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Dachshund

Dachshund

Physical Traits

There are three varieties of dachshund coats: smooth coat, long haired and wire-haired. The wire-haired is the least common of the varieties and the most recent to be recognized.

The coat can be single-colored, such as the dominant red. But even a dominant color can have variety, such as shades of red from copper to rust. Some dachshunds have different color markings on their paws, eyes, ears or tail which are called “points.” In such cases, the coat of a dachshund with points is referred to by the primary color first, followed by the point color. For example, if the primary color is chocolate and the point color is cream, the coat would be “chocolate and cream.” The most dominant dual-colored coats are black and tan, and chocolate and tan. However, other combinations can occur such as red and cream, or tan and gray.

There are several different patterns that can show also. These include “dapple”, “brindle”, “sable”, and “piebald”. A dappled coat means it would have a primary color, such as black and tan, but with spots or a single spot of a lighter color. A “brindle” coat is one with a single color background, but with one or more dark stripes. In such cases the background color is usually red. A “sable” coat is rare, referring to a dog whose single hairs are tri-colored. A “piebald” coat will have a portion of the coat that is white.

The coat of some dachshunds may be of varying shades of a color, but AKC Standards prefers the darker shades.

Dachshund Breed Info

AKC dog standards were changed in 2001 to discourage the breeding of dachshunds with “double dapple” coats. It was the determined the gene which led to this condition may cause dog blindness and dog deafness.

It is acceptable for dachshunds to have eyes of two different colors. Some may have a brown eye and a blue eye, sometimes referred to as a “moon eye.” This is not normally an indication of an eye problem. However, two blue eyes can be an indicator of dog blindness or deafness.

The AKC recognizes both standard and miniature dachshunds. The standard dog normally weighs between 16 and 32 pounds, and is over 14 inches in height. The miniature dog weighs no more than 11 pounds, but is less than 14 inches in height.

Due to extensive breeding in the United States it is not uncommon to find dachshunds that do not fit within these AKC standards, but can still be wonderful pets for your family dog. This “tweenie” is many times a result of breeders who are focused on developing a Doxie which is more rugged than a true miniature, but not as big as a standard. By developing the muscular and skeletal frame of the Doxie, the back strength of the Dachshund will be bolstered.

Temperament

A playful breed, the Doxie is rarely considered shy. Its temperament is often compared to that of a terrier. The dachshund loves to have fun and enjoys chasing small wild animals, birds, and retrieving thrown balls for its owner.

It is a widely held belief that the long haired Doxies are the most social of the varieties. In general, Dachshunds accept new people and other animals well. However, smooth coat and wire-haired Doxies will adapt to new situations well if they are properly trained and socialized at a young age. This is true of Dachshund’s introduction to larger dogs, cats, children and strangers. The key is to ensure proper socialization occurs.

The dachshund is seemingly unaware of its small size and is considered fearless. However, its somewhat loud bark will usually greet any unfamiliar person, which is why the breed makes a great watch dog or guard dog.

Although most doxies are energetic, others are more relaxed. It is the Dachshund’s individuality which truly makes it unique. They are at their happiest while on family outings, and otherwise can easily become bored if not occupied. Dachshunds make wonderful urban or apartment pets. With proper socialization, Dachshunds will be loyal to and tolerant of children. Children should also be cautioned not play rough with a dachshund to avoid the possibility of a bite, or a back injury to the Doxie.

Always maintain leash control of a Dachshund when strangers are nearby, although the use of a harness is preferred over a collar. The harness will distribute the tension over the strong chest area, rather than focusing the tension around the neck. Dachshund dog owners are strongly encouraged to enroll their pet in obedience and socialization training.

Health

Dachshunds have an average life span of 15 years. However, many things contribute to their longevity including genetics and lifestyle. Although its unique shape is popular, its long body and shortened rib cage can contribute to spinal disc problems. One such problem, intervertebral disc disease, or IVDD, can also become more pronounced due to obesity. Regular exercise and a healthy diet do much to minimize medical concerns. These disc problems can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, or may require surgery. One new procedure which has shown promise is “percutaneous laser disc ablation”, which is not as invasive as surgery.

Because of the Dachshund’s unique body, owners can minimize problems greatly with exercise, an appropriate dachshund dog food, and by discouraging the Doxie from jumping from excessive heights. Many Dachshund breeders have their own ideology about Doxies and stairs. Going up stairs is not as much as a problem as going down. Going up stairs keeps the dogs’ body in line, however, going down stairs forces the Doxie to contort its body to keep from falling or going too fast.

Bred to have a elongated body so it could pursue badgers and other prey, its nicknames as “wiener dog” or “hot dog” “Badger Dog” is easily understood today, and seeing a Dachshund always generates a smile. This breed has a hard to explain magnetism.

Dachshund

Training

Dachshunds are considered quite an independent dog and consistency in training is required. When conducting any kind of initial training, such sessions should be short and often.

The common first training session is helping your dachshund learn to walk while on a leash in a harness. Although he or she may not like the idea of being on a leash in a harness at first, over time your Doxie will associate this with having an opportunity to be with you when you leave.

Initially allow your Doxie to lead you while on the leash. Once he seems relaxed begin to encourage your puppy to follow you. Once your puppy does follow you, offer praise and pet him affectionately.

Your pet should be encouraged to walk on your left side, and not to go off in other directions while on a leash. If your pet does pull in another direction it is advised to stop and gently pull towards you, being careful not to pull aggressively. As your dachshund becomes more comfortable walking on a leash with you, continue to offer praise.

Again, training your puppy to walk on a leash should be done consistently in short periods until your dachshund exhibits greater comfort.

A variety of training books, and online resources, are available to help in training your puppy. Major pet stores also offer regularly scheduled training classes.

Because Dachshunds can be a great pet in both urban and rural settings, either the paper/pad or direct method of housebreaking a puppy can be used.

If you live in an apartment, or have limited access to a yard or park, you may be limited to using the paper/pad method. This begins by identifying a room or area which you prefer your dachshund relieve his self, or her self. First, lay newspapers or puppy pads on the floor and after your puppy eats, sit him/her on the papers/pads stay with your puppy until he/she does relieve itself, and then offer praise. Remove all of the newspapers or pads except one nearby the relieving area. Then, put more newspapers/pads on the area, and put the old piece of newspaper or pad on top. He or she should begin using the same spot. Continue to follow this procedure for several weeks to reinforce the behavior you want. Be consistent and keep using the same area. Permitting your pet to sometimes relieve itself in a different area will only confuse your dachshund.

The purpose of the direct method of housebreaking is to train your puppy to “go” outside. Walk your dog in your yard and in an appropriate outside area, usually after your dachshund eats. After 10 or 15 minutes if your puppy doesn’t relieve itself, try another outdoor visit in an hour. However, when your puppy does “go”, offer praise. Continue this method until it becomes a routine for your pet.

If your puppy or dog has an “accident” inside your home, clean up the area with newspaper and put the paper outside where you would prefer your dog to “go.” Be sure to consistently offer praise for relieving itself outside.

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