Review: The Everything Dachshund Book
I love my miniature Dachshunds, but I was nervous about getting my first pup.
My son was moving out and my daughter was gone all the time with friends. My husband was getting ready to go on his second tour to Iraq. I needed to feel needed and busy. Many moms get that.
When I mentioned getting a puppy to my husband, he was vehemently against it. It made me angry that he had no empathy for me. I said, “Screw it, I am getting a puppy.” He knew my reasons, he didn't like it, but he knew he wasn't going to stop me.
Oh crap! What have I done? I really wanted a puppy to take care of, to baby, but had it turned into a spiteful wish because my husband said no to my idea? I came to the conclusion that I wanted this pup for me. There was no spite or rebellion involved, and my husband would just have to get used to the idea. Besides, he was going to be gone for a year and wouldn't have to deal with training the puppy.
Oh My Gosh, I Am Getting a Puppy
Since I wasn't getting the support I wanted, I was nervous about getting a puppy. I had a friend who was a miniature Dachshund breeder. I called her to get information. She, of course, loved the Dachshund breed, but I was concerned about them being temperamental. She assured me that it depended on how you treat them. That made sense to me, but I still wanted more information.
I went to Pet Smart and picked up a copy of Joan Hustace Walker’s The Everything Dachshund Book. I stuck my nose in that book and read and reread passages. I was still nervous, but I began feeling more comfortable about getting a dog.
What I Learned from The Everything Dachshund Book
Walker’s book proved to be an invaluable resource. While I was still concerned about the Dachshund’s possible volatile personality, I kept remembering what the breeder said about how a dog is treated is what determines the pups behavior.
How I treated her was going to start from day one. This pup was going to be loved and pampered. The book confirmed this ideology.
My mind was put at ease when I read about the body language of the Dachshund and the patience needed to get a new pup to adapt to our home. Patience and gentleness are key in dealing with your Dachshund pup.
Scolding them or using a harsh tone can be harmful. They are used to living with their mother and a litter of pups. Their communications need to be replicated. Handling your pup with love and mild discipline are what is needed.
Dachshunds are known for their barking. In the book, I learned if I yell at my pup, it is just like “barking” at them. It is like saying, “Your barking is acceptable at inappropriate times.”
I had to set the norm, and I insisted everyone in the household follow my lead. After all, just like bringing a newborn home, as a decent, loving human being, you are not going to yell at the new baby for doing what is natural. The book taught me what is natural for new Dachshund puppies.
Did you do your research before bringing your pup home?
The Details of Dog Training
The book goes into great detail about training your Dachshund puppy. One thing I learned that has saved a lot of mess and saved our pup from anxiety is using a crate.
I never thought I would be in favor of crate training, but I learned that Dachshunds, and most dogs for that matter, like their own space. With Dachshunds, they feel more secure in a small area that is their own. When you bring them home, a small crate or pet taxi is all you need. It needs to be tall enough for the pup to stand in without its head touching the top and wide enough so it can turn around easily. They love to nest, so place soft material in the crate. Also, our breeder sent home a towel our pup’s mother laid on (the breeder had a towel for each pup in the litter that she had lined their spot with). It took patience to crate train her. She was not used to being alone and had separation anxiety, first from being away from her mother then from being away from us. The Everything Dachshund Book took me step-by-step through crate training.
Eventually, once our pup felt at home and secure, I bought a larger crate and filled it with a couple of fleece blankets and the towel that smelled like our pup’s mother. Now, our pup finds refuse in the crate when we leave or when she simply needs her own space.
Using the crate also helped with house training the pup. I actually took a couple of days off work before the weekend to work with her when I brought her home. I wanted to start house training her right away. Fortunately, the breeder used methods similar in the book before we brought her home.
Because I used an appropriate size pet taxi for her when I brought her home, she would not go to the bathroom. The book advises that you do not get a large crate at first because the pup will sleep on one end or in one corner and go to the other to use the bathroom. I took the days off so she would have consistent training. That may not be possible for many, so patience must be used if there is a mess. They are still babies, and nature will take its course.
By using the small crate, I knew when she came out of her little haven; she probably needed to go out. I would pick her up, talk to her, pet her, give her a kiss or two, and then put her on her leash to take her outside to use the bathroom. She went every time. That is not to say there were not accidents, but they were few and far between.
The crate also helped her with her separation anxiety when we had to leave her. She was warm and snuggled into her own space, and she did not cry nearly as much as she would have if we had left her in the bathroom or a small room. That would have been too big, scary, and overwhelming for her.
The book was right. The crate has given the pup security and a clean house for us.
Other "Must Know" Issues and Training Tricks
Something I found very fascinating in the book about training a Dachshund is if you repeat a training method twelve times, they get it - they understand - they learn what you expect. You must be persistent and patient, but, wow, what a difference it made knowing this trick.
Other Training and Dog Care Tips:
- Supplies to get before bringing your pup home
- Creating a puppy-safe home
- Feeding and schedules
- Clicker training
- Using consistent language and commands
- More house training tips
- Teaching your Dachshunds commands such as "sit," "down," "come," and "roll over."
- How to deal with rescue and adult Dachshunds you adopt - this was also helpful with our pup
- How big our pup would be as an adult
- How to socialize our pup with other dogs and with people, especially children
- The psychology of the Dachshund. That may sound strange, but they are a very clever breed and have delightful and complex personalities.
- Possible medical issues
- Grooming tips for short, long, and wire-haired Dachshunds
- Advanced Dachshund care if your pup, like any animal, develops special needs (This is a section I can refer to any time something comes up that I am not sure how to handle.)
- Adolescent behavior
- Dental care
- And so much more...
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Personal Note on The Everything Dog Breed Series
If you are considering getting a puppy – any type of puppy – or a rescue or adult dog, do your research before bringing your pet home. The Everything Dog Breed Series is a comprehensive, easy-to-read and follow resource that you will use before bringing your pet home, when you bring it home, and for years after having your pet. The word “everything” in the title definitely carries weight and knowledge.
Because of the The Everything Dachshund book, we have well-adjusted, well-behaved, happy pups.
If you know someone is getting a pup, invest in one of these books. It will be the best gift, aside from the pup, with long lasting effects for the "new family."
It is a MUST HAVE book for dog owners. Be prepared and ready for anything with the knowledge you will gain from this series.
And an update on my husband's disposition: Training began the first day Maggie came to visit. I am happy to report he's been trained by Maggie. They are inseparable. He is her "peep."
Warning, Warning, Warning
You may learn so much from your Everything book that you decide to add to the family. I did...
- Empty Nest Syndrome Mothers Can Find Comfort with Dachshund Puppy
Many empty nesters need to feel needed when their children leave home. This is a story of one woman going through empty nest syndrome and her cure for the empty nest blues.