21 February 2008

13 Reasons to Have a Dachshund In Your Life (Or Not)

Dachshunds have owned me since I was 8 years old and my Dad brought home a runt-of-the-litter pup for my Mom's birthday.

Yeah, Mom loved that. LOL

My husband would love to have a big dog, but he's resigned to the fact that as long as he's married to me, it's dachshunds. Period.

1. I like to have them in pairs, because they're like potato chips. One just isn't enough. Or, more accurately, a "single" invariably develops delusions of royalty. Making them share space takes 'em down a peg.

2. If you're a dachshund owner and have somehow managed to convince your darlings that the furniture isn't theirs to wallow in, please let me know. I'll bottle it and sell it and become rich beyond my wildest dreams.

3. My own experience aside, I don't recommend dachsies as your first dog. You want unquestioned obedience and loyalty? Pick an easier breed, like an affable Lab. With few exceptions, most dachsies are NOT good with very small children and toddlers - they'll get annoyed with ear and tail pulling, and nip at the kid's nose.

4. Learn to keep all bedroom doors shut. You will learn why on the first cold, rainy day and your prince or princess decides it's more comfortable to pee on your bed than outside in the wet. Corollary: You will not discover it until bedtime and find yourself changing sheets (and plotting your dachsie's demise) at 11 p.m.

5. You will most likely never get your weener dog completely potty trained. See above. The best you can hope for is 90% compliance.

6. Obedience class? Excuse me while I take a minute to laugh uncontrollably. I took our current Queen of Everything when she was a puppy - she still views me as the lowest in the pack order and won't follow any command unless she can see the treat in my hand and ready to dispense. Even with a treat, "heel" and "here" are to be ignored at all times.

7. They're hounds. Hounds are bred to hunt. If it moves, they'll run after it. If it's small and furry, and they can catch it, the'll tear it to shreds. And I don't mean just plush toys. 'Nuff said.

8. Don't let the short legs fool you. These little suckers are FAST. Go ahead - try to catch one on the loose. Can you say "greased pig?" Unless you've got a necklace of liver treats around your neck, good luck!

9. Be prepared to be aggravated at least once a week. Most of them are OCD about at least one thing. With mine, it's their rawhide bones. I have to get the ginormous mondo size bones, because if I get the tiny ones they just run around with a mad look in their eyes until they find the perfect place to hide them - usually under someone's pillow, in a laundry basket, or stuffed between the couch cushions. And if it's nice and gooey from being chewed and drooled on, all the better.

10. Even if your little darling doesn't seem to be a habitual chewer, they will occasionally chew. It will, invariably, be your most expensive pair of shoes. Your Bluetooth headset. Your favorite pen. Whatever's in the bathroom waste basket.

11. Dachsies, especially in pairs, have courageous hearts bigger than their bodies. And their brains. After all, they were bred to face down badgers in their own holes. They'll go after any dog in their yard, even if that dog is 150 times their size and weight.

12. Again, they're hounds. They're gonna bark, especially if you have more than one. Because hey, if their companion is barking, it must be worth barking at, even if they can't see it what the fuss is all about. Even a mini dachshund can sound like a much bigger dog; but if you're unlucky, you'll get one with an eardrum-splitting squeak for bark.

13. Okay, now for the good stuff - there are few breeds as cuddly and affectionate as a dachshund. On cold winter days, they are your best friend. And even if you've only been gone for 10 minutes, when you walk in the door they cover you in kisses. They're stuffed with personality, and will quite easily steal even the most hardened heart.

Besides, I challenge anyone to just look at a dachshund and not smile.

Recently discovered weener dog blog: The Long and the Short of it All

After all this, still want one? Click here!


Lady Rose said...

how adorable, I've always love dachshunds

Happy TT I have my very first one up!

Lori said...

We have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that apparently has a lot in common with dachsunds! ;-)

But they're too cute. You get away with so much when your cute.

TwoPugs said...

