Growing up we always had dogs - from thoroughbred Boxers to mixed-breed rescues. None of these pups were ever mine, they were mostly my dad’s or my siblings’ pups. I considered myself not so much of a “dog person”. When visiting friends, I hated it when their dog would jump onto my lap. I was that person.
One day, many years ago, after a few toots at a work function, my colleague, Tony, said: “Oh darling, your aura is black! What you need is a dog to change your aura to pink!” On my way home, I stopped in to visit family and told them what Tony had said. My cousin’s fiance didn’t miss a beat: “I can remedy that! My dog is having puppies. You are welcome to have one!” In my semi-inebriated state I said “YES” and six weeks later, I got the call asking when I would be fetching my puppy.
From the moment I picked him up, Ben, a gorgeous tan-coloured little Dachshund, crept right into my heart. I’m not gonna lie - the first few nights were hell. Ben never stopped crying, until I did the unthinkable, and tugged him into bed with me. And that was it - Ben, my Dachshund and I, became inseparable. From that day forward I discovered what it is to be loved by a dog and I can declare with confidence that there is nothing better in life!
Being a novice Dog Mum and all, I learned the hard way that raising a Dachshund pup is not always easy. Originally bred as hunting dogs, once a Dachshund picks up on a scent of a prey, they can become completely one-track minded. That being said, they are intelligent and with patience can be trained.
Like all puppies they investigate and discover life with their teeth. I once had to pay for a library book because Ben wanted to learn to read.
Typically doxie, when Ben looked into the mirror, he saw a Doberman. He had a big heart and nothing scared him. He knew what he wanted and made sure he got it. Fetch was his favourite game. Keeping him fenced inside the yard was not easy. Dachsies, by nature are curious and since being bred to sniff out badgers and other animals in rocky hills, climbing over the one metre high brick fence was smooth sailing for little Ben. Thank goodness the neighbours loved him almost as much as I did.
Doxies are extremely social animals. I realised Ben was lonely during the day while I was at work. He needed a friend! So we got Babs. An absolutely gorgeous black Dachshund puppy. She was the most lovable pup ever. Where Ben was all about running around, hunting, jumping and playing, Babs was happiest when she could curl up in my lap. The three of us became a very happy family. Ben and Babs taught me that life without a pet is a life without love. The unconditional love you get from a pet can only be understood once you have had one.
Writing this brought tears to my eyes. At the ripe old age of 15 years I sadly had to have Ben put to sleep. He developed heart failure as a result of old age. Babs lived another year. I think she died of a broken heart. Her and Ben were the best of friends.
I would recommend getting a Dachshund to anyone, but before you do you need to take a few things into consideration.
Dachshunds make excellent pets for people living in a smaller house or flat due to their size. Just remember that they do need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Both Ben and Babs used to follow me around the house due to their protective nature. They will protect and defend their owner no matter what.
These little pups have huge personalities and are stubborn by nature, so be prepared to have patience and spend time training your puppy. It is advisable to do research on how to train Dachshunds as they are so different from other breeds.
Dachshunds like the sound of their own voices but they learn quickly when barking is acceptable or not if trained from young.
You will never be sorry for getting a Dachshund. They are loyal, loving, entertaining and absolutely devoted to their owners.
Find out more, take a look at the dachshund in our breeds directory.