What Is Special About Dachshunds?

Dachshunds originated in Germany in the 1800s, first bred to be used for flushing badgers.  The Dachshund's average height is 5 to 9.5 inches and weight ranges from 9 to 25 pounds.  Their coat conditions can be smooth, long or wire-haired.  Colors consist of reddish-brown, black and tan (found in short and long-haired dachshunds), deep chestnut (found only in the long-haired breeds) and for the wire-haired dogs, an intermediate mix of earthy natural colors.  The short and long-haired dachshunds have smooth coats, unlike the wire-haired who have coarse hairs which lie flat.

Is the Dachshund a Good Match For Me?

Loyalty, long life expectancy and a low maintenance coat are just a few favorable traits of the lovable dachshund.  Known as a family pet, or a hunter for above and below ground, they can also adapt well to city life.  However, one trait that is not well-liked is their tendency to try to dominate other canines.  Dachshunds require plenty of exercise, and are generally very eager to play and learn.  Due to the popularity of the breed, the Dachshund has undergone much careless breeding - so, when choosing a Dachshund for a pet or hunter, be cautious.  The long back of the dog makes it difficult to perform some obedience staples, such as "sit."  And because of their tiny legs, it may be difficult for the breed to keep up with the owner on walks.


How Do I Begin With My New Puppy?

Puppy HouseTraining

Housetraining your Dachshund puppy will be the most important training you do in the first several weeks of your pup's new life with you.  It is important to be consistent and to develop a routine so that your pup will know when and where you want him to eliminate.  Before you bring him home, it is essential that you purchase a crate.  Because dogs often seek out small enclosed places, your pup will adjust well to this small den-like home.  Puppies generally will not eliminate in their crate, because they cannot get away from the urine/feces. This is the major principle supporting crate training.  Doxie puppies will not spoil their "den."

When you arrive home with your new dog, take him immediately to the area of the yard where you want him to eliminate.  Have liver treats ready to give him as he does his business in your preferred spot.  For the first few days, carry him (do not let him wander) to this same spot, and reward him appropriately with food and praise.

Watch him carefully in the house.  When he is not in his crate, spend time with him in one room.  Do not allow him to roam the house.  Housebreaking is all about confinement.  As you become familiar with your new pet, you will be able to predict when he needs to go outside.  Always, after he eats, when he wakes up from a nap, and when he exhibits "elimination behavior," take him out to the yard.  Praise, praise, praise and use lots of treats to reward good behavior!  After initial success, in addition to praise, begin to utilize a command word or phrase so the dog associates elimination with a few special spoken words, such as "do your business," or "time for outside."  This can come in handy on long car drives or rainy nights when you want them to be quick about it!

Feeding your doxie puppy in his closed crate will prevent him from taking a bite and then eliminating in the house.  Give him 10 minutes to eat his meal, scoop him up and head back to his yard.  Feeding him at the same times every day helps him to learn his new daily routine.

Always take your pup out before confining him.  The first few nights you "crate" him, he will probably emit cries; never go to him when he is crying or barking.  That will only reinforce unacceptable behavior.  Always remember the message you are sending your dog.  If you run to his crate when he is "calling," then the message he gets is: "When I bark or cry, my new family will come to me."  Instead, reward favorable behavior.  If your puppy eliminates in inappropriate places, never use harsh punishment.  Never, ever rub his nose in it or strike him.  This is totally unproductive.  Housetraining is one behavior that is most responsive to positive rewards.  If your puppy has eliminated in the house, remove the stain and odor with commercial enzyme products.  If you do not remove residual odors, the pup will often return again to that same spot.

Crate Training

It is difficult to raise a puppy in our modern urban society, though it can be made easier by crate training.  A crate is a small fiberglass or metal enclosure which allows a little doxie to comfortably stand up, turn around and lie down.  Most people use durable fiberglass airline crates.  When you purchase, remember to buy a crate that will fit your dog as a fully-grown adult.

A crate is psychologically comforting for a young puppy as they grow into mature dogs.  As direct descendants of wolves, they carry in their genetic instincts a desire to seek secure, enclosed spaces.  The benefits of crate training include:

  • Your dog will be housebroken more easily in a short time.
    • Your dog will be more comfortable when he needs to be confined at a veterinary clinic, boarding kennel or grooming shop.
      • Dogs may go through destructive phases; crating will prevent this destruction.
        • When animals are isolated for a short period of time prior to training, there will be a great tendency for them to relate well to you.  Training will then be far easier.

        It is recommended that young puppies be confined to a crate the first few months of life when you are not interacting with them.  Your puppy will be more comfortable if you feed him and give him toys or treats inside his crate.  And always remember that pups have to eliminate fairly often, at least every 3-4 hours.  When you get up in the morning or come home during the day, immediately carry your little doxie to the place where you want him to eliminate in the yard.  Reward him immediately with soft pats or treats.  Most puppies will housebreak in 3-4 days provided you continue consistent crate training.

        When crate training adult dogs, feed him only in an enclosed crate.  Choose special toys and treats that your dog loves and give them to him only in the crate space.  Never use a crate for punishment.  Dogs learn to love their crates and will often seek them out during the day.  Crate training can be one of the most important things you do in the training of your puppy or adult dog.