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Thumper A Primer of Dachshunds

by Freda Douglas  
3/13/2010 / Pets

When I first met my best friend Linda in July 2004 her constant companion was Thumper, a miniature Dachshund. Linda brought her to my home every night when she came to put me to bed, and Thumper and Jewely, my cat, had a love/hate relationship which continues to this day.
I had never met a dog as well trained as Thumper. Linda took her to work everyday. She had her own bed under the counter, and all Linda had to do was snap her fingers and that was Thumper's cue to get back in her bed.
When Linda invited me to move to Alabama with her I was fearful I would have to find a new home for Jewely, but she was also invited. There is never a dull moment around here. Jason has 3 hunting dogs outside. They are getting old but Jason built them new kennels on the property and he will care for them until death takes them. Jason and Jennifer have five house dogs, Linda has Thumper and I, of course, have Jewely.
We are all animal lovers, so I thought it appropriate if I wrote a book about the care of dachshund, the training, companionship, feeding and grooming.
The name Dachshund is German in origin and the name means Badger Dog. They are a scent hunter that is bred specifically to track, dig to his prey, corner it, and bark to alert the hunter who waited above ground.
Dachshunds come in two sizes standard, ranging in size 16 to 32 pounds, and Miniature (which is what Thumper is) ranging in size from 11 pounds and under depending on sex and age.
Dachshunds come in three varieties short haired (like Thumper), long-haired. and wirehaired. They are a people dog, always glad to get into anyone's lap. When Linda has Thumper in strange surroundings you can most likely find her in Linda's lap.
Now before we get into specific details. Are you ready?
Have you prepared your home and family for your new pet?
Have you gotten the proper supplies to care for your dog?
Have you found a veterinarian you and your dog will be happy with?
Have you thought about how you want your dog to behave?
Have you rearranged your schedule to accommodate your dog's need for exercise and attention?
Well, let's get at this mini-course of how to feed your new pet, how to groom him, train him, and most of all, love him.
Training your puppy as to what you want it to do is important but teaching it why you want it to do it is equally important. 95% of his training should be devoted to motivating him to do as you ask.
Most effective training tools are not found in stores; they come from within ourselves. You have secured a highly intelligent breed who is highly trainable and willing. All you need to successfully train him is a functional human brain, gentle hands, a loving heart and a good attitude.
First thing you must realize all puppies, not just Dachshunds, do best if their lives follow a routine. They need definite and regular periods of time for eating, sleeping and playing. The Dachshund puppy is an early riser and this is a good time to either take him for a walk or play fetch with him.
Now back to the subject of food.
Puppies and adolescent dogs need a high intake of protein, calories and nutrients to fuel their rapidly developing bodies. In years gone by the only dry food available was designated as puppy chow or adult chow. Now the availability for different stages of a dog's growth is almost unlimited.
Less active dogs don't need as much protein or fat as growing, active dogs. Senior dogs don't need some of the nutrients vital to puppies. By feeding a high quality food that's appropriate to your dog's age and activity level, you're benefitting your dog and yourself.
It is advisable to start your pet on dry kibble, The major ingredients of most dry dog foods are chicken, beef or lamb by-products and corn, wheat or rice. The higher the meat content, the higher percentage of protein, the higher the taste and digestibility of the food is. Remembering what I stated earlier about puppies needing more protein than the adult, I would caution you to read the labels carefully before you make a purchase.
The reason for feeding your puppy or grown dog dry food the chewing action involved in eating a dry food tends to keep your pet's teeth and gums healthier. It does not hurt anything that dry food is less expensive than canned foods of the same quality.
Now let's us talk about the various maladies your puppy, or even your mature dog might have, none of which are life-threatening but could be if you don't solicit the services of your friendly veterinarian.
Weekly grooming can be the single best monitor of your dog's health. While you are grooming you will be able to "feel" small lumps on or under the skin which may have been caused by flea bites. Some Dachshunds are allergic to fleas and will scratch and chew and destroy their coat and damage the skin.
Linda uses a systemic flea killer on Thumper. She puts it on his neck, it is absorbed through the skin and should a flea get on Thumper and bite her the flea is automatically killed.
It is very possible, if your dog is outside much, he will get ticks, most often in the ears. They should be removed carefully with tweezers, working slowly so you get the head along with the body. The systemic flea medicine will help keep ticks under control, but they are external and should be removed immediately.
Flea collars may be worn by a dog with precaution. If the collar is too tight it might irritate him and if you have small children the flea collar could be toxic.
While fleas and ticks are external parasites, the dog is possibly prone to get internal parasites, mainly a form of worms, namely tapeworms, most often affecting the coat and appetite. Roundworms (nematodes) are of a particular danger to the Dachshund puppy and are best handled by your vet, hookworms are prevalent in warmer climates and can cause anemia, diarrhea and emaciation and if these symptoms are noticed the vet should see your dog because the worm can not be seen with the naked eye. Less common of the worms is the whipworm most often contracted from contaminated soil caused by the feces of the dog in the yard not being disposed of properly
The most serious of the internal parasites is the heartworm which can grow to be 6 to 12 inches long and take up residency in the dog's heart. The application of the dog's annual shots can prevent heartworm, but if you notice coughing, tiring easily, difficulty breathing and/or unexplainable weight loss don't waste any time getting to the vet. Heart failure and liver disease are very real threats.
Unless you have plans to breed your female dog this writer recommends getting her spayed. Likewise, unless you are going to use your male as a stud dog, neutering is recommended Spaying and/or neutering will very often extend your pet's life.
Advantages of spaying include no messy heats, no suitors howling in your yard, no risk of disease of the uterus and decreased incidents of mammary cancer.
Advantages of neutering include decreased incidences of fighting but does not affect their personality, decreased roaming looking for bitches in heat and decreased incidences of urogenital disease, including spraying in the house.
If your dog has ingested a potentially poisonous substance call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-548-2423 immediately.
And here is a checklist when the veterinarian services should always be alerted:
Bleeding or deep wounds
Hyperthermia (heat stroke)
Abdominal pain
Broken bones
These are some ailments your dog might suffer. You need to know what might have caused it and what you should do for your pet.
Diarrhea Intestinal upset, typically caused by over eating, If you see blood in the feces, take him to the vet.
Vomiting Something upsets the stomach, often by food, but just as often by excitement or anxiety. Getting a good look at what they vomited will often tell you why.
Coughing Obstruction in the throat, kennel cough, roundworm infestation, congestive heart failure.
Runny nose sign of congestion or irritation.

