Miniature Dachshund: a pocket full of fun!
Today we are hearing from Nina, who is telling us all about Fudge. The Dachshund is another dog in the Hound Group, but one in a different league altogether from the Greyhound! Originating in Germany where he is known as the Teckel (badger dog) the Dachshund is still used for both tracking wounded game such as deer and for going to ground after badger or rabbits. In the UK there are two sizes, with miniatures preferably weighing under 5 kilograms.
There are three coat types in each variety: the Smooth haired, the Long haired and the Wirehaired and the six varieties all share the same breed standard, divided by size and coat.
“I always knew I wanted a Miniature Dachshund from when I was very young. I just thought they were adorable and so I had my heart set on getting one.”
Nina says they bought Fudge from a family who were unable to cope with him and who advised that he was not getting along with their female Dachshund at the time. [Note from a breeder: please return your puppy to the breeder if this happens? Good breeders will ALWAYS take their pups back] Fudge was 4 months old when Nina got him.
Nina had researched Dachshunds heavily before deciding to get one. All the information suggested that they are a very stubborn breed who are difficult to train!
“Whilst his stubbornness does show through on occasion, he has been an absolute dream to train and is an incredibly fast learner! This does mean though that he is also very quick to pick up bad behaviour, so you need to be vigilant and consistent with any form of training. This is tough and frustrating when you know he knows how to action the command, but he simply chooses not to!”
Nina says she has also had to train her partner, as he has not owned a dog previously. He has had to be taught to remain consistent with his commands to Fudge! Nina feels that Fudge learns more quickly than any of her family’s other dogs.
When he first arrived, Fudge did exhibit some of the typical separation anxiety issues that had been talked about with his breed. As Nina and her partner both work full time, this was hard to deal with at first. Nina works close to home, so she went home at lunchtimes to feed him and keep him company.
“With some training, an Adaptil plugin, and some soothing “doggy sleep music” we managed over a matter of weeks to reassure him that we would be coming home and there was no need to bark and howl at the top of his voice whenever we left the room! This also worked well for bedtimes when Fudge was left downstairs to sleep. Since this, he now goes to bed on command without any fuss and doesn’t whine when we leave the house.”
Fudge enjoys showing off and was a clear front runner in his puppy training class. He seemed to know instinctively what to do; where other dogs were still learning after 7 weeks Fudge had mastered it after a couple of examples in class.
A Miniature Dachshund is very lovable and loves to be around people. Fudge gets on well with babies, toddlers and other animals and so is very friendly and not shy at all.
“It is true what they say about them having a big personality for a little dog.”
Unfortunately, Miniature Dachshunds are described as ‘Velcro dogs’ because they want to be around you ALL THE TIME. This was true of Fudge initially as he was reluctant to use the garden for toileting unless Nina or her partner were out there with him! With some tough training on his separation anxiety (including tough love when he was howling the place down at night), he quickly out-grew this phase. However, it is very important not to pander to them when they do this as they are so quick to learn!
Because they crave attention, the Miniature Dachshund is hard to stop from doing something, because any action you take provides attention. The best tactic is to ignore the undesirable behaviour and distract them away with something else.
Breed health issues with the Miniature Dachshund can include eyesight (PRA- Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and also problems with their backs, due to their shape and size.
The back problem is IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) which may result in future surgery. Because of the shape of the dog, it is best not to let them jump on and off of furniture and up and down stairs. Nina says this is easier said than done! She monitors Fudge’s weight closely, since this can put excess strain on their spines. Delaying neutering can also help to reduce the likelihood of them suffering IVDD in future.
“Fudge has had a bit of dry flaky skin. We were recommended to use Yumega Oil, which is added to his breakfast. After a matter of days, this has made him flake free.”
Little legs, but plenty of exercise
At the moment Fudge doesn’t walk far as he is still young. An adult Miniature Dachshund should have around 45-60 minutes of exercise a day (a mix of on lead and free running). I regularly see one up in the woods and it can clearly cover the distance. Nina says that Fudge prefers fields to built-up areas.
Nina has found that he needs regular, short training sessions to keep reminding him what he has learnt.
As the Miniature Dachshund was bred to hunt badgers, they can dig the garden, so watch out! They can also slip under a hedge; be aware of this!
Nina says that Fudge does have something of a ‘doggy’ smell, so she has a daily spritz spray to keep his skin moisturised and to keep him smelling fresh. He doesn’t like being groomed, but doesn’t need much as he has a short, sleek coat.
Overall, Nina highly recommends her breed. She says he has converted even the least likely dog lovers in the family and beyond. They suit just about any home due to their size and friendliness. Thank you Nina for such a great insight xx
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