The dachshund or “wiener dog” is a small dog that makes a wonderful pet. These active and friendly dogs enjoy being a party of the family. Here’s how to select a dachshund:
- Understand their temperament. A dachshund will get lonely fast if left by itself, and prefers to be with the family where it can receive plenty of attention. If you are gone all day, a dachshund may not be the right breed of dog for you. Dachshunds do not require a backyard, but do need a daily walk. They are usually friendly with adults and other pets, but may not be the best choice with young children. Dachshunds don’t usually make good watchdogs, but they do love to bark loudly.
- Consider your options. If you’re not set on a purebred dachshund with papers, consider rescuing a dog from the humane society. Another choice is a breed-specific rescue, which only accepts dogs of a specific breed. If you’re set on a purebred dog, or want to show your dog, then look into dachshund breeders, but know that it’s much more expensive to select a dachshund from a breeder.
- Research breeders. If you opt to select a dachshund from a breeder, contact dog-related organizations to find out which dachshund breeders are considered reputable. A purebred dachshund can often cost more than a thousand dollars, and too many unscrupulous breeders are only in it for the money. Look for affiliation with a breed club and references from owners of their puppies from previous litters.
- Decide what kind of dachshund you want. The breed comes in two sizes, standard and miniature. Standards grow to between 14 and 18 inches and should weigh 18 to 20 pounds. Miniature dachshunds will be about 14 inches, and 10 or 11 pounds. There are three coat types (smooth, wire-haired, and long-haired). The coat may come in a variety of colors.
- Ask about the dog’s health. Make sure the breeder you choose carefully selects breeding pairs based on their health. Dachshunds are prone to certain health conditions like obesity, heart disease, and spinal disc problems sometimes known as Dachshund paralysis; ask about the health screening the breeder has done. Poorly bred dogs are more susceptible to these issues, which are mainly hereditary.
- Inspect the dachshund physically. The dog’s body should be solid, muscular, and lying low to the ground. Particularly when inspecting an adult dachshund, look for weight issues, as the breed is prone to obesity if their food intake is not watched. Those with a dappled coat are prone to deafness and blindness, so they are rarely found with reputable breeders. If a breeder has a litter of dappled dachshunds, be wary.
Dachshunds make fun and loving pets, but if you want your dog to be free of health issues, it’s important that you select a dachshund from a rescue or from a reputable breeder. Once you get your dachshund home, proper care can ensure that your dog has a long life with you.