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Thinking About Rescuing a Dachshund? Things You Might Want to Know

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I am the proud owner of a Dachshund and love giving advice to other owners.

Sebastian in his sock monkey bed.

Sebastian in his sock monkey bed.

Doxies Are Irresistibly Cute

I’m not really sure why I decided to adopt a dachshund. I never had one before. They are irresistibly cute, right? I searched on Pet Finder online. I looked at dozens of potential adoptees, reading all of the profile information. It sounded like they all have such a wonderful temperament. Profile after profile remarked on what cuddle bunnies they all are, and how they just can’t get close enough to you.

I think all those wonderful things are true, but I should have read that Dachshunds for Dummies book before I got so headstrong about rescuing a dachshund. I could have done more research, and maybe I would have known that doxies are in the top five of dog breeds that bite. Even better, maybe I would have learned how prevalent back issues are, even if “you do everything right.”

So I am in the beginner phase of “all things dachshund," but have already learned some important lessons. Some of the things I learned before I adopted my doxie, and some things since.

What, You Can See Me?!

What, You Can See Me?!

They Are Burrowers and Diggers

Dachshunds were bred as badger hounds. They would thrust themselves into tunnel holes in the ground to flush out badgers.

Most dachshund owners will tell you that their doxie likes to burrow under covers. Mine likes to burrow under pillows as well. He likes a bed with a pillow, then another pillow and blanket on top so he can burrow between the two pillows. I bought him a cave bed, and he didn’t touch it for maybe 10 months. I was ready to give it away but put it next to my feet on the couch one day, and he just crawled in. Now he loves it and doesn’t come out for hours. I would say the burrowing is a pretty endearing trait.

Dachshunds also have a reputation as diggers, which would not be so endearing. Before I brought Sebastian home, I hired a friend to put up chicken wire around my fence so he could not dig under. You just dig a six to ten-inch trench right next to the fence line. Then bury the chicken wire, covering it over as you go, and staple the remaining to the fence. I think I got 24” wide chicken wire.

For Sebastian, it seems the chicken wire was not necessary. I’ve seen him scratch in the dirt from time to time, but he’s never done any serious digging.

Dachshunds Are Frequent Biters

Dogs like Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and Dobermans have a reputation as potentially aggressive breeds, who may attack and cause serious injury or even death. In terms of biting, however, the small dogs lead the pack, like dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Jack Russell terriers.

My dachshund Sebastian is a biter. In the first 18 months or so that we had him, he bit my brother, sister, and me a couple of times each. I was blaming it on his status as a rescue, assuming he had been mistreated. My veterinarian however told me about an interesting study on foxes published in National Geographic. This study concluded aggressive vs docile traits are likely inherent in many animals, and not learned. This is not to say that an animal can’t be trained to be aggressive, but that some may be aggressive vs docile despite their environment or upbringing.

Sebastian has not bitten anyone in a while, but I am the only one that can pick him up, and he has to be heavily sedated for all veterinary care. If you have a biter, get yourself some Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. It will prevent infection and bring redness and swelling down quickly.

Dachshund overbite. My, what beautiful toofs you have!

Dachshund overbite. My, what beautiful toofs you have!

Dachshunds Have an Increased Incidence of Overbite

Dachshunds have a higher incidence of overbite when compared to the general population of dogs.

Sebastian has a very large overbite, and he was no doubt used for breeding because of his beautiful chocolate dapple coat. But he should not have been used for breeding because of his huge overbite.

Breeding a dog like Sebastian can result in puppies with such a small lower jaw that they may not be able to feed adequately. Worse, they can have breathing difficulty, to the point they may not survive.

Sebastian has an incredibly cold nose, which I believe is related to not having a jaw below to aid in warming. Thankfully he has no chewing and feeding problems. He can go through a bully stick over twice as fast as our spaniel, who is much bigger.

