Dachshunds are a breed of dogs renowned for their remarkable compassion and passion for their owners. But perhaps the most outstanding physical trait of dachshunds is that they are a fairly small dog breeds.
If you are looking for an ideal dog for your kids and babies, one of the most important considerations will be the size of the dog you go for.
Generally, you would be tempted to believe that the smaller the dog, the more ideal it is for your kids. This notion normally stems from the assumption that smaller dogs are less aggressive.
And while most are active and playful, they pack lesser energy than their bigger counterparts. That means that in terms of energy levels, they are usually at par with your kids, thereby making for fun play times.
While this assumption is largely true, it isn’t entirely the case when it comes to dachshunds.
So, if you have always be wondering to yourself, are dachshunds good with kids? The answer is – not quite. Dachshunds are not the most ideal dog breeds with young kids.
However, if you just cannot help your liking for this dog and wish to have one for your little ones, you can still get one for you. Of course, you will need to introduce the dog carefully and ensure you give it proper training to make it completely kid-friendly.
A Little More About Dachshunds
The name dachshund sounds Dutch but the truth of the matter is, the name is actually German and it loosely translates into a badger dog.
Dachshunds are also known as wiener dogs or sausage dogs, and that speaks volumes about their body shape, which is generally long and narrow.
Dachshunds are characterized by their short legs and long bodies with different hair varieties ranging from the long-haired, the smooth-haired and the wire-haired.
Aptly named the badger dog, dachshunds were primarily developed to pick up scents of badgers before chasing and flushing them out. Apart from badgers, owners also used dachshunds to flush out other small animals that dwelt in burrows.
There are owners who even used dachshunds for hunting larger animals such as the rabbits, prairie dogs, deer etc.
Most dachshunds are known for their trademark long, muscular bodies, complete with their short and stubby legs and long snouts. Since they are dogs that are naturally built for digging, they have disproportionately large, paddle-shaped front paws.
Another feature that makes them ideal diggers is their loose skin. That ensures the dog’s skin does not tear, no matter how tight the burrows they dig through are. And as expected, their chest is deep enough with a larger lung capacity, to offer the much-required stamina when digging.
So, after this comprehensive background information, your next most important question is possibly – do dachshunds like children?
Features To Look Out For In A Kid-friendly Dog
There are certain physical and mental traits that a kid-friendly dog should possess.
First and foremost, the dog should have a sturdy body. This is regardless of the dog’s size. A sturdy body ensures that the dog does not sustain injuries and sprains when playing with your little kids.
Remember that children can oftentimes play rough, especially when they realize that a dog is of a relatively smaller size.
Also, kids can be very cuddly, and will try to hug their dogs at every opportunity they can find. While these hugs are usually passionate and endearing, they may come out as rough and injure a weak dog.
Another great characteristic to look for in a kid-friendly dog is the size of the dog. As we have already mentioned, larger dogs are likely to pack much strength and power.
Generally, a dog that is heavier than a child will find it very difficult to enjoy playtime with those very children.
Even when the dog truly loves your child, his very weight and strength could easily knock down your child to the ground during playtime. For large, bulky dogs to be friendly with children, they also need to have very mellow, cool and caring characteristics.
Patience is yet another important virtue when looking for a kid-friendly dog. Kids are known to throw tantrums left, right and center.
And there are dogs that become very stressed at such sudden displays of emotion. Therefore, you need a dog that will take all the screaming and yelling from cheerful kids, as well as the constant naggings from grumpy children.
In general, the dog should not respond radically or irrationally to the different emotional expressions from your child. Some of the notable disproportionate responses could include anxious barking, snapping or growling.
Lastly, and most importantly, a kid-friendly dog must be very playful and willing to engage your little children running around the home.
Playful dogs are great not only in releasing the excess energy built within them, but also in engaging your kids in fun-filled play times.
Playing goes way beyond the fun experienced. It is also a way of cooling off, eliminating stress and working out. And the best part is, both your kid and the dog benefit from these health benefits.
Does The Dachshund Pack Kid-friendly Features?
One of the most outstanding dachshund features that makes them unideal for kids is their fragile backs.
Dachshunds have fairly smaller bodies and very fragile backs, which accounts for their sausage shapes. While playing with children, the dog is highly vulnerable, especially among children that do not understand how to handle sausage-shaped dogs.
So when looking for a kid-friendly dog with the right body sturdiness, the dachshund does not quite fit that bill.
In terms of mental traits, dachshunds are known to be very stubborn, which makes them very difficult to train.
The dachshund is one of the dog breeds that is set on its ways. One moment it could be playing happily with your kid and the next moment it sets on a scent trail. It is not a dog that’s very easy to please, especially if it picks up a scent of something that could be a little more interesting.
Being obstinate also means they will not readily follow your kids’ commands. The dachshund is not a dog your kids can easily ask out for a walk in the neighborhood, or for a run around the backyard.
If they consent, they only do so based on their own assessment of the situation, not because they were coerced into doing it.
And since they are difficult to train, they generally take longer to master the various children games. Children will easily get along with dogs that show interest in their games, not those that take eternity to learn the simplest of kid games such as the game of fetch.
Another great concern is dachshund temperament with children.
Dachshunds are considered some of the most manipulative dogs, and are easily motivated by food. A dog that delights in food treats does not only run the risks of developing lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes.
Such dogs can also be very manipulative. So instead of heeding your kids’ commands, the dachshund would wait till a treat of food is thrown their way.
In most cases, these manipulative tendencies could only be innocent behavior that should not be a cause for alarm. However, imagine if your dachshund, after spotting an intruder nearby, won’t warn your kid till it gets a food treat.
And what happens when your kid has no treat to give to your dog? The dachshund could steal or even grab it from them. This is a combination of greed and mischief, one that could easily land both the canine and kid in precarious situations.
Last but not least, it is important to remember that the dachshund was developed as a hunting dog. Therefore, the dog has still retained most of its predatory instincts. A subtle startling could easily trigger a chase response.
Even worse the dog could see your kid as one of the small animals that it should chase after. And it gets worse when the kid also responds by running around your house or backyard.
The ensuing commotion could cause serious injuries to your little children and depending on how heightened the dog’s predatory behavior is, it could snap on your kids or even land a dangerous bite.
Dogs that were originally developed for hunting need months of training before they can become great family companions.
Some Features of the Dachshund That Could Make It Ideal for Your Kid
Though dachshunds are generally unideal for kids, you can successfully train the dog to become a kid-friendly canine.
But even before we get to the training part, there are certain features of the dachshund that could somewhat make them more suitable for a young family.
First and foremost is their aggression. Though aggression is mostly associated with repulsive behavior, your dachshund’s aggression could easily come in handy when used as a watchdog or guard dog.
Upon sighting a stranger, your dachshund will immediately go on the offensive, barking consistently and threatening to attack the intruder.
It is undeniably true that the dog is relatively small in size and not naturally protective. But in spite of that, their aggressive behavior as characterized by their short and loud barks could easily see off the most dangerous of intruders, thereby keeping your children safe even when you are away.
Dachshunds are great comforters. If you have lived with a dachshund long enough, you might have noticed the dog’s remarkable comforting abilities.
Your dachshund will be able to know when you are going through distressful or anxious moments. It will then respond by snuggling with you and keeping by your side till the tension eases out. These comforting behaviors will usually kick in when the kid feels anxious when abandoned.
Another trait is their intelligence. We already mentioned that dachshunds are fairly obstinate and do not easily master commands from children.
However, it is important to remember that their reluctance in learning children games has much to do with their stubborn behavior as opposed to their poor memory.
In terms of intelligence, the dog ranks fairly high, and that could be a saving grace. For instance, the dog can easily master the faces and scents of people it considers dangerous.
When such people show up in your home when you are away, your dachshund will spring into action and try to see them off, seamlessly keeping your children safe from harm. Therefore, you can live a dachshund with baby without worrying about the baby getting hurt.
There are various other ways through which a dachshund’s intelligence makes him ideal for young children. Including sniffing out dangerous animals and keeping harmful things such as pointed sticks away from your kids.
