Pit Bulls For Dummies
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Dachshunds have all the basic needs of a dog, but they come with a few of their own special quirks and considerations. If you have your heart set on owning a Dachshund, you must be ready to handle a few extras. The following list presents the common characteristics of Dachshunds:

  • Dachshunds have fragile backs. Because of their dwarfism (big dog, short legs), Dachshunds are genetically predisposed to have faulty spines, which can become injured when handled incorrectly, or sometimes for no apparent reason. Certain activities can be hard on a Dachshund's back and can even result in a paralyzing disk rupture:

• Going up and down stairs

• Jumping off furniture

• Even running quickly around a sharp corner.

    Get ready to carry your Dachshund up and down the stairs!tabmark
  • Dachshunds love to jump. But because jumping is so hard on a Dachshund's back, you need to keep an eye on your Dachsie to keep her from jumping off high places like beds, couches, porches, and so on. Some people install ramps in their homes so their dogs can ascend and descend from high places without jarring their spines.
  • Dachshunds live to eat. Obesity puts further strain on a Dachshund's back — not to mention his heart and entire body. Cute and pleading as he may be, you must be prepared to keep your Dachshund's eating under control. No, your Dachshund shouldn't eat that quarter-pound burger with cheese, let alone too many extra dog treats!
    Dachshunds (like all dogs) have fewer taste buds than humans, so the taste of food isn't as intense for them as it is for us. For this reason, dogs are more likely to eat just about anything, taste not withstanding.
  • Dachshunds bark. Barking is part of their modus operandi. They were bred to hunt badgers or other small game underground. When the game was cornered, a Dachshund would bark to alert his human. Although you can train any dog not to bark excessively, Dachshunds bark pretty frequently. Get used to it, or don't get a Dachshund.
  • Dachshunds are manipulative. They're cute, and they know it. They're clever, too. They can get you to do just about anything, unless you have rules and you stick to your guns. Your dog has to know that rules are rules and that what you say goes. If you're a big marshmallow when it comes to consistency and rule enforcement, you can't get angry at your dog for making her own rules. So, what would your Dachsie's rules be? Here's a good guess:

• I can do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it.

• If I touch it, lick it, chew it, shred it, smell it, or see it, it's mine.

• Humans live to serve me.

    Unless those rules sound reasonable to you (Hint: They shouldn't!), prepare to accept your role as pack leader.

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