The Short and Long of Adopting a Standard Dachshund
My mom had dreamed about getting a dachshund since she was a little girl. Before finally making the decision to adopt me, she had done her research and thought she knew a lot about my breed. Besides the obvious (long, short, stubborn, and cute!) there are also a few surprises you might not expect! Often, it’s a matter of moving from theory to experiencing reality.
Dachshunds come in many different sizes
“Are you telling me every dachshund I’ve ever seen has been a mini!” – I heard that just the other day. I’m a standard, and it certainly wasn’t the first time someone has commented about my size. In fact, most dachshunds we see on the streets are miniatures.
My parents knew that I would grow up to be a standard size, but I’m not sure they realized what this meant, or had even seen a standard size dachshund before me. When they came to get me from the breeder, there were 4 adult miniatures there as well. At 4 months old, I was already the same size as them, maybe even a bit bigger. It should have tipped them off that I would become a big boy. They must have been far too busy fawning over my cuteness at the time to notice.
Here’s a photo of me at 5 months old hanging out with my friend Rex, a 2 year old miniature, at the dog park. Even back then you can see the noticeable size difference!
While miniatures have a healthy weight of under 12lbs (5.4 Kg), us standards weigh in anywhere from 16lb all the way up to 32lb (7.3 – 14.5 Kg). The largest standards can be over 3 times the size of a miniature! As for me, I fall right in the middle of the standard range at 24lb.
Dachshunds are very low to the ground
We both know I’m short, no surprises there. But have you considered the consequences?
As a young pup, I never bothered to squat when I peed. The grass already tickled my belly when running around, I didn’t see the need to get even lower. This made for a looong first car ride home. We stopped every hour for a grass break (which extended the already 8 hour drive) and they’d always ask, “did he pee?”. Followed by the inevitable, “I’m not sure…”.
I’ve since learned to squat, and after following my friend Ulysse the lab around for a day, I even started hiking my leg up to get some extra distance for marking those taller objects.
There are some things you simply can’t learn your way out of though. I love running through the long grasses, but ticks are a constant threat to keep watch for. And dirt. I hate being dirty and I avoid all the puddles yet can’t seem to avoid dirt and mud splashing my underside. A big thank you to my parents for always being ready to towel me down when needed after a long walk!
Dachshunds have funny proportions
Our length is what we’re known for, and it’s why you love us, right!? But that nice new bed you bought for your puppy doxie is not going to last, and you may have trouble finding a harness with the perfect fit.
Mom and dad went months before finding a harness that both fit my long body and deep chest. The small dog harnesses would never fit around my neck and chest, while the medium dog harnesses were always too loose. And don’t get me started on jackets for the winter – they’d either never cover my butt or were way too long in the leg.
But all this was mostly expected. What they had not thought about was the crate.
Longer crates mean taller and wider crates. I certainly don’t need all that vertical space, we just have no choice but to take it. Now I have a jumbo crate that barely fits in the car. Mom keeps joking about how we might need to buy an SUV because we have a dachshund in the family.