Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dachshunds Bill of Rights.

I have dachshunds. If you read my blog regularly, you'll know this. If you stumbled upon it, well...welcome.

The reason I'm stating again that I have dachshunds is that having been around a lot of dogs in my life, these long little dogs are a breed unto themselves. If you're thinking of getting a dachshund, there are certain things you should know. Many of these things you can find online or in books that talk about the personality and temperament of the breed. However, there are some things you won't learn unless you either get your own dachshund or you talk to someone who has one.

The thing with dachshunds is that they're stubborn. This you will read everywhere. What you won't read is the Dachshund Bill of Rights that I'm about to give you. I should say this is the "Dachshunds 'Expected' Bill of Rights" in that you don't HAVE to agree with it. Just know that the dachshund in question will do what he/she wants to do anyway so you might as well know what you're in for.


1. Dachshunds do not like to be cold. Most of all, dachshunds do not like a cold nose. If his/her nose is cold, he/she will find the most convenient source of heat from which to warm the nose in question. This often means you. They especially like it if you're in a bathrobe or under a blanket. It is their right to usurp said blanket or bathrobe.

2. Dachshunds will sleep on the bed with you. It is their right. It is also their right to burrow under the covers. Do not try and stop them. They get rather crabby if you prevent them from burrowing. They will then use you as a source of heat. They also like to lie horizontally across the bed. If you do not have enough room, your dachshund will not care.

3. Dachshunds are the master of the pitiful whine. They also have enormous sad eyes. If you give in once, you will always give in. They want you to give in. This is why they end up sitting up on the couch and sleeping in your bed. They also manage to make you feel guilty for punishing them, even if they deserved it.

4. If you let your dachshund up on the couch, it is his or her right to take up as much room as they want. If you get up for a moment from the couch, you will return to find your dachshund has stolen your spot but still somehow managed to occupy his/her old one. They are long-bodied dogs and they know how to use that to their advantage.

5. Dachshunds are always hungry. You can feed them and feed them and they will still want more. Be careful not to overfeed them. They will try anything once but they may not like it. This does not mean you shouldn't offer them the same food in future. They might have changed their mind. Also, though you know you shouldn't give them 'people food', they want it. Badly. They especially love sausages, bacon, chicken and anything from the meat family. However, they have also been known to enjoy fruits. And vegetables. Also, dachshunds might look small but when they stand up on their back legs, they have quite a height. This means they will try to steal from your table. Beware.

6. Dachshunds dig. You can try to stop them. You can try to make them a digging spot. You can try to encourage them to dig somewhere else so it isn't so visible. This will not work. Dachshunds will dig where they want to dig. You can try to stop them but the minute you turn your back, they will dig a hole. Soon, you will have lots of little holes in your lawn. Fight back if you like but after a while, you'll realize that it's better in your lawn than under your dianthus, roses, marigolds or tomatoes. Dachshunds do not care what is above their digging spot. They like to dig.

7. Dachshunds like to collect things. They will find rocks and sticks from places you never imagined. They will collect piles of them around the holes they have dug. When you go to mow your lawn, you will find their collection. Beware. This habit is not good for lawn mowers.

8. Dachshunds are scent-hounds. They can smell extremely well. When they catch the scent of a squirrel or rabbit, nothing else in the world matters. They will hunt and track that scent until they are dragged away from it. If you are walking your dachshund and they scent a bunny or squirrel, you will know it. The leash will go tight and you will have to hold on. If they actually see a bunny or squirrel, you will need to hold on very tightly. Dachshunds also do not understands that birds can fly and squirrels can climb trees. Thus, they, too, will attempt to fly or climb trees. Both will end in a very dismayed dog who would be content to stand there until the squirrel or bird came back.

9. Dachshunds like to go for walks to smell things. They don't really know the meaning of the word exercise. That is just something that is a by-product of smelling. If you take them for a walk, they will let you know when they're tired by simply sitting down. You might have to accidentally drag them before you realize they're done. Dragging a dog in public is not good. If your dachshund has really had enough, you may have to carry him or her for the duration of the walk. The dachshund will then sit comfortable in your arms as you attempt to arrange his/her long body for comfort. However, if they smell something, they will then wriggle and you MUST put them down.

10. Dachshunds don't understand boundaries of any kind. This may be a physical boundary such as a fence or human-enforced boundary such as, 'don't steal food from the table.' They see both types of boundaries as a challenge. If a dachshund smells 'something' on the other side of the fence, they will somehow manage to fit through the tiniest hole or gap in order to try to get that 'something'. Make sure your fence is dachshund proof. Once they find a hole, they will use it until you stop them. For human-enforced boundaries...good luck with that. Dachshunds tend to be willing to endure the punishment in order to reap the benefits of the crime. When it comes time for punishment, see #3.

In exchange for following this bill of rights, you will receive love, kisses, cuddles and devotion from your dachshund. Unless they don't feel like giving it to you. Or they smell a squirrel.

Just kidding. They're the best dogs in the world, in my opinion. Each one has a very specific personality but it's worth every minute. I think every breed has its quirks and every human is drawn to a certain breed. It's just my luck I get drawn to a stubborn quirky one.

Or maybe it's not luck at all.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This was really, really funny. And knowing your dogs, I can picure them - and you - in all of the aforementioned examples.