A Teckel is more commonly known as a dachshund. It is usually referred to as a Teckel by hunters as this dog was initially bred in 17th-century Germany to hunt small animals such as badgers, rabbits and foxes. Its name in German even translates to badger dog. Because the Teckel only weighs about sixteen to thirty-two pounds, it was perfect for fitting down the holes and dens of these animals to chase them out. Teckels are an intelligent breed and are very playful and lively little dogs. However before you adopt or buy one of these breeds, there are certain aspects that you should take into account.
Though they are now more common as house pets, you may still find that because they were bred to hunt they have retained certain hunting tendencies. These may include destroying your garden by digging numerous holes. You also need to be careful that they do not escape your garden. As they were bred to be tenacious in a hunt, this still applies to the house pet variety. If they are chasing something, they become completely focused on catching their prey and may even burrow their way out of your garden to achieve this. Also because they were bred to kill smaller animals they have also maintained this killing instinct and you may find they will destroy their toys.
There are three types of Teckel; there is the long haired variety, the wire-haired and the smooth-haired. The long-haired Teckel needs weekly brushing to avoid mats and to keep their coat in good condition. However, the smooth-haired variety requires little grooming as does the wire-haired breed.
Teckels have a long body which is why they are affectionately nicknamed the sausage or wiener dog. There is also the miniature breed and the toy breed which are less common.
They are muscular dogs with short stumpy legs. They have an elongated face and a broad barrel chest. It is important to note that because of their long bodies they have an extremely long spinal column which can be easily damaged by rough handling or overzealous activities. You need to ensure that your Teckel does not jump off couches, and you should try and prevent them from walking up and down stairs as these activities may cause herniated discs. You should also remember to support their backs when you pick them up or hold them to avoid any injury. Another aspect you need to be aware of when owning a Teckel is that they can become overweight easily due to their small size if they are not walked regularly. It is important that you are aware of this as any extra weight will also put too much strain on their back resulting in injury to the spine.
Teckel’s are very popular now as family pets rather than hunting dogs; this is mostly due to their small size and temperament. Their size means that they are perfect for apartment living, however just because they are suited for smaller living spaces this is not to say that they do not need exercise. Though they do not need vigorous exercise, they still require a daily walk to keep their weight down as obesity in this breed in addition to spinal problems can also cause heart disease. Though they are small dogs, they are lively and will enjoy walking and running in wide open spaces.
If you do have a Teckel in an apartment, you also need to be aware of the fact that they have a surprisingly powerful bark. Though they are small in stature, the Teckel was bred with a barrel chest to facilitate its hunting abilities. Therefore, their lungs are notably large for so small a breed which attributes to their deep bark which may cause problems when living in an apartment.
Though Teckels are great family dogs, they may not be ideal for a family with small children as they can be very possessive of their toys, their territory and their owners. This possessiveness may lead to nips and bites if younger children are unaware of how to treat them.
Due to their hunting history, they can be very stubborn dogs. Though this is appreciated in a hunting Teckel, it, unfortunately, means that training the house pet variety is a challenging and lengthy process. It is important that you begin their training when they are a puppy as they are easier to train when they are young. Patience is needed when teaching a Teckel Dog, and you should avoid shouting at them as they will not respond well due to their stubborn nature. You should reward their good behavior and any training progress with treats as this will entice them to obey commands. It is also crucial that you socialize your Teckel with other dogs and people to ensure that that they are not wary of strangers, and are comfortable around other dogs.
As an owner, you need to be firm with them and ensure that you do not abandon their training when they are obstinate otherwise they will take over and run your home. Without proper training and a strong leader, they may develop traits associated with small dog syndrome such as biting, growling and snapping at people.
Though Teckels are very loyal dogs they can also become possessive and bond with a particular owner. This trait is more commonly associated with the smooth-haired breed. This possessiveness is something you need to control with training and early socialization otherwise they may become aggressive when their owner’s attention is elsewhere. They may also become destructive if their owner leaves them alone.
The Teckel’s life expectancy is around 12-15 years of age and besides back and weight issues which can be avoided, they are a very healthy breed making them an excellent choice for a pet. With any breed do not buy from an irresponsible breeder or a puppy farm as this may lead to behavioral and temperament issues.