Why Your Long Haired Dachshund Experiences Anxiety
Dogs come in so many shapes and sizes it seems impossible to know them all. Yet, there's one dog breed that is easy to pick out of the crowd: the Dachshund. Long and low to the ground, the Dachshund comes in two sizes and an assortment of colors and patterns. One of the most beautiful Dachshunds is the Long Haired Dachshund. Sporting a beautiful coat of long silky hair, the Long Haired Dachshund is prized for its beauty. However, the Long Haired Dachshund, much like its short-haired and wire-haired siblings, can be prone to anxiety. Let's learn more about this amazing breed, what makes them anxious, and how you can help your Long Haired Dachshund when it feels anxious.
The Dachshund: A Brief History
If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting one of these "weenie dogs", you know the Dachshund is a unique breed. Energetic yet relaxed, intelligent but stubborn, these dogs have a captivating personality making them easy to fall in love with. They are bold, persistent, and cunning dogs who love their people and make exceptionally good companions.
The name "Dachshund" literally translates from German as "badger dog." It is thought the Dachshund began to take shape in the 15th century as hunters began selectively breeding various hound dogs. The original purpose of the Dachshund was to hunt badgers, rabbits, and other burrowing mammals. Eventually, breeders developed the Dachshund we know and love today: short and long, and equipped with powerful digging claws and a long chest.
Badgers are cute, but they are challenging prey: they're aggressive and ferocious, with big teeth and sharp claws. Dachshunds were bred to flush these creatures from their burrows or even dispatch them if necessary, which is where their bold and courageous — some would even say reckless — personality comes from.
Dachshunds are bold, cunning, and independent. They are sometimes described as reckless or brave to the point of rashness: this is not a breed that backs down from a challenge. Despite this fierce hunting background, Dachshunds are very good family dogs. They were bred to hunt in packs and so they tend to get along well with other dogs, and they are very loyal and loving to their humans. These traits have made them a highly popular breed, and Dachshunds continue to be a favorite pet of millions of households.
The Long Haired Dachshund
While the short haired Dachshund is often considered the traditional American Dachshund, the Long Haired Dachshund is another popular variety. It is thought this variety was bred with some kind of spaniel to provide the genes for their luscious coats. Otherwise, Long Haired Dachshunds share the same history and temperament of their short haired cousins. Some say the Long Haired Dachshund is sweeter, easier to train, and more mellow than a traditional short haired or wire haired Dachshund owing to the trace of spaniel in their genes. However, there is no rigorous scientific proof that their temperament is different. You should expect your Long Haired Dachshund to be just as friendly, lovable, independent, and courageous as a short haired Dachshund!
Long Haired Dachshunds are moderate shedders, but they are clean dogs. Dachshunds in general don't suffer from body odor, making them easy to keep clean. Long Haired Dachshunds should be brushed frequently to avoid any tangles or knots in their lush coats, and should be given baths about every three months: too many baths can wash away the natural oils that keep your friend's coat shiny and clean. Of course, if your Long Haired Dachshund has decided to roll around in something gross, you can give them an in-between bath!
Like any dog breed, the Long Haired Dachshund requires exercise. Just because they're on the smaller side doesn't mean they can be lazy. Regular exercise is good for all kinds of Dachshunds: it helps them build strong muscles that help to support and protect their little backs. They love to chase balls and sticks and will enjoy running around in the back yard or the park with the kids. However, be careful not to let your Long Haired Dachshund jump on and off furniture; this action can cause damage to their spine.
Is the Long Haired Dachshund an Anxious Breed?
While they're not prone to anxiety more than any other breed, the Long Haired Dachshund can get anxious. Anxiety is defined by the Merck Veterinary Manual as a "response to fear and agitation, or apprehension when the animal anticipates a threat or a fearful situation." In other words, anxiety is a part of the fight-or-flight response all mammals are prone to. If you've ever been startled, worried, or anxious, you know the feeling: the sudden rush of adrenaline, the worry and tension, the agitation and restlessness. Anxiety is not fun for humans or for doggies!
Signs of Anxiety
You can often tell when a long haired dachshund is feeling anxious because it will exhibit fear response signs. This response commonly manifests as whimpering, running away, tail tucking, or panting. Anxious long haired dachshunds will also drool and may change their body posture to show submissiveness. Other common signs of anxiety in a long haired dachshund might include restless behavior: they may pace, bark excessively, growl, or shake.
In some cases, panicked or anxious dachshunds have been known to destroy things. They may shred pillows, chew up wooden furniture, or scratch at doorways. It's important to learn what causes anxiety in dachshunds and how to prevent it.
Common Causes of Anxiety in Long Haired Dachshunds
While the long haired dachshund is not an anxious breed, there are many things that can cause them to feel anxious or worried. Common causes of anxiety and nervousness in doxies are separation anxiety, fear-induced anxiety, and threat-induced anxiety.
Long haired dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety. They're bred to hunt in packs, and they love being around other people and dogs. Dachshunds are extremely loyal and loving dogs who relish the chance to spend every moment possible with their people. When their people leave, they think their pack has left them behind. Separation anxiety is not a trait exclusive to the Long Haired Dachshund: Merck reports about 14% of dogs experience separation anxiety when left alone.
If your long haired dachshund has separation anxiety, one of the best ways to treat it is to stick to a routine. Dachshunds have a relatively good sense of time and thrive on a schedule. Coming and going around the same time will help your long haird dachshund know what to expect. It's a good idea to tire them out before you leave: taking them for a walk or playing with them helps them burn off energy. Dachshunds like to be comfortable, so providing them a nice, safe, and cozy bed like the Calming Cuddle Bed from Calming Dog helps them settle in. The Calming Cuddle Bed has specially made circular ridges that let your long haired dachshund burrow and tunnel, which is a natural instinct for this hunting dog. Providing your long haired dachshund with a Calming Dog Calming Zen Chew before you leave will give it something to do: these chewy treats let your pal chew his anxiety away. The Calming Zen Chew contains natural herbs like chamomile and natural compounds like L-theanine and L-tryptophan, which will help your long haired dachshund relax.
