Wiener dogs have a lot of personality in a small body. Because they don't need a huge amount of space, dachsies are popular pets for apartment-dwellers. However, the breed's tendency to restlessness and anxiety can make life fraught for pooch and owner alike.
Dachshunds tend to suffer from separation anxiety. Before domestication, dogs were pack animals -- the tendency to feel anxious when separated from the pack is inbuilt in your sausage dog. People often keep dachshunds in pairs, or with other pets, to reduce separation anxiety. The dachshund's stature and body type can also foster anxiety -- the dog's very short legs can make it feel threatened and anxious around other, taller dogs.
Dachsies are often very schedule-oriented and upset by change. You can help your dog stay calm by maintaining regular feeding, exercise and work schedules. If your hound knows you will almost always come home from work within a particular time period, he will be less anxious. If you work long or unusual hours, consider using a pet sitter or having another person walk your wiener dog during your shift. Provide an exciting range of dog toys for your dachshund to play with while you are not around -- if he has to work out his anxiety on an inanimate object, better a dog chew than your shoe.
The dachshund breed was designed to hunt badgers and other burrow-dwelling creatures. A degree of restlessness -- and an inquisitive nature -- is bred into the dachshund through its history as a hunting dog. Dachsies are also usually very interested in humans in the home and may jump up restlessly as a way of seeking human attention and approval. Other restless behaviors -- for example, pawing and digging at the ground -- are also a result of the dog's hunting background.
Making sure your dog gets enough exercise to be genuinely tired by the end of the day will make a big difference to his levels of restlessness. A good target for a dachshund is 30 minutes of exercise every day. This can be in the form of one leashed walk or multiple free-running sessions in the backyard or around your home. If your dacshie has regular opportunities to investigate new environments, he can satisfy his curiosity about the world and be more restful at home.
- Dachshunds For Dummies; Eve Adamson
- Wiener Dog Rescue: Dachshunds
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.