Many wanna-be dog owners don’t realize all the responsibilities involved in having a canine pet. If you’re one of those that do you’d be right to research whether your dream pet is actually suitable for you. So, are dachshunds good for first-time owners or are there issues to watch out for? What are the breed’s pros and cons? Let’s find out below.
Are Dachshunds Good For First-time Owners?
In a word – yes. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you need to prepare for. Different pet-related things, tasks, and obligations often surprise different people. For example, if you think the hardest part of owning a dog is all the walks and outdoor time that needs to be spent, then a smaller and more indoorsy breed like the dachshund can seem easy to look after.
On the other hand, if you know how much of a pain potty training can be and you choose to avoid/minimize it with a breed like the Labrador Retriever, then the hyperactivity of that breed can become a problem.
Simply put, different dog breeds have different pros and cons. Knowing and understanding those is a key part of ensuring that you find the perfect pet for you. It’s estimated that over 3 million dogs of all breeds still get thrown out of their homes and end up in shelters in the US every year. That’s largely because many people just aren’t ready for the responsibility of having such a pet and don’t know what they are getting into.
If you don’t want to contribute to this grim statistic and you want a dachshund – let’s go over the pros and cons of this breed.
Pros and Cons Of Owning A Dachshund
So, are dachshunds good for first-time owners? Sure. Here are the X pros that contribute to this fact and the Y cons you’ll still need to keep in mind.
- Are dachshunds cuddly? Very much so. While Doxies are a little too active and playful to be defined as “lapdogs” they are certainly both compact and affectionate enough to spend countless hours cuddling with you in your feet or lap. Both standard and miniature Dachshunds are very gentle and loving, and both live for human love and attention.
- Is the dachshund a good family dog? Indeed they are. While they are scenthounds and need some socialization to live with cats and other pets, Dachshunds get along with children of all ages. A Doxie, especially when well-trained, will be the perfect playtime companion of any child.
- Are dachshunds friendly and social? Dachshunds are far from a guard breed as they get along swimmingly with people. Of course, they are still dogs so some socialization is mandatory. As long as that’s there, however, you’ll have a dog that happily welcomes all your friends and guests.
- Do dachshunds need a lot of exercise outdoors? Not at all. If you’re the outdoorsy type yourself that might be a con but most people view it as a plus. A maximum of one hour (or less) divided into two walks outside time a day is more than enough for any dachshund. Mini Doxies need even less than that.
- Do you need a yard for a dachshund or are apartments ok? Doxies are great for apartment living and they absolutely don’t need yards. Of course, a yard isn’t a bad thing, but dachshunds are small enough to feel perfectly fine in any decently-sized apartment.
- Dachshunds live a long time too! With an average lifetime of up to 16 years, dachshunds are ideal for people who want a long-term pet. With the right care and a bit of luck, a healthy dachshund puppy can even exceed 20 years which is extremely rare for a lot of other dog breeds.
- Do dachshunds have aggression toward other dogs or Napoleon Complex? They don’t, especially if you socialize them well. With the right upbringing, a dachshund should be very well-adjusted and get along with other dogs.
- How about the dachshund’s health? This isn’t a horrible point in the breed’s ledger but it isn’t great either. Dachshunds don’t have that many life-threatening conditions that plague the breed but they can suffer from a few issues that often worsen their lives. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), in particular, is an infamous back problem for dachshunds. Obesity is common in the breed and there are some breed-specific skin conditions such as Acanthosis Nigricans. Issues like these mean that you’ll need to pay extra attention to your dog’s exercise, health, food, and lifestyle as prevention is key.
- Are Dachshunds difficult to potty train? Unfortunately, dachshunds are quite the bother to potty train. They are not unmanageable, of course, but potty training them makes for a very annoying and frustrating couple of months. Experience helps but isn’t strictly necessary – you can get all the know-how you need online.
- Do dachshunds have a prey drive? Doxies are scenthounds, after all, so they can be problematic if you have cats, hamsters, or other non-canine pets. This isn’t an impossible problem to work around – if the dachshund gets socialized with the cat properly, the two should live together in relative harmony. However, there are other breeds that tolerate cats much better.
- Dachshunds are relatively willful and independent dogs. This is fun to witness but it can make obedience training slower and more annoying. Some people wrongly assume that dachshunds are “dumb” because of that but that’s not the case – they are just more self-minded than other shepherd or gun dog breeds. So, while a first-time owner can still train a dachshund, you should approach the whole process with patience.
So Are Dachshunds Good For First-time Owners and Are They Right For You?
Overall, dachshunds are recommended for first-time dog owners. They probably aren’t “the most recommended” breed for rookies due to their health issues, potty training difficulties, prey drive, and somewhat willful personality, but they are far better than many other breeds.
Doxies are small, manageable, affectionate, smart, and they are not overly defensive or aggressive toward strangers. They can get along with kids very well and they don’t need that much outdoor time. Additionally, they can be trained by first-timers even if said training takes a bit more patience.