Sweet but ferocious. The internet is obsessed with dachshunds all of a sudden and it’s barktastic. These tiny wiener dogs are gorgeous, fun to look at, but… some owners suggested that they get aggressive if you even remotely threaten (i.e. get near) their loved ones. Or do anything else innocent to set them off.
It’s none other than comedian and author Sarah Cooper that we have to thank for the flood of information and hilarious anecdotes about sausage dogs. Her thread on Twitter went viral and people had a lot of fun sharing what it’s like to actually own a small yet fearsome doggo. Check out some of the most hilarious responses below and upvote the tweets that you liked the most.
The friendly team at the PDSA, the UK's leading vet charity, was kind enough to help us out with some great insights about dachshunds, how to care for them and their long backs, as well as how to help temper their temper if they have one. PDSA vet Anna Ewers Clarke explained to Bored Panda that the breed, while popular for their faces and fun-loving personalities, has a higher risk of back issues because of their elongated backs. Read on for our full interview with the vet.
Image credits: sarahcpr
PDSA vet Anna said that one of the most common conditions that can affect dachshunds because of their long backs is Invertebral Disc Disease, also known as IVDD, or a slipped disc. "This can lead to pain, problems using the legs, and even permanent paralysis." You'll find more information about IVDD right over here.
Owners can reduce the risk of a slipped disc by not letting dachshunds jump up on or down from furniture or run un and down the stairs. These sorts of activities put a high strain on the back and can cause problems. "It’s also important to keep them at their ideal weight—if your dog is overweight then this also puts more strain on the back."
According to PDSA vet Anna, some dog sports are best left for other breeds. "Certain dog sports are not a good idea for dachshunds, for example, agility and fly ball, which involve intense exertion and bending. Instead, stick to regular, gentle exercise to keep your dog fit and active (think going for lots of walks or obedience training) without putting extreme pressure on your dachshund’s spine. This is really important if your dog has had a slipped disc diagnosed—unfortunately, IVDD can happen more than once for your dog and is more likely if they’ve suffered from it in the past."
We were also curious to learn what owners can do to ensure that dachshunds, which are bred hunters, can keep an even temper even when their inner urge might tell them that they should bark and bite and hunt.
"Many dachshunds will be friendly towards people and other pets, especially if they have had a good start in life and been well socialized as a puppy. They can make great family pets and are often fun-loving and active. However, as they were originally bred as hunting dogs they may have a high prey drive (meaning they like to chase or catch things that run, such as wildlife) and they are often quite intelligent dogs meaning they can become bored or stressed if their brains and bodies aren’t kept active," the vet explained. You'll find some more info about dachshunds and how to care for them right here.
Not all dachshunds are the same, however. Vet Anna stressed the fact that each and every dog is an individual. "Just because your dachshund might have been originally bred for a certain use, their own personality is much more important than their breed when it comes to behavior or aggression."
There are, however, some things that all owners of sausage doggos can do to help them grow into happy adults. "A key part of helping your dog become a well-adjusted adult is their socialization as a puppy. This is the process of teaching them what to expect in life by introducing them to lots of different sights, sounds, and situations in a positive way."
The vet continued: "It’s also important to make sure they continue with positive, reward-based training throughout their lives. Training helps keep your dog’s mind busy and prevents them from becoming bored or getting into mischief. Try ‘brain games’ (such as ‘find the toy’ or going on a scent walk) or puzzle feeder toys which help their bodies stay active and uses their natural instinct to hunt."
According to Anna, it's also vital not to ignore your dachshund's prey drive. "In terms of their prey drive, it’s really important to teach your dog recall (teaching your dog to come back to you) from a young age. Not only does this help if they see something they might want to chase, but it also helps keep them safe especially if you suddenly spot something that could be dangerous up ahead, like a road or a non-friendly dog."
She continued: "Remember you need to keep rewarding them for coming back to you for their whole lives not just when they’re young so always carry some tasty treats—after all, you have to be more interesting and fun than anything else they come across! If they struggle with a really high prey drive then it’s safest to keep them on the lead, especially around livestock or other potential dangers."
Keep in mind, dear Pandas, that we’re not suggesting that dachshunds aren’t worth having as pets. We believe they’re absolutely wonderful! But reality is something we have to face and wiener dogs, despite how they look, most likely have the spirits of Vikings and Teutonic knights inside of them.
Of course, we might need to run some scientific tests to prove that, but we’ve got a hunch that it might turn out to be true.
Dachshunds have been bred to be hunters. It’s who they are and no amount of social conditioning will fully change who they are at heart (though socializing them as puppies can make them slightly more mellow). Their inner hunters can come out whenever they get over-excited, surprised, or if they feel threatened.
Sarah’s doggy thread had over 131.7k likes at the time of writing and it brought a lot of smiles to a lot of faces. And, we’ve got to give it to her, we really do want to get a dachshund now, just like her. They sound like an absolute pleasure to have at home. However, getting a new pet isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
Having a friend, companion, and teeny tiny Olympic hero for life is a huge step that means evaluating whether or not you’ll be able to provide them everything that they need. Starting with proper food and exercise and ending with enough space for them to move around in, as well as enough hugs to make them feel loved (and angry).
While it’s important that any dog gets sufficient exercise and doesn’t overindulge in snacks and sausages, that goes double for sausage dogs. It bodes repeating that they’ve got long backs which means that if they get overweight, they can get in serious trouble (alongside other serious health risks that being overweight represents) like getting a slipped or herniated disc.
So no matter how much your wiener dog begs you for an extra serving of your wonderful dinner, ignore their big eyes, friendly barks, and wagging tails. These cheeky dogs don’t always know what’s good for them. And what’s good for them is keeping a tight reign on how many calories they consume. If you’re ever in doubt, have a chat with your vet about what your doggo needs.
What’s more, it’s important that you keep any food scraps out of your dachshund’s reach so that it doesn’t overindulge by ‘accident.’ As an owner, you have a responsibility to keep your snacky-snacks hidden. Even though they’re small, wiener dogs require a normal amount of movement: two walks every day should be enough to keep them happy and healthy. And let’s not forget that owners end up leading healthier lives when they’re on the move as well.
Dachshunds need to build muscles through exercise to protect their elongated backs. But there is one thing that you should be aware of about sausage dogs. You shouldn’t let them run up and down the stairs. And you shouldn’t let them jump on or off furniture. They can get injured this way because of what their bodies are like.
Usually, sausage dogs live from 12 to 16 years if we look after them properly and treat them with kindness. However, that means spending a lot of time worrying about their backs and whether there isn’t too much stress placed on them. You should also keep an eye on their ears: they can get infections easily, so be sure to clean them regularly.
Are any of you Pandas dachshund owners? If so, what’s it like having a sausage dog? Are they as friendly yet ferocious as we’ve all heard? Do you have any photos of your dogs that you’d like to share with everyone else? What’s the most interesting thing that you learned about dachshunds in this list? Let us know in the comment section!