Just trust me about mini-Dachshunds--I have twelve of them.

Why so many? Two simple reasons: (1) My husband and I absolutely love this feisty breed and, (3) When we were on active duty with the US Air Force, every place we were stationed we seemed to acquire another one or two. We have Dachsies from Maine, Texas, Rapid City and now retired in Montana, we even have a group of five that are siblings! So who better than I to tell you about loving and living with either a standard-size or miniature Dachshund. Check them out:

  • Dachshunds come in two sizes and three coats i.e. short-haired, long-haired and wire-haired. They range in many colors i.e. mahogany red, brindle, wild boar, grey and tan, brown, cream, fawn, sable, black and tan, freckled piebald and silver dapple.
  • Their name means “badger hound.” Dachshunds were bred in Germany to have a long body and nose, short, sturdy legs and long, flapped ears. Their task was to dig badgers out of their holes for farmers; holes can break legs on horses, sheep and cattle.
  • In temperament, Dachsies are intensely courageous, independent, stubborn, curious, bold and completely loyal and affectionate with their family; they’re wary of strangers.
  • Dachshunds are difficult to train; they prefer their own agenda than their family’s. The trick to training a Dachsie is to make him choose to comply with your wishes about not chewing the furniture and peeing on the plants.
  • With true Dachsie Moxie, these dogs own the world and everything in it. Dachshunds claim as their territory anything they can see, touch, or smell, including your lap, your burger, and your bed covers.
  • With their high energy, Dachshunds love a good romp. They’re got great senses of humor and enjoy playtime with you or each other. Wire-hairs are known to be more clownish and playful.
  • Dachshunds are one-family dogs and prized as companion animals. They usually get along well with young children once the kids learn not to pull their tails and ears.
  • Born as hunting hounds, Dachsies have a high prey drive and aren’t safe with other unsupervised pets like hamsters, rats, guinea pigs, ferrets and birds. They’re happiest with other dogs and their humans.
  • These guys can destroy any toy, even if it’s advertised as indestructible. Keep your shoes out of their reach or they’ll be history!
  • Dachshunds are usually robust and healthy, living 12-14+ years if properly cared for. As with all long-backed dogs, she is prone to degenerative disk disease than could cause intense pain and paralysis. As best you can, don’t let them jump off the furniture or run up and down stairs. And keep their body lean and mean; obesity takes a heavy toll on their health.

There’s a Dachshund secret I want to share with you: do you know the old Irish concept of anam cara? In Gaelic, it means “soul twin.” My Irish ancestors believed that sometimes a person and an animal find each other as soul twins. This is the case with me and my Dachsie, Jack. We have a bond so deep and profound that we understand each other completely. We communicate without the need for speech. Jack, my beloved anam cara, wants nothing more in life than to be at my side, just as I love being at his side.