Wilbur, our miniature wirehaired dachshund, turned one last weekend! Lucy and I brought him home at around 10 weeks old, but preparation started in around May/June 2020. I remember impatiently waiting for an update from the breeder to say that the litter had arrived. In many ways, the past year has gone by quickly with lots of funny moments (he is a comical dachshund after all). It has also been very challenging. In this post, I briefly share how the last year has gone, but I mainly want to focus on some of “Wilbur’s recommendations”! These could be helpful if you have a new puppy / dachshund or are thinking about getting one. I will do a post in September once we have had Wilbur for a full year, which will include things I’ve learned about dachshunds and tips for training.
For an introduction to Wilbur see: Wilbur the Dachshund is Home!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links
A puppy is a huge responsibility and this is my first dependent, so to speak. My life changed overnight from being fairly independent to having a little critter by my side ALL THE TIME. Moreover, the pandemic has added a further element of co-dependence in that I’m working from home. Many new dog owners have been through this same experience with lockdown puppies. We have introduced our pets to a very insular routine that is out of the norm. With easing of restrictions and new work patterns comes heightened separation anxiety. This is something we are working on and can be particularly challenging with dachshunds.
Wilbur isn’t my first dog, but he is my first dachshund and first small dog. Discovering that I need to always look down, I’ve now developed a sixth sense not to step on him. Dachshunds have big personalities and have a bark of a doberman. They love to burrow – always check the blanket/sofa before sitting! Wirehaired dachshunds in particular are terrier-like in temperament and Wilbur is curious and full of energy… and by this I mean a little demon. He is very loving, friendly with other dogs and people, good with kids, and is the king of snuggles. Wilbur also barks in my face for no particular reason, and screams when he doesn’t get his way. Dachshunds are masters of the toddler strop!
Without further ado, here are things that Wilbur recommends for fellow miniature wirehaired dachshunds, or puppies generally!
For convenience, I’ve split these into categories:
- Boiled chicken. Put 2-3 chicken thighs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 10-12 minutes. Shred and store in fridge. I use chicken to supplement Wilbur’s wet/dry food as dachshunds are notoriously fussy eaters!
- Frozen Peas. Wilbur loves a frozen pea. They are great little treats and can be added to his dinner.
- Ice Cubes. It’s best to wait until your puppy has most of his adult teeth as ice cubes can crack baby teeth. Ice cubes are fun toys and help keep your pup stay cool and hydrated!
- Peanut Butter Kong. A classic for dogs. I found that the small kongs were too narrow for Wilbur to get the peanut butter out. For miniature dachshunds, opt for the medium size kong. You can freeze the peanut butter, but Wilbur seems more interested when it is soft. I also recommend having more than one so that you can have one to hand while the other is being washed.
Toys and Treats
- Yak Milk Bone. Long lasting and good value for money. Must have adult teeth and they are fairly salty so your pup will need access to lots of water.
- Bull’s Pizzle. Google it – A tasty chew that’s good for teeth cleaning!
- Puzzle. Dachshund’s love stimulation and this puzzle game is a winner with its non-removable parts
- Rope Toys. Affordable, durable, and multi-purpose. Great for Wilbur’s favourite games: fetch, chase me, tug-of-war, humping.
- Antler Bone. Durable and good for teething puppies
- No Hide bone. A good alternative to rawhide. Wilbur hoards these obsessively. You know your dachshund loves something when he tries to bury it in the carpet in the corners of the room.
- Chicken Liver Treats. Cheap and reasonably healthy training treats!
- Ginger Ted winter coat – Chunky fleece lined and water resistant. Wilbur hates wearing coats but dachshunds generally need them in cold weather.
- Poppy + Ted harness – Affordable and more comfortable for Wilbur than a traditional harness. Dachshunds have broad barrel chests and do well with Y front harnesses. I only recently purchased this harness for Wilbur’s birthday, but it seems durable.
- Light for collar. Dachshunds are little and easy to step on in the dark! A collar light is a must for nighttime walks.
- Bulk order poop bags. Thank me later!
- Ear cleaning pads. Those long droopy ears get super dirty – Wilbur tolerates me using these finger pads to clean his ears.
- Walks in long grass. Wilbur loves to bounce in the long grass and have it whip against his face – weirdo.
- Sunshine – Dachshunds love a sunny spot for a nap!
- Matthew Posa YouTube Channel. Not all dogs are interested in watching T.V. But, if you do have a hound that enjoys watching stories with you, then I recommend Matthew’s YouTube channel. Watching Matthew’s dog Monty exploring the woods and sitting in the canoe is one of Wilbur’s favourite pastimes.
- Routine. Last but not least, dachshunds thrive on routine. Routine is helpful for setting expectations, for training and for anxiety. It’s good to mix it up slightly though, otherwise your demon will demand his walk at exactly 6:56 every day!
I hope this has been helpful if you’re looking for puppy tips! Despite being a monster sometimes, we love Wilbur and he is very much part of the family. Happy Birthday to my little sh*thead <3