The Dachshund is a small sized, long-bodied hound type of dog. This breed features a toned body with short legs and large paws. Dachshunds come in a wide variety of colours and patterns: although they are mostly single coloured they can sometimes be double-draped. The Dachshund may be short (smooth), long or wire-haired. Generally, the eyes of a Dachshund can be light brown or green in colour. A full-grown standard Dachshund averages 16-32 lb (7-14 kg), while the miniature variety normally weighs less than 12 lb (5.5 kg).
Dachshunds are generally subject to little health problems provided that they are kept well exercised and fed a healthy, balanced diet. On average, this type of dog lives a little over 12 years old. However, because they are a dwarf breed there is an increased risk of back issues which can be best avoided by keeping your Dachshund fit and not overweight, or preventing it from running up and down stairs which can put extra stress on the back. As always, be sure to ask the breeder about any congenital problems affecting the parents.
As mentioned, Dachshunds come in different sizes. Ask your vet for advice on a balanced diet that is appropriate to your pet's age and dimensions and research online for guidance on how much you should feed it. Dachshunds have a tendency to gain excess weight so make sure you are following the recommended amounts for their calorie intake.
All puppies need to complete their first set of vaccinations before being allowed outside and interact with other dogs. So, a young puppy won't need any particular physical exercise. Playing in the garden or inside the house with you will be sufficient. Remember, a young puppy needs plenty of sleep, so allow it to rest and take nap whenever it feels like it.
The Dachshund is one of the easiest dog breeds to take care in relation to grooming. Short-haired Dachshunds need less brushing than long or wire-haired types which may go subject to a matted fur. Any matt should be cut off to prevent further tangling. Bathing your Dachshund every few weeks will help keep a silky coat; keep in mind that a long-haired Dachshund should be blowdried, if possible. When brushing your pet, always so in the direction of the hair growth. Exercising your dog and taking it for walks will help keep its nails trimmed, otherwise you may need to clip them yourself or take your pet to a professional groomer.
The socialisation of your dog is a very important part of its upbringing. Spending quality time with your Dachshund will help strengthen the bond between you so that it grows up feeling comfortable and being friendly. Socialisation is a key factor in any dog as it helps it face a variety of situations such as meeting strangers, children and other pets. The Dachshund is a stubborn and intelligent breed that was originally used to chase rabbits on a "solo mission". Therefore, you'll need to teach your pet to accept you entering its personal space and not being possessive of toys or food. A soft dog kennel or crate are good options to train your Dachshund to feel comfortable when left on its own.
Dachshunds are sensitive and intelligent dogs so it is essential they learn the rules and what is expected of them. Use a reward based, positive kind of training and avoid shouting or punishing your dog to avoid raising it in fear. As this breed can be quite stubborn, don't rush into training and don't expect your Dachshund to immediately follow your commands.
Appropriate vet checkups are important to ensure your dog is healthy. While your Dachshund is still young take into the vet every month or so. This will also help with its socialisation. Remember, a pet is a living being and great responsibility so it needs your time and attention to live a happy and healthy life as your best friend.