5 Common Dachshund Problems – Health and Behavior
All breeds of dogs have their own breed specific behavior and/or health issues. This fact holds true for Dachshunds as well. Following is a look at five of the most common Dachshund problems, and advice on how to deal with them.
1. Back Problems
Because of their famous “hot dog” shape, Dachshunds are prone to back problems, particularly slipped and ruptured disks. To prevent serious, long-term back problems, consider the following:
- Jumping – The more the dog jumps up, such as on to furniture, the more stress this puts on his spine and back legs.
- Obesity – Just as with humans, the more overweight the dog is, the more stress this places on his back.
- Carrying – When picking up your Dachshund, you will always need to remember to support his whole back, and it’s probably best to discourage very young children from picking them up at all.
2. Intervertebral Disk Disease
Some Dachshunds suffer from a hereditary disk problem called Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVD).
Some of the symptoms of IVD are:
- Crying in pain spontaneously or from being picked up.
- Decreased appetite.
- Lying around more than usual and just generally reluctant to move about.
Symptoms could be mild or severe. Less severe cases can be treated with medication alone, but sometimes surgery will be required. Before purchasing a Dachshund puppy find out if both parents have been screened for this disease.
This should have been done when they were around 2 years of age. Ask to see the veterinary certificates as proof of screening. Reputable breeders of dog breeds prone to IVD would not mate their intended breeding stock before screening age.
It is not possible to go into more detail about this disease here. Besides, as a Dachshund owner you need to be guided by your vet. He or she will give you the best advice and tell you exactly what symptoms you should be looking for.
There is absolutely no need to worry or assume that your Dachshund will get IVD. More than likely he won’t, but it is advisable to be aware of this disease.
3. Dachshund Pride
Dachshunds are proud little creatures who are known to sometimes have a streak of stubbornness in their personalities. When you train your Dachshund praise him enthusiastically whenever he does what you ask of him.
If you indulge his stubbornness when he is a puppy, you’re setting yourself up for a long, hard battle of the wills later on in life.
4. Born to Dig
Greyhounds might be born to run, but Dachshunds are born to dig. They were bred to be hunting dogs, and that long, low body easily wiggles into rabbit and badger holes. As a result, a Dachshund might decide to add decorative new holes all over your backyard.
To prevent their digging, make sure your Dachshund has lots of alternative forms of stimulation, such as regular long walks, interesting chew toys, and so forth. If that doesn’t work, try putting up a barrier of chicken wire where you don’t want the Dachshund to dig.
5. Dachshund Aggression
Another common Dachshund problem is aggression. As hunters, they were designed to be fighters, and unfortunately, this trait sometimes makes them aggressive. Often they wont show aggression towards their owners but will towards other people.
The key to stopping your Dachshund from becoming aggressive towards your visitors is to show him that you are his pack leader, the alpha dog. Any sign of aggression towards others can then quickly be corrected by you.
As your dog’s pack leader he wants to, and will, listen to you. Socialize your puppy with other people while he’s growing up. This will teach him that the people you trust are the people that he can trust as well.
To sum up, inherited health problems with Dachshunds can be avoided by purchasing your puppy from a good registered breeder who has veterinary certificates as proof that both parents were checked for genetic health issues before breeding. Also, feed your Dachshund good quality dog food, provide regular exercise and follow the advice given for avoiding back problems.
Be loving but firm with your puppy from the day you bring him home. Teach him basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come and heel, and avoid common Dachshund problems involving stubbornness or aggression by showing your puppy that you are the alpha leader.
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