Monday, 29 April 2013

So you want to buy a dachshund?

I've been in-undated with emails and calls from new owners and people interested in buying a dachshund so I approached breed expert Ian Seath, from the Dachshund Breed Council for some sound words about where to start.

If you are worried about dodgy breeders? puppy farming and health checks,  or just unsure whatquestions to ask? the read on for Ian's guest post...

We seem to live in a “must have it now” society, but the old saying“marry in haste, repent at leisure” also applies when you're thinking of buyinga puppy, re-phrased as “buy in haste, repent at leisure”.  You must do your research carefully.  If you're doing your research on-line, searchfor “Dachshund Breed Council” rather than “Dachshund Puppies”.  We like to think our Dachshund BreedCouncil's website ( makes iteasy for a potential owner to find out about our breed.  We have presentations and advice for buyers which youcan view on-line or download

There is so much advice for puppy buyers, from so many differentsources, it's difficult to know who to rely on for good advice.  When you've done your research, if you'reconvinced you want a Dachshund puppy, make contact with one of the Breed Club Secretaries, by'phone or e-mail to ask for recommendations of responsible breeders in yourarea.  For in-depth, up-to-date, adviceon Dachshunds, it's hard to beat talking to a Breed Club Secretary.

By doing careful research before deciding to buy a puppy you willincrease your chances of finding out the right questions to ask when,eventually, you do speak with breeders. You can then confidently ask them about their knowledge and experienceof the health issues in the breed.  Ifyou discover you know more about the breed's health issues than the breederdoes, that should really ring alarm bells and you should walk away. 

Finding the right breeder

Most puppy buyers use the internet to look for puppies.  There’s nothing wrong with that, as long asyou realise that bad breeders are not sticking to the Exchange and Mart or adsin the Newsagent’s window any more.  Theyknow where their buyers are and they know how to pull them in.  It’s up to you as a buyer to do yourresearch, but it can be very confusing because bad breeders will claim all thesame things that good ones do.

Never buy from a pet shop or “pet supermarket”, however “up-market”they appear to be.  Their puppies willalmost certainly have come from puppy farms or “back-yard breeders”, where dogsare bred and reared in poor conditions, purely for profit and with little or noregard for health and welfare.

A reputable breeder will, as a minimum, comply with the good practicerequirements of the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme and willalways be happy to answer any queries you may have at any stage of your dog’slife and will like to hear how your dog is progressing.  Reputable breeders will want you to beassured that your puppy has been well reared and is a fit, healthy and typicalspecimen of the breed.

You can find lists of KC Assured Breeders with puppies available at:

Many Breed Club members list their puppies at which Irun and you'll also find lists of breeders there.  Breeders who are members of a Dachshund BreedClub will comply with our Code of Ethics whichcovers matters such as health testing, the age at which a bitch should be bredfrom and the maximum number of litters a bitch should have.  Breed Club members will be aware of therelevant health tests which are recommended for Dachshunds and should be ableto talk knowledgeably about the relevance of these.  If you have any doubts about the healthadvice you are given, please contact a member of our Health Sub-committee.

Remember, most good breeders do not have to advertise their puppies,so Free Ads (internet or newspaper) are usually not a good place to look for apuppy.

Current health tests

All Miniature Dachshund breeders should be DNA testing their dogs andbitches for cord1 PRA, a form of eye disease.

Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund breeders should be participating inthe Wirehaired Dachshund Club's screening programme for Lafora Disease (a formof epilepsy).

Do not buy from a breeder who is unaware of these tests, or who saysthey are not important.

Because Dachshunds are a dwarf breed there is an increased risk ofback problems.  Always ask about anyhistory of back problems when buying a puppy. 

Always consult a Vet if you have any concerns about a puppy youintend to purchase, or health problems with an older dog.

Buying your puppy

Except in exceptional circumstances you should always be ableto see the mother of the puppy. Visit where the puppy was born, regardless ofhow far you have to travel.  Aresponsible breeder will let you see all the puppies in the litter, with theirmother, and you should be able to handle them.

Do not be talked into buying a “rare coloured” Dachshund.  Generally, anyone telling you a puppy has arare colour either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or they are acommercial breeder.

If something doesn’t feel right when you visit, walk away.  Unscrupulous breeders rely on people “fallingin love with a puppy” or “feeling sorry” for puppies, and feeling obliged tobuy one.  Don't make this mistake.

My top tips for Dachshund buyers

·        Do your homework – research the breed andbreeders
·        Get on a waiting list for the right puppy, fromthe right breeder
·        Ask current Dachshund owners for theirrecommendations – Dachshunds in London is a great place to start!

For more queries on the subject you can contact Ian Seath Chairman of Dachshund Breed Council at

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Guest post: dachshund races for Battersea Dogs Home

After being inspired by this summer's Dachshund Olympics we knew we had to do something to continue the legacy. 

After much deliberation my dachshund Flea and I decided to run the Brighton Marathon in aid of the Battersea dogs and cats home

With Flea barking at the helm as head coach, we discussed the best course of action to get ready for the big day on Sunday. 

Flea's strategy was simple; she would play both good cop and bad cop. We knew this winter would play a big part in our training regime and somebody had to take the lead. Some mornings Flea would opt for the affectionate lick technique to get me up, whilst other days consisted of being panicked into action by her internal marathon alarm. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but being bossed into action by your Dachshund, who’s ever heard of that before?

It’s not that I’m new to running; in fact I ran the London marathon last year.  Its just this year we supported a cause very close to our hearts. As the founder of the City Paws Club I was shocked and saddened to hear that on average 7 lost, unwanted or abused dogs arrive everyday at the Battersea centre. 

The good news is, through their hard work, commitment and dedication Batter
sea Dogs & Cats Home are able to re-home as many as 14 dogs per day across their 3 sites. All of this is only made possible through the generosity of supporters like you.

Matt and Flea ran the Brighton Marathon successfully on Sunday and have so far raised over £350

Its not too late to continue helping them raise money for such a good cause - just visit

Matt is a dog walker from Fulham and is owned by gorgeous Flea the dachshund.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Guest post: Tips for responsible pet ownership

In the early months of every year, thousands of pets are taken into animal shelters because the owners are unable to look after them. It seems that many adults still concentrate on the benefits of having a pet and underestimate the responsibilities that come with ownership.

If you are a dog owner, you have a responsibility to ensure that the animal is treated well, kept well-nourished and healthy. Yet not all mistreatment is malicious - much of it can come from a simple lack of understanding about what dogs need. For advice, the RSPCA dog ownership page is a good resource, but here are a few pointers to provide you with a starting point for some research:

Dogs are susceptible to the same consequences of poor diet - weight gain, heart problems, diabetes, etc - as humans, so owners should ensure their animal gets a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins - this means being careful with the treats.

When your dog develops symptoms of illness, it is advisable to get them checked out as soon as possible by a vet, as they could be the beginning of something more serious. However, some pet owners avoid doing this because vet fees are expensive; a good pet insurance policy will cover these costs so you can take your dog to the vet when you need to.

Dogs need regular exercise - and that means walks where the animal can race around, not just letting it roam around the house. This could mean that those who lead busy lifestyles may not be suitable for dog ownership. Toys which will keep the dog entertained -take a look at the Pets at Home website, for example, to see just how many are available - are useful for those occasions when Fido must be left at home.

Like children, dogs need socialising but will learn very quickly if set proper boundaries, with good behaviour being rewarded.

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