Dachshunds, often recognized by their elongated bodies and spirited personalities, have been a topic of debate among dog breeds for years. While their unique characteristics and undeniable popularity have endeared them to many pet lovers, they’re not without their critics.
This breed, with its deep-rooted history and distinct appearance, has sparked a myriad of opinions. Some celebrate the Dachshund for its playful nature and loyalty, while others point out challenges that might not make them the ideal canine companion for everyone.
In this guide, we’ll dive into 19 reasons why some believe Dachshunds might just be the worst dogs, while also acknowledging the traits that have made them a favorite among many. Whether you’re a Dachshund enthusiast or skeptic, this exploration promises a comprehensive look into the Dachshund debate.
Why Dachshunds Are the Worst Dog
Dachshunds, despite their charm and popularity, have characteristics that some might find challenging. These traits, while endearing to some, can pose difficulties for potential owners.
Let’s look at the reasons that contribute to the debate surrounding this iconic breed:
1. They Are Stubborn
Dachshunds are renowned for their strong-willed and independent nature, traits that often manifest as stubbornness. Originating as hunting dogs, they were bred to think on their feet and make decisions independently while tracking prey.
This independence, while commendable in hunting scenarios, can sometimes pose challenges in a domestic setting. Owners often find that Dachshunds have a mind of their own, preferring to do things their way rather than following commands.
This stubborn streak can make tasks like training or even simple activities like leash walking a test of patience. While some might view this trait as a quirky aspect of their personality, others might find it a bit frustrating, especially if they’re first-time dog owners.
2. They Are Hard to Train
Training a Dachshund can be a unique challenge, even for seasoned dog owners. Their aforementioned stubbornness plays a significant role in this. While they are undoubtedly intelligent and capable of learning, their independent nature often means they’d rather follow their own instincts than a given command.
This can lead to amusing standoffs between the dog and the owner, where the Dachshund might simply refuse to obey, opting instead to stare with those expressive eyes, almost as if questioning the command.
Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are necessary when training them. However, even with these in place, some Dachshund owners might find themselves attending multiple training sessions or seeking professional help to instill basic behaviors and commands.
3. They Are Prone to Back Problems
The Dachshund’s iconic elongated body, while endearing and unique, comes with its set of health challenges, most notably concerning their spine. Their distinct anatomy makes them particularly susceptible to back issues, with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) being a prevalent concern.
IVDD involves the discs between the vertebrae bulging or bursting and pressing on the nerves, leading to pain, weakness, or even paralysis. The condition can be caused by trauma, like jumping off furniture, or simply due to genetics and aging.
As a result, Dachshund owners often find themselves taking extra precautions, such as using ramps for furniture or cars and avoiding high-impact activities. Regular vet check-ups and early detection are crucial, as timely intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome and quality of life for the affected dog.
4. They Are Not Good with Stairs
Stairs can pose a significant challenge for Dachshunds, primarily due to their unique physique. Their long backs and short legs aren’t designed for the repetitive motion of climbing up or descending stairs. Each step can exert undue stress on their spine, increasing the risk of back injuries or exacerbating existing conditions like IVDD.
Moreover, their short stature means they have to work harder to navigate stairs, which can be tiring and potentially dangerous if they were to stumble or fall. Many Dachshund owners opt to carry their pets up and down stairs or install ramps to make the process safer.
It’s a consideration that potential Dachshund owners should be aware of, especially if their living environment has multiple levels or frequent stair usage.
5. They Are Diggers
Dachshunds have a deep-rooted instinct to dig, a trait that harks back to their origins as badger hunters. In the past, their primary role was to burrow into tunnels and flush out prey, and this digging instinct remains strong even in today’s domesticated Dachshunds.
While this behavior is natural for them, it can be a source of frustration for homeowners who cherish their gardens or lawns. Dachshunds can quickly turn a well-maintained yard into a maze of holes and trenches if left unchecked.
This digging can also extend to indoor environments, where they might burrow into couches, beds, or carpets. While it’s challenging to suppress this innate behavior entirely, providing them with designated digging areas or engaging toys can help redirect their energy and satisfy their burrowing urges.
6. They Are Not Good Off-Leash
Dachshunds, with their strong prey drive and independent nature, can be a challenge to manage off-leash. When they catch a scent or spot a potential “prey” like a squirrel or bird, their hunting instincts kick in, often leading them to chase without heed to their surroundings or their owner’s calls.
This behavior can pose significant risks, especially in areas with traffic or unknown terrains, where they might get lost or face potential dangers. Moreover, their selective hearing when engrossed in a chase means they might not respond to recall commands, making it hard to get them back.
