Questions to ask before adopting a dachshund
Feeling an attraction for a particular dog breed is not enough to make a good decision. Each breed of dog has certain requirements for them to successfully work out in any home environment. Dachshunds are no different.
Can you afford a dachshund?
Having a dog as a pet is time-consuming proposition and lasts for the life of the dog. A prospective pet owner must examine their conscience as to why they want to have a pet in the house. Do you have the time and financial resources to adequately take care of that investment for the life of the pet?
Every year a dog will put you to considerable expense for food, equipment and accessories, vet bills, licenses, and perhaps additional liability insurance. It's important that you can afford these expenses. There is no such thing as a cheap dog, even one you get from the local humane society.
Can you provide constant supervision?
A dachshund may live to be 10 to 15 years. They will require at least two hours of attention a day for their entire life time. That's over 8000 hours you and your family will be spending just caring for your pet.
Dachshunds don't like to be left alone for periods longer than 4 hours. Puppies, like small children, require constant supervision. If you travel, and you can't take the dog with you, you'll need to make arrangements for caring for the dog.
Do your living arrangements allow for a small pet?
Make sure your living arrangements allow for a dog. This must be determined before you even begin searching for a 4-legged partner. If you live in an apartment, get permission from the landlord in writing first.
Are there hidden allergies to dogs?
Does anyone in the family have allergies to dogs. If in doubt, consult a doctor first. Some people have an allergic reaction to dog dander that causes eye watering. Make sure no one in the household has any of these allergies before bringing home a dachshund.
Do you have small children?
While dachshunds are definitely family dogs, there are sometimes jealousies involved when you add small children.
Dachshunds sometimes see these little guys as competition and may react negatively to the children. Small children also crawl around on the floor and are more likely to come face-to-face with your dog. Depending on the temperament of your dachshund, this could be a threat to them and they may strike out at the child unexpectedly.
These questions are meant to be deterrents for anyone seeking a dog. While a dog can be a valuable asset to almost any family, if that asset quickly turns into a liability for the owners, it is the dog that suffers. Being part of a dachshund rescue organization, we're all too aware of the consequences to the animals from people that didn't ask themselves if they could handle these responsibilities before taking home a cute little puppy.
Typically, a family with high hopes decides to add a dachshund to the family without considering all the consequences. In time, the dog becomes a chore that gets put off. Without adequate care the dog tries to draw attention by chewing on things they shouldn't be chewing, or soiling the living room carpet.
Disgusted with this bad dog behavior, the owners put the dog outside until it learns to behave. Then out-of-site, out-of-mind and the dog's condition deteriorates even further. Finally, if the dog is lucky, a neighbor may take notice and inform the humane society and they may take action. Or, the family may finally realize they made a mistake and drop off the dog in a state of near starvation. By then the dog has developed some many undesirable traits. It may even be afraid of people and these once cute little critters are now cowering biters that may not survive the ordeal.
If they do survive their initial encounter with the humane society, they may have to go through months, if not years, of rehabilitation with a caring and loving family.
Make sure you are prepared to handle ALL the necessary needs of having a dog in the house. Never, ever, just bring home a dog when you never intended to bring home a dog when you left the house.
Should you get a puppy or an adult dog?
The answer depends. If you're acquiring a dog from a registered breeder, then a puppy is a good choice. If the puppy is of unknown origin, then an adult dog would be better.
For training purposes, the puppy is probably better. An adult dog may already have learned or been taught some bad habits that may be difficult to overcome. Adult dogs may have been abused making training extremely difficult, but not impossible.
If you're going to buy a puppy, make sure of the puppy's background and the breeding circumstances.
Never buy a puppy from a pet store. Puppy mills usually supply all of the puppies to pet stores. Puppy mills are to be avoided at all costs and you will need to do some detective work to make sure that the kindly stranger you met from an online or local newspaper ad is not a puppy mill owner. You can't just ask someone if they're really a puppy mill in disguise. No one would admit to that.
How do you identify and find a reputable breeder? First, know that good breeders breed not just to make money—they won't sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand. Unsuspecting people buy puppies from breeders (or neighbors) who breed their dog to make a little money or simply because they have a dog "with papers." Too often, the result is puppies in poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered until years later. Unfortunately, these new-pet families often end up heartbroken, with a dog who has genetic health problems or develops significant behavior problems due to a lack of early socialization. In some cases, these problems can cost thousands of dollars to treat.
You can find reputable breeders by asking for referrals from your veterinarian or trusted friends, by contacting local breed clubs, or visiting dog shows. Remember, a reputable breeder will never sell her dogs through a pet store or in any other way that does not allow her to thoroughly meet with and interview you to ensure that the puppy is a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible lifelong home.
Please don't ever buy a dog without personally visiting where he or she was born and raised. Take the time now to find the right breeder and you'll thank yourself for the rest of your dog's life.
At what age should you get a puppy?
Ideally, when you take home your puppy it should be about 8 weeks old. However, you should have made contact with the puppy at around 6 weeks old and if possible have visited the puppy several times before you take the dog home. This will allow the puppy to get acquainted with you and familiar with you and your smells. When the time arrives to take your puppy home, the dog will make the transition away from mother and litter mates less traumatic.