Dogs are widely acclaimed animals that were tamed to adjust and live together with humans. There are many breeds of dogs that quite popular and people keep them as pets. One such adored pet dog breed is the dachshund. Dachshund, literally meaning badger dog, is a word derived from 'Dachs' meaning 'badger' and 'Hund' meaning 'dog'. Originally from Germany, the dachshund, which is pronounced as daksunt, is a small dog breed with an elongated body and short legs. It belongs to the hound family.
Facts about Dachshunds
Dachshunds are an intelligent breed of dog that are popular for their hunting capability. Apart from this they also make a lovable pet owing to their friendly and docile nature, making them a favorite among kids.
The history of dachshunds dates back to the seventeenth century in Germany. But according to a popular belief a dachshund-like breed was found in ancient Egypt, the evidence of which can be seen in the stone carvings and hieroglyphics. Created by the German breeders, it is a mixture of English, French and German hounds and terriers. They were specially bred to hunt badgers, rabbits and other small animals that lived in burrows. Smaller species of dogs (sometimes referred to as miniature dachshunds), rather having characteristics of terriers, have been known to hunt down foxes, hares, otters, stoats, etc. This dog is a traditional symbol of Germany and makes its appearance in a caricatures. Though used as an image of ridicule in the yesteryear, this breed rose to fame with the passage of time. The dog (named Waldi) was used as a lucky mascot for the Summer Olympics, held at Munich in the year 1972.
General Characteristics of Dachshunds
Dachshunds are known to be lovable animals and make great pets but they can also be temperamental and irritable at times. There are three types of this dog breed - Standard, reaching an average height of 14-18 inches and weighing about 20 pounds; Rabbit or Toy that grows up to only 12 inches and weighs 8 pounds and Dwarf or Miniature, which reaches an average height of 14 inches and weight of 9 pounds, is the smaller version of the Standard Dachshund. They have the same body conformation as the Standard breed. Miniatures were mostly bred to hunt badgers and due to their elongated bodies, they can easily pursue their victims into the holes.
Dachshunds are of three different types, and are classified depending upon the length of their hair, as, the short-haired, the wired-haired and the long-haired dachshunds. Though they are short, they have a long, muscular body with short legs. Their bodies are shaped in such a way that they can easily go into burrows to hunt their prey. Their coats come in a wide variety of colors. Solid colors like black, red (from strawberry blond to deep auburn), chocolate-brown, tan or fawn (isabella), creme blond (from golden blond to platinum) and grayish blue. There are also bi-colored dachshunds that may be black and tan, black and creme, chocolate and tan, chocolate and crème, blue and tan or blue and crème. They also have different coat patterns which include brindle, sable, dapple, etc. Miniatures can also be classified into three different types, depending upon the length of the hair, as, smooth-haired, wire-haired and long-haired. The dog should be groomed regularly depending on the type of coat. They come in different colors, the most common being black, tan, red or that of the wild boar. There are also some unusual colors like chocolate, wheaten, blue and cream.
Nature and Temperament of Dachshunds
Dachshunds are a lively and affectionate breed and are ideal as pets. They are lovable, friendly and devoted. These dogs are sociable and love to be in the company of their owners. They are well-known for their obedience, but can also get hard-headed at times. As they are not comfortable with other canines, they can get jealous and aggressive. They make good watchdogs and can keep strangers at bay. Regarding dachshunds for kids, it is recommended that families having very young kids should avoid having this breed as pets. These dogs are a bit aloof in nature and can get irritated at kids who tease them but they can get along well with older, gentler kids or with kids who can handle them. Dachshunds are a sensitive breed in their disposition, hence they must be kept away from naughty, boisterous kids as the dog can be roughly handled.
Diet and Nutrition
Diet is an important factor when it comes to your pet's health. Your dog's diet can include commercial dog food or a homemade ration. It can even consist if a balance of both, in appropriate proportions. A dog needs all the vital nutrients for its body in order to maintain optimal health, energy levels and overall well-being in general. There are several commercial dog food brands that are available in the market, from which you can choose the appropriate one for your dachshund. Puppies need more food than the adult dogs, since they grow faster. Hence their diet should consist of bone meal, meat and foods based on corn and soybeans. Make sure that the food you give fulfills all the requirements of your pet in terms of bone, dental and muscle health.
Exercise for Fitness
Dachshunds can get a bit lazy so they need to be exercised regularly. The best way to exercise them is to walk them around for about half-an-hour, be in the park or streets. Make them run around and play by directing them to chase a ball or even you (in a playful manner, of course). They love to hunt a false prey or to fetch a ball or stick. So introducing them to such games can ensure that they are well exercised. The miniature breed loves to run. So taking them for a long jog in the mornings and evenings can keep them healthy.
Grooming for Hygiene and Prevention of Diseases
Dachshunds need very little care when it comes to grooming your pet. Grooming the dog depends on the variety you own. Proper care should be given to the coat. Brushing a dog having short hair once a week with a rubber brush can give its coat glossy look. Dogs having wired or long hair need proper care and daily brushing as long hair tends to get entangled easily. The coat must also be checked for fleas and mites. Proper grooming enhances the health and look of this dog breed. They must be bathed regularly and special attention must be given to their eyes, ears and teeth. The ears must be kept moisture free in order to prevent fungal growth. Nails should be trimmed once a week.
Dachshunds can easily become overweight and are prone to obesity. They can suffer from cataracts, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. They should be taken to the vet regularly for an overall check-up. Though these dogs can live up to an average of ten years, they also tend to suffer from various dog health problems like heart diseases, urinary tract infection, diabetes, various types of skin diseases and back problems. Following a proper care regimen will ensure that your pet is not suffering from any illness or disease.
For a dog lover, dachshunds would be a good choice as they are adorable pets and need less maintenance. You can choose a unique name to address your pet and create a separate identity for him.