It has been quite a while since I posted the last interview for the breed profile series (Vulric the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog)! But this one will make up for that. Let me introduce you to:
Mash, the Dachshund
Dachshunds have become an exceedingly popular breed here in the U.K, and my guess is that more people will start to look at them as potential pets after a wire-haired standard dachshund won Crufts this year (though that dog is more famous for pooping in the ring during his victory lap)!
Dachshunds come from Germany in the 15th Century and were bred to be badger hunters. They retain this prey drive to this day! They come in both a standard size (average of 9 inches) and miniature size (5 inches). You can get long haired, wire haired and short haired varieties, as well as many different coat colors including tan, fawn and back. They are known by a few different nicknames depending on where you are in the world; the most common being doxie, and sausage dog. The average life expectancy of a dachshund is around 14 years old.
Now I have worked with many dachshunds (usually for separation anxiety and excessive barking) and they are the most hilarious breed. Quirky, sometimes a little hard to motivate unless good food is around, big barkers, and want to be cuddled up to you at all times. Mash fits in to this observation quite well!
Mash has just turned 2 years old, is a miniature variety of dachshund. Thank you so much to his owner for taking the time to answer these questions, especially during lockdown and pregnant!
Why did you get a dachshund? "My husband and I always knew we wanted a dog, even though neither of us ever owned one growing up we always knew we would be good pawrents. The deal was a small dog, but not fluffy, as my husband wanted to still feel a little manly when walking a small dog. It was years before I married that I saw a super cute photo of a puppy dachshund on Instagram that I became obsessed with the breed. They're long, like me and my husband, they're cute, like me and my husband, and I can be quite lazy when it comes to exercise so I thought, they only have little legs, surely they cant need TOO much walking. So we started our research.
Despite the negatives,
Prone to back problems (IVDD)
Bad separation anxiety
Stubborn/ hard to train
Little dog syndrome
We also came across positives,
Good guard dogs
Always stay small like a puppy
Makes the home a happier place"
What were the first 12 months like? "The first 12 months was very fun, and scary. They grow too quickly and they scare you, A LOT! Maybe I was an overprotective new dog mum, or maybe puppies are really prone to accidents, either way, we were at the vet's quite a bit.
Mash is an excitable and active little man who fractured and sprained both paws in the space of 4 months, he used to eat EVERYTHING off the floor (the number of times I had to fish dirty tissues and chewed up chewing gum from his jaws was disgusting), he also ate something he shouldn't have and gave us a huge scare one time. But despite that, we had good vet visits too, one which was to get him a pet passport and we took Mash abroad to Paris and Barcelona and it was honestly the most amazing holidays we've had. (You can view our trip on our blog if interested)"
How was he to train? "The internet told me Dachshunds are stubborn and really hard to train (they're not!). I spent everyday practicing/ teaching this little man new tricks, and he nailed it every time! They're so smart and as long as there was food involved, he'd do anything."
What is the best thing about having a dachshund? "They never leave your side, and very affectionate. Plus, very portable."
What is the hardest thing about having a dachshund? "I have a genuine fear that someone is going to step on him (we work in the busy city of London so this is one of my main struggles) but if you mean their personality, I'd say their little man syndrome and barking at almost everything and they can suffer from bad separation anxiety (lucky for Mash he is never alone)."
Does Mash have any quirks related to the breed? Any funny dachshund stories? "He loves nicking food from people's bags at work. He once stole a banana from my boss's bag and made him chase him around the office for a good 15 mins."
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of getting a dachshund? "Please, do your research to make sure the Dachshund breed is right for you. Dachshunds are pack animals and love to be around you, so be prepared to have a shadow at all times and to focus on lots of training.
If you are looking at buying a Dachshund puppy, please make sure you are purchasing from a reputable breeder from the KC Register to ensure you will have good health for your puppy and minimise risks of health issues such as PRA and IVDD. Also, be extremely cautious when looking at diluted colours like "rare" blue and fawn (Isabella), as well as double dapple. Certain patterns and markings are associated with specific health concerns in Dachshunds. Diluted genes have been associated with canine blindness, deafness, and other skin sensitivities that affect the overall health of your puppy, so again please do your research."
If you were to sum up Mash in a few words, what would those words be?
"Cheeky little monkey that I love and can't live without."
Mash is only a few followers away from 10k on Insta, so go check out his account and follow!
Also, he has a fantastic website and blog that you won't regret spending some time during this lockdown reading: