Crate Training:Crate Training is one of the most important things we’ve been able to train both Winston & Maya. It is a great method for putting structure into your pup’s life, giving them a “safe place” they can always go to and love, help reduce anxiety when you’re gone, and makes traveling easier so that you can leave your petsitter with the crate. Also more importantly, it is good for the health of their back. Make sure you get a crate with a panel so that you can give the puppy more space when it grows. This is the crate we use and the bed that we buy to go with it. It comes with a divider and we would use it in the crate when they were puppies to give them only enough space to sleep. If you give them too much space, they’ll use a corner to potentially go potty. Your pup may not instantly love their crate in the beginning, but just be consistent with the training. Give them treats while in the crate, play with them in the crate, and this will help your pup become more comfortable with it over time.
Food: As you may know already, with dogs you generally want to stick with ONE brand and avoid switching at all cost. We never had any issues. We recommend getting a small bites bag and then switch to regular after 8 months or so. Keep in mind, in the very few days the dog may struggle with eating because their teeth and bite may not be strong enough. This happened with Maya but not Winston. If this is the case, put water in a small bowl of food and let it become a little “mushy” and then they can eat it better. Just note though, this will increase the amount of water intake and thus he or she will pee a lot. But this phase should last a week or two until they can eat the food dry, etc).
Food bowls:We recommend Dog It Go-slow Bowl because the gaps are big enough for their little snouts. We have 4 of these (so we can keep a pair in each floor of the house) and use them for water and food. The extra small size is big enough for their food. It helps control swallowing down their food too fast.
Walks: We don’t use a bag or carrier to walk them around as we live right outside of the city in the suburbs. Leash walking is pretty much everything. That said: During summer, their paws will suffer. Generally, any time it’s over 85 degress, the sidewalks get very hot. Sometimes we have to pick them up after 15 minutes of walking to let their paws rest. When you first get your puppy he or she may not fit on a harness until at least 5 months (if you have a smaller breed dog) so you’ll have to use a collar in the meanwhile. Both Maya and Winston went through this… but as soon as they fit in a harness, use it moving forward as it is better for their fragile backs. For leash training… every dog is different with this. Winston needed a lot of treats and didn’t walk on a leash well until 3 months. Maya picked it up since day one. If they do not pick it up right away then you pretty much have to have a LOT of treats and call them over every time until they get the hang of it… then give them a treat when they come to you.
Hygiene: We’ve been using Petsmart’s Top Paw shampoo brand since they were both pups. We typically give them a bath about every three weeks, sometime a little more often if they get dirty while playing outside. In addition to this, we recommend a good ear cleaner as their ears get a lot of wax, especially in the summer. You can find this at any pet store. Giving them a bath is a routine: shower, then dry, then clean the ears using cotton swabs and Q tips, then anal glands draining if needed. Dachshunds are notorious for needing anal gland cleaning, which can be done at home, or even at your vet/groomer. Both our pups have to have anal gland draining about twice a month so just be prepared for that.
Dachshund Training: To also protect their spine, do not teach them how to go up and down stairs or jump on and off couches. You can search Intervertable Disc Disease (IVDD) to learn more about their back problems. 1/4 dachshunds will get IVDD sometime in their lifetime, so it is very prevalent. We currently use a ramp for our pups to go up and down couches and up or down the deck. You can check out this ramp here or build your own even 🙂
Winston was generally an easier pup to train. Maya was not easy at all. People think by looking at her photos and videos that she is such a good puppy growing up, but it took a lot of patience to be able to train her. She cried every single night for the first month while in her crate. There were nights where she cried all night and kept us up the entire time. She also went potty about every hour for the first few weeks at home (due to having a tiny bladder), so potty training was not the easiest. Puppies are cute, but they require a LOT of work. Things do get better as the months progress, and the love they give you is totally worth all the accidents, mischievous-ness, and long nights staying up 🙂