Dachshunds: Long Body, Short Legs & All You Need To Know About The Breed 1
Whether you know them as the wiener dog, sausage dog, doxie, or their proper name, the dachshund, these adorable pups are instantly recognizable and have an interesting history.
With their distinct short legs and long body, dachshunds were famously described by H.L. Mencken as “a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long.” Curious, smart, and spirited, this breed makes a wonderful companion and family dog.
Keep reading for all you need to know about dachshunds, plus some fun facts!
An Overview of the Dachshund
The dachshund is part of the hound group and comes with three types of coats — longhaired, wirehaired, and smooth. The most common colors are reddish-brown and black with a few tan markings, but many colors and patterns are possible. Two fun color and pattern variations are the dapple dachshund and the piebald dachshund.
Doxies come in two recognizable sizes: standard and miniature. On average, a standard doxie weighs between 16 and 32 pounds, while a miniature weighs 11 pounds and under.
They have a ferocious bark for such a little dog and make excellent watchdogs even for their small stature. In fact, the breed is brave, ferocious, and stubborn. They have a strong will and can be tenacious, but their endearing qualities make them a wonderful pet for many.
History and Background
Often known as a wiener dog because of its district physical appearance and huge personality, the breed is over 600 years old. It was originally bred in Germany to dig for badgers. Their name literally translates to badger dog - “dach” means badger and “hund” means dog.
As you may have guessed, their unique long, low bodies make them incredible subterranean hunters. They specialized in tracking small animals and digging tunnels to find the prey. You might be surprised to find out that hunters also used them to track larger game, such as deer and wild boar.
In 1885, they were registered as an American Kennel Club recognized breed and became immediately endearing to the people of the United States.
Temperament and Personality of the Dachshund
This breed has a lot to offer families. They're loyal, fun, and lively. And speaking of loyalty, they're quite the alert watchdog. Any strangers may receive a sharp bark till he gets comfortable with them.
They have a comical clownish personality that can charm, yet often are demanding. Don't be surprised if your dachshund feels it's his right to steal your covers.
They're quite good with other household pets, but may become jealous over attention and toys. This is when training comes in handy. And they can be stubborn too, so make sure you reward exemplary behavior with treats and praise.
Caring for Your Dachshund
Just like any canine friend, your dachshund needs proper care so he can be healthy and thrive.
One of the most important things for a healthy dachshund is maintaining a healthy weight. They are naturally prone to develop obesity. Extra weight can strain their long back. An overweight dachshund is more susceptible to spinal issues, like spinal cord compression and herniated discs.
Proper nutrition is key for a healthy doxie. Only allow the proper amount of food and ignore those puppy dog eyes. He may melt your heart, but his health depends on saying no to too much food or unhealthy food.
Dachshunds are generally low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They are moderate shedders, relatively clean, and have little or no body odor. However, the specifics on how you groom your dachshund will depend on which coat he has.
A long haired dachshund will need to be brushed more often than their smooth coat counterpart. Brushing will help keep their coat clear and knot free, and will also help cut down on shedding.
A wire haired dachshund needs to have their coat plucked 2 to 3 times a year. Additionally, their eyebrows and beard should be brushed regularly and trimmed occasionally.
Smooth haired dachshunds are the easiest to keep clean, needing little more than a wipe with a towel or a grooming mitt to look adorable.
All dachshunds need to have their nails trimmed monthly.
This cunning breed requires both physical and mental exercise. Like most breeds, a bored, energized dachshund can be very naughty.
Just because they are small doesn’t mean they are couch potatoes. On average, they need at least 45-60 minutes of exercise each day. This can be split into two or more sessions. Regular exercise helps to keep them at a healthy weight and maintain muscle strength to avoid back issues.
Additionally, playing games inside and learning new tricks is a great way to keep them mentally stimulated. Incorporate these tricks and games into your daily walks to keep them guessing.
Did we mention they can be very stubborn? This, combined with a high intelligence, means training can be a challenge. The good thing is that these furry friends respond well to praise and treats. Be careful with your words because the dachshund is a sensitive soul. Shouting or punishment upsets them. Instead, keep a consistent training schedule and always reward them for a job well done.
