Setting the House Rules
After you've made the veterinary and grooming appointments (if necessary) for your dachshund, you'll want to decide on the new doggie house rules. Many dachsie owners don't think through what they will and won't allow the new dog to do in their homes.
Unbeknownst to many dachsie owners, this sharp-witted breed doesn't miss a thing. All it takes is for a dachshund to “get away” with something once, and it seems as if he never forgets. You need to set the rules and be consistent in enforcing them. If you're not the only person in the house, you not only have to set the rules, you have to make sure everyone in your household understands the rules, supports you, and is consistent in enforcing the rules, too. Everyone has to be on the same playing field from day one.
An adult dog who is up-to-date on her vaccinations does not need any waiting period before beginning training classes. The need for training is just as critical for an adult dog. Classes help with manners and establishing leadership, as well as initiating the bonding process.
You must decide now whether the dog will be allowed up on the furniture with you. If the answer is no, then everyone must enforce this rule — there are tips on how to do this effectively. If the answer is yes, then you must determine which pieces of furniture this applies to, if you are going to keep particular chairs covered with a throw to catch the dog's hair and oils, and how you are going to provide him a step to reach the furniture without injuring his back. (Remember: no jumping!)
Do you want the dachshund to be able to sleep with you, or one of your family members, in bed at night? This is not advisable for a couple of reasons. Until the pup or adult is housetrained, sleeping in a human bed is really not an option. It's also true that dogs who sleep in beds with their humans can have dominance issues that they might not have had if they had been forced to sleep on the floor, or in a crate.
This is not to say that your dachshund will try to challenge you or your children should you allow her to sleep with you. However, you should anticipate this as a potential problem and be prepared to work with your dog. Or you can avoid the whole ordeal by having your dachshund sleep in her crate.
If members of your household aren't all together on the rules, troubles arise rapidly. The dachshund figures out very quickly which family members enforce the rules of the house and who will let her get away with virtually anything.
Rules for Kids
Children also need to be instructed as to how to hold the dog properly so as not to injure her back. Children must be instructed to hold the dachshund only when they are sitting down — she doesn't have far to fall that way.
You may also want to set rules, if you don't have them already, as to answering the front door. This should be an adult-only job. Dachshunds often take this opportunity to bolt out the front door (until trained otherwise), particularly when a child is at the door. Additionally, because the dachshund is a protective breed, your child may open the door for a playmate only to have the dachsie nip or bite the incoming “stranger.”
Give puppies plenty of time to get used to their new surroundings.
Chores and Training
Deciding who is responsible for what dog chores before the dachshund arrives home is important, too. If you are involving your children in dog care, make sure a responsible adult is always supervising. In regard to training, your entire family should be involved in the dachshund's learning experience.
With that said, however, it is usually best to have one adult responsible for the initial training of all the dog's commands. The rest of the family can then learn how to give the commands under the primary trainer's supervision. This way the dog doesn't get confused by one family member saying “Off!"to stop him from jumping up, and another family member using the command “Get down” for the same thing.