Are you looking for a new dog to bring home to the kids? A Dachshund is a great choice!
Dachshunds are a fun breed for families with kids.
Every dog is different, and we’ll be giving you all the information you need to make the best choice among Dachshunds for your family.
What Makes Dachshund a Good Pet for Kids and Families?
But first, let’s consider four reasons you will be glad you chose a Dachshund for your pet.
Dachshunds love to cuddle
Dachshunds love to cuddle up next to kids. (They will love to cuddle up to you, too.)
Dachshunds will allow your kids to pet and pat them, as long as they are being gentle.
You will need to make sure your kids know how to be gentle with their Dachshunds and you will need to make sure your dog has an easy introduction to your home, but snuggly, cuddly Dachshunds are the norm.
Dachshunds are protective of their people
Dachshunds will watch over children.
They make great watchdogs. They are always on the lookout for threats to the people they love.
They will tend to bark at visitors to your home, and they can become alarmed about strangers, but you can train your Dachshund to avoid bad behavior and unfortunate incidents.
Dachshunds love to play
Dachshunds are often on the go. They thrive on getting their daily walk and playtime.
Making sure your kids keep your Dachshund busy keeps all of them out of trouble, and helps both your dog and your kids maintain a healthy weight.
Family playtime with your Dachshund is a bonding experience for both your dogs and your kids.
Dachshunds have a sense of adventure
Dachshunds love exploring new places with their humans. They are great dogs to take along on camping and hiking trips. They even enjoy swimming.
Dachshunds are loyal companion dogs. They will love you like no other dog can. They enjoy their playtime, but they are also content to rest by your side.
On the other hand, Dachshunds can think for themselves. You can tell them to do something, and they may give you a look that says “Not today, thank you.”
Does a Dachshund sound like the right choice for you? Great!
Now let’s go through what you need to know to find the right Dachshund for your family and your kids.
A Checklist for Choosing the Right Dachshund for Your Family
You have some decisions that are best made before you go out looking for your ideal Dachshund.
The first thing to consider is what size Dachshund you want.
Dachshunds come in three sizes, standard, miniature, and kaninchen (which is German for “rabbit”).
Standard and Miniature Dachshunds are recognized by the American Kennel Club.
In the US, “kaninchen” is an informal term that won’t show up on a purebred Dachshund’s papers.
- An exceptionally tall male adult standard Dachshund will stand about 9 inches (23 cm) tall and weigh from 16 to 32 pounds (7.3 to 15 kg).
- An adult female kaninchen Dachshund will be only about 9 inches (23 cm) long and might weigh just pounds (a little under 4 kilos).
Dachshunds come in all sizes in between.
If you have an elderly person in your home, they may find it easier to manage a kaninchen. These small dogs are easy to pick up.
Larger Dachshunds may be better for playing with the kids.
Dachshunds have three types of coats, shorthair (smooth), longhair, or wirehair.
Longhair Dachshunds have silky feathers on their ears and legs. Their long hair also forms a flag on their tails.
It’s easier to groom and bathe shorthair Dachshunds, but it is hard to find a miniature or kaninchen with short hair. Longhair Dachshunds need grooming at least once a week.
Wirehaired Dachshunds have a coat and an undercoat.
They stand up to cold weather well, but they shed their undercoat twice a year. Those two times a year, grooming them can be a challenge.
You will also need an excellent vacuum cleaner to keep up with the shed hair.
Dachshunds have seven possible coat colors that come in five patterns.
Dachshunds with different coat colors and patterns can be born into the same litter.
Possible colors of Dachshunds are:
- Black. This color will disqualify the dog from getting American Kennel Club pedigree papers, but doesn’t affect your enjoyment of the dog.
- Cream and black.
- Tan and black.
- Cream and blue.
- Chocolate. Solid chocolate coloring is considered non-standard and is not accepted in a Dachshund for shows.
- Cream and chocolate.
- Chocolate and tan.
- Cream and fawn.
- Tan and fawn.
- Wild boar.
Most people look for shorthairs that have a black and tan color combination. The most popular color in longhaired Dachshunds is red.
Markings include brindle, double brindle, brindle piebald, dapple, sable, piebald, and double piebald.
Beware of breeders offering Dachshunds in “exotic colors.” Some genes for birth defects are linked to genes for coat color. A “double dapple Dachshund,” for example, maybe born blind, born without eyes, or be born deaf.
Even if a double dapple has normal sight and hearing, it carries genes for these problems to occur.
Many Dachshunds have big, brown, soulful eyes. But there are Dachshunds that have amber, green, or light brown eyes, especially if they have light-colored coats.
Dachshunds with dappled coats may have eyes of different colors.
You may go through this list and some photos you find online and go out looking for a Dachshund with exact specifications, but then fall in love with another Dachshund that doesn’t look anything like what you were looking for.
This is OK.
You can get just as much love and enjoyment from a Dachshund with one coat and eye color as another.
