Dachshunds can make the perfect companion for apartment living because they come in different sizes.
Whether you are struggling to make everything fit efficiently or spread out in a penthouse, there is a Dachshund you can make a happy part of your apartment life.
Just be forewarned that Dachshunds have minds of their own. There will be adjustments for both you and your Dachshund as you learn to live together.
What’s That About Different Sizes of Dachshunds?
Just about everyone recognizes the Dachshund’s famously low, long silhouette.
You can’t spend any time around Dachshunds without noticing their bold, energetic temperaments or their always-on-alert facial expressions.
But you may not know that come in three sizes and three styles of coats.
Dachshunds come in three sizes:
- Miniature, and
- Kaninchen (German for “rabbit”).
The standard and miniature sizes are the only sizes recognized by the American Kennel Club, but the rabbit size is also recognized by most other dog clubs around the world.
Another unrecognized category called “tweenies” for Dachshunds is larger than most miniatures but smaller than most standards.
Standard Dachshunds typically weigh 16 to 32 pounds, well within the weight limits of most leases.
Miniature Dachshunds have an adult weight of 12 pounds or less, while kanninchen will weigh between 8 and 11 pounds in adulthood. (The metric equivalents for these weights are 7.5 to 14.5 kg for standard Dachshunds, less than 5.5 kg for miniatures, and as little as 3.5 kg for rabbit-sized Dachshunds.)
There is a saying that a Dachshund is one dog tall and two dogs long.
A standard Dachshund will stand about 8 or 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) at the shoulders (withers) and have an overall body length of about 21.5 to 25 inches (55 to 64 cm). Miniatures and rabbit-sized Dachshunds are, of course, lower and shorter.
There Are Different Colors of Dachshunds, Too
Dachshunds don’t just vary in size. They can also have different coat styles and eye colors.
Dachshunds can have short, wiry, or long hair.
Their coats can be black and tan, red and tan, solid red, or brindle (brown coats with streaks of other colors).
Occasionally Dachshunds are piebald, with irregular patches of two colors on their coats.
The genetics for Dachshund coat color also determine Dachshund eye color.
Dachshunds with dappled coats may also carry a gene that gives dappled, multi-colored eyes with lines or patches of blue. Piebald-patterned Dachshunds will not have blue eyes.
Dachshunds with lighter-colored brown coats may have light brown, amber, or green eyes. You will pay more at the breeder if your Dachshund has darker eyes with a lighter coat, but you may not care.
Dachshunds were bred for their length and lowness hundreds of years ago to make them hunting dogs to pursue badgers.
As you will soon discover if you don’t already know, they were also bred to be tenacious and stubborn in hunting and everything else they do.
Which Type of Dachshund Will Be Best in Your Apartment?
The conventional wisdom is that miniature and kanninchen Dachshunds are best suited to apartment life, but there are other factors to take into account when looking for your wiener dog.
All Dachshunds require some grooming. All Dachshunds shed, And not all Dachshunds are hypoallergenic.
- Short-haired Dachshunds require the least time for grooming and coat maintenance. They only need a bath every couple of months unless they get into something smelly.
- Long-haired Dachshunds will need a bath about once a month. They also need weekly combing to prevent mats, knots, and tangles in their coats.
- Wire-haired Dachshunds also need weekly brushing and monthly bathing. They need a visit to the groomer about twice a year for stripping their coats.
If you aren’t taking your Dachshund to a groomer on a monthly basis, you check your dog for bumps and sores and areas of tenderness.
Take time to look at your dog’s eyes every week to make sure they are clear and bright.
Dachshunds also have three other breed-specific maintenance requirements. A Dachshund’s long ears are breeding grounds for bacteria.
They should not be smelly, and they should not fill up with gunk. If they do, a trip to the vet should be on your agenda.
You also need to lift the ears occasionally to check for mite infestations.
Dachshunds need light, painless nail trimming about once a month. If you don’t know how to do this, get a groomer to show you the right technique.
You should never, ever draw blood when you trim your dog’s nails. Otherwise, you will need to get used to a tap-dancing noise around the apartment at all times as your Dachshund follows you around.
Not to be overlooked is dental hygiene for your Dachshund. All smaller-breed dogs are prone to gum disease and tooth decay.
They need to have their teeth brushed at least three or four times a week to prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar and prevent dog breath.
Never use toothpaste or toothbrushes designed for people to brush your dog’s teeth. Use a toothbrush designed to reach the back surfaces of your Dachshund’s teeth.
Avoid toothpaste for people. They have irritating, allergy-provoking ingredients like sodium lauryl (or Laureth) sulfate.
Use canine toothpaste in a flavor that dogs love, not peppermint, but liver.
What You Need to Know About Living with a Dachshund
The novelist E. B. White, who wrote popular children’s books including Stuart Little and Charlottes Web, was the long-time owner of a Dachshund named Fred. White wrote:
“Someday I will write a book, really a warning, about the temperament and character of my Dachshund, on why he can never be trained, and I should never have tried.
