Dachshunds are a popular choice for apartment-dwellers, because these small hounds do not need much space. However, the breed has a tendency for separation anxiety if left alone -- a dachsie with separation anxiety may stop eating or engage in destructive behaviors.
Dachshunds, in general, do not like being left alone for long periods of time. If your wiener dog develops separation anxiety, it may vandalize items in your home while you are out. This is not spiteful behavior, but a means of acting out the anxiety. Other common symptoms of separation anxiety include excessive barking, a house-trained dog pooping or peeing in the house, depression or changes in eating habits. A dachsie with separation anxiety may overeat or stop normal eating patterns.
An overweight dachshund is at serious risk of back injury, as any excess weight places additional strain on the dog's fragile spine. Overfeeding your dachshund is a recipe for poor health -- make sure you are feeding your dog an appropriate quantity of a high-quality dog food. If you have to leave your dog alone for long periods of time, it may work better if you give one small meal or snack before you leave the home, and another small meal when you return at the end of the day. This way, your dog has multiple meals to look forward to in the day, and is less likely to either overeat or stop eating while you are gone.
Separation Anxiety Solutions
The simplest way around a dachsie's separation anxiety is not leaving the dog alone for extended periods of time. If you have to work long shifts, consider using a doggie daycare, pet-sitting or dog-walking service to break up your dog's day. Make sure your hound is getting plenty of regular exercise -- this will reduce his stress levels and decrease the likelihood of anxiety and depression. Some dogs with severe separation anxiety display negative behaviors when left alone for even a short time -- if this is the case, you will need to patiently practice leaving your dog alone for very short periods of time. Gradually increase the duration of time your dog is left alone, and reward him for every calm success.
If a normally hungry dog stops eating when left alone for long periods of time, this could indicate an underlying health problem, which may be unrelated to separation anxiety. A dog's loss of appetite can be a symptom of a range of problems ranging from stomach problems to cancer, gastric torsion or Lyme disease. If your dog has stopped eating and you are concerned about his health, obtain qualified veterinary help.
- Dachshunds For Dummies; Eve Adamson
- Dachshund World: Dachshund Training
- The Dachshund Handbook; D. Caroline Coile Ph.D.
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.