As a result, many Dachshund owners prefer to keep their pets on a leash or in securely fenced areas to ensure their safety while allowing them some freedom to explore.
7. They Can Be Aggressive
While Dachshunds are often affectionate and loyal to their families, they can exhibit aggressive tendencies, especially when they feel threatened or cornered. This aggression can manifest in various ways, from growling and snapping to outright biting. Several factors contribute to this behavior.
Their history as hunters means they have a natural wariness of unfamiliar situations or creatures. Additionally, their small size might make them feel the need to assert themselves more aggressively to ward off perceived threats. Early socialization and training are important in mitigating these aggressive tendencies.
However, even with proper training, some Dachshunds might still be wary of strangers or other animals. Owners need to be aware of their pet’s triggers and take precautions, such as using muzzles or avoiding certain situations, to prevent aggressive outbursts.
8. They Are Hunters
Dachshunds were originally bred for hunting, specifically to track down and flush out badgers from their burrows. This hunting lineage has left an indelible mark on their behavior and instincts. Even in a domestic setting, their hunting drive remains strong.
They are keen observers, always alert and ready to chase after small animals like squirrels, birds, or even insects. Their acute sense of smell can lead them on trails, often making them oblivious to their surroundings as they follow a scent.
While this trait showcases their intelligence and determination, it can be a challenge for owners who might find their Dachshund digging in the yard, chasing after wildlife, or becoming overly focused on a particular scent.
It’s important for owners to be aware of this instinctual behavior and take measures, like secure fencing or leash walks, to ensure their Dachshund’s safety while allowing them to indulge in their natural tendencies.
9. They Are Not Good with Rodents
Dachshunds, with their deep-rooted hunting instincts, often don’t coexist peacefully with smaller pets like rodents. Their history of tracking and flushing out prey from burrows means they view animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, or rats as potential targets rather than companions.
Even in a domestic setting, the sight or scent of a rodent can trigger their predatory drive, leading them to chase or even attempt to catch the smaller animal. For households with both Dachshunds and rodent pets, it’s necessary to keep them separated and ensure that interactions, if any, are closely supervised.
It’s also important for potential Dachshund owners to be aware of this behavior, especially if they already have or are considering getting a rodent pet.
10. They Can Be Hard to Feed
Feeding a Dachshund might seem straightforward, but many owners find that these little dogs can be surprisingly picky eaters. Their discerning palates can make mealtime a challenge, as they often turn their noses up at certain foods or quickly grow bored with a particular diet. They also are susceptible to dental issues.
This selectiveness can make it tricky for owners to find a consistent and nutritious meal plan that their Dachshund will enjoy. Also, their love for treats and human food can further complicate feeding routines, as they might hold out for these preferred snacks instead of eating their regular dog food.
It’s necessary for owners to strike a balance, ensuring their Dachshund receives a balanced diet while also catering to their specific tastes. It’s also important to monitor their food intake closely, as overfeeding or indulging in too many treats can lead to weight issues.
11. They Are Prone to Obesity
Dachshunds, with their compact frames and love for food, have a tendency to gain weight if their diet and exercise aren’t closely monitored. Their small stature means that even a little extra weight can have a significant impact on their health, putting additional strain on their already vulnerable backs.
While they enjoy treats and might often beg with those irresistible eyes, it’s necessary for owners to resist overindulging them. Regular exercise, portion control, and a balanced diet are vital components in maintaining a healthy weight for a Dachshund.
It’s also important for owners to be aware of weight gain signs, such as difficulty in moving, heavy breathing, or visible fat deposits, and take corrective measures promptly.
12. They Are Not Good in the Heat
Dachshunds, with their dense coat and low-to-the-ground stature, can be sensitive to high temperatures. During hot weather, they can quickly become overheated, making them susceptible to heat-related illnesses like heatstroke.
Their short legs mean they are closer to the hot ground, which can further elevate their body temperature. While they might enjoy sunbathing or playing outdoors, it’s necessary for owners to limit their exposure during peak heat hours.
Providing them with ample shade, fresh water, and cool resting places becomes vital during the warmer months. It’s also important to avoid strenuous activities or long walks in the heat, opting instead for early morning or evening outings when the temperatures are more bearable.
13. They Can Be Expensive to Buy
Purchasing a Dachshund, especially a purebred with a pedigree lineage, can come with a significant price tag. The popularity of the breed, combined with the demand for specific coat colors or patterns, can drive up the cost.
Also, reputable breeders who prioritize health screenings, vaccinations, and early socialization often charge higher prices to ensure that the puppies are in the best possible health and condition.
