The Ride Home
The purchase price of your puppy or the adoption fee for your adult, does not include a collar. It does not include a crate. It does not include any of the dog accessories you will need to care for your dachsie properly. The only thing you are paying for is a healthy, quality dachshund.
It is not uncommon, however, in the excitement of going to pick up a new dachshund, for new owners to forget to prepare for the dachsie's most basic needs and requirements. In fact, experienced breeders and many rescues often keep a variety of items for puppy buyers and adopters to purchase.
But don't count on this luxury; make sure you have what you need before you go. The four basic essentials you'll need when picking up your new dachshund are a collar or halter, identification tags, a leash, and a pet carrier.
It's really hard to guess the size of a collar or halter that a pup or adult will need by just looking at them hanging in a display. If you can, call the breeder or rescue and ask what size to purchase. If you can't get this information, you may want to buy a couple of different sizes, keep the receipt, and return what doesn't fit.
Types of Collars
There are many kinds of collars available, but the best collar you can purchase for a puppy is a flat-buckle collar. The collar should not be adjustable, as this extra loop of collar can easily get caught on objects and strangle the puppy. The collar should also not be the kind of training collar that tightens, with one end of the collar slipping through a ring on the other end. This type of collar can also choke a puppy easily.
You will have a huge assortment of flat-buckle collars to choose from at virtually any pet supply store, mail-order company, or online pet site. Remember, however, before you plunk down $50 for a faux-jewel-encrusted, handmade collar — your puppy is likely to need several collars before she is fully mature. Collars have a high attrition rate, too, because puppies tend to enjoy chewing through them. Wait to get the really nice collar for your dachsie's first birthday.
Identification tags are very important — even on that first trip home! Whether you are traveling a long distance to pick up your dachshund or driving just a matter of minutes, anything can happen, even to the most careful and conscientious of dog owners. All you really need on the tag is your telephone number. If you'll be away from home for a while, put your cell phone number on the tag, too. This way, no matter where the puppy or dog is found and no matter where you are, the rescuer can reach you immediately.
As for the leash, purchase at least a four-foot leash, but no more than a six-foot one. Do not buy a retractable leash — yet. Until you can recall your dog reliably, it is very difficult to reel him in once he is at the end of twenty to thirty feet of line. And if you've ever tried to pull on a thin nylon rope, you can appreciate how hard and painful this is to do!
Purchase a leash that is as thin and lightweight as you can find, with no clunky clips. Your dachshund puppy will be just a little thing. You don't want to knock him out or weigh him down with a cumbersome leash.
You do not want your dachshund running loose in the vehicle while you drive. Puppies can wedge themselves into unbelievable and very dangerous places, not to mention get sick to their stomachs or eliminate in the car. An adult dog should still be considered an “unknown,” and with this consideration, you should always err on the side of caution. Some dogs have been known to virtually panic in a vehicle and bite the driver. Use a carrier!
Plastic, Hard Shell
There are several options to choose from when selecting a carrier. One common type is the plastic, hard-shell carrier, which usually comes in two pieces, a top and a bottom. The benefits to this type are that it is relatively inexpensive, lightweight, can be airline-approved, and is easily cleaned and dismantled. Drawbacks to the plastic carrier are that the plastic pieces are not easily stored if space is tight in your apartment or home; it can be virtually impossible to clean the tiny fissures that eventually develop in the plastic; and this type carrier does not provide the best air circulation.
A wire crate carrier provides the best air flow, without a doubt. It is also easily cleaned (there's a crate pan that slides out for cleaning). Other advantages of a wire crate are that dogs who like to see everything actually can with this crate, and the crates are often collapsible and can be stored in a small area. The downsides to these crates are that they are usually heavy for their size. They can never be used for airline travel, and dogs who prefer den-like crates don't take well to the openness of the wire sides.
Puppies grow a lot in their first year. If you purchase a carrier to fit the young pup (just enough room to stand up, turn around comfortably, and lie down), chances are that the carrier will no longer fit by the time your dachsie has reached maturity. To save on expenses, either borrow a small one and purchase the larger carrier later, or ask your breeder what size she would purchase for an adult dachsie. This way, you only have to purchase one carrier.
A soft-sided type carrier is very safe when it's strapped into a seat belt, and it's very convenient and comfortable to carry. However, if you've got a dachshund who likes to chew and rip (in other words, a puppy), you may want to wait to purchase this item until she is more mature. Also, this carrier can be more difficult to clean thoroughly so it's not a good idea if you've got a dachshund who gets very nervous when she travels.
Mesh crates are extremely light, entirely collapsible carriers made of PVC pipes and a very lightweight screen mesh. They can be cleaned fairly easily provide excellent air flow, and tend to be enjoyed by den-dwellers and open-kennel dogs equally. The drawback is that the mesh is of such thin construction that it wouldn't take a determined dachshund long to chew, scratch, or tear her way out if she wanted to. This crate is great if you are going to be sitting with your dog, but it's not one to leave a dachsie in unsupervised.
Other supplies you should have on hand are materials for lining the carrier (such as newspapers, which work well and are easy to replace); paper towels to wipe up accidents; a spray cleaner for the interior of the car; and plastic bags to dispose of soiled newspapers or to scoop the poop left behind at rest stops. Bring along a jug of distilled water and a small water bowl. If you are going to be traveling overnight, make sure you also have more than enough food for your dachsie.