The Long Haired Dachshund can also experience anxiety when triggered by startling or fear-inducing events. Abrupt and loud noises, such as fireworks, gunshots, and thunder, can cause fear and worry in your dog. Some dogs become anxious in the presence of severe weather: heavy rain, thunderstorms, or low-pressure systems can cause dogs to become anxious and begin exhibiting telltale signs like shaking, pacing, barking, or hiding.
Providing your long haired dachshund with a safe place to seek shelter will help them relax and calm down. Doxies love to dig and tunnel, and they'll love curling up under the safe shelter of the Calming Dog Cuddle Blanket Plus+. The blanket has a signature Calming Insert which has a special blend of oils and herbs that will help your long haired dachshund relax and put her hair down. This blanket is an ideal addition to the Calming Cuddle Bed — your pal will love the feeling of safety in their cozy bed and blankies.
As short dogs, Dachshunds can sometimes feel threatened by larger dogs. If your friend and his Great Dane come to visit, your Long Haired Dachshund might be intimidated by the presence of such an enormous dog! This could even be the case if your Dachshund is around breeds like Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds. Other threats might include specific people, or even objects that have an aura your long-haired dachshund finds threatening.
If your dachshund is feeling threatened, the best thing to do is change the situation. If possible, remove whatever is making the dog feel threatened or remove your dog from the situation. Fear can turn to aggression, and dachshunds can be fiesty dogs. It is best to change the situation when your dachshund feels threatened.
You may encounter situations where you can't remove your dachshund or the threat. Perhaps your in-laws are coming over with their big Malamute, or your dachshund feels threatened by a visitor or a workman. Or maybe your doxie is due for a visit to the vet, and doesn't especially like the veterinarian. In situations like these, providing your dog with a comforting object like a blanket or a cherished toy can help them relax. Adding a few spritzes of Calming Dog Calming Spray will provide your pooch with relaxing and comforting compounds to help him feel safe and mellow.
How To Handle Anxiety in a Long Haired Dachshund
If your dog is acting anxious, what can you as the owner do? There are many options out there if your long haired dachshund is having anxiety. The experts at the American Kennel Club recommend several approaches to coping with an anxious dog. These include counterconditioning, medication, and preventive measures like exercise, obedience training, and socialization.
Counterconditioning is a method of psychological training that replaces one response to a stimulus with a different response. For example, perhaps your long haired dachshund responds to the garbage truck with fear, whimpering, and urination. Counterconditioning them is a way to replace their response to the stimulus with a better response. This is often accomplished by training the dog to associate the stimulus with a different outcome: when you hear the garbage truck coming, you can offer your dog a delicious treat, so they begin associating the approach of the truck with a positive outcome. Calming Dog Calming Zen Chews help your dog relax and mellow out, so they make an ideal counterconditioning tool: your dog can learn that the trash truck means a delicious treat and some calming herbs, creating an end to that panicky or fearful response.
Just like us humans, dachshunds get massive health benefits from engaging in adequate exercise. Dachshunds of all kinds need regular, vigorous exercise to keep them healthy and fit. Regular play, walks, and other exercises help keep your weenie dog's muscles strong, especially their core and back muscles. These muscles help support the dachshund's long spine and may reduce the risk of serious back problems.
But aren't dachshunds lazy? Not at all! They might enjoy naps and snacks as much as anyone else, but these pups love to romp and play. Remember, even the most beautiful and elegant long haired dachshund is a hunting dog by ancestry: they're designed to chase prey, and despite their smaller size dachshunds can exercise just as much as bigger dogs.
Keeping your long haired dachshund hydrated is very important during playtime. Make sure water is conveniently accessible to your dog. Outside, you can fill a portable water bowl with fresh water. Inside, you should make sure your dog has ready access to the Calming Dog Calming Fountain Plus+. This fountain provides a constant source of fresh, filtered, running water, so your long haired dachshund will never be without high-quality hydration while you're playing chase or fetch inside.
Whether you're chasing a favorite chew toy in the living room or taking a nice walk outside, regular exercise will help prevent anxiety in your long haired dachshund. Exercising with your dog before you head out for the day will help them burn energy and bond with you. Good exercise will also release endorphins, just like in people!
According to the American Kennel Club, obedience training can help prevent and manage anxiety in your dog. Obedience training helps establish a stronger bond between dog and person, and helps to build trust, which is especially helpful with separation anxiety. Obedience training is also an excellent way to socialize your long haired dachshund: they'll get to meet other dogs at obedience school, and they'll learn how to socialize more appropriately.
Is obedience training worth it for stubborn dogs like dachshunds? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Dachshunds are notoriously independent and stubborn dogs, but they are also fairly intelligent. Obedience training can be very effective with all varieties of dachshund, from a miniature long haired dachshund to a standard-sized shorthair black-and-tan doxie. Your strong-willed pooch might take a little extra TLC, but it will be worth it for both of you.
Socialization is the process of exposing your dog to a variety of different experiences. Socializing your dog helps it become accustomed to a wider range of stimuli. If your dachshund only knows your home and neighborhood, going to a new place can be an anxiety-triggering experience. If it never meets other people or dogs, it will likely experience a fear response when it eventually encounters others. Nobody wants their best pal to feel afraid or anxious, so it's super important to socialize your weenie dog.