The Dachshund – Personality, Behaviour, and Health Issues with Naomi Jones (Episode 11)

The Dachshund - Personality, Behaviour, and Health Issues

Thinking about getting a Dachshund or simply want to know more about this amazing dog breed?

This episode of The Dog Show, featuring Naomi Jones, will give you the information you’re looking for.

Naomi is the owner of My Dachshund Online – an online shop dedicated to Dachshunds and their owners, with a focus on local suppliers and unique designs. Naomi is also the proud owner of three Dachshunds; Evie, Mojo, and Chloe.

In the interview, we talk about all things Dachshunds; their personality, whether or not they are easy to train, typical health issues, and much more.

Find out more about Naomi’s business here:

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Will: This episode of “The Dog Show” features Naomi Jones. Naomi is the owner of My Dachshund Online, an online shop dedicated to dachshunds and their owners with a focus on local suppliers and unique designs. Naomi is also the proud owner of three dachshunds, Evie, Mojo, and Chloe. In the interview, we talk about all things dachshunds, their personality, whether or not they are easy to train, the typical health issues, and much, much more. Okay. So, Naomi, thanks for coming on “The Dog Show” today.

Naomi: My pleasure. Lovely to be on.

Will: Yeah. Great to have you. So, I want to start with something to hear a little bit about your history with dogs. So, you’re obviously a dachshund lover. You have three dogs at the moment, Evie, Mojo and Chloe, I believe. Do you want to tell me a bit more about them and your history with dachshunds?

Naomi: Sure. So, I got my first dog and a dachshund when I was 30. My husband and I had just bought our first house, I think we’d been in two months and I said, that’s it I’m getting a dog. So, we found Joshie. He was eight months old. He was at Ray Home, probably not the best decision to get a dachshund for our first dog. It was definitely an interesting choice. He was amazing though. He was our whole world. He was a bit of a destroyer though, so they can be quite destructive when they’re on their own. When we’re out at work, he wasn’t a big fan of being home alone. So, we then went to Save a Dog Scheme and we adopted Toby. Toby was a big boy, he was, I called him my bratwurst. He was a dachshund cross Kelpie. He was five years old and they were just joined at the hip, those two. And we lost Toby who was nearly 20 in February.

Will: That’s extremely old for a dog. Or is that common for dachshunds to live longer than other dogs or…?

Naomi: They do tend to, the smaller dogs do tend to live longer. The oldest dachshund I’ve heard of is about 22, which is pretty amazing. Yeah. So, they do have a longer life. Yeah.

Will: Okay. Interesting. So, I just need to get this pronunciation right. Because I think I’ve been calling them dachshunds in my whole life, but that’s obviously not.

Naomi: Everybody says dachshunds. The German pronunciation is dachshund.

Will: Dachshund. But how are you saying it? You’re kind of say that faster or something.

Naomi: I do the Ozzy version dachshund.

Will: Dachsund. Okay. I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot in this interview and I just want to make sure I’m saying it the right way. Dachshund. Okay, cool. What drew you to dachshunds, like what is it about them that you love?

Naomi: They’re just unusual. I mean, they don’t look different to me now, but from an outsider looking in, they’re just acute unusual long dog. They’ve just got a little waddle. They’re very cute. A little bit different, big personality in a little body.

Will: Okay. So, I guess you started, well, you didn’t start, but you bought the business My Dachshund Online, which is an online store for dachshund owners and, you know, all things dachshund. I’m sorry, I said dachshund again, dachshund. It’s just, creature of habit, I guess. I need to change that up. But, what got you into this business? What made you want to start working in that space?

Naomi: Sure. I was contacted by Sharman Moore who originally owned My Dachshund Online. She is also the CEO and founder of Dachshund Rescue Australia. And she was very, very busy with Rescue and called me and said, “Do you know anyone who would be interested?” And I absolutely jumped at the opportunity. It’s an amazing opportunity. And I’ve sort of, well, I believe I’ve taken it to the next level. For me, it’s a hobby. It’s something I do on the side. It does take up a lot of my time, but I do love it. I love it. I love being able to connect with other dog owners, with other dog people, I’ve made some amazing friends through my business, and yeah, it’s a real passion. Definitely.

Will: Yeah. It must be exciting to connect with so many fellow, I’m going to say dachsy from now on. It’s just so much easier. Yeah. It must be great to be able to connect with so many other dachsy owners and, you know, share stories and all that kind of stuff as well.

Naomi: Absolutely. And getting really lovely feedback from people being able to help them find something a bit different. I do try to stock items that other places don’t have that I find on my travels and I make things, I have local suppliers who make things for me as well. So yeah, it’s really nice to be able to connect with the community

Will: That makes it unique. I think that’s nice. Because there’s, I mean, there’s lots of, I guess, breed-specific stores out there that probably have a lot of the same products, right?

Naomi: Yes. And a lot of pet shops who stock things and they might not fit dachshunds or might not be a bit different. So, I try to be a bit different.

Will: Cool. So I’d like to talk more about dachsies and just everything about them because I’m very intrigued. I’m sure there’s listeners out there that might be thinking about getting one or maybe they’ve got one currently and they want to learn more about the breed. Is there anything unique about their personalities? How would you sum up their personalities in a few sentences?

Naomi: Big personality, big personality, little dog. They can take over your world. They do take over your world. They’re just an amazing little creature. They’re very loving, very loyal, great to be around, want to be around you all the time. Just great at the moment, but I think the hardest thing people need to consider right now if they are looking at adopting or purchasing a dog is just consider the fact that you are going to be going back to work. And how is your dog going to cope when you go back to work? Is someone going to be home? Can you work from home still? Can you take your dog to work?

Will: Yeah, I think that’s very important. Like given the current situation, there is an increase in interest in getting dogs. Because a lot of people are at home, but as you said, if you’re unable to stay at home longer term, certain dogs, you know, don’t deal well with that. So…

Naomi: Absolutely. And I have noticed recently a lot of places are allowing their dogs to come in to work. I also work as an interior stylist and I can take my dogs in to work. They’re not that well behaved. So, I don’t take them very often, but it’s lovely to see other people bringing their dogs in too, so we have wolfhounds at work, we have greyhounds, but yeah, I guess it is something definitely to consider and having spoken to breeders and also rescue, there is a huge demand for dachsies at the moment, huge demand, breeders can’t keep up. And unfortunately, that does peak the interest of our backyard breeders and not so reputable breeders. So, also something to bear in mind just to do your research, make sure you’re getting a dog from rescue or from somewhere reputable. You just don’t know what’s going to happen down the track if you don’t.

Will: That’s true. I mean, that workplace sounds amazing, dogs around everywhere, and I always feel like, you know, they just bring joy to a room when there’s dogs around. I’m sure that’s the case in the workplace too.

Naomi: Different environment, everyone relaxes. And, you know, there’s just a friendly face that comes up and nuzzles your leg and wants a pat. It’s just, yeah. It really calms the environment. It’s really lovely.

Will: Yeah. So, how would you say dachsies are with other dogs and children? I guess that’s a common question that most new owners would have, but it’s an important question as well.

Naomi: Absolutely. I have one, my girl, Chloe, is not a big fan of big dogs. Mojo is not a fan of fluffy dogs. Quite unusual. He’s pretty good with most dogs, but big fluffy dogs, he will tend to scream at his death. So, he screams like a child. Evie doesn’t care. She’s blind, she’ll just go to any dog. They can be a bit breedist. That’s a common trait. They will gang up on other breeds. But if you do introduce them early enough to other breeds and socialize them, they can generally be quite good. My dogs are not used to children. So, they do get a bit nervous because children are unpredictable. Again, just desensitizing and training and also training, well, I won’t say training your children, but educating your children on how to behave around the dachshunds is so important. There are a small dog and like I said, children can be unpredictable. They can be a little bit scary for a small dog. So, just never leave them unattended and make sure both of them are educated. So, your child is educated and your dog has a bit of training.

