Small breeds


New Member
Jan 20, 2014
A little late to the party, but I have two dachshunds, and since they were on your "would consider" list... :)

It's entirely possible to find a dachshund that fits most of your list, but you would probably have to be patient, as it's a smaller percentage than ones that don't (or the right dog could randomly fall into your lap, like Bus for me!). They are a common breed, and there are several large breed rescues that list dogs nationwide and locally, so a large pool from which you could find a match.

I'll preface this by saying that "dog people" frequently tell me my dogs are the nicest/strangest (temperament/drive/activity wise) dachshunds they've ever met, but we see a lot of them at my work, so I'll include what I see in those dogs (granted, in a stressful/scary environment) as well as ones I've seen at other dog stuff and heard from other owners.

I'm pretty sure both my dogs could fit in a carrier to fly under seat if needed, Bus (13-14 lbs) would be a tighter fit than Annie (10-12 lbs), he's pretty long. They are quite portable in size, though less so when allowed to get fat. Most will overeat and balloon if allowed, so measured feeding is a must.

My old dog, Annie, regularly played fetch until her vision didn't let her easily track the ball anymore, and has just recently slacked off on regular walks at 17 yrs old. She swam, played tug with dogs 5 times her size, could jump onto most things a bigger dog could. She was never great at settling in the house unless well exercised. Barker/anxious when left alone and confined, or crated at all (probably more to do with spending too much time crated as a young pup) but ok free in the house. Quiet most of the rest of the time. Bit several family members who walked into our house while the other dogs we had at the time were alarm barking, but totally fine out in public/roaming among family at parties in our yard, etc. Passed a CGC no problem. Tolerant enough/doesn't mind kids, but doesn't like being manhandled (by kids OR adults ;) ). Dog aggressive to strange dogs- she's of the quietly waiting type, doesn't take guff from other household dogs- she's been in more than a couple scuffles in her lifetime. Difficult/impossible to housebreak, she still prefers to go inside, but can be managed if you watch her like a hawk and take her out every couple hours when she's awake and moving around. Not exceptionally concerned with my approval, nor amenable to physical correction, but very willing to work for food or toy rewards. High prey drive, but usually controllable, great recall as a younger dog. Very smart, if you set up a puzzle or problem for her, you could see the wheels turning before she would go. Escaped from several chainlink fences, by squeezing under/out at gates, or climbing over, but not a digger. She was an excellent dog for outdoor activities, but not a fan of cold/wet weather at all. Probably the most environmentally sound dog I've had, exposed to tons of stuff, never even remotely afraid.

She did have a pinched nerve/some degenerative changes in her neck when she was around 7 years old, but resumed normal activity with treatment, and a problem again at 15 yrs old where she mostly recovered, but still had a slightly odd gait. Other than that, vet bills have been mostly for injuries sustained doing foolish things :) Her health has recently been starting to decline, kidneys and heart are not great, but she still looks and acts pretty good for being a billion years old!

Bus is a much softer dog, but much more impulsive than Annie. You pull out the ball and his pupils are immediately the size of golfballs... if you threw it off the edge of the Earth, he'd be gone! Machine gun barking when he's excited, frustrated, or wants something- usually only when playing- but he's quiet most other times. He's quite soft to corrections, unless he's fixated on something, then you could pop his head off and eyes would still be glued to whatever he's into. Food and toy drive out the ears, he will raid any food source that's not under lock and key if left alone, manners aside- as soon as people turn their backs or enter a different room, he's getting into something. I discourage him from randomly bringing toys and demanding play in the house because he'll drive me nuts, but he sometimes can't help himself if he's excited. If you take all the dog toys, he starts bringing the little mouse cat toys, or tiny scraps of toys he's already destroyed. He is totally reliable as far as housebreaking, a nice change from Annie.

He's more affectionate than Annie, and adores kids, even though he was never around them until I got him at 4 years old. Great with cats, ok with other dogs- he barks at them on leash at times, but is usually ok when meeting. He will be a jerk back to them if they start something, and can be a "fun police" persona, so I usually limit free time to dogs he's regularly around. He's fine walking with other dogs or generally being near them though. Resource guarder with other dogs (bones/chews mostly, less so food and toys), doesn't want people to take his food/bones, but accepts it without fuss if needed (I usually trade). He's pretty reliable off leash, but if there is water nearby, can't guarantee that he won't beeline for it- he LOVES to swim, and I've had him try to run off to visit the kids across the street when he heard them, so I don't fully trust him in populated areas unless we're playing ball. His previous owner told me (after I'd had him for a month) that he was "territorial" at her house, but I've never seen it, though we don't have a fenced yard for him to guard, lol. He does occasionally growl under his breath at people walking late at night, but he has done the same to bushes and trashcans, and if the people talk to him, he's happy to meet them. He's definitely a more nervy dog than Annie, and more sensitive in general. If he wasn't a generally sweet dog, and drivey enough to easily motivate, he'd be a pain in the butt. He has moderate noise phobia, getting worse as he gets older, he's afraid of fireworks, smoke alarm, and new this year, thunderstorms. He's also extrapolated that people showering and cooking make the alarm go off, so he's afraid of those things as well, and hides under the loveseat or bed when they occur. I call him my coward dog :)

No significant health issues (aside from his weird heat issue), and he's active/ agile enough that I could easily do most sports with him even at almost 10. He can jump/clamber up onto the kitchen counters, and has jumped onto/walked on the edge of a 3' tall expen. I joke that he's part goat! Training wise, I don't think he's as smart as Annie, but he's easily motivated, and is pretty well trained as far as basic obedience. Quite active, he'd play ball in the water all day and still go for a couple mile bike ride at night, then grab a ball to try to con me into more fetch in the house. He is a big time digger- if I left him out in the yard for any length of time, it would be a mud pit riddled with ankle breakers. Thankfully, with supervision, he mostly confines it to the boat ramp in sand/gravel, where it doesn't hurt anything, though I get tired of the constant trails/piles of dirt/sand/debris he leaves behind, like pigpen.

Of dachs I see at work/elsewhere, I would say I'm not really a fan of the "common" dashchund, many of them are either sweet, but no drive/low activity level; fear biters/reactive; or just "generic" type dogs which are kind of indifferent to everything. It doesn't help that most of them are so fat they couldn't be fun if they wanted to, but it's hard to know what they'd be like even if fit and encouraged to be more active/playful. Common complaints I hear from other owners are that their dogs are barky, biters or fearful, not housetrainable, have an insatiable appetite, and are not reliable off leash. Some of that is owner error, I think, and some is just that some breeders aren't really breeding good dogs. There are some gems, though, even among the average pet owner, and those tend to be awesome dogs :)


Active Member
Oct 14, 2006
Thank you, that was a helpful response!!

An ex of mine had a dachshund that I spent a lot of time with. She wasn't what I'd look for in a dog, but I think she could have been if she was encouraged to build some drive and wasn't given free access to everything her little heart desired.

I've worked with others, ranging from "cool" to dogs I downright despised (although that single case was a sad one and I believe eventually the owners were reported for neglect...a young dog hoarder living with her severe addict mother and a single dachshund in an apartment full of the tiniest Maltese I've ever seen, I think they took the whole litter who all grew to under 5 lbs). Anyway, I love doxies for their sweetness (usually) combined with a spunkiness , I'm not sure I can find the combo in one dog (to the extent of drive I want).

I could probably find a breeder/pup I love, but I think it'd be hard to find in rescue and I'd sooner look for a small terrier type. But if the right dog came along, I'd scoop it up.

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