Here are five things to teach a new dachshund puppy.
- Teach him his name
- Train him not to bite
- Show him fresh smells, unfamiliar sights, and different surfaces
- Teach him to use a crate
- Potty train your dachshund
The main issue with this breed is with their weight. Generally, they're healthy and live between 12 and 16 years. However, dachshunds are prone to overeating and back injuries. Make sure your sausage dog maintains an ideal weight, and doesn't leap off of stairs, furniture, or other high places as he can injure his back or hips.
Dachshunds have the potential for joint and back issues because of a few reasons. One is Intervertebral Disc Disease, or IVDD. This condition causes faster aging in the spinal disc. It is a degenerative disease and causes brittle and dry discs, along with a hard inner layer that doesn't cushion the disc. This may cause a herniated disc.
1 in 5 Dachshunds have a gene that creates mineral deposits within the discs in their spine that increases their risk of herniation and rupture, according to PetMD.
These dogs are also prone to osteoarthritis, which is another degenerative disease affecting joints. It causes pain, inflammation, and inability to use the joint. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of your dachshund's joint health.
While their floppy ears are adorable and help keep dirt out, they are also prone to infections. Be sure to keep your dachshund's ears clean with a soothing ear wash.
- Depending on its coat, a dachshund's personality varies. Long-haired ones have the mildest temperament. Wire haireds have the most energy. And smooth coated bonds better with one person.
- They're fearsome hunters and love to burrow..
- There are three coat types, six marking types, three sizes, and 15 color combinations.
- They are the smallest dog type in the hound group.
- The first official Olympic mascot was a colorful dachshund named Waldi for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. That year’s marathon route was in the shape of a dachshund.
- Two dachshunds have held the Guinness World Record for the “World’s Oldest Living Dog”.
Here are a few famous wiener dogs in history:
Obie was the victim of overeating, reaching a weight of 77 pounds! After a healthy diet, Obie slimmed down to a respectable 28 pounds.
Another dachshund beloved by a famous artist is Archie, who belonged to Andy Warhol. Archie would accompany Warhol to galleries, photo shoots, and especially to interviews to “answer” questions the artist didn’t like. The doxie was also the subject of some of Warhol’s work.
While not a real doxie, Frankenweenie by Tim Burton features a sweet weenie dog brought back to life by its owner. A young boy who uses a science experiment to spend time with his beloved dog again.
Dachshunds to Follow on Instagram
What better way to fill your feed with happiness than following a few doxies! Here are a few positively adorable wiener dogs you'll enjoy.
Crusoe is a wiener dog celebrity and a People's Choice Award winner.
Finn, Daisy, and Dixie are three adorable miniature doxie siblings who hail from Alberta, Canada.
Honeydew is surely a much-followed doxie because of her star-quality looks.
Rowdy is not only an insanely popular wiener dog, she's also a skater!
What The Finn is a curious Canadian who often leaves his parents wondering “what the…?”.
What to Expect Owning a Dachshund
No matter what you know them as, they are lovable, smart dogs with the antics of a clown. And not the scary kind, either! They're loyal, fierce protectors, and will give you years of the perfect furry companion.
After reading this, you might be eager to google “dachshund puppies for sale”. If you are interested in owning this breed, consider adopting or fostering a doxie. Reputable organizations, such as Dachshund Club of America, All American Dachshund Rescue, and Dachshund Rescue of North America, can help guide you through the process of adoption or finding a breeder.
Why Fish Oil for Dogs Is Critical for A Healthy Dog Diet 0
Loaded with omega fatty acids, fish oil is one of the best supplements to add to your dog’s diet. Fish oil for dogs often contain oils from multiple species of cold-water fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and anchovies to name a few. It is incredibly important for supporting your dog’s everyday health.
Like humans, dogs can’t make these essential fatty acids internally. Therefore, they must come from food. One of the best sources for omega fatty acids is wild-caught salmon, which has a high concentration of omega fatty acids and has a favorable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
When taken regularly, salmon oil for dogs can play a crucial role in supporting a healthy heart and coat while improving joint, skin, and immune system health.