But the nine to 18 years you can expect your Dachshund to live will be more enjoyable if you begin basic training when they are puppies.
Be Prepared for Your Dachshund Puppy
(We’ll have more to say about rescue Dachshunds in the next section.)
The important thing to understand about Dachshund puppies is that they are very curious about the world around them.
They will have short bursts of energy that make them hyperactive for about 10 minutes before they settle down to recharge.
Your kids can have great fun with their puppies during those 10 minutes.
Chances are they will need to recharge, too, having made a significant contribution to their dog’s lifetime wellbeing.
What is it about playing with a Dachshund puppy that contributes to her lifetime wellbeing?
Dogs start forming the circuits in their brains that identify “friends” about the same they are weaned from their mothers and for the next three months.
This is the time in their lives they can learn that different kinds of people are OK. That vacuum cleaners aren’t scary.
That rides in the car can be fun. And that the cat can be a friend, who happens to have claws.
If dogs don’t have play experiences as puppies, they have difficulties relating to people for the rest of their lives.
It is extremely important to socialize Dachshunds puppies by the fourth month of their lives, so they can adjust to changing conditions later.
After puppies go through a stage of learning who their friends are, they go through three months or so of building circuits in their brains that identify danger.
This usually happens between six and nine months. It is important to protect your young dog from scary and painful events at this time in his life.
If you don’t, lifetime phobias can develop.
Don’t take a Dachshund puppy home unless you and your kids are ready to provide it with both enriching experiences and protection.
These build the foundation for many happy years with your family dog.
Some Pointers for Adopting Rescue Dachshunds
People love Dachshund puppies for obvious reasons. They are adorable.
They are playful. You can bond with them from the very beginning for a happy life experience with your dog.
But there are also good reasons to adopt an older Dachshund.
Some people love Dachshunds but don’t necessarily want to go through toilet training or obedience work.
They don’t want to deal with the breed’s relatively long adolescence, which may last until they are 18 months old.
Sometimes older people have wonderfully trained Dachshunds they have to give up to go into an extended care facility.
And sometimes Dachshunds are orphaned by tragic circumstances.
When you adopt an older Dachshund, you are saving a dog’s life. But be sure you are ready for the responsibilities that come with a rescue dog.
Here are some important considerations before adopting a rescue Dachshund.
Dachshunds have to be trained not to become burrowers and diggers
Dachshunds were bred for hunting badgers. They easily can use their paws to dig under fences.
But on the plus side, they like to burrow under the covers to sleep with you.
You may need to prepare your backyard to make sure your rescue Dachshund can’t dig under the fence and escape before you bring him home.
Dachshunds have to be trained not to bite
Like most other small dogs, Dachshunds tend to nip at other dogs and people. They need to be trained not to bite about the same time they are weaned.
A mother Dachshund will bite her puppy if her puppy bites her, but not all Dachshunds get the point of this lesson.
Try to find out if a potential rescue Dachshund has a biting problem.
This can be a deal-breaker since housing agreements and city laws can impose significant penalties on the owners of dogs that bite strangers.
If you adopt a Dachshund with this issue anyway, begin training immediately. Get the help of a professional dog trainer or an obedience school if necessary.
Dachshunds can have trouble chewing and eating
If a Dachshund has a cold nose, it probably has an overbite. If the jaws don’t fit together, the nose doesn’t get as much warmth from the mouth.
Dachshunds that have overbites may be messy eaters, and they may become parents to puppies with breathing problems.
Dachshunds have an “independent” nature, more if they have not been trained as puppies
They are difficult to house train. They tend to bark a lot.
They do not overcome these habits without extensive training that is best started when they are puppies.
Many rescue dogs will have been trained to do their business in designated locations and to let their owners get a full night of restful quiet, but some will not.
Dachshunds tend to have back problems
Some veterinarians say that it’s not a matter of if your Dachshund will have serious back problems, it’s a matter of when.
Many Dachshunds will need back surgery that can cost several thousand dollars without pet insurance, which may not be available for a rescue dog.
After back surgery, your Dachshund may not be able to go up and down steps, or jump on and off the couch. You may need to build ramps to accommodate your dog.
Dachshunds aren’t a good fit for homes with antiques, expensive carpets, and fragile artwork
Dachshunds can be rambunctious. They are not a good placement for homes with expensive carpets or fragile antiques.
Of course, neither are kids, and families with kids are not likely to have them.
Rescuing a Dachshund is never just a way to get a Dachshund cheap.
There will almost always be adoption and license fees, and you will still have to pay for dog food, dog toys, vaccinations, heartworm medication, and regular trips to the vet.
You will also have more limited options for purchasing pet health insurance to help with medical expenses. (However, any rescue dog is eligible for insurance that pays vet costs in case of accidents.)
The joys of adopting a rescue Dachshund can far outweigh the problems that may come with them—especially if you have kids.
Just be ready to deal with needs particular to the breed as they come. For help finding a Dachshund to rescue, contact Dachshund Rescue of North America.
Other articles you may also like: