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Dachshund Picking One Family Member?

FrankieRay
December 31st, 2007, 12:38 PM
Prior to geting a Dachshund we had heard that they like to favor one family member over the rest. We have, 6yr old and a 4yr old girls Abby and Maddy. Right of the bat Frankie (our Dachshund) picked Abby. Although we have only had him for about a week he has growled (sp?) at maddy twice when she went to pick him up. He does not get aggressive or nip just lets out a deep growl. I am looking for any sugguestions on how to keep this under control as I dont want it to turn into an issue or get worse. We bought a crate and have yet to use it as he does great in the house and sleeps in Abbys bed all night. We tried to get him to sleep in Maddys bed but he wont. I guess I want them to have a good relationship but nothing that is strong enough that we run into trouble when we punish Abby or when her and her sister bicker.

Thanks,

Jake

SnowDancer
December 31st, 2007, 01:58 PM
If you recall, I did suggest to you in my post about possible problems with Dachshunds - probably the one where I mentioned that unusually coloured Dachshunds can suffer from extreme forms of the normal Dachshund health problems - plus a few others - at any rate, I did caution you that Dachshunds will often favour one family member over another - in our experience with our 5 Dachshunds - and Beagle - heck every dog we have ever had, I have been the favoured one. But with the Dachshunds - 2 were benevolent Super Alphas - fortunately "benevolent" leaders - I did my best to discourage aggressiveness just by my approach with him - encouraging my husband to pick him up etc. - but he was an adult, not a 4 year old child - a major difference with a Dachshund - just even in terms of the physical picking up. Your daughter should absolutely never try to pick the pup up without him knowing who she is - i.e. - don't pick up from behind, suddenly - actually a good rule to follow with any dog in case the pup is asleep and startled. Your 2 girls should both play with the dog together - as much as is possible with such young children. I would most definitely not crate your Dachshund as punishment - he will not forget it and why he was punished. Your pup understands that your youngest daughter is the weakest in the household - has he growled at you when you tried to pick him up or take him away from favoured child? Definitely you will want to enroll him in obedience classes - preferably with someone who has dealt with Dachshunds and understands how they think - and who will also be careful with the back and neck issues - I once saw a trainer pushing hard on a Dachshund's back to make him sit down - very bad - he was happy to do so for a cookie though - but then you have the weight issues. You should Google Dachshunds and try to find a group in your area that meets with their dogs - you would probably get some good advice there. Unfortunately one formed in Toronto 3 months after my last angel died. The major thing with Dachshunds is they have a built-in gauge for how much they will tolerate in form of punishment - and I mean verbal. Always keep a level tone with them. To tell you the truth, I would not recommend a mini Dachshund to a family with young children, but you have him and would not suggest giving him up - dogs are for life. I am not sure if they still publish the book "Dachshunds for Dummies" - my husband bought it for me to read for interests sake as I already knew everything after several years and it was useful - I gave it to a Dachshund owner who thought she had adopted a cute, comical "little" pup and was horrified to find out she had a "BIG" dog. My first Dachshund, super Alpha, had been in 4 homes by age 1 - dog of my life. I hope things will improve - you just have to include the dog in everything and try as best you might to improve the relationship - even if you have to shut the dog out of favoured dog's room - he won't like it - but Dachshunds love their comforts - he might well sit in the hall and bark - deep bark no doubt - but will eventually move to a comfortable stop - your bed - hogging it - or the sofa - anywhere but a crate. You mentioned that he had been very nervous - he probably feels most comfortable with your older daugher.

FrankieRay
December 31st, 2007, 03:01 PM
Thanks for the helpful post. We will try to get him into the next class that we can find that is best for him. So far he has only growled at my youngest, another thing that I just thought of is twice she has picked him up and due to only being 4 and small she was not holding him properly. We have since made the rule that she cannot pick him up. So far they play together nice; all three of them and do so often. My oldest is getting ready to go back to school so there will be alot more time when she is not in the house. It sounds like we need to talk with the girls some more to help ensure Frankie turns out to be the best dog possible. Although we have only had him a few days we all love him and are all willing to do what we need to do to help him become a great part of the family I just want to do it right the first time and not have things get bad and then it become a major issue and harder to fix.

I will also check out that book, sounds like a good read.

Jake

SnowDancer
January 1st, 2008, 10:57 AM
Great. I thought that there could be a problem with your youngest picking up the pup - kids are small - and the Dachshunds do have that long back - and I have seen too many kids pick up dogs under the armpits - hurts - and not good for a Dachshund - need that hand under the stomach. One thing to watch, Dachshunds remember when it is cold out. Sometimes my guys would be in bed with me watching TV totalled wrapped in the duvet when it would be walk time. My husband would come to get one of the Alphas for his walk - actually he could come up and down the stairs several times for other reasons and no reaction from the dog - until it was walk time - guess he could tell time - but he would start the grrrr and then my husband would yell which would result in more grrrrs - no biting though - just more yelling. The little guy just didn't want to go out into the cold! I easily got him down by speaking to him in a happy voice suggesting we were going to the kitchen. Whatever works! I do think that more bonding will take place when your older daughter goes to school. I saw on TV a trainer teaching a very young child how to hold and pet a dog by using a stuffed version. Perhaps you could find a stuffed Dachshund toy to teach your daughter - especially regarding not putting pressure on neck or back - I know how kids and many adults love to rough house - and so do Dachshunds, but then the fallout is bad. Please let us know how things go.

FrankieRay
January 3rd, 2008, 08:58 PM
So far its been 5 days since the last grrr and talking to maddy. We have had no issues and frankie and maddy played all day today when abby was at school. All is well.

Thanks again..

SnowDancer
January 3rd, 2008, 09:23 PM
Great news! But, always be watchful, particularly if the girls get into a scuffle of their own - or you or your wife decide to dispicline the favoured child - you may find out who is "really" the boss in pup's mind. Also, as pup approaches puberty, may try for more control. How I miss having a Dachshund!

zztopp
January 7th, 2008, 09:55 PM
You already have some great advice, but I thought I would add my insight and experiences :)

I find that all dogs have a 'favorite' family member. Our rescue Golden always relied on my Mom when he was unsure about a situation. Our JRT also relies on my Mom -- if we are both snuggled under blankets, normally the JRT will pick Mom over myself. Kass on the other hand (er, paw?!) has picked me as her human. When she gets nervous or unsure, she scoots herself over beside me and leans against me, to reassue herself.

Our JRT will give a little 'grrr' when someone approaches my Mom, that the JRT is unsure of (mostly males -- but not Dad?!) We always reprimand him with a firm "No" and then let him come over and sniff the unknown person. Not quite the same situation as yours, but sort of similar I suppose.

Hope everyone keeps playing together nicely :)