Loss of appetite because this breed of dog are good eaters,

this could be a precursor of a more serious ailment and the dog

should be watched closely,

Lethargy Age, possible infection, internal tumors, even


Stinky breath Either brush your dog's teeth or have the vet

clean them.

Incessant scratching, hot spots, bald spots all caused by flea infestation. Best solution give him a bath, then apply flea
Stinky ears, head shaking Take a look under his ear flaps. If you see a dark brown wax, clean ears with medication meant for that DO NOT use q-tips. They tend to shed and could cause further irritation.
Now just a few words about preventative care: Using common sense, paying attention to your dog, and working with your veterinarian, you can minimize health risks and problems. Use vet-recommended flea, tick and heartworm preventative medications; feed a nutritious diet appropriate for your dog's size, age, and activity level; give your dog sufficient exercise and regular grooming; train and socialize your dog; keep current on your dog's shots; and enjoy all the years you have with your dog
Now a word about the breed of dog you have chosen Dachshund
It depends on what you want of your pet i.e. just a pet, breeding and/or making money with it, whether you're interested in it being registered with The American Kennel Club (familiarly referred to as the AKC) or not, bear in mind if you are going to breed your dog those AKC papers will guarantee a higher price for your puppies
WELCOME him/her home. Your Dachshund will not be a quiet

addition to your home. It wants to be where people are. It is comical

without meaning to be, protective when it needs to be, and solicitous

when everything is not right with your world.

Expect the unexpected from your hound. Remembering he was bred to be a scent hound will save you lots of aggravation.
The Dachshund is clever, lively and courageous even to the point of rashness. Any display of shyness is a serious fault.
The tail of your dog, which is rarely immobile, is gradually tapered to a point, well but not too richly haired
Training your puppy as to what you want him to do is important but teaching him why you want him to do it is equally important 95% of his training should be devoted to motivating him to do as you ask.
Most effective training tools are not found in stores; they come from within ourselves. You have secured a highly intelligent breed who is highly trainable and willing. All you need to successfully train him is a functional human brain, gentle hands, a loving heart and a good attitude.
Now before I conclude this short book I'll give you some house-training tips.
Prevent mistakes When you can't supervise your puppy, confine him to a single room (if possible without a rug) or in his kennel, but don't leave him too long. Puppy-proof the area with newspapers so if he does have an accident it won't matter.
Teach where. Take the puppy to the spot you want it to use every hour. When he goes on the designated area, praise him profusely and give him treats.
From one animal lover to another, love your pet because that pet will never turn on you, and will never talk (?) about you, but that pet will be your friend and companion and will return your love.


Freda Douglas is a published author. Her first book "Cherish the Past", still available on, was published in 2004. Her second book "Winds of Change"
is now available at your local book store by using this ISBN # 978-1-60145-367-9

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