Sebastian sunning himself on his ramp

Sebastian sunning himself on his ramp

They Have a Stubborn, Independent Nature

Before rescuing my dachshund, I did some research. I saw the words “stubborn” and “independent” listed on many dog breeds in the many books I collected on dogs. This seemed to have a high correlation with being difficult to house train. According to Almost Home Rescue, the independence that served dachshunds well as hunters is not only related to housebreaking difficulties, but associated with excessive barking as well.

I’d have to say guilty on both counts at our house. One of Sebastian’s favorite pastimes is going to the backyard to bark. And housebreaking? Well, let’s just say it became a necessity to have my own steam cleaner.

Sebastian recovering from surgery.  He was walking normally within 5 days.

Sebastian recovering from surgery. He was walking normally within 5 days.

Sebastian is no longer allowed on the couch.

Sebastian is no longer allowed on the couch.

They Are Vulnerable to Back Injury

I had a friend who had several dachshunds over the years. He warned me about the back issues, but I guess I didn’t think it would happen to Sebastian for some miraculous reason. Magical thinking perhaps?!

I remember meeting some buttinski veterinarian at some social gathering, who felt compelled to say “not if, but when” in regard to severe back problems when he found out I had a dachshund. I could have peed in his coffee.

I guess Sebastian had his back surgery about a year and a half after I got him, at about five years old. He became essentially paralyzed in his hind legs in a pretty short period of time. The whole shebang- MRI, surgery, and post-op care- was over $3000, and that was after my $500 military discount.

Looking back, I wonder why the All Texas Dachshund Rescue representative didn’t say anything to me about back precautions. I had to have a home visit interview before I was allowed to adopt. She was impressed with our chicken wire fence, and with our doggie steps, which we had to each of our beds for our spaniel, Hope.

We also had steps to the couch. All the steps are gone now, and regrettably, Sebastian is no longer allowed on the bed or couch. He would use the steps to go up because that was the only way he could get up. Unfortunately, however, he jumped down more often than not.

We have had to take bricks to close in our back porch, and have a ramp and less steep steps that my sister built for him. He still occasionally seems to get a little stiff and slow at times, maybe just from running like a lightning bolt. I give him conium from my naturopath, five drops, then again in three days. So far that does the trick. Fingers crossed.


bigandsmallhounds on May 24, 2015:

We've been breeding dachshunds for about 6 years, Never have mine had back problems, and the many happy homes we've placed our akc pups into, have never had issues with back problems, our oldest female which just had her last litter is 8 years old, has only had 5 litters in her whole life, her name is Saleen and she still hops up and down with no problem, We've always kept ours inside when it's cold but they love it outside. we have 4 normal steps on our porch, and one of saleen's daughters loves to climb and fit through any hole she can to get out of the yard, but Always hangs around by the gate.

our male we got in Oklahoma to prevent the possibility of our male being related to our female, sounds really far fetched but it can happen, and the last thing you want is dog cousins having oddball pups!

Love my doxies and our bassets, Never have mine ever Bitten anyone, they will let you know when a stranger, or anyone outside the yard is there like an automatic doorbell! but up in the country, you depend on your dogs for things like that and it comes with the breed.

If you adopt a dog from a shelter or the pound, your basically getting a car from craigs list, they'll tell you everything good about it, but one it's yours, you'll start to find all the fix-er-up things, but now and then, you'll luck into a real Gem. in our 6 years of breeding, I've only had 1 person bring a puppy back, and that's because his girlfriend didn't want to house train it on $3000 carpet haha.

Love the breed, and Enjoy giving people a 4 legged companion to complete or start a family. Remember, if you go looking for bad on the internet, you'll end up with posts like above that make you think every dachshund will need back surgery, this is not the case, simply a collective of the handful of people who Did have issues with theirs.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on December 29, 2013:

Thank you for this story of your dachshund. What an adventure he's been in your lives! So sorry about his back, despite all the care you had given him. It seems that despite all his imperfections, you love him very much. I have a wire haired dachshund. She doesn't really bite but will snap. However, she barks LOUD. This was voted up, as it was obviously told with so much humor, love and heart.

