Weekly wellness checks
Once a week check your dog’s eyes, ears and feet. Keep the nails short using nail clippers, or a file. When your dog has all his/her adult teeth (by about 6 months) start brushing the teeth weekly. Feel all over his/her body for any unusual lumps or bumps, particularly in older dogs.
Long and Wire Dachshunds will need regular grooming using a bristle brush and wide-toothed metal comb. Pay particular attention to the longer hairs on the legs (and a Wire’s beard) to ensure there are no tangles.
Focus on good behaviour
It’s all too easy to assume that training is needed to address bad behaviours such as barking or pulling on the lead. Instead, focus your dog’s training on developing good behaviours. The Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Dog Scheme is a well-proven approach and you can find classes throughout the UK.
Keep your dog mentally active
Dachshunds need both physical and mental stimulation if they are to be well-behaved and not noisy or destructive. A training session or teaching your dog to solve puzzles (such as hide and seek) at home could be as tiring as going for a long walk. Varying their routine by going on different walks also helps, as does rotating their toys and games regularly.
Check your dog’s body condition
Pet obesity is becoming an epidemic and when you only have one Dachshund, it can be hard to tell if he/she is overweight if you don’t have another dog to compare against. Your Dachshund is at an ideal weight if you can easily feel its ribs, but they are not visible. There should be an obvious waist behind the ribs when viewed from above. There should be little abdominal fat and a slight tuck-up should be evident when viewed from the side. Too many treats and not enough exercise can lead to extra weight which will put a strain on his/her back and also increases the risks of heart disease. Remember, too thin can be as bad as too fat. It’s a good idea to ask your vet to do an annual doggy-MOT and confirm your Dachshund is at an ideal body weight and condition.
Encourage nose activities
Dogs “see with their noses” and their sense of smell is many times greater than ours. Research has shown that olfactory enrichment helps to reduce stress. Allow your dog time to have a sniff when out walking. You can also play hide and seek with food or throw a handful of kibble in the garden to make your Dachshund use its nose and “work” for food. You could also try scent-work training which builds on a Dachshund’s natural talents.
Avoid separation anxiety
Dogs are social animals so being left alone can be very stressful for them. Many Dachshunds become noisy and destructive if left alone at home without adequate exercise and mental stimulation. You should teach a puppy to learn to be alone, gradually building up the length of time they can be left alone calmly.