What to expect with a miniature dachshund puppy

So, you’re thinking about buying your first miniature dachshund? The short answer: DO IT! I promise you, you won’t regret it one bit! But you’re not here for that, keep reading to find out how to begin, what you can expect, top tips on training a dachshund and why it’s the best decision we ever made!

First up, you need to do your research! It can feel quite overwhelming as there is a lot of information out there. I had been following a lot of dachshunds and their owners on instagram so I decided to reach out to some of these and see what advice they could offer. This is one of the most useful things I could recommend. Google is great, but when it comes to something like this, talking to people who have first hand experience wins any day. Within a couple of hours, I had recommended breeders, things to look out for, questions to ask and most importantly an idea on whether a dachshund was the right type of dog for us.

What you should look out for when buying a dachshund

Are the puppies raised at home, if they are in kennels this could be a red flag.

Make sure to ask if this is their first, second or third litter, any more than that & it could be overbreeding.

If it’s not the first litter, check when the last litter was, it should be a year apart at the very very least.

Are they Kennel Club registered?

Ensure the puppy is PRA clear & has no history of IVDD in their pedigree.

You’ll usually be quizzed by a breeder about your lifestyle etc if they are happy to just give you a puppy no questions asked, something isn’t quite right.

Price: long haired dachshunds are quite rare so they can be pretty pricey. Be prepared to pay anything between £2000-£3000. Anything over and I’d question it.

Is a dachshund right for you?

If you love lots of cuddles a dachshund is 100% right for you but there are a few things you should consider. Dachshunds are super easy to look after but they are very needy animals. All they really want is your attention and a cuddle. We decided to finally get Rex after I was told I would be working from home at least until next year. If this wasn’t the case, I would not be writing this post now. I hate leaving him, even though I know leaving him for short periods of time is good for him. If you live in an apartment, a dachshund is the perfect size for it. They are small and don’t take up too much space. A miniature dachshund can grow up to 18 inches in length and 6 inches in height. For reference, Rex has just turned 16 weeks and is around 10 inches long. They just need a compact area to eat, sleep and play (repeat!). If you only have a balcony, toilet training might be a little trickier. Puppy pads will become your best friend for sure or you’ll find yourself going up and down the stairs three, four, five times a day. Luckily we have a decent sized terrace so Rex is able to go outside to do his business. When doing my own research a lot of sites said the downside to a dachshund was the noise. As I’ve said Rex is now 4 months and so far this hasn’t been a problem. He didn’t really find his bark until he was 3 months old and even then it was more of a howl/squeak. I might be updating this in a few months time but I think this factor depends on the dog itself. When Rex does bark, it will be to get our attention, or it will be more of a growl when he’s being grumpy. We try to ignore this so he learns to understand this isn’t good behaviour. Personally, I love going out to eat and do different things, I love going on lots of holidays and a lot of people said getting a dog would tie us down but in fact I actually think we’ve done more since we have had him. We’ve taken him pretty much everywhere with us. He’s been to Norfolk, Camber Sands, The Cotswolds; Obviously there’s a bit more planning involved but nothing too difficult so I definitely wouldn’t let that put you off.

What you can expect from a dachshund

If you like the centre of attention, I’d think twice about getting a miniature dachshund! I’m lucky If I get a ‘hi, how are you’ before asking how Rex is ha! The first time we took him out in his little puppy carrier before we could take him out for walks, I have never had so many people stop us to say hello, or just look at us as we walked by. They are the cutest little things but boy don’t they know it. We call Rex our handsome little king because he will sit upright, looking out at everything, like it’s his kingdom. It’s so funny!

Confident and brave! We started to take Rex around dogs from 12 weeks, as soon as he was able to go for walks really. It’s been so funny to watch his confidence grow. He would go in for a sniff and then back off like he was a bit unsure but as he has got more and more confident, he just goes straight in. I would say small dog syndrome is 100% real! This is where a small dog thinks he is a lot bigger than what he is, so when a big dog comes along, Rex isn’t really fussed and will do his best to keep up and play. He may look small but he is not afraid to take on anything bigger than him.

Friendly. Rex is so gentle with everyone. When meeting people for the first time, he’s a little cautious, you have to let him come to you and he’ll decide on whether you’re worthy of him or not (for real ha). So far, he has been great with small kids so if that is something you are having to bear in mind, Rex has been really gentle. We’ve been holding him and he’s been letting their little hands have a poke.

Loving. He has so much love to give it’s ridiculous! He just want’s to give you kisses and cuddles all the time. Sometimes during the day when I am working, he just looks up at me and I have no idea what he wants. I pop him on my lap and he settles down for a snooze straight away. You should see Rex’s reaction when he hasn’t seen once of us all day, the excitement is real!

Chilled. From the moment we brought him home, we knew Rex would suit us and our home. He has been very chilled and laid back from day one. Nothing really bothers him too much. Except his reflection in the mirror. I still can’t convince him that it’s actually him and not another dog, ha! When researching the breed, I found a number of articles which said they believed long haired dachshunds were much more docile than other types. I can’t say if that’s true in terms of the breed, but it is definitely true about Rex. He’s been super easy to train so far, picking commands up really quickly, listening to us. 90% of the time at least, ha.