Margolyn from Wisconsin on November 29, 2012:

I got a Doxie from a shelter. She was 2 years old, and the shelter never told us she had diabetes. I have adopted many dogs from shelters and rescue organizations and none of them have informed the customers of the dogs health. So, many times people get the dog home, find out that it is sick and the shelters and rescues won't take them back.

My dog Weener was very sensitive about her paws. Aparently previous owners pulled or picked her up by her front legs and she limped slightly on one side and became defensive if I tried to play with her paws while she laid on her back. She finally trusted me and I was allowed to play with her paws gently.

She was smart, and had back issues because she was running up and down 3 flights of stairs and eventually stopped and we had to carry her up. When I moved back to my home I had ramps put in and she quickly learned to use them along with the steps for the sofa. She always stopped at the end of the bed, and would not jump as I knew she could hurt herself. So, I gently put her on the floor whenever she signaled me.

She learned quickly to stay withing the boundaries of my home, and wouldn't go up to the second floor.

My Jack Russell was not socialized but after Weener came Jaqi was alpha but eventually started to play with Weener.

I am appalled at the shelters and rescues for selling sick dogs, most of the time the animal has something wrong with it and are given up or abused after the owners find out they have been duped into a sick animal. There is no guidelines for the foster care people, many times they are paid to keep these animals and they are caged for the rest of their lives or transferred from one foster home to another.

I got a fox terrier from a rescue organization and found out he didn't have much time to live due to a liver problem. I had to put him down after a year of watching him just lay around feeling badly. The Doxie was another sick animal that was passed on to unknowingly owners.

All dogs have a propensity to have back problems. Espescially the longer animals and large dogs. If you allow your dog to jump excessively or go up and down stairs a lot, they will developed a spinal injury. Fortunatley my Jack and the Weener had to be treated with cortisone, but eventually got better after I stopped them from running up and down stairs. The vet says the spine right above the shoulders and the back by the tail are affected. But when they refuse to walk up the stairs or go for a long walk it usually is an indication of pain someplace. So precautions should be taken. No small child should be left alone with puppies, as they inadvertantly can hurt the animal and destroy their trust in people.

amithak50 from India on April 06, 2012:

That is really interesting ..funny to read this hub ..Nice

glutenallergy on April 04, 2012:

My neighbor has a doxie and she's such a sweet dog! She's also great with their pet cat (the cat usually has the upper hand between the two of them).

Liz Hancock on April 04, 2012:

You sound like such a great dog owner. I know what it is like to rescue a dog. You never know what they have experienced before you and you have to have a really big heart to help them trust and love again. Kudos to you for giving Sebastian a better life. Loved reading this and hope he has stopped his biting.

hvacunits from Longview, TeXas on April 03, 2012:

Simply an amazing Hub. Thanks so much for all your wonderful work. "Awesome." A big vote here for your hub!

iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on April 03, 2012:


Cornelia Brown on April 02, 2012:

I have a little longhaired miniature with an overbite and she is absolutely adorable. She is our little princess and everyone that sees her is smitten with her beauty. The amber fur is long and healthy and looks great especially on her ears. We had her for 4 yrs now and enjoyed every moment. She is a true blessing gret with the grandkids and great with my father. He was so lonely when we lost mom but Trixie is keeping him company and she makes the lonely days a little easier for him! Thank you and please visit my hubs I am very new to this!

Lisas-thoughts101 from Northeast Texas on April 02, 2012:

rm, we have two miniature dachsunds. We got both of them as puppies. They have the personalities of lions. One is a human with fur on..... the other is her dog :) Both potty trained fairly well. Neither have had back trouble yet, knock on wood. They are 10 and 12. The 10 year old does get arthritis in his back legs in the winter but he takes a mild medication for this and is fine. They are the loves of our families' lives. We don't know what we would do without them. I guess we got lucky. Neither is a biter either. I suppose there are anomalies in every breed and we found two. Now, if you try to clip their nails without valium there is trouble. But we can do the vet without sedation. I guess you never know. Great hub. Your Sebastion is precious. One of ours is a black and tan and the other is red.... Lady Charlotte (Charli) and Sir Maximus (Max) I voted up and interesting.


