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Should we get a mini Dachshund (or a dog)?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We are down to 7 cats now. We've been thinking about getting another dog, but a small breed. We think a smaller breed would be better for various reasons.

DH just couldn't resist: he wanted to stop into the local puppy pet store. Normally, I like to get animals that have hard-luck stories; i.e., shelter animals, strays, abused animals, etc. These are from a breeder, and we played with several breeds for about 45 minutes. The place seemed very clean, and well-taken care of, as did the puppies (they only offer small breed dogs). One customer was a repeat customer, which I think is good. The pups all seemed very healthy, happy, and loved people, and playing with each other. Also, the dachshund pup was about 11 weeks old--I was told that a younger dog would have a much better chance of getting along with the cats. This is my main question: we had a yellow lab a few years ago, who the SPCA said "got along well with cats", but in realty, didn't. We had to surrender him (they put him to sleep). I'm just so afraid that we'd have to give up on another dog, although I certainly would NOT surrender it to those people. The problem is, I'd get so attached to the dog, and I don't want my heart to be broken again. I still cry when I think about the last dog we had--I feel as if I let him down. And that was over 3 years ago...I still cry over it sometimes.

Dachshunds are a feisty, energetic breed, and they like to chew--although, with 9 cats in the house at various times, what's left to destroy? I have met several over the years, and liked them. I think a small dog is the way to go for us, and they don't shed as much as other breeds (another big concern--I have 4 long-haired cats, & 3 shorties--and I vacuum a LOT). Dachshunds are also prone to spinal problems. I wonder if tussling with cats that will outweigh him would be a problem?

Another thing: I can't realistically see myself walking a dog every night, but we do have a very small, fenced-in backyard. He would have the run of the house all day, too.

I read that some dogs can be litter-trained--anyone try this? Could it work with a mini-Dachshund?

We plan to think about it for a few days before buying him.

Any advice? Thanks!
post #2 of 15
I really think doxies are cute dogs, but you have to remember 1 thing about them: they were bred to go into badger holes to kill them. I had a badger in my front yard one time and it held my 5 very large dogs at bay - you would never want to mess with a badger. Doxies are very strong, and strong willed dogs. Don't let their (lack of) size lull you into a false sense of security.

I have a number of friends with miniature doxies and they are great little dogs. But none of those friends have cats, so I have no idea how they would get along. I suspect with the proper obedience training that you would be OK.

Many years ago, DH and I wandered into a pet shop and was looking very seriously about adopting a doxie. My SIL reminded me that most of the puppies at stores like this come from puppy mills. My real advice is to find out where the dog came from, and if you really are settled on a doxie, look into reputable breeders.
post #3 of 15
We have guests right now with a mini doxie. She is sweet, and she'd love to play with the cats, if they didn't keep beating her up! But I think it would eventually work out.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I really think doxies are cute dogs, but you have to remember 1 thing about them: they were bred to go into badger holes to kill them. I had a badger in my front yard one time and it held my 5 very large dogs at bay - you would never want to mess with a badger. Doxies are very strong, and strong willed dogs. Don't let their (lack of) size lull you into a false sense of security.

I have a number of friends with miniature doxies and they are great little dogs. But none of those friends have cats, so I have no idea how they would get along. I suspect with the proper obedience training that you would be OK.

Many years ago, DH and I wandered into a pet shop and was looking very seriously about adopting a doxie. My SIL reminded me that most of the puppies at stores like this come from puppy mills. My real advice is to find out where the dog came from, and if you really are settled on a doxie, look into reputable breeders.
I thought about the puppy mills, too; but I checked into the breeder, who is local, and they seem good. I don't get the impression that it is a puppy mill.

We've been batting this back and forth all day. We're so worried that the cats won't accept him. Apart from that (and the $600 price tag), it's our only concern. I think the potty problem could be solved by either a doggie litter box or most likely, by training him to go out the large cat door into the garage, where we'd spread plastic & newspaper/puppy pads. The cats already have their litter boxes out there, and often "miss", so accidents wouldn't be a big deal (we also plan to epoxy-paint the floor soon to make mopping it easier).

