Meet Schnitzel the Miniature Dachshund and his owner Shandos!

Age: 6 years

About the Breed

Schnitzel is a Miniature Dachshund. The Dachshund breed originated in Germany centuries ago to help hunt badgers, although the smaller size was used to hunt rabbits. They have short legs so they can fit down the burrows, loose skin so it doesn’t get caught and straight tails for their owners to pull them out by! The name Dachshund literally means “Badger Dog” in German, although strangely in Germany they are these days referred to as “Teckel”.

Why did you choose this particular breed

There’s a famous drawing by Picasso of his beloved Dachshund, Lump. Many years ago I bought a print of the drawing and became intrigued by the breed. After meeting some out on walks around my neighbourhood, I was won over by them and determined that when I finally got a dog it would be a Dachshund.

Is their personality/behaviour in line with what people associated with the breed?

It’s surprising how many people you meet who say that when they were young, one of their neighbours or relatives owned a Dachshund. In that case, they’re usually familiar with the breed’s ability to be fierce, frequently bark, and rank higher than expected for biting incidents (although of the minor variety). However, the personality of Dachshunds can vary a lot, from some who are very sweet to others who are very fierce.

I do recommend that if people, particularly with kids, meet one in the street or at the park, that they ask first before giving it a pat. This is because, despite their small size and cute appearance, some of them aren’t that friendly to strangers.

Any tips for someone considering getting this breed?

Before getting a Dachshund, read up first of all on the breed and the health problems that they may experience. The big one is Intervertebral Disc Disease or IVDD. Due to the Dachshund’s long spine, they are prone to degeneration of the discs in their spine, with up to 20% of the breed experiencing this to some degree at some point in their life. In the worst cases, paralysis may occur and surgery is required.

There are some measures you can take to help reduce the chance of this happening, like not allowing your dog to run up and down stairs (a home without stairs or with them fenced off is ideal) or to jump on and off the lounge, but it still may occur. Be prepared with pet insurance or adequate savings to cover any vet bills that may eventuate.

How interested/good at training or obedience?

While Dachshunds tend to be intelligent, even more so they can be stubborn and don’t like to follow commands. With our dog Schnitzel, he’s never progressed beyond sitting, usually only for treats. It probably didn’t help that the next command in his puppy preschool was to lie down, and he’s already so close to the ground!

There are some Dachshunds who progress much further, particularly if you’re persistent or have more experience with dog training. On the other hand, they’re very good at training you to spoil them and let them sleep in your bed.

Any tricks, community work?

For the last couple of years, my husband and I have been travelling overseas, in both Europe and the USA, along with Schnitzel. He’s been very adaptable to travelling around, regularly changing where he lives, as long as he has his bed, cuddles off us and ideally some sunshine to lie in. He’s now visited more countries than most people, up to 36 at last count!

You can catch Schnitzel’s adventures on Instagram: @travenuity