Dachshunds. Their reputations precede them, or do they? Some of the more famous reputations Dachshunds have acquired are that Dachshunds bark too much, they are not a ‘people’ dog compared to others, to name a few.
Some other stigmas that seem to follow the Dachshund breed are that they are disobedient and independent.
In this two part post I am going to debunk some of these myths and explain the reasons why some of them are true.
I think D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D. sums it up nicely in her book, Barron’s Dog Bibles Dachshunds. According to Dr. Coile, “It’s not that the dachshunds are willfully disobedient. Well, maybe just a little. But they can’t help it. The Dachshund’s DNA is true to what its ancestors were bred to do: hunt tough quarry on their own.”
She goes on to say that, “as a hunter, the Dachshund must
– follow his nose. The Dachshund is always on the lookout for new scents, wandering abroad in search of trails to follow and holes to investigate (they were bred to hunt badgers underground).
– not be swayed from his mission once on the trail – even when you’re chasing after him and calling him.
– be self-directed, making his own decisions. A hunting dog that had to check back with a person would end up with quarry that simply sauntered away when the dog’s attention was diverted. That means he won’t ask you what to do – he’ll simply assume he knows the answer.
– be tough and tenacious. A dog that needs to face off against a badger underground needs to be persevere in the face of adversity. That means he won’t be easily discouraged by your stern looks and admonitions. You’ve got nothing on an angry badger!
– be an enthusiastic barker. To dig down to where the Dachshund was holding the badger at bay, the dog needed to bark, loudly and consistently, for a long time. Otherwise the hunters would be digging at random, and might even collapse the sett or hit the dog.”
Perhaps after reading this excerpt you have a better understanding of why Dachshunds are independent (to a degree), they were bred to be that way. It’s not that they are being disobedient or hard headed. They are just doing what they were bred to do, only they’re doing it in your home and not in the forest chasing after badgers.
It really is important to understand the mind of the Dachshund and where he is coming from to be able to live in harmony with a Dachshund. Believe it or not, there are reasons for his behavior, though they may be hidden deep in the gene pool!
Having said that, stayed tuned for part two of this post where I will explain how these traits combine with the loving, energetic and fun side of the Dachshund to make them loyal, fun loving companions.