I'm searching for the perfect dog. Of course, "perfect" is in the eye of the beholder. That can be seen on any given day at Petland Naperville, where they can have up to 100 (or more!) different puppies for sale. This gives me a great place to observe many different breeds of dogs in one setting. Today I watched a Dachshund. I decided to speak with a Pet Counselor about this puppy. She told me that the Dachshund was a dog loved by all.
The Dachshund is affectionately known as a wiener dog. They have short little legs and long bodies. This was convenient, because they were used to hunt animals that burrowed in the ground. The Dachshund is a scent hound. Historically, they used to hunt badgers (in fact, the name Dachshund means "badger dog" in German. There is a cute side-effect of their breeding---Dachshunds like to "burrow" inside blankets!
Dachshunds are playful dogs, and are usually friendly toward family members. They can be aggressive towards strangers as well as other family pets. The Pet Counselor at Petland Naperville told me that because they are hunting dogs by nature, they will not only chase tennis balls but also birds and small animals. If left unattended, they can damage or destroy things around your house. The solution to this problem? A proper-sized kennel for the Dachshund to call home is the perfect answer for both you and your Dachshund.
I knew that there were short-haired Dachshunds and long-haired Dachshunds, but today I learned that there is a 3rd variety---a wire-haired Dachshund. The Pet Counselor at Petland Naperville explained to me that this hair variety is the rarest type of hair. Because of their long ears, Dachshunds can get ear infections. While not the end of the world, this may require ear medicine. If your dog starts shaking its head a lot or scratching its ears, you might need a trip to the vet. To help prevent infections, you must really dry a Dachshund's ears well after bath time and any other time when your Dachshund plays in water. It's also a good idea to brush your Dachshund's coat regularly.
Dachshunds are stockier than you would think. Believe it or not, the Pet Counselor at Petland Naperville told me that Dachshunds should weigh between 16 and 32 pounds when full-grown! Smaller dogs have been bred that weigh less than 10 pounds, however. Also, because of their long spinal column and short ribcage, Dachshunds can have spinal problems. You have to be careful of your dog jumping off of things, playing rough, and especially becoming obese. This can cause back problems and other health issues, and these are easily avoided with proper nutrition and avoiding overeating. A Pet Counselor can get you started on the right food for your Dachshund.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with a Dachshund. I love the fact that it is very interactive and good with people. I absolutely love that they can come in many color combinations, including dappled (also called merle). I recommend the Dachshund to anyone with a family, and you can find beautiful examples of this breed at Petland Naperville.