups so they reach their full potential. Equally important is the essential process of finding and educating responsible new families for the puppies, to ensure these pups live long and happy lives.