Are you thinking about getting a Dachshund, but you have no idea what to expect from these dogs? Here are some fun facts about the breed that every aspiring Dachshund owner should know.
They are hunter dogs
The name “Dachshund” is German for “badger dog.” That’s because these dogs were initially bred to hunt down badgers. Their low profile allows them to walk while their nose stays close to the ground, never letting go of the badger’s scent.
Their narrow bodies also let them get into burrows in pursuit of their targets. They are also amazingly brave and fierce despite their size.
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They love digging
Dachshunds or Doxies are known for digging. Probably because they were initially bred to chase after burrowing animals, these hunters are very comfortable getting inside burrows. They love to dig up holes in the ground and burrow themselves. If you’re planning to get a Dachshund, expect your backyard to be littered with mounds of soil and dotted with craters (gardens included). It would probably be better to ease up on the landscaping because Doxies will most likely remodel your backyard regularly.
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They are barkers
When hunting, Dachshunds chase after badgers or rabbits, find their burrows, and then alert their owners about the target’s location by barking. Because of this, these dogs are not shy about being loud. They can bark incessantly at perceived threats, strangers, or anything that catches their fancy.
If you’re living in a flat, a condominium, or any place where you have neighbors close by, you need to seriously train your Dachshunds, so they don’t become a nuisance to the people around you.
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They have big hearts
Do not be fooled by the Dachshund’s short stature. Its short legs and long, thin body might give you the impression that this dog is timid or shy, but nothing could be farther from the truth. These dogs have big hearts and are considered by many as fierce protectors.
They are loyal to their pack (which would be you and your family) and will defend them against any threat—big or small. They will follow you wherever you go, even to the bathroom. The problem is they can sometimes be overprotective, so ensure adequate socialization to prevent accidents.
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They have a high prey drive
Like other dog breeds with a history of hunting, Dachshunds have a high prey drive. For them, anything small, furry, and moves is often seen as prey that needs to be chased, caught, and unfortunately killed.
The Dachshund might not be the best dog for you if you have other pets at home, like rabbits, hamsters, or mice. If you insist on getting one, there’s a huge chance your other pets will end up in a deadly accident with the Dachshund.
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They are highly energetic dogs
Built for hunting, these dogs can go the distance. They can do as much as 5-10 miles of hiking daily. Despite their short legs, they are also surprisingly very fast and agile. If you’re set on getting a Dachshund, give them plenty of physical exercises daily to keep them fit and happy.
Make them fetch or play tug with you if you can’t bring them out for daily walks. Doing so will not only keep them healthy, but it will also help lessen the annoying barking and the destructive chewing. Take note that individuals who rarely exercise are prone to obesity and other health issues.
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They can be fierce when on a leash
Like other small breed dogs, Dachshunds are prone to fear anxiety. Individuals who suffer from fear anxiety tend to lunge and bark at other dogs or humans when they are on a leash, making them look aggressive and feral, even though they are scared and panicky.
You need to remind yourself about this behavior if you’re planning to get a Dachshund to be mentally and physically prepared to handle it.
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They like hiding and snuggling
These little creatures like tight spaces. When given a chance, they will snuggle close to you, hide under blankets, squeeze through gaps in the sofa, bury themselves in your laundry pile, and more.
Make it a habit to check your couch or bed before you sit or lie down, so you don’t accidentally sit on them, especially since Dachshunds are prone to spinal and back injuries because of their structure.
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They will steal your heart
With a perfect match of cute size and a big personality, Dachshunds can easily steal your heart. If you can get past the stubbornness and train them properly, these loyal and affectionate dogs will easily make you fall in love with their crazy antics, inexhaustible energy, silly looks, and unending snuggles.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Dachshunds
Can dachshunds make good guard dogs?
Yes, they can. Despite their size and diminutive stature, dachshunds possess a lot of qualities that an excellent guard dog should possess:
- They are very loyal and protective.
- They are wary of strangers, often barking immediately and loudly to alert everyone.
- They are brave and will stand up to any threat, even those towering over them.
- They are surprisingly fast and agile despite their short legs.
Are dachshunds good family dogs?
Dachshunds can be pretty stubborn, so having them as a family pet can be tricky, especially if no one in the family is trained or knowledgeable about the breed. However, if at least one person can handle the dog properly, then dachshunds can be a great family dog.
After all, they are very affectionate, loyal, playful, and protective. If you manage their energy and keep them happy, they will be perfectly fine, even around younger kids.
If you’re looking to get one, consider adopting! The Woman’s Day publication listed the best places to adopt your next family dog—and they might just have a loving dachshund waiting for you!
Are dachshunds a good option for beginners?
Many dachshund owners will not recommend dachshunds as a choice for first-time dog owners because of the dog’s naturally high prey drive and stubbornness. They are usually better off with more experienced trainers because managing these dogs demands patience and consistency.
Seeing owners with zero training and experience giving up on Dachshunds is not so rare. If you are still bent on getting a dachshund, thoroughly study the breed. Learn from books, online resources, and other dachshund owners. Then, decide for yourself.