Fred Smedley from Devon, United Kingdom on March 31, 2012:

Great hub and so true. When I was a baby and still in my pram my parents bought a dachshund puppy so that we could grow up together (so I'm told obviously). To cut a long story short, apparently he used to lie by my pram for hours on end and would not let anyone near me and as you say, if someone did venture too close, he would become very aggressive and wasn't averse to the odd bite - even much larger dogs weren't exempt. We became inseparable and he was very docile with me but he suffered ill health and unfortunately didn't live for many years. I wouldn't hesitate to have another if it were possible.

cdonnaj from IL on March 30, 2012:

Appreciate your detailed information about dachshund traits. My friends own a difficult dachshund with every negative trait mentioned in your hub. Although difficult they wouldn't trade her in for a million dollars! i also have a hub about dachshund barking and territorial issues. Great writing and informative hub.

jaswinder64 from Toronto, Canada. on March 30, 2012:

Great hub and great knowledge.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on March 30, 2012:

Thanks for an informative hub on doxies. We have several breeds on the list for our next dog, and I may scratch doxies off. Our local pet store brings in animals to be adopted, and recently had the most regal looking piebald dachshund. I had never seen a piebald before.

I had a friend who trained his two doxies to use a litter box. He said that nobody told him he couldn't train a dog to a litter box, so he tried it and it worked.

Add chows and chow mixes to the list of biters.

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on March 27, 2012:

Very nice hub. I have had friends who have had dachshunds that they loved dearly. But I would always be worried about their back. Sebastian is a gorgeous dog. I can see why you were taken with him. Congrats on hub of the day!

MarkRFox on March 27, 2012:

I have a mix dachshund and mini pinscher. Her name is Minnie Mouse.."Minnie" for short. She displays some of the traits you described especially digging, having difficulties with house training (luckily most of the house is tile and hardwood) and especially burrowing underneath the covers. I hope she does not develop back problems considering she is a mix. She loves to jump very high in the air off of her two hind legs. Sometimes I joke she is part gopher, ground hog, and kangaroo because of all her weird traits, but I guess some of them are not so weird. She has only bitten one person, the vet. Although, I wish she had that independent trait you described as she is very needy and must always be next to you or preferably on your lap. Sometimes I wake up with her laying on top of my legs or chest. Good Hub. Voted up.

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on March 27, 2012:

It's really good to know all these information. Caring for pets and in particular dogs is close to my heart. you're doing the pet enthusiasts out there a huge favor in publishing this hub. Congratulationis on making the the Hub of The Day.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 27, 2012:

Magician, DON'T get steps!!! And DON'T let your doxie on the bed or couch. Even though they may go up the steps to the bed or couch, they tend to jump down. Jumping stresses the spine. It was difficult not letting Bastian on the bed and couch anymore, but we both adjusted relatively quickly.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 27, 2012:

Thanks soooo much everyone. I've had over 30 comments today!! I would love to answer each and every one of you, but I don't know how realistic that will be.

I have spent the last few weeks working on a presentation on shoulders, that I finally delivered Saturday. So I’ve been itching to write some hubs, and hope to do a few before deadline Friday for the contest.

I’d say to anyone else passing through: There are some great comments above. Many are from doxie owners, and offer some great advice and great stories. Read above and enjoy!

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on March 27, 2012:

As a dyed in the wood dachshund lover, I feel like I need to stick up for them a little. Sounds like you really hit the jackpot as far as problems go. I have owned 4 1/2 dachshunds in my life (the 1/2 one is half pug.) All were previously owned, but the only one that came from an actual rescue agency was the only one that had back problems, and he has not needed surgery, the rest were spry and athletic. Only one had a biting problem, which I was able to get him over by training.

You do make some good points. Their personality is similar to other hounds, they tend to bond most closely with one person, they are barkers and diggers, they follow their nose, and if you call them when they are giving chase they do tend to just look back over their should like "yeah right." Maybe not the easiest dogs, but I love them. I wonder if any breed of dog is really easy.

