Dachshund Breed Characteristics

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Need to Know the Wiener Dog?  Here's my Take on Their Funny Personalities.

The real name is German meaning badger dog, Dachshund.  (It is pronounced dox-hund.)

Most of the following applies to minis.  Many standard size wieners, around 40 pounds+, are pretty mellow compared to the mini Dachshunds.

Wieners have huge voices as they were bred to go in holes and flush game like badgers and wolverines out of the ground.  If they got stuck then the hunter could hear them and dig them out.  If you do not like a big voice on a little watch dog find another breed.
This also means that the dogs will dig with their bred in flipper feet up front so you need to discourage destructo dog tendancies early if you are a gardener like me.  But most are less than 15 pounds so it is easy to get the upper hand but do it early.
Never hit a dog with your hand.  Try not to hit.  It just makes the wieners mad.  Try not to yell.  It just makes them deaf.  If the dog does does "it" right, then praise and you continue to give commands the same way every time.  Only one trainer in the house per dog.  It gets too confusing.  Once the dog repsonds then teach the next person how to have them obey and then the next...
Badgers are mean animals so Dachshunds were bred to be tenacious.  They can be head strong and hard to house break if you are not the "alpha dog" in your home.  Get some help training them early please if you can not make them mind like sit, stay, lay down, etc.  There are great books out there with step-by-step instructions too or take classes before six months. 
Wieners can be trained like any dog, but it takes a bit more patience.  But once you achieve harmony meaning no dog thinks they are in charge and they do what they want at any time, only then will you have a wonderful dog. No bad dogs only very lousy dog trainers out there.

These dogs do not take abuse well because they are so small so any rough children may get bitten.  Kids like to grab them by ears or legs and that is never a good thing.  Teach the smaller kids to respect the dog and to never pick them up.  Just make that the rule, no dogs in the kid's arms, and then the dog won't hide under stuff when the rowdy kid is in the room. 
Small kids can cripple these dogs quite easily if not watched.  These dogs are not really biters unless they are abused so watch the kids and rough visitors.  People just love to maul these dogs for some reason.  (OK, they are just too cute.)


Do not force these dogs.  You can scare them, but mostly you just make them disobey completely.  They are a sensitive breed and can't stand being embarassed by you.  Example, a puppy makes a mistake in the house.  You tell them that you "are very disappointed" in a stern voice, but no yelling.  Then move the dog outside.  When they do a great job praise them in a very happy, high-pitched voice.  Pretty soon they will avoid that stern voice at all costs. 
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Do not overfeed your dog no matter how persistent.  If they weigh 15 pounds or less they only need 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food a day.  Otherwise it will lead to serious back problems with their long back.  If your dog is extremely active then feed them more.  But if you can't see their ribs when they turn of feel them when you gently run your fingers along their side then you are overfeeding.  Cut back 1/4 cup of food at a time until they reach a healthy weight.  Still can't figure it out?  Ask your vet.  Back problems from overfeeding them is their number one health problem.  Be the good owner and do not give them free range of their food dish all day long after about a year old.  They will be round hounds in no time if you do. 
Any treats now mean you will have a persistent begger for life.  They never give up asking for handouts.  If you do want to give treats stick to vegatables like carrots or dry dog bones.  Some exotic foods upset their stomachs. 
Some dogs get bad teeth.  I avoid costly many vet cleaning charges by finding raw, frozen beef soup bones and letting the dogs chew on those every other week.  (Frozen means there is less mess.)  It keeps their teeth somewhat clean in the wild so it works for my rotten dogs too.  I still have to take them to the vet, but not as often just for teeth cleaning.  I also give them carrots and other veggies too.  They are scavengers in real life so I let them "find" healthy, chewy veggies.  My dogs just love green apples.

We hope you have as much fun with your dogs!

Wieners think they are 150 pounds and take their hunting job seriously so if you keep pet rabbits. mice, birds, etc., keep them far away from your new hunter.  Any fluffy, cute animal that squeaks will be instantly killed if it is located a few feet off the ground.  But wieners make great barn dogs and kill mice better than any outdoor cat alive. 

Wieners are an easy to care for breed with almost no grooming.  I put them all in the tub together once a month when it needs a really good scouring when I am through.  If they spend more time outside in the summer I do not wash them as much as it really isn't all that great for their skin. 
I avoid dog shampoos and only use very mild shampoos like Suave for dry hair.  I also use conditioner; it helps their skin to not dry out.  We do not get fleas here a lot, but when I am in flea country I give them baths in Suave dandruff shampoo for dry hair.  The hateful fleas float very nicely and again it is not an expensive solution to an icky problem.
Wieners are not a couch pillows.  They need lots of input from you and preferably from toys and bones they can destroy.  They will be the center of attention just like any good house cat. 
These cute little critters are fiercely loyal, great watch dogs and can not be ignored like some breeds. 
If you have other dogs your wiener will rule your home. Size is not an issue.
Sometimes wieners follow their noses like bird dogs and have selective hearing like most men, the farther away or more toys involved, the more deaf.
Do this suggestion early (meaning before four months old), call you dog once and do not stand there like a goober yelling at a dog that that goes deaf after 20 feet. 
Solution: Get a fishing pole with a heavy, clear line.  Attach to a firmly to a snug collar.  Let the dog wander away and then call them once.  If they do not respond then reel them in like a fish.  Start at shorter distances and work your way to the end of the line.  
Each time you reel them back they will think you are God because you can make them obey even when you are around the corner of the house or out of sight.  Only call them once.  Give them enough time to respond and then start reeling them in saying nothing. 
Hide the pole behind your back - some dogs are too smart and know they only have to come when you have the pole.  Once they are at your feet, praise them and let them wander again.  Do this at greater distances until your dog always comes when called.  Try it. It works
I have had mini dachshunds for almost 35 years and will always have these independent, happy dogs in my life.  They are the "perfect" dog.
Any other questions about the breed characteristics?  Contact me on the Contact Us page.
Margo, DRNW Founder
Copyright mdmossburg 2003.
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