While you should always consult your veterinarian before adding new supplements to your dog's diet, there is some useful information you should know about salmon oil and what it can do for your pet's health and happiness.
Why Are Omega Fatty Acids Important for Dogs?
Salmon oil contains large amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Of course, fat has earned a poor reputation in the human world, so why would you want to give it to your dog?
In reality, there are four types of fat: trans fats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Omega fatty acids exist within polyunsaturated fats and, when digested, they help the body produce hormones that regulate inflammation and blood flow.
The reason why supplementing your dog's diet with omega fatty acids is so important is that the body can't produce them on its own. Omega-3 supplements are often called salmon oil supplements because cold-water fish, like salmon, are primary dietary sources of omega fatty acids for both dogs and humans. While humans may get their omegas from plant oils, nut oils, and flaxseed, your dog can't digest many of those things.
Types of Omega Fatty Acids
Just as not all fat types are equal as there are different types of omega-3 fatty acids. The two most important kinds for your dog are EPA and DHA.
Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, plays a critical role in many physiological functions, including reducing inflammation within the body. Inflammation has links to almost every type of disease, including joint problems and heart disease. Of all cold-water fish, salmon contains one of the highest concentrations of EPA.
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is critical to skin and eye health. In humans, we often fortify infant formula with DHA because it's that essential. When taken regularly, DHA can improve mental sharpness and help ward off various conditions, including heart problems, certain cancers, and joint issues — including canine arthritis. So, supplementing your dog's diet with DHA will keep them healthier all the way around.
How to Supplement with Salmon Oil
Depending on the concentration, every product will present a label to help you estimate how much of the supplement your dog requires, usually based on their weight. In general, the suggested dose for salmon oil ranges from 75 mg up to 100 mg for each kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight.
Giving too much salmon oil to your dog may cause an upset stomach and lead to "fishy" breath. If you have questions, you can always consult your vet regarding how often you should supplement your dog and for how long. A professional can guide you on the ideal dosage and the best meal plans to boost the effects of salmon oil.
The Benefits of Salmon Oil Supplement
The benefits of salmon oil supplementation are plentiful. For many dogs, regular supplementation leads to a noticeable change in their health due to its ability to help with the following.
Balances Other Fats
Most dog foods contain meat from corn-fed animals along with sources of refined oil, both of which are high in omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in balancing out the omega-6 fatty acids, which is important because your dog needs both.
Supports Healthy Development
For puppies, in particular, a salmon oil supplement supports healthy brain and eye development. It can also aid and prevent cognitive disfunction in older dogs.
Promotes A Healthy Heart
The omega fatty acids in salmon oil have incredible cardioprotective benefits. They combat abnormal heart rhythms, and help to regulate inflammation and blood circulation.
Improves Skin & Coat Health
Fish oil improves skin and coat health, reducing itchy and flaky skin and encouraging a shinier, silkier coat. Not only will your dog look better, they'll feel better, too!
Acts As An Anti-Inflammatory
Regular supplementation supports heart health and overall wellness with the help of anti-inflammatory properties. Those same properties support healthy joints and prevent arthritis while reducing the risk of internal inflammatory diseases, like chronic kidney disease.
Salmon oil can help relieve allergies by strengthening the skin to provide a barrier against allergens while promoting a stronger immune system.
Reduces The Risk of Cancer
Maintaining healthy supplementation of DHA and EPA in your dog's diet will reduce the risk of canine cancer, according to the American Kennel Club.
What to Look for in Your Dog's Salmon Oil Supplement
Whenever you're looking to add something new to your dog's diet, be it a supplement, treat, or different food type, it's crucial that you do your research. You want to feel confident that your dog is getting a product that's good for them and for the world at large.
When it comes to choosing a salmon oil supplement, it is important to always look for products that contain wild-caught and sustainably sourced salmon.
Wild-caught salmon is far superior to farm raised salmon. Farmed salmon have a completely different diet and environment than wild salmon. Because of its natural diet and environment, wild-caught salmon not only has a more ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, but it also is higher in minerals, like potassium, zinc and iron.