Melinda from Oregon on March 27, 2012:

Very interesting. A friend of mine recently got a chihuahua/dachshund mix and now I'm wondering if that will aid in the back problems, since her dog isn't as long as most dachshunds I've seen.

Arlene V. Poma on March 27, 2012:

Right on, right on! Congratulations on making Hub of the Day. Your article and your photographs of your dog will steal any dog lover's heart. It was a winner from the get go.

Rufus rambles from Australia on March 27, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD! What a great, personal hub about your experience with this breed. Before getting my Shetland Sheepdogs I wish I'd read a similar article about their penchant for barking! They are an adorable, gentle breed but massive barkers! My hubs on their traits and ways to get around their "negatives" such as an overly shy nature is similar but I just love the way you used humour and pictures of each aspect of the breed. Great work and voted up!

Catherine Taylor from Canada on March 27, 2012:

My girls and I loved this hub. They adore weiner dogs but I am so glad you shared the pros and cons of this breed. Lovely pics!

Paulie on March 27, 2012:

I have two doxies, one's a barker, the other not. One likes to burrow, the other not. Neither bite and will roll over, show their tummies and wave their arms in the air if threatened by a human. One will kill any small animal if given a chance. The other is just curious. Both like to be near their human, except when gnawing something or wanting to run freely until pooped. Neither shed (yay!). Both hard to housebreak and can't be completely trusted to roam freely. Both trained to go on a verbal command (hurry up!) to do it and do it now. Neither has back problems and use stairs all the time. One is a smooth hair and the other is a long-hair. So some of the stereotypes don't hold up.

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on March 27, 2012:

Excellent hub. I love that dog bed on top, the sock monkey one :)

CookwareBliss from Winneconne, WI on March 27, 2012:

Thanks you so much for sharing your experiences with your dachshund. I have a dachschud that we bought from a local breeder who is now 7. His name is Oscar and has been such a great dog for my wife and son. We got lucky with him because he does not bark and has never bitten anyone...knock on wood. He does have issues going to the bathroom in the house but is something we have learned to deal with. He is in good health and has had a strong back, so I'm happy we have not had to deal with surgery. This hub really hit home for me because I don't know what I would do without my dachshund. Thanks so much for sharing! I voted up :)

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on March 27, 2012:

I've never owned a pet before, but these Daschund look adorable; They look nice and cute. Great hub and congrats on winning HOTD


Suzanne Sheffield from Mid-Atlantic on March 27, 2012:

Love these little fellows. Baby-sat Toby, my neighbor's short-haired rescue doxie and he didn't want to go home when he came to get him. Great hub.

The Frog Princess from Florence area of the Great Pee Dee of South Carolina on March 27, 2012:

I enjoyed your hub but on the other side of this I have two one mini and one tea cup and they are the stars in my life. They do make great pets and most loving little things. Lucky for me I have run into no back problems with either but they do love their blankets. They each were raised with a doggy door to go outdoors so housebreaking was a charm.


Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on March 27, 2012:

We have owned three labs, two adopted, and their temperament is just perfect for our family. So, my husband decided maybe the next dog should be a bulldog. GOOD THING I asked a dog trainer friend of mine. She warned me of many negative traits that would really bug my husband and we promptly wrote that breed off our list.

Your hub will be very helpful to those thinking that dachshunds may be the dog for them. It's good to get lots of information first.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 27, 2012:

Congratulatons on HOTD! Good information about dachshunds for those thinking of adopting them. Yours is certainly a cutie! Really enjoyed seeing your photos. Voted up, useful, interesting and will share.

