Hotdog. Wiener dog. Sausage dog. To be sure, there is no other dog with quite as many nicknames as the Dachshund. The names arise from the Dachshund dogs’ unique shape – long body, short, crooked legs – the very same shape that endears them to their owners and dog lovers in general.
However, despite its somewhat comical appearance and even more comical, if a bit disparaging names, Dachshunds were once noble hunting dogs used to hunt badger.
It is not clear where the Dachshund originates from. But there is a theory that the breed may date back to Ancient Egypt. Indeed, many hieroglyphics prominently feature the Dachshund as a companion dog during hunting.
Another account states that the breed is actually a creation of European Dachshund breeders who combined elements of German, French and English hounds and terriers to produce the modern, long-bodied, short-legged Dachshund.
The breed was a particular favorite among members of royalty and was kept in many a royal court all over Europe. Queen Victoria of England had several Dachshund in many of her castles.
Caring For It
The Dachshund is a sturdy dog so there is little to worry about other than the ailments that commonly beset dogs. To keep the dog healthy, there are a few basic rules to remember:
• Vaccination – This is an important step to maintain your dachshund’s health. Do it the first time you get your dog, and then yearly afterwards to boost its immunity to diseases.
• High-grade Food– Dachshunds need vitamins and nutrients to keep their body strong and healthy. Be sure to use only high quality product fortified with vitamins and minerals to feed your dog. However, avoid over-feeding your Dachshund dog as the breed gains weight very rapidly. This is especially true among adult Dachshunds whose metabolism has already slowed down due to age.
For puppies, begin by mixing small portions of the food that was given by the breeder or previous owner with nutrient-balanced food. This is done because any sudden changes in the dog’s diet may cause digestive problems.
• Socialize – Your Dachshund is a social creature that needs constant attention from its master and the people around it. However, because the breed possesses a spritely temperament, it irritates very easily. Make certain that your Dachshund is already used to having people and other pets around them before you expose them with your friends, members of the family, and especially small children.
• Housing – Before you get a Dachshund it is important that you first decide whether you want to keep the dog inside the house or not. This all depends on your personal situation. With the Dachshund high energy, it might be difficult to keep him within the confines of your house, especially if you have a small space. Your large backyard might be more appropriate. On the other hand, you can also choose to keep your dog inside the house. Just be sure to choose a place or corner where you can house your pet without it getting in the way of the general traffic in your home.
• Training – The Dachshund has a willful personality. Although an intelligent breed, their stubbornness can make it difficult for you to train them. It takes perseverance and lots of patience to train a Dachshund. If you want some results, let the dog know who is in charge.
• Exercise– The breed has lots of energy, which must be channeled properly. Exercise your dog by taking him out for a walk on a regular basis. However, when you let your dog out, be sure not to let him jump or leap up. The Dachshund’s long spine makes the breed particularly susceptible to spinal cord injury.
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