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Dachshunds are the quintessential low riders of the dog world. Whether standard or miniature, whether smooth, wire-haired, or long-haired, the Dachshund personality stands out in a crowd. These lively little companions are not only playful and energetic, but also outgoing and fearless. This is because they were bred to be hunting dogs over 600 years ago by the Germans. Their name is indicative of this purpose; the word “dachshund” literally means “badger dog.” Every feature from the Dachshund’s loud bark, low and long body, and coat types supported their mission to out-badger badgers themselves.

While very intelligent, Dachshunds are also very stubborn, and so may be difficult to train. Keep in mind that Dachshunds were deliberately bred to be persistent and watchful, so don’t be surprised when your new family member refuses to stop pestering a visitor they may perceive as an intruder! Overall, Dachshunds are better suited for individuals and smaller families without young children, although socializing the Dachshund early on may help counteract their inherent suspiciousness. On a similar note, back in their badger-hunting days, Dachshunds needed to dig and tunnel to get to their prey. It may be extremely difficult to train a Dachshund not to dig so preventing them from getting an opportunity to do so may be your best bet.

While Dachshunds are often family lap dogs these days, they need regular exercise and a healthy diet not just for their overall health, but to prevent undue strain on their backs from carrying extra weight. They also require you to support their backs when holding them. Having ramps in the home for what would otherwise be riskily-high jumps (for instance, up to your bed) is recommended. Other than the aforementioned spine health concerns, Dachshunds are just as healthy as any other breed and will be happy to become your newest furry family member!

If you’re just as active and alert as the Dachshund and would like their company, you can find one via a rescue such as the Dachshund Rescue of North America or from an AKC-approved, responsible breeder. Once you find your new puppy pal be sure to call NOVA Pets Health Center at (703) 378-9791 to arrange an initial examination. Or, if you’ve had your durable Dachshund for a while now but need to switch care providers, we’ll happily see you and your furbaby! Lastly, don’t forget to check out our wellness plans that will save you money while keeping your Dachshund in badger-chasing shape!