Sleepy. They say dachshunds sleep a lot but they take the phrase’ a lot’ to a whole new level. Rex can go from bouncing around playing with his favourite toy one minute, and then the next he has flopped down in one of his weird positions and is fast asleep. We have also found that he will sleep just about any where. Places with loud music, places with people laughing and talking, if Rex is tired and has had enough, he will sleep any where, any time. This is the time when you just won’t be able to resist him, I could stare at him for hours asleep, he looks exactly the same every time but the cuteness is real!

Funny. Rex is a definite character, he makes us laugh on a daily basis. From his facial expressions to the positions he lays in. I would definitely describe him and the breed as playful animals who have a mind of their own. Rex is very clever and definitely not stupid. He knows exactly if he’s being tricked with food or if we’ve left a room. He can be very mischievous and loves to get up to no good.

Training a Dachshund

As mentioned above, we’ve found Rex to be super chilled in general, which has meant he’s been pretty chilled and easily taught when it comes to his training. I think we’ve been super lucky with Rex because I’ve heard it’s not like that with every dachshund so it is definitely dependent on them. We started from the moment we brought him home really as everywhere had said to start from 8 weeks so that’s exactly what we did. The two we focused on first were crate training and toilet training. The two most important if you ask me.

Crate Training

I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions on crate training but it suited and worked for us. Rex had been sleeping in a crate with his breeder anyway so it wasn’t completely knew for him. We think it was more getting used to a completely different space which he found harder. To get him used to the crate and space, at first we put him in for every other two hours. So he would come out at 7, go in 9-11, then go back in 1-3 etc. We realised quite early on that if we kept him in his crate later into the evening, he would take longer to settle once he was out so we 5/6 was the cut off point. He would then go back in his crate around 10/10:30 for bed time. During the day he wouldn’t make a peep when he went in his crate, it was at night when we left the room which he wasn’t a fan off. He probably cried for about the first 20-30 mins for a week I’d say and then he would go in without a peep. We would put a couple of treats in his bed (inside the crate) every time he went in, to reinforce that this was a positive space and also to get him to go in on his own which really helped. We got into a routine very quickly, so come 10/10:30 he knew it was bed time and time to sleep. I would say the routine, along with being consistent is what helped us the most. We stuck to that for about 6 weeks and then slowly he started to stay out more during the day. I still put him in during the day for an hour or two if he needs it. You can just tell if he needs a snooze but is trying to resist it. At 4 months we are still crate training him as I don’t think he’s quite ready to be left in an entire room for the whole night. I’d rather my rug didn’t get any worse at this stage, ha. They say 6 months is usually a good time to stop so I’ll update you on what happens then.

Toilet Training

With toilet training, similar to crate training, we stuck to a routine as much as we could. Obviously it’s hard for a puppy to do his business on command but we would take him outside every two hours and encourage him to go so he started to get used to going outside for a wee. Lots and lots of praise for when he did go outside including treats at first every time he went outside.

He’s a puppy and of course he had his moments and still does to be honest, where he would go inside. At the beginning it was more because he didn’t know but now if he does it, it’s either by accident or our fault because the door isn’t open and we didn’t see he went to the door to tell us. That is his way of telling us, he will go to the door, sit and just look back at us. Most of the time I’m aware of what he is doing but if not he will squeak to get my attention. I say squeak and not bark because you can’t call the noise he makes a bark ha. We did use puppy pads to begin with but we didn’t find these helpful at all so we stopped within the first couple of days.

Another thing we did which could help, I basically kept a diary on the notes section of my phone of when Rex went for a wee and a poo so we could keep track if he hadn’t been for a while etc. This was really helpful for the first few weeks because he wasn’t regular at all and instead totally random! As he got more regular and less frequent of when he went I slowly stopped this but it really helped to avoid any unnecessary accidents inside.

As for the other bits, Rex is slowly getting there. We do 15 mins morning and night of the standard sit, down, stay and Bed. I find when we don’t do it daily he forgets quite easily. It’s definitely all about consistency, patience and a lot of positive reinforcement. When he does something naughty we tell him off with a No, show him what he’s done and say No again, and then we will ignore him so he knows to not do that again otherwise he won’t get our attention. If anyone else has any other tips for telling them off, let me know ha. Our next bit we need to work on is teaching him to walk well on and off the lead. We took him for a long walk last weekend where he was able to go off the lead the majority of the time, and he did really well considering it was his first time. Remember, they need to know sit, stay and their name before you do this.

We have been talking about getting a dachshund for the last couple of years, we’ve been talking ourselves out of it but I am so glad we finally just did it. And yes we literally decided within 24 hours and drove to Blackpool to collect Rex. You have got to be quick, these gorgeous puppies go like hot cakes (no surprise really)!

To be honest, I think that is pretty much everything. I could go on and on but if you have any questions leave a comment on this post or feel free to direct message me on instagram (@aprilclayton_).

If you have a dachshund and have any tips for us, I would love to hear them: The more help the better.

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