Lindsay Blenkarn from Nashville, TN on March 27, 2012:

This is a great hub for potential dachshund owners to read! However, I do think it should be specified that some of the behavior you mention are more prevalent in the Smooth-haired variety than in the Long-haired or Wire-haired. Each of the coat types have different temperaments. The Smooth-haired has the most extreme temperament and are the ones most prone to being nippers. The Long-haired are more docile and have more of a Spaniel personality. The Wire-haired personality lies somewhere in-between and I've heard it's more like a Terrier's (but, I can't substantiate that since I haven't known any Wire-hairs personally). But, all three have an independent streak, are born watchdogs (i.e. barkers), diggers, and can be difficult to housebreak (though they are exceptions to every rule since my first dachsie was abnormally easy to potty break).

Oddly, I have never heard of the overbite thing before (which may just be my good fortune). I've known 6 dachshunds, none of which have had any signs of an overbite. However, a couple have had brittle bones and/or slightly crooked joints which I think is something else to look out for with some breeders.

It is, certainly, a fact that if you have a dachshund they are guaranteed to have back problems at some point, however, I think it's an exaggeration to say it's guaranteed that the problems will become severe. My first dachshund (a Standard Longhair) didn't severely hurt his back until he was 11 and that was due to a very specific accident that involved falling off of a bed. Even then, he was able to recover without surgery. And my current dachsie (a Miniature Longhair) is 8 and still running and jumping just fine. Not to say that both hadn't tweaked their backs, now and again, but just some rest and half a baby aspirin was, usually, enough to get them back on their feet within a couple of days. But, regardless, it is important for people to be aware of a dachsie's long back and to learn how to hold them properly (which is, basically, the same rule for most animals: support the back end!).

Voted up and interesting! :)

Kay B from Tampa, FL on March 27, 2012:

I love this! Sebastian is adorable! I have a daschund myself... well, it was originally my mothers. I wanted nothing to do with her since I didn't like small dogs and wanted a German Shepherd so bad, but the daschund quickly grew on me and now she is my wing-dog =) She's also very stubborn and independent, just like you described. I really should look into finding some sort of steps for her to get on the bed and couch to ward off those back issues...

Stevennix2001 on March 27, 2012:

very cute dachshund. i used to have one myself, and he was definitely quite a character too. in fact, i remember when i first got him, i also had a chow dog too. needless to say, it only took a few days, and itchy was already acting like caesar's boss. lol. it was so cute and funny watching a little dog boss around a big dog like that. of course, this also lead to itchy stealing some of caesar's food, so we had to make sure they were both getting properly fed. lol. good times. it's a shame he's no longer around though, as i do miss the little guy. anyway, thanks for writing this, as this was definitely a fun read. :)

Paula from The Midwest, USA on March 27, 2012:

I had a dachshund once, and loved him very much. I agree, they are irresistible and so cute. I don't think I ever realized they were such biters before, and we actually didn't have ours for all that long so that is probably why.

Thanks for sharing a great hub on what it is like to rescue a dachshund. I am so impressed with people that do something kind for others or animals like that. What a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing.

summerberrie on March 27, 2012:

I have always liked dachshunds. I enjoy watching a pair being walked in our neighborhood wearing their dog sweaters (too, cute). My sister-in-law has a dachshund and he bites if you try to take something out of his mouth. Sabastian seems to really enjoy his cave!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 27, 2012:

Congrats on Hub of the Day! As a dog lover (which explains why I write Hubs about mine), I love to read about dogs. I was married to a vet for many years, and we saw so many Doxies with back problems. He would make a this contraption out of a skateboard for paralyzed Doxies to get around on. He had a name for it but I can't remember now what the name was. I have a Miniature Schnauzer who has back problems (I wrote about her, too). She is not allowed to jump from furniture, either. Your dog is adorable! I voted this UP, etc.