While the initial cost of purchasing a Dachshund might be high, it’s necessary to consider the long-term expenses as well, such as potential health care, grooming, and maintenance. It’s important for potential
Dachshund owners to research and budget accordingly, ensuring they are prepared for both the initial purchase and the ongoing costs of owning this delightful breed.
14. They Are Not Good Runners
Dachshunds, characterized by their short legs and elongated bodies, aren’t built for long-distance running or high-impact activities. While they possess a playful spirit and enjoy short bursts of energy, extended runs can be taxing on their physique.
Their unique anatomy means that prolonged running can put undue stress on their spine and joints, potentially leading to injuries or exacerbating existing health issues. For those who are avid runners and are considering a Dachshund as a companion, it’s necessary to adjust expectations and exercise routines.
It’s important to provide them with activities that suit their physical capabilities, such as leisurely walks or play sessions, ensuring they get the exercise they need without the risk of overexertion.
15. They Are Barkers
Dachshunds have a strong vocal presence, often using their bark to communicate, alert, or express their feelings. Originating as hunting dogs, their bark was a necessary tool to alert hunters to their location or the presence of prey. In a domestic setting, this vocal nature can manifest in various ways.
They might bark at passing cars, unfamiliar visitors, or even the slightest noise that piques their curiosity. While some owners appreciate this trait as a form of security, others might find the frequent barking a bit of a nuisance, especially in shared living spaces or neighborhoods with noise restrictions.
It’s important for Dachshund owners to understand this trait and employ training techniques or tools to manage and reduce excessive barking when necessary.
16. They Can Have Vision Problems
Dachshunds, like many purebred dogs, can be predisposed to certain health issues, and one area of concern is their eyes. Sometimes, Dachshunds develop a degenerative eye disorder called Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
PRA affects the photoreceptor cells in the eyes, leading to a gradual loss of vision and, in severe cases, complete blindness. The onset and progression of PRA can vary, but it’s a condition that has no cure.
Early detection through regular veterinary eye exams is important, as it can help manage the condition and make necessary adjustments to the dog’s environment. While not all Dachshunds will experience eye problems, it’s necessary for potential and current owners to be aware of this risk and prioritize their pet’s eye health.
17. They Are Lazy
Dachshunds, despite their hunting origins, have a penchant for relaxation and leisure. Their love for cozy spots, be it a soft couch or a sunlit corner, often sees them lounging for extended periods.
While they do have bursts of energy and playfulness, they are equally content spending hours napping or simply observing their surroundings. This laid-back nature can sometimes be mistaken for laziness, especially when compared to more active breeds.
For potential owners looking for a constant playmate or an energetic companion for outdoor adventures, a Dachshund might not always fit the bill. It’s important for owners to strike a balance, ensuring their Dachshund gets the necessary exercise while also respecting their natural inclination for downtime.
18. They Are Very Curious
Dachshunds are known for their inquisitive nature, always eager to explore and investigate their surroundings. Whether it’s a rustling in the bushes, a new toy, or an unfamiliar scent, their curiosity often knows no bounds. This trait, while endearing, can sometimes lead them into tricky situations.
They might find themselves stuck after burrowing into tight spaces or getting their noses into things they shouldn’t. Their keen sense of smell, a remnant of their hunting days, can lead them on trails that might not always be safe.
It’s important for Dachshund owners to be vigilant, ensuring that their environment is secure and that potential hazards are kept out of reach. While their curiosity showcases their intelligence and zest for life, it also necessitates a watchful eye to keep them safe.
19. They Are Always Beside You
Dachshunds are known for their unwavering loyalty and deep bond with their owners. This affectionate nature means they often want to be right by your side, whether you’re working at your desk, watching TV, or even taking a nap. While many owners cherish this close companionship, it can sometimes border on clinginess.
Their desire to be constantly near can pose challenges, especially when trying to accomplish tasks that require concentration or space. It’s not uncommon for a Dachshund to follow their owner from room to room, always wanting to be part of the action.
While this trait underscores their loving nature, it’s important for owners to ensure their Dachshund also has moments of independence and is comfortable spending time alone or in their designated space.
The Dachshund breed embodies a unique mix of endearing qualities and potential challenges. Their stubbornness, hunting instincts, health concerns, and distinct characteristics make them a breed that demands thoughtful consideration from potential owners.
While their loyalty and affection are undeniable, it’s important for individuals to be well-prepared and informed before bringing a Dachshund into their lives.
Whether celebrated for their quirks or approached with caution, the Dachshund debate highlights the importance of understanding and responsible ownership in ensuring a harmonious companionship.