Additionally, farm raised salmon have higher concentrations of antibiotics and harmful contaminants, like polychlorinated biphenyls and several chlorinated pesticides.
As for sustainability, look for a manufacturer that sources its salmon oil under the guidelines presented by the Marine Stewardship Council. For twenty years, the MSC has devoted itself to upholding exacting standards to ensure sustainable fishing practices. They continue to help guide the production of sustainable salmon oil supplements for people and their precious pets.
While it may take a little research, once you find the perfect salmon oil for dogs, you'll be able to feed them with confidence by knowing that they're getting the essential fatty acids they need for a healthier lifestyle.
National K9 Veterans Day: 3 Heroic Retired Military Working Dogs 0
Did you know that the U.S. Military has working service dogs who serve alongside our military heroes? March 13 is National K9 Veterans Day, a day to honor the service and sacrifice of American military and working dogs throughout history. For any dog lover, it is no surprise that there are countless stories of the bravery and heroism displayed by K9 veterans.
While dogs have served bravely alongside the men and women of our military since the Revolutionary War, the US Army officially established the War Dog Program, known as the K9 Corps, on March 13th, 1942. Many patriotic Americans volunteered their pet dogs for service. Initially, 32 different breeds were accepted for training, but the list was soon narrowed to just seven: German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Belgian Sheepdogs, Siberian Huskies, farm collies, Eskimo dogs, and Malamutes.
Over 8 to 12 weeks, the dogs underwent “basic training” to help them become accustomed to life in the military and received training under one of four specialized assignments: sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs, and mine dogs.
By March 1944, fifteen war dog platoons were established and deployed to assist American military forces conducting offensive operations in Europe and the Pacific. Seven platoons served in Europe, with the other eight served in the Pacific.
Since then, dogs have served countless missions across numerous wars. Let’s take a moment to reflect on and remember three brave military working dogs:
Source: US Army
Chips, a German Shepherd/Collie/Husky mix, was an American K9 that served in World War II and was deployed with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division to North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. Trained as a sentry dog, or guard dog, Chips proved that his bravery exceeded his training on numerous occasions.
One of Chips most courageous actions took place during the invasion of Sicily in 1943. Chips and his handler Pvt. John R Rowell landed on the shore of southern Sicily. As they made their way inland, a hidden machine gun began to open fire. Chips broke free from Rowell and raced into the hut. He attacked the gunners and forced the surrender of four enemy soldiers all by himself.
Later that night, after being treated for wounds, Chips alerted his handler to an infiltration attempt by ten Italian soldiers and helped to capture all ten men.
Chip’s heroism was memorialized in a 1990 Disney movie entitled Chips, the War Dog.
Source: 3 Million Dogs
Cairo began serving in the military in 2008. By 2011, Cairo had served in many missions and sustained life threatening injuries in the course of his service. Even after making a full recovery, Cairo’s future as a military working dog was uncertain and he wasn’t expected to redeploy.
In March 2011, Chesney received a call that they would be deployed on a top secret mission to raid Osama bin Laden’s compound. Cairo and Chesney were the only canine team to raid Osama bin Laden’s compound. Like his handler, Cairo was equipped with specialized equipment, including body armor and heat vision goggles. They searched the perimeter for bombs and escape tunnels before entering and clearing the main house. After the successful mission, only one hero’s name was released, Cairo.
Chesney wrote a book entitled No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid to tell the story of Cairo and their incredible bond.
Lucca, a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix, served in the United States Marine Corps for 6 years as a tactical explosive detection dog.
Over her 6 years of service, Lucca was deployed to Iraq twice and to Afghanistan once. She was adept at She led over 400 missions, protected the lives of thousands of troops, and is credited with at least 40 confirmed finds of insurgents, explosives and ammunition. Most notably, no human casualties were ever sustained during her patrols.
On her final mission in Afghanistan in 2012, an improvised explosive device detonated near Lucca. While she survived the blast, the massive explosion severely injured Lucca and led to the amputation of her front left leg.
