Feisty, Fun & Intelligent – The Dachshund Dog Breed

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A dachshund

These dogs may be little, but there is nothing little about their personalities or the love they inspire in pet parents.  And the sentiment is returned.  Not every home is a Dachshund home, but read on, and see if this little wiener dog might be the right one for you to love.

The Origins of the Dachshund

Developed in Germany roughly five hundred years ago, these dogs were bred by huntsmen primarily for rooting out badgers, hence the long body and short legs.  These dogs were bred to follow badgers into their dens.  Their legs may be short, but their digging ability and fearlessness in the face of a formidable enemy, such as the badger, is legendary.  Some of his ancestors include the Basset Hound and the Beagle.

Personality of the Dachshund

Dachshunds are very intelligent, brave, and fearless.  Believe it or not, the Dachshund makes an excellent watch dog.  Dachshunds are naturally outgoing and bold.  For a Dachshund to be shy is considered a fault by the AKC breed standard for these dogs.  Behavior problems, such as biting, snapping, barking, and guarding can develop if their is a lack of proper socialization and training.  Unless good leadership exists within the household, homes with very young children may not be compatible with a Dachshund since very young children often play too rough because they do not understand how rough is too rough.  When properly led, however, these dogs make wonderful, loving companions.

Dachshund

Let’s Get Physical

Dachshunds can be shorthaired, wirehaired, or longhaired.  Dachshunds weighing in at less than eleven pounds are considered miniature.  Standard size is sixteen to thirty-two pounds.  The Dachshund’s elongated body and short legs may look comical, but they are his trademark.  His physical characteristics are all a result of his breeding to be able to follow badgers into their burrow and dig them out.

The Dachshund is prone to back problems due to his construction.  Disk problems, and even paralysis, are common with this breed.  Dachshunds are also prone to gastric torsion, where the stomach becomes twisted.  This is a serious issue and can result in death within hours.  Gastric torsion requires immediate surgery to correct.  The stomach can be surgically tacked up to prevent a reoccurrence.

The Dapper Dachshund

Dachshunds in general are easy care when it comes to grooming.  The short and longhaired Dachshund require once a week brushing and bathing about every six weeks, dependant on their avoidance of one of their favorite pursuits – rolling in smelly stuff.  The wirehaired Dachshund requires a bit more, as it has to have dead hairs removed twice a year.  Nails should be trimmed about every two weeks.  If nails can be heard clicking on the floor, they are too long.

A Dachshund is a loving, loyal pet and is well suited for many types of homes.  If you think he is the one for you, find a reputable breeder or ask among other Dachshund owners you know for recommendations.

Photo Credit:  istockphoto.com

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WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.

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