Like our readers, we are endlessly curious about our dog breeds, and that makes us perpetual students. It’s probably why we’re always surprised to be consulted for advice, and more often than not, we field those questions to readers (or the writer’s veterinarian). A question we got earlier today prompts this post: Why does my Dachshund bark so much?
We weren’t aware that Dachshunds bark inordinately more than other breeds – and we’re pretty sure they don’t bark more than our Pulik. As herding dogs that use their bark to work, we accepted long ago that a Puli always has an opinion, and he or she isn’t afraid to share it. But we got curious enough to inquire about Dachshunds, and what we gleaned from a bit of reading makes sense.
Dachshunds are working dogs – hunters, to be precise. Historically, standard size Dachshunds were used to hunt badgers (a prickly critter that takes a courageous dog to hunt it!) while miniature Dachshunds pursued smaller game (think squirrels and rabbits). Having chased the prey into their sett (the hidey hole a badger digs) or burrow, they bark very loudly to communicate their location to other pack members or their human hunter/owner. Bottom line: Barking is part of a Dachshund’s genetic job description.
All dogs bark. Barking is how dogs communicate, and some breeds “communicate” more than others. In those breeds, it’s normal. Our sense, however, is that a well-socialized and trained Dachshund doesn’t bark just to hear his own voice, there is typically a reason for their barking. This is a highly intelligent breed that takes its duties seriously, and barking at anything (or anyone) a Dachshund perceives to be a threat is what she or he does.
That said, excessive barking may suggest fear, discomfort, anxiety, pain, or boredom, and it’s up to the owner to determine what is excessive, and what is at the root of it. It’s also up to potential Dachshund owners to do their homework and realize that this is a breed that loves to “share the song of their people” with anyone who will listen (and some that won’t).
Dachshund owners, what say you?
Image: This marvelous painting was created by Victoria Coleman who depicts many breeds, but really has captured the Dachshund. Visit and support her work here.