My friend has 2 long hair dachshunds. They are wonderful!

Lara Angelina said...

I grew up with cats and have always had cats...but I love dogs too. And the little ones are soooo cute!!
Had to tell you I recently purchased Beaudry's Ghost --- love it!!!

Carolan Ivey said...

Thank you, Lara! I hope you enjoy it. :)

We joke that our older dog is "half cat" - she hates to get her feet wet, and she holds a grudge forever. :)

Pat said...

You forgot to mention "devious" sis...remember how Fritz used to pee on Mama's pillow, then peed on her leg out in the yard that day??

Carolan Ivey said...

I forgot about that! LOL Lieben used to pee on my lap if she was mad at me. The little stinker. I miss her so... :)

There's an adorable video on youtube.com that's really a Eukanuba commercial, but it gives a nice little breed overview. They forgot to mention the trademark dachsie rock-hard-headedness, though!

Don Zurbrick said...

So true. I was doing a search for doxie pic and I thought for a second that pic on your post was my sable short hair. Have almost the exact pic.

Carolan Ivey said...

Thanks for commenting, Don. :) It's been a while since I wrote this piece - it was fun to read it again!

Natalie Stork said...

I enjoyed reading this very much! just got reminded of all the stuff my lil girl had been doing for the past three yrs.
she's having her 3rd litter today and I'm all exited!
couldn't agree with you more about the furniture(she'very comfy on bed the moment we're out the door.) and about trying to catch her when she feels like she needs to run!( the moment you get close enough she makes a run for it!)

Gerri said...

This is so cute - and so true! I've had them since I was 9. I currently have 4 & yup, they're barking as I type this. LOL Thanks for posting this!!!

Rob said...

Wonderful article. I have a mini dashund myself and she is everything you warned about! :)

I have an important question: my dog is 6 and she has been nipping at my nephews recently, she's never done this before. I have been told to take her to obedience classes, do you think this will do her good as far as nipping at a child goes? Thank you for taking the time.

Carolan Ivey said...

Hi Rob! Glad you enjoyed this post. :)

Your dog could definitely benefit from a basic obedience class. There are a few commands that can be very useful, especially the LEAVE IT command. Given in a timely manner and with enough authority, it can stop a dachsie in his tracks if he's headed toward something you don't want him to have, or if there's something in his mouth you want him to drop.

If your nephews are petting him and you see "that look" in his eye, a quick LEAVE IT can stop his train of thought and make him think twice about nipping. It's a good, all-purpose command.

Another one is OFF. This is distinctly different from the DOWN command. DOWN is when you want him to lay down from a standing or sitting position (this one can be particularly challenging to teach since they're already pretty close to the ground! lol). OFF is for when you want him to physically get off something, like a piece of furniture.

WATCH is also a good one to get the dog to look at you.

You might look into clicker training. This was extremely effective to keep my alpha dog from habitually running away from me. Once I taught her that the click means she gets a treat, she started responding to commands better. I distinctly remember the first time it really worked. She took off for parts unknown and I bellowed HERE. Instead of ignoring me she stopped and looked at me. I clicked. She came running. :)

It's important not to get in the habit of repeating the command over and over. You should only need to say it once. Also, don't use the dog's name when giving commands. It only confuses them. The old adage "That's my name, don't wear it out" is true. They'll grow deaf to their own name.

In the end, you may have to teach your nephews to simply leave the dog alone until they're old enough not to unintentionally do things that annoy him. I can always trust Fidget around small children - she likes everyone. But I caution little kids not to try to pet or chase after Heidi. She has never bitten anyone but that doesn't mean she won't. She clearly doesn't like strangers coming toward her, no matter what age they are.

I don't know if you ever watch the Cesar Milan videos, but pay attention. Body language and attitude are everything. Also that little "hiss" he uses get a dog's attention is extremely useful. The dog learns to associate that hiss (or in my case, a short, honking AH!!) with "Stop that RIGHT NOW."

Hope this helps! Good luck! :)