Following her recovery, Lucca retired from service and lived happily in California with Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham. In 2016, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals unanimously voted to award Lucca the Dickin Medal, Britain’s highest award for valor by a military animal, making her the first U.S. military dog to receive the medal.
Maria Goodavage told the story of Lucca’s life in the book titled Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca.
Life After Service
When their service is done, military working dogs retire and officially become K9 veterans. More than 90% of these K9 veterans get adopted by their handler. What happens to the remaining 10% of retired military working dogs?
While many are adopted by police forces, many are not due to age or injury. This is where civilians come in. Military dog adoption is a great way to give a hero a loving home for their senior years.
If you are interested in adopting a retired military dog, be patient. The adoption process is not quick. Applicants are carefully screened to ensure it is the right fit. There are some great organizations, like Save-A-Vet and Mission K9 Rescue, that can help you through the process.
Breed of the Month: German Shepherd 2
German Shepherds are one of the most recognizable breeds. Whether you've seen them in movies, on television, or at your local police station, you won't have trouble recognizing these beautiful dogs. The German Shepherd, or GSD, is a companion, a friend, and a protector. They're a unique breed, known for their intelligence, strength, and loyalty. Read on to learn more about this incredible breed and see if a GSD is the dog for you.
A General Overview of the GSD
The German Shepherd is a large breed of dog in the herding dog category. Once used as herders, the GSD now has a role as a working dog and as a companion. We know these dogs for their loyalty, intelligence, obedience, and tenaciousness.
Owning a GSD as a pet is quite an experience. They're very vocal so don't be surprised if your dog is constantly trying to tell you something. Whether it's groans after an ear rub or whining at the television (and they find TV interesting) they're usually speaking to you.
They can be rough but gentle at the same time. Playtime is a fun bonding experience where you might get some fake nips, a lot of noise making, and plenty of laughs.
History and Background
The German Shepherd was originally a type of dog used to protect cattle and herd sheep. Their origins are fairly new—the mid to late 1800s. Look at any history book on World War I and World War II, and you'll read about how the GSD was integral to the German Army.
Physical Characteristics and Breed Standard
German Shepherds range in size from medium to large. The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard is a height of 24-26 inches in males and 22-24 inches in females. The standard weight is 65-90 pounds in males and 50-70 pounds in females. Of course, you'll see dogs that far exceed those ranges, with some German Shepherds weighing a healthy 100 pounds or more.
The life expectancy is 12-14 years. Interestingly, the oldest known German Shepherds lived to 18 years and older! With the right diet and care, they can exceed the life expectancy as long as they don't have underlying illnesses.
Personality and Temperament
German Shepherd dogs have a wide range of talents. That's why you often see them in helpful roles. Here are just some examples of the work these dogs do:
- Police dogs
- Military dogs
- Guide dogs
- Support dogs
- Bomb-sniffing dogs
- Drug dogs
- Guard dogs
They're excellent as working dogs because of their high intelligence and desire to please their owners. Yet, these traits also make them fit companions. The GSD learns what makes their family happy and will do whatever it takes to protect them. They can be friendly and calm once they get to know strangers, unless they detect a threat to their family members. As noted by the AKC:
There are many reasons German Shepherds stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones.
Care and Needs
Like any dog, a German Shepherd has specific care needs you must know when taking on the responsibility.
A healthy diet is important to your dog's health. Make sure you have food that has vitamins and minerals. As far as people food goes, items like eggs, yogurt, and cooked veggies are fine. Be careful of other human foods - a regulated diet with dog food or safe foods is best.
German Shepherds shed excessively. You will find dust bunnies the size of Texas if you're not constantly cleaning the floors. This is because these dogs have a double coat. What this means is that they have a soft undercoat with a close-lying outer coat. Brush your German Shepherd every few days to reduce the shedding, but remember that this shedding is much more prevalent at certain times of year. Give your dog a bath every so often and trim the toenails every month.
German Shepherds are active dogs, and they need exercise and playtime to flourish. Daily walks or open play in fenced areas is ideal. You may even enjoy engaging your dog in activities like tracking, herding, dock diving, or agility.