We just love this little guy, but are still not sure if we should adopt a dog...
post #5 of 15
Have you looked for doxies at shelters? You can look for specific breeds on www.petfinder.com. They may not be in your immediate area, but some rescue groups would transport an animal if they had an adoptor. And they won't cost you $600.
post #6 of 15
Keep in mind if you teach a dog to potty indoors, housetraining gets difficult (not sure a dog could differentiate between garage floors & house floors ). For example, piddle pad training or litterbox training. We see a lot of dogs surrendered for not being housetrained that they were trying to piddle pad/litterbox train.
post #7 of 15
I don't know how it would work to not take a dog for a walk everyday. I know some people do keep dogs inside without the daily walk and it probably would be less likely to cause problems with a small dog but I think a daily walk is something that many dogs need. It satisfys a need they have to go out explore and patrol their territory not just for bathroom needs. I know someone at work who has always had them and his mother has had several over a number of years with no spinal problems. These are regular sized dogs rather than the miniatures. He believes they haven't had problems because they don't allow them to get overweight.
post #8 of 15
Do a LOT of research into the breeder....the fact is that no truly good breeders will sell to pet stores, where their pups will be sold to anyone with cash in hand. Good breeders screen potential buyers very carefully to make sure they go to responsible homes. Bad breeding is the cause of many heath and temperment problems in dogs, and since you already mentioned that you don't want your heart broken again, I would strongly recomend against buying from a pet store. Buying direct from the breeder (ALWAYS insist on meeting the mother dog, so you have an idea about her temperment) is much better. Buying from a breeder generally costs less than buying from a pet store, too. Here's a good link: http://www.dachshund-dca.org/faq.html#goodbreeder

Remember that Doxies are high-energy, diggers, barkers, and stubborn. Typical terriers, basically. They also are notoriously difficult to potty-train (especially males), and I don't think confusing the dog with indoor potty training would be a good idea. A small dog can be exercised indoors or in a small yard, but most dogs still need to be walked daily.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, everyone! We decided last night not to get a dog right now. Even if we had decided to, God decided for me: I took my car in for inspection today, and found that I needed major work for it to pass--over $1000-worth. (To be fair to the car, it's 11 years-old; I've never had to spend much for repairs--this is the first biggie.) I wouldn't be able to afford the $600, nor any, adoption fee right now.

Boy, 2009 has been a year of unexpected, large emergencies! First, Willi Hobbes' vet bills in January and February (they both died, though), then this. And it's only July! And my friends wonder why I shop yard sales and Goodwill for stuff I need!
post #10 of 15
Good breeders frequently have waiting lists....now would not be too early to pick out a suitable breeder, develop a relationship, then when they do have a litter at a time that is appropriate for you you'll be all set.
post #11 of 15
Willowy is correct. A responsible breeder would not sell puppies to a pet store. A good responsible breeder wants to know where every puppy she sells ends up and normally they will ask you a lot of questions before they will sell you a dog. They also have a contract and most reputable breeders include in the contract that if you ever can't keep the dog, they have first right to get the dog back. If they sold to a pet shop they'd never know where their dogs went.

For Dachshunds you should look for a breeder who tests for luxating patellas, PRA, and thyroid problems. You also should ask about any back problems/disc disease in the parents/grandparents/etc.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
Willowy is correct. A responsible breeder would not sell puppies to a pet store. A good responsible breeder wants to know where every puppy she sells ends up and normally they will ask you a lot of questions before they will sell you a dog. They also have a contract and most reputable breeders include in the contract that if you ever can't keep the dog, they have first right to get the dog back. If they sold to a pet shop they'd never know where their dogs went.

For Dachshunds you should look for a breeder who tests for luxating patellas, PRA, and thyroid problems. You also should ask about any back problems/disc disease in the parents/grandparents/etc.

The breeder actually owns the pet shop.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MargeCat View Post
The breeder actually owns the pet shop.
Does she only breed Dachshunds? Does she do health testing? I would be wary of any breeder who is breeding multiple breeds of dog.
post #14 of 15
If the breeder doesn't do genetic health testing, if she breeds her females more than 4 times in their lives, if her breeding dogs are kept kenneled 24/7 and are unsocialized, if her breeding dogs aren't adopted out to good homes when they're retired, if they aren't AKC registered, if she isnt willing to take back any dog of her breeding for any reason, if she doesn't require spay/neuter on pet-quality puppies, etc. then this person is not a good breeder.

The mark of a good breeder is not whether they can produce cute puppies (anyone can do that), but whether they can produce healthy, tempermentally sound puppies and still take humane care of their breeding dogs. Many times the puppies are given excellent care, while the breeding dogs are kept in tiny, dirty kennels and given no socialization at all.

Does she screen potential adopters carefully? Will she take back any dog of her breeding for any reason at any time? Is there a spay/neuter requirement for pet-quality puppies?
post #15 of 15
Here's a interesting link: http://www.dogforums.com/2-general-d...g-breeder.html
Of course, not everybody agrees with everything listed there (as you'll see from the following comments), but it's a good run-down of the basics.
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