Again, dachshunds are an extremely loyal dog. As you probably already know, most may require vigorous training to have the trait of loyalty fully imparted in them. But as soon as they understand your kids are their bosses, the dog will do everything in its power to supply the needs of their boss.
There are cases where loyalty degenerates into obsession, so much that a dog suffers from separation anxiety when their owner is not around. However, this is rarely the case with dachshunds who are intelligent enough to know when their attention is required and when it is not.
Last but not least, dachshunds are one of the most playful dogs. As a parent of young kids, you are probably looking for a dog that packs the right amount of energy to keep your kids entertained and distracted.
Without considering any other factors, the dachshund no doubt features as one of the most hyperactive dogs. He will play whenever he feels like, without really needing your kid to motivate it.
As a parent, all you have to do is get the dog as well as your children the right toys and a sufficient place to run around in your house and in the backyard.
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How To Train A Dachshund To Be Kid-friendly
Are you still wondering to yourself – is a dachshund a good family dog? Well, as it has now become abundantly clear, the dachshund sports features that make it unideal with kids.
However, the dog is also endowed with certain characteristics that could make it suitable for families with babies.
Because it may be difficult at times to really know whether your dachshund is good with your kids or not, the secret lies in proper training.
So, how do you go about training your dachshund?
First and foremost, you should understand how to introduce a dachshund to a baby.
If you can, go for dachshund puppies as opposed to adult dogs. Puppies are easier to train than their adult counterparts. Plus, they are also likely to build unbreakable bonds with your kids, which could eventually make them very protective of your children.
As soon as you have brought the puppy home, get your child to sit with the pet to familiarize with one another. These sessions should be marked by gentle patting and brushing so that the kid understands how to treat their future pet from the get-go.
Do not be anxious when the dachshund puppy tries to sniff your baby, as that is a perfect way of getting to know the child better.
Above all, try to make the dog understand that he comes right at the bottom of the pecking order in your family, and that the kid comes before him. This will prevent the dog from asserting his dominance over the kid when it grows up.
The only disadvantage of going for dachshund puppies is that due to the dog’s fragility, your kid could find it difficult coping with an even more fragile pup.
Another thing to consider is to train your kid to be more tolerant and careful with your dachshund. In fact, the training should cut across both sides, but with a special focus on your kid.
Your children should clearly understand the repercussions of injuring a dachshund’s fragile back. They should also be taught to tell between an elated and an anxious dachshund.
Though they can be quite comforting and protective of your kids, an agitated or threatened dachshund could respond by biting. Squeezing, hugging and other actions of cuddling should be gentle and done in measured amounts.
During their meal and sleep time, the children should avoid approaching the dachshund as the dog could view your kids as threats in such situations. Also, the children should especially learn to tell when the dog has had enough of playtime and now needs a rest.
Some of the tell-tale signs that your dog has had enough include the following;
- Baring of his teeth,
- Giving of a low growl,
- Retreating into himself,
- Hiding his tails between his legs,
- Pulling back his ears,
- Flicking its tongue,
- Showing the whale eye and.
Lastly, it is important to remember that while dachshunds and babies may finally get along after rigorous training, the training itself requires patience and persistent, thanks to the canine’s obstinate nature.
And it could only get worse if the dog has had a negative past experience with children.
For every new dachshund in your home, carefully and patiently watch how the dog responds to extreme behaviors from your kids. Does the dog run away when the child screams? Does the dog bare its teeth when the child happily runs towards it?
Dogs that are overly anxious around children must have had a bad history with kids. And after observing how your dog reacts around children, experts advise against punishing the dog.
If your dachshund growls at your kid, chances are the dog feels threatened, anxious or annoyed by the kid. The best thing to do under such circumstances is to withdraw your kid from the scene. If you punish the dog instead, it will not growl the next time it feels offended, but may attack the child straightaway.
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Conclusion: So, Are Dachshunds Good Family Pets?
Dachshunds may form great family pets depending on the composition of your family.
This dog breed is largely considered unideal for small kids. Dachshunds are aggressive, obstinate, sometimes overly protective and possessive but the most important disadvantage is their fragile backs.
When planning to introduce a dachshund into your family, remember to first train your kids on how to handle these fragile pets.
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