Understanding Dachshunds

Thousands of years of domestication produced a variety of dog breeds as far as their appearance and nature are concerned. However, a dog's behavior still has much in common with their original ancestor the wolf which is a predatory animal.

Dogs are extremely territorial

Like the wolf, dogs are naturally pack animals, with strong hunting abilities. This means the dog only feels comfortable in a community.

TemperamentThe dog's community can be in the company of other dogs or with humans, because humans exhibit some same characteristics that dogs can understand. That is, humans have natural leadership abilities, provides food and shelter for the rest of the pack and will protect the pack. This doesn't mean that humans are on the same level as dogs, but that dogs can understand and appreciate the level of humans and accepts the family as their pack.

Dachshunds are like most other dogs

Dachshunds are no different than other dogs as they relate to the pack structure. Unlike some dog breeds, the dachshund is always trying to improve its standing in the pack order. Given the chance, the dachshund will put itself at the top of the pack if the owner doesn't show that they are clearly the pack leader. Keep this in mind as your dachshund tries to take your seat, grab your food if given the opportunity, or takes over your bed.

Dachshund

How dachshunds talk with each other

Dogs use two types of language to communicate with their pack buddies: articulate language utterances and body language.

Unless you're very observant of your dog, you'll probably miss much of their natural efforts at communication. These communication efforts include:

Marking

In general male dogs are the usual ones to communicate with this method, but some females will also use it. Marking is when the dog urinates on a particular spot (usually something elevated to a certain degree, compared to regular urination on a flat surface). This is an attempt to mask the scent of another dog and as a warning to other dogs that this territory is taken, move on. When a dog becomes agitated or fearful of something they don't understand, they will mark their territory as a precaution.

Sniffing

SniffingHumans use our eyes and ears to orient ourselves to our environment. Dogs get their information from scents. The dogs olfactory capabilities are vastly superior to humans.

When 2 dogs meet for the first time, they begin by approaching each other with muzzles thrust forward until their noses almost touch. They sniff each other at length. During this initial contact they determine if the smell is good or bad and whether their relationship will be friendly or not.

After the nose to nose contact, they make anal contact. This is a completely natural activity. because the glands located under the tail provide the dog with important information. To help your dog develop a healthy relationship, give your dog an opportunity to get acquainted with other dogs, especially when your dog is young.

Invigorated rolling

RollingEver notice that your dog always seems to find the smelliest stuff in the yard to roll in? The reason they do this is not to aggravate you, but to mask their own scent. Remember dogs are natural hunters and they want to hide their own natural smell from potential prey. Take a look see sometime at any hunting catalog at all the scents that human hunters can buy to mask their own scent. Same thing for the dog, except they don't have any mail order catalogs, just the rankest stuff they can find in the back yard.

Burying

While we can't be absolutely certain on this one, it is generally accepted that in prehistoric times, dogs would create caches of food to see them through the lean times. This is probably a carry over from that even though their chew toy they just buried isn't really food, but it's the same principle: they're saving something of theirs for future use where no one else can get to it.

Articulate language

Dogs have a variety of vocalized communications they use to get their point across either to other dogs or humans.

  • Barking has a range of expression from contented, enraged, melancholy, even teasing. Depending on the situation a dogs bark can express pleasure or warning.

  • Growling should definitely be considered as a warning. Growling is also associated with teeth baring and hair bristling.

  • Yelping is associated with distress such as pain or fear.

  • Howling can be associated with loneliness or in response to certain noises (sirens, some music, etc) that could possibly make the dog think that another dog is howling and they're replying in kind to the howl. Most dogs howl less than their wolf relatives, but most dogs bark more than wolves.

  • Whimpering and whining is associated with puppy language that indicates it has some need that needs to be addressed.