50 Caliber from Arizona on March 27, 2012:

A super hub, you've include much information in a well lain out way with fun mixed in [I considered behavior traits of individual dogs fun] to keep me rolling through the article. I've had the pleasure of picking several of this breed up wandering a dirt road that is used to dump and drive, as well as get to my home in the hills. Every single one was joy filled to be found watered and put in my Jeep, and if headed to town I either took them to my vet or if it was too late or a weekend I u turned for home and would abandon my trip for supplies and take them home to isolation from my Rottys and get them feed and water with Gatorade or a survival mix that I used in my 5 gallon keg for search and rescue that has salts, electrolytes and other needs. As a rule I don't allow people here so I often take dogs that are vetted, neutered, fed to a healthy state and temperament tested to where I feel I can tell if a single dog home or kids are a go or no go. I do the best I can with my dollars paying the way. I charge a minimum of 25 bucks and/or 50 pounds of dog food, if they can't pull that off they can't afford a dog. I have to accept that most are spur of the moment decisions as most don't come looking for a dog on a trip to the flea market. I do get referrals from time to time who say they have been several week ends looking for me. Most rescues want to see houses and all sorts of rigamarole that I detest, prior to allowing a dog a chance to a home. I figure anything is better than what happens to them if they are left in the desert on their own, 48 hours tops is all they have. I have a sign to not attempt to handle any dog until they have my attention and OK. I have had three bite incidents and all were the breed show cased here, and had never offered to bite prior to the actual incident, but after me picking them up and giving them a stern rubbing on the head with my knuckles [a newgy?] and then putting them back down and telling the person to talk to the dog and get it's full attention with some kibble, things worked out and they were able to rub and pet with out further problems. They changed my set up to people getting access to any breed while I was engaged with some one or thing other than the person[s] and dog they saw that got their interest. I've gone on too long, but you inspired me LOL so one more thing and I'll shut up.

Your point of dog steps is so important to the long body that the Dox has, but I hold it as a major point for all breeds, it's good advise for all dogs and humans as well, I have Rottys that are muscled up like a weight lifter, they are subject to "hip displasia" due to weight and a breed problem, It is good advise to eliminate the need or activity all together to prevent the loss of large sums of medical bills or the dog. My Rottys are in the 7 to 10 year bracket of life expectancy and my oldest at almost double that just passed in the fall. I think there exist many that value dogs as family as you and I but many don't take the time to learn the breed they own and the ins and outs, so kudos for the lesson here, I voted it up across the spectrum,even funny [buttinsky]LOL.



Eiddwen from Wales on March 27, 2012:

Thank you so much for this great hub;my partner's sister had three;the first one Tuppence sadly passed away at 17 years old;then Harvey at 18 years and Paddy is now 14 years old.

They are indeed great little characters;and thanks for sharing this one.

The only ailment they seemed to have was cataracts;but still managed to get by as long as not too much was moved in the house.

Take care and have a wonderful day,


moonlake from America on March 27, 2012:

My granddaughter had a dachshund and she was a good little dog. She did have back problems and it ended up costing my granddaughter $3000.00 for surgery. After surgery the little dog would wet all over the place. She finally found her a home with an older lady. The dog would be with someone all day. Congratulations on hub of the day.

shesacraftymom on March 27, 2012:

My mom has four dachshunds and we used to have one. I agree with all these things. My dad built theirs a ramp to help with back problems. The one we used to have used to snap and bite like crazy. We had to get professional training because he was just being playful, and didn't realize he was doing anything wrong. They really are sweet, funny dogs.

Caroline Marie on March 27, 2012:

Great hub! I love doxies. I used to have a mini I loved very much. She loved to burrow under the covers! I miss her very much and am thinking about getting another. Loved this article. Very cute photos of your little guy. Voted up!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 27, 2012:

This is well-written and very informative. My in-laws had a dachshund so I knew about the back problems, but I didn't realize they were tunnelers. It's amazing that Sebastian recovered so well from his surgery! Your photos are adorable, too. Congratulations on HOTD!

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on March 27, 2012:

Congratulations on Hub of the Day. Well written story about your dachshund.

My mom had one when I was growing up. We got her from some friends of my moms and she was a miniature red long-hair. We were all taught how to pick her up properly but she still got the back problems. She was paralyzed for about two weeks and we swam her in the bathtub for physical therapy.

She never bit but she never was totally house-trained either. She would quit barking when we said enough because when she didn't we tapped her on the nose until she quit. That has worked on every one of our dogs and we have had quite a few that were supposed to be yappy breeds.

