Thursday, July 22, 2010

BADGER DOGS

"Badger Dog" is English for Dachshund, did you know that?  And the reason dachshunds got this name was because they were bred to hunt badgers.  Some people think that there may have been dachshund ancestors in ancient Egypt, but the breed we know today comes from Germany, and it's made up of several types of hounds and also terriers that all got mixed together to make the perfect badger-hunting dog.

Dachshunds have those long bodies so that they can dig down inside badger holes.  And their feet are wide like paddles, which makes them extra good at digging.  They have ear flaps that help keep dirt and grass and stuff from getting down inside their ears, and they have those cute little curled tails so that people can grab them and pull them out if they get stuck in a hole.

There are three types of dachshund coats:  smooth, long-haired, and wire-haired.  And there are also three sizes:  standard, miniature, and kaninchen, which means rabbit.  The rabbit size is very small, like only 8-10 pounds.  This size of dachshund is not recognized in the U.S. and the U.K., but it is in the 83 countries where there are kennel clubs that belong to the World Canine Federation.

Wikipedia says that a standard dachshund weighs between 15 and 28 pounds, and a miniature dachshund is less than 11 pounds.  So if you weigh between 11 and 15 pounds, I don't know what kind of dachshund you are, and it seems like you would feel kind of left out.  But if you have a nice home to live in, I guess that doesn't matter.

Anyway, dachshunds can be all sorts of different colors, except that some colors, like white, may get you disqualified from being a show dog.  The most common colors are red or black-and-tan.

Dachshunds can be very stubborn and hard to train, or at least that's what I read while I was doing my in-depth research on the breed.  Of course, people say the same thing about basenjis, so I know that you can't always believe everything you read.  And stuff like that was probably written by people with border collies or labs, which are dogs who can't think for themselves and just do anything they are told to do with no questions asked.

But besides being stubborn, dachshunds can also be playful, clever, lively, devoted, and loyal.  Many of them don't like strangers or children they don't know, so they might not be the best kind of dog for a family with young kids.

Because of their long backs, dachshunds often have spinal problems, such as intervertebral disk disease, which means that those disk thingies that keep the bones of your back from rubbing together stop being all soft and cushiony.  Gabe has this problem, which is why it hurts him to go up the stairs sometimes.  Maybe this means that Gabe is actually part dachshund!  And guess what -- the other big health problem that dachshunds have is luxating patellas, which I have also had, so maybe I'm part dachshund, too!

Anyway, one reason I decided to write about dachshunds is that I wanted to tell you how you can get one of your very own, because right now there are THREE dachshunds at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.  Mom has played with all three of these dachshunds, and she says they are all very nice dogs.  And you should believe her when she says this because she is not really a big fan of dachshunds, but she likes all of the ones that are at the shelter.

So I will tell you about them.  The first is Liza, who I maybe told you about before.  She is 6 years old and weighs 14 pounds.  She is kind of shy at first, but she likes to sit in people's laps and get petted and be told how pretty she is.  Liza gets along fine with other dogs and probably would be okay with cats, too.

Then there's Gus, who is 5 and weighs 18 pounds.  He is a total lap dog and also likes to be petted and fussed over.  He doesn't like other dogs, though, so he needs to be an only dog.  He and Roger were brought in together to Animal Control by their owner, and at first they were in a run together, but then they had a terrible fight and really chewed each other up, so now they can't live together.

Roger is 7 years old and has some grey on his muzzle, but he acts like a puppy.  He really loves to play with toys, and he's very entertaining to watch when he's playing.  Of course, he also needs to be the only dog in his home.

So that's all I'm going to tell you about dachshunds.  They aren't the perfect breed for everybody, but they are for some people.  And if you're one of those people, you should run down to the Humane Society right away and adopt Liza or Gus or Roger!

3 comments:

  1. Here's hoping someone WILL see today's post, and immediately WANT to adopt one of the dogs you mention!! I have never owned a dashshund but a couple of family members have. They are such nice dogs....except they would all pee whenever I started petting them! :)

    Here's hoping they all find a great, safe, loving forever home!!

    Love, AP

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  2. Dear Aunt Patty,
    I am also hoping that someone will see my blog and want to adopt these very nice dachshunds. I read that it is sometimes hard to teach dachshunds to be housebroken, but if a dog pees when you pet it, that is called submissive peeing. Maybe those dachshunds you used to know peed because they thought you were really scary! Ha! If I thought you were scary, I might have to pee on Mom's computer, but luckily, I don't think you're scary at all!
    Love, Piper

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