Here are some exercises good for your German Shepherd.
- Walking. If your dog is healthy and full of energy, walk them up to three times a day.
- Running or Jogging. These are perfect to increase your dog's endurance. This works after the dog is at least 18 months old. Be wary of the surface you use. Dogs don't wear running shoes so stay away from rocky surfaces, uneven areas, and hot asphalt. Go running or jogging twice a week.
- Spring Pole Training. The spring pole increases your dog's power and muscle mass. Not to mention that it's a fun exercise he will enjoy. This is ideal twice each week.
- Weave Poles. These are another tool that maximizes endurance and agility. Start with a treat to show them how to maneuver through the poles. Practice until your dog can do it with no treat.
- Doggy Squats. Just like in humans, squats increase mobility. They're fairly easy too!
Have your dog follow your sit command.
Then, have them stand.
Use treats to entice them to keep repeating the action.
After two weeks, increase the reps in healthy dogs (not puppies or seniors).
Have your dog start with 2 sets of 5 squats and add on from there.
Without exercise, your dog may face a variety of health issues like obesity, muscle atrophy, and joint issues.
As mentioned, German Shepherds are extremely intelligent. By using reward-based training, the results should be more than satisfactory. Start out as early as possible. Even if you rescue an adult German Shepherd, know that they're smart enough to ignore the old "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" saying. It's simply not true with this breed.
The AKC recommends socialization from 8 to 16 weeks.
Also included in integral training:
- Crate training
- House training
From 3 to 9 months
- Obedience training
- Recall (teaching him to come when called)
- Impulse control
From 9 to 24 months
Continuing to work on impulse control, improve obedience skills, and advance to training in more focused activities like tracking, scent work, protection work, agility, and herding—all of which (and more) are capabilities of this breed—must continue throughout this period and then be reinforced as your GSD reaches adulthood.
German Shepherds are fairly healthy dogs. There are two areas to keep in consideration. They can be prone to hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy. Sometimes, they may experience bloat, which is a swelling of the stomach and can be life-threatening.
Hip dysplasia is one of the more common issues in this breed and others. It occurs during growth where there is a deformity of the hip. According to VCA Hospitals:
Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease factored by diet, environment, exercise, growth rate, muscle mass, and hormones. As this disease is most commonly seen in large breed dogs, these puppies should be at a normal, lean weight during growth, rather than overfed and encouraged to grow "big."
The first signs are pain and/or weakness in the hind legs. It may occur in puppies but many dogs don't show signs until they're older. There are supplements that help with joint mobility and health. And the vet may prescribe certain medications to help if it is more serious.
German Shepherds are the third most intelligent dog, and their IQ is around 60.
A German Shepherd was the first dog used to help a blind person.
Schutzhund is a dog sport first created for German Shepherds. Schutzhund tests the natural abilities of the GSD, although other dogs can take part as well.
They're the second most popular dog in the United States.
Famous German Shepherds
No list is complete without some famous German Shepherds!
Rin-Tin-Tin was a box office star.
Chips was a military hero, and the most decorated war dog during World War II.
Apollo worked with the NYPD K-9 Urban Search and Rescue Team. Along with his handler, he was the first search-and-rescue dog team on site at the World Trade Center after the attack on 9/11.
Remember the first seeing-eye dog? That was Buddy, a pioneer in seeing-eye dogs.
German Shepherds to Follow
It's fun to watch German Shepherds in action. One of our favorites to follow on Instagram is Jade the Sable. Jade and Jasper are two Canadian internet stars where the antics are hilarious, sweet, and totally watchable.
Another fun pair is Dakota and Rocky. These two love to go to the beach and people watch.
And for the cutest police officer ever, check out K9 Caz.
What to Expect Owning a German Shepherd
While every experience is different, what we can tell you is you'll have years of a loyal companion, an intelligent adversary, and a best friend. They're unique dogs and will love you forever. And whether it's solely a pet or you have a working dog, they're loyal till the end. By knowing more about this wonderful breed, you ensure your furry friend gets the best care and the most love. Let's face it, German Shepherds are special dogs and deserve a special owner too.