She loved to climb under the blankets and sleep next to my dad. She would get to dreaming and start running. He would move over and soon she would be stretched out right alongside him again. The whole thing would repeat until he fell out of the bed. We used to laugh about it. An Eight lb. dog kicking a 210 lb, 6'3" man out of bed was funny.

Mike Bouska from Midwest USA on March 27, 2012:

We somehow ended up with a dachshund named Oscar when we went to look at a piano that was for sale, and the lady had a black and tan male that needed a home.

We took old Oscar home(he was 10)and he blended into the home okay. He did chew a shoe of my wife's one day, and after that situation, all my wife had to say was the word shoe, and Oscar would show his teeth and growl.

It was like bark or fetch. "Oscar-Shoe! GRRRR" After we owned Oscar for several years(or he owned us) I got transferred out of the area for a job. There was a couple who were good friends of ours, and they were very fond of Oscar. It was decided instead of moving the old guy to a new climate, he would stay with our friends.

We would get phone calls and letters from "Oscar" keeping us up to speed with his family and their lives.

Then one day we got a call that Old Oscar had died at the age of 22.

albin pius on March 27, 2012:

i know i have a dachshund in my home

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on March 17, 2012:

My granddaughter volunteers with a Dachshund adoption group. She and her family have a very mellow doxie who rarely barks and never bites. The dog is a dappled one, like yours and was formerly a mommy dog at a puppy mill.

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on February 23, 2012:

I LOVED the 280Z. Not only was it stylish, it did very well on the racetrack. For me it wil always be Dachshund.

Kimberly Lake from California on February 22, 2012:

Voted up and interesting. I also wonder why the pet adoption agency don't offer more info on breeds when they are adopted. Your dog is very cute, I hope the treatments you give him continue to give him relief. Socially shared.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on February 22, 2012:

I agree alexadry. I was doing a home visit a few months ago and saw some kids and a doxie in the yard next door. The way they picked that baby up (unsafely) made me cringe. I tried to explain to them how to pick her up and why, but they just looked at me like I had 3 heads.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on February 22, 2012:

I know exactly what you mean bill. Back in the day my sister had a 280Z Dachshund. Just wasn’t the same feel later calling them Nissans.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on February 22, 2012:

Thanks for the visit Simone. The burrowing is nothing. The biting and not being able to go to the vet without being totally knocked out is stressful, but $3K for back surgery was rough. And some doxies do not recover full function in their legs, bowel, and bladder.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on February 22, 2012:

Thanks Rick. Which are more stubborn, dachshunds or skunks? : )

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on February 22, 2012:

Thanks for visiting Jennifer. Sebastian is a real sweetie, but I won’t get another dachshund. The barking is annoying, but for me it’s the peeing and the back problems.

Adrienne Farricelli on February 22, 2012:

Great you focused a hub on a specific breed. This should raise awareness on the Dachshund breed for anybody looking to adopt one. I still cringe when I think of a friend who adopted one and the poor Dachshund was carried and dropped by the kids and then she started biting them! poor soul was just trying to protect herself and her poor back!

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on February 22, 2012:

Nice hub. Just a quick correction though. About thirty years ago they were renamed. The old name was dachshund. The new one is Nissan.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on February 22, 2012:

Since I was a kid, I have loved dachshund and would be much more likely to adopt that particular breed. That said, I had no idea about all these additional complications- the burrowing, the biting, the overbite... very interesting! If I found the right dog, I don't think these factors would stop me from adopting, but it's REALLY good to know this stuff ahead of time.

RickMc from Kentucky on February 22, 2012:

I remember my younger sister wanting a dachshund so badly. She saved up money and made her purchase. The battle of wills between those two stubborn creatures was something to behold :) I wish she would have had this article a few years ago!

jenniferrpovey on February 22, 2012:

Dachshunds are cute, but I admit I would probably never get one because of the back issue prevalence you mentioned. (And the barking. One of our neighbors has one who likes to bark at every apartment door he passes when going out on his walk. It's kinda cute, but...)