Getting to Know Your Daschund Getting to know your dog starts by getting to know its breed, and that includes getting a better idea about its appearance, personality, and health requirements. Here's what you need to know about the Daschund: Known also as the â€œwiener dogâ€ because of the long body, the Daschund makes a great pet. With its low-riding body typically comes a laid back â€œlow-ridingâ€ attitude. The Daschund dates all the way back to Ancient Egyptian days. Over the years, the breed became popular around Europe, specifically loved by royalty. The Daschund we know today was originally called a German Daschund, which was much larger, weighing up to 40 pounds. This early breed had straight and crooked leg varieties. The Daschund is also famous for hunting of fox and rabbit, as well as exterminating badgers and finding wild boar and injured deer. The name itself translates in German to â€œbadger dogâ€ because of its amazing hunting, chasing, and scent abilities. Physical Appearance Todayâ€™s Daschund is known for having crooked legs, a barrel shaped chest, loose skin, and again, the elongated body. As with other breeds, the Daschund is bred for a smooth, longhair, and wirehair coat. Keep in mind that the wirehair breed usually has shorter and wirier hair than the smooth and long coat. If you plan to show, the American Kennel Club accepts a miniature and full-size version, each with a distinctive class of height and weight. To give you an idea of the difference, a miniature Daschund would weigh 11 pounds or less while a full-grown dog would be anywhere from 16 to 32 pounds. This breed is also available in a wide array of colors although the primary colors are red, and black and red. Other possibilities include: * Fawn * Chocolate * Wild Boar * Cream Blue * Light Boar Red (copper, rust, etc) * Piebald * Sable * Dapple * Double Dapple * White * Chocolate and Red * Brown and Red In addition to the variance in colors and color combinations, the Daschund would generally have black hair intermingled on the back, tail, edges of the ears, and face. While you will find many solid chocolate and black dogs of this breed, keep in mind these are non-standard colors, meaning from conformance competition in the United States and the United Kingdom, they would be disqualified. Temperament and Personality If you were looking for a fun, playful, and loyal family dog, the Daschund would make an excellent consideration. This breed is actually quite clever, smart, and courageous but also being strong-willed, they can be a bit on the challenging side when it comes to training. On occasion, a Daschund might appear shy which would not be a preferred behavior. In this case, early and on-going socialization would help. Another interesting fact about the Daschund is that the type of temperament changes with the type of coat. For example, a long haired breed tends to be a more relaxed dog. The eyes of this breed are deep and heartfelt, making the expressions sweet. Then, the Daschund usually has a rich bark while making snoring type sounds due to larger lungs that fill the space of the barrel shaped chest. Health Although you might expect the Daschund to have a lot of health issues because of the elongated body, the truth is most are healthy. However, they can have problems with the spine, which can be aggravated by obesity. To prevent spinal problems, it is recommended this breed be kept from jumping off beds, walking up and down many stairs, and so on. Even picking this breed up must be done carefully to avoid injury. For instance, the front and rear portions of the body must always be completely supported. One of the most inherited of all spinal risks is Intervertebral Disk Disease, which can usually be treated with various medications and in more severe cases, corrected with surgery. Alternative medicine is also used and found in most cases to be successful. For instance, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, and physical therapy are all possible solutions. Daniel Stevens is the renowned dog trainer and author of SitStayFetch: Dog Training To Stop Your Dog's Behavior Problems, one of the leading dog training guides on the market today selling over 21,000 copies (and counting). He currently heads the Kingdom of Pets (http://www.kingdomofpets.com) dog training team. See http://www.kingdomofpets.com/dogobediencetraining/dogbreeds/dachshund.php for more on dog breeds.
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