I would rather try to train a zebra to stand on a billiard ball than to try to train Fred to sit, stay, roll-over, and fetch. When I address Fred I never raise my voice or my hopes. He disobeys me even when I am telling him to do something he likes to do.”
Hundreds of years ago when Dachshunds were hunting dogs, they were only successful if they were persistent.
In the twenty-first century when Dachshunds are apartment dogs, that persistence gets translated as stubbornness,
Dachshunds will do exactly what you don’t want them to do until you successfully train them not to do it. Punishing a Dachshund doesn’t work.
They will just suppose you are being mean to them, and ignore you even more.
The only way to raise a well-behaved Dachshund is to reward the behaviors you want consistently, instantly, and over and over again until your Dachshund makes the connection between good behavior and getting things she likes.
Be forewarned that Dachshunds can become aggressive about food. That’s an important thing to know if you have children.
They can also become very jealous and possessive about their toys. It’s important that your children (or your roommate or frequent guests) know not to tease Dachshunds about the material things they consider to be their own.
But if you can deal with stubbornness and possessiveness, Dachshunds make fantastically loyal pets.
8 Ways You Can Become the Center of Your Dachshund’s Life
Dachshunds are well-known for forming fierce attachments to owners who live alone with them. In human families, they tend to form closer bonds with the one human.
You can be that close attachment if you do most or all of these nine things:
- Be the one who brings your Dachshund home. Dachshunds have excellent memories. They remember specific events, people, and places. They will never forget who brought them to their happy new home.
- Be the one who feeds your Dachshunds. All dogs bond to the humans who feed them. When they know you provide their food, they will make an effort to please you.
- Be dependable. Dachshunds thrive on structure. Feed them at the same time of day, every day. Take them outside at the same time of day, every day. Dachshunds will surmise your character by the way you treat them. They will also recognize trustworthy characteristics (or the lack of them) in the people you bring into your home.
- Make sure your Dachshund is socialized as a puppy. About the time a puppy’s mother starts weaning, the dog learns how to trust the “not the mama” dogs, people, and other pets (including cats) in his life. Dachshunds that are exposed to a variety of people, places, things, and experiences as puppies are more relaxed for the rest of their lives. They form easier bonds with that special human, too.
- Take your Dachshund out to play. Dachshunds were bred for vigorous, outdoor activity, tracking down animals and digging into burrows behind them. Your Dachshund thrives on daily trips to the dog park. Just be aware that excessively long outdoor playtime with the same person every day will build up expectations that every play session will last a long time. Dachshunds get fussy when they are disappointed,
- Give them frequent attention. Dachshunds like constant attention. They will happily follow you everywhere you go throughout the day and then burrow into bed beside you at night. But if you pet them, give them belly rubs, and cuddle up with them every time they approach you, they can become clingy and suffer separation anxiety when you leave to go to work or shopping.
- Indulge your Dachshund’s upbeat, zany, energetic personality. Dachshunds will take treats from anyone, but they will bond with the human that brings them the best treats, that takes them on the most fun adventures, and that lets them express their full “Dachshund-ness” in new and fun ways. If everyone in the family treats the Dachshund the same, however, the Dachshund will bond with everyone in the family equally.
- Let your Dachshund sleep with you. Dachshunds love to burrow under the covers. They will happily burrow under the covers to sleep with their humans. Just be sure to choose a comfortable sleeping position early in the night. Once a Dachshund finds a comfortable place to go to sleep, they will stay in the exact same spot all night.
All of these methods make you the center of your Dachshund’s life when you move into a house, too.
A healthy, lively Dachshund may be part of your life for as long as 15 years.
They’re a great choice for apartment living, as long as you invest the time and effort to train them beginning as puppies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Living with Dachshunds in Apartments
Q. Are there any deal-breakers for getting a Dachshund?
A. You should always spend some time visiting with your future adopted dog before taking them home.
It’s even better to get to know the mother and father while your Dachshund is a puppy, although this will only be possible if you are buying your Dachshund from a breeder.
It’s a wonderful humanitarian gesture to take in a shelter Dachshund that comes from a bad home, but don’t do this without getting to know the Dachshund first.
Dachshunds tend to be yappy. If you live in an apartment complex with thin walls, you may want to consider Bulldog, which has much lower energy, or a Basenji, which doesn’t bark.
Q. Can I leave my Dachshund home alone all day?
A. Dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety. They may bark, howl, and moan from the time you leave until the time you return home.
This can cause issues with your neighbors and apartment management. Dogs that are anxious about their missing owners may pee and poop, and destroy upholstery and furniture.
It’s important to be able to check in on your Dachshund a few times during the day or to spend some time on crate training when your Dachshund is still a puppy.
But you may need to consider keeping a pair of Dachshunds, so they can keep each other company.
Q. Where can I find a training course for my Dachshund?
A. Ask at Petsmart or Petco. They usually offer training courses or can refer you to training courses.
Training lasts eight to ten weeks and is usually affordably priced.
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