Will: Yeah, I think that’s, I mean, that’s great advice if you’ve got any dog and a young child around, because, I mean, young children are unpredictable just as many dogs are, I guess, given certain situations. So, yeah, the reason I asked about with other dogs as well, I have a French bulldog and there’s lots of dachsies here in the area, I live in Sydney actually. So, when we’re walking, we’ll often see someone walks and they quite often bark at our French bulldog. Usually, when they’re on the lead, if they’re off the lead, like at the dog park or something like that, they seem to socialize quite well with all the other dogs. But I just noticed on the lead. In saying that, my French bulldog is a little bit kind of pully sometimes when she sees dogs. So, that could be causing the issues as well.

Naomi: She’s getting excited and the dachshunds are probably getting a bit defensive. They do tend to protect their protectors. Yeah. The small dog syndrome. They’re very, very loyal to their owners and will protect them to the nth degree. Yeah.

Will: Yeah, of course. I think there’s probably a number that come to mind, just looking at the shape of the dachsy, but, what are some common health issues for owners to be aware of?

Naomi: Common health issues. Look, everybody talks about intervertebral disc disease, which is IVDD. It is obviously something to be, not concerned about, but aware of, educate yourself on it, you can try your best to start your dog jumping. But if they’re going to jump, they’re going to jump. That is something that you may not be able to stop. Chloe jumps like a Jack rabbit. She’s just crazy. You can have a ramp for your sofa, a ramp for your bed, make sure they’re getting the right nutrition. So, the right food for them, exercise them, build up the muscle around their back so that is a bit more protected, any other common issues? Not that come to mind, but just giving them a healthy diet and make sure they get walked and exercised regularly. I am training Chloe to run with me and she just loves it. So yeah, building her up to run, building up the muscle, that kind of thing.

Will: Is there anything that you could be, you could kind of ask of the bloodline of the dog to determine whether or not it’s more likely to get the back issues?

Naomi: I do believe there is a genetic test. If someone out there knows of different information, please correct me, but it is a genetic issue. And generally, we’ll come out with dogs that have not been genetically tested, not so favorable backyard breeders will not test their dogs. And I guess it’s just something to bear in mind that it may happen to you. And if you financially cannot, I guess can’t afford to look after a dog that’s got IVDD, whether it’s surgery, whether it’s wheelchair, whether it’s changing your living environment, just something to bear in mind.

Will: I guess that’s, I mean, if you go through a, you know, an approved breeder and all that kind of stuff, you’ve probably got more chance to access the background and medical history of the parents, that kind of stuff. If you go to a shelter, which, you know, is obviously a great thing to do for many, many reasons, you don’t have access to that. So, I guess that’s great advice for someone that might be going down that path, especially to be aware that that’s a possibility in the future.

Naomi: Absolutely. Be aware, ask lots of questions. Most of my dogs, I don’t have a lot of history on, just what their rescue has been told or a little tiny bit of information on the background. I do have double dapples. Now, a double dapple is a dog that’s been bred from two dapples. They do have not really health, they’ll have health issues from their breeding. So, Mojo is deaf from that is a part of the double dapple gene. Evie is blind and I do have another dog, Winston, who was deaf and blind. It’s very sad that this happens. They are very pretty dogs and that’s the reason why they’re very pretty.

Will: It’s very sad, but it’s also great to hear if people like you, who take in those dogs and want to look after them and give them as much love as any other dog as well, because unfortunately, there’s people out there that probably go the other way and might give those dogs up if they’ve got those issues. So, that’s the sad part.

Naomi: That is the sad part. And I do recall when I got Winston, he came with two siblings and the person who bred them was going to get rid of them. So, and he was my first experience with a double dapple. And then I joined a Facebook group called Life With a Double Dapple Dachshund. And I’ve met the most amazing people from all around the world. I traveled over to the states, to Florida and stayed with a person who I’d never met before. She was incredible from the group, went to races and, yeah, just met the most incredible friends around the world from these groups.

Will: It’s funny. And I think every dog breed has this to a certain degree, but I think especially dachsies, and I know French Bulldogs are quite the same. It’s almost like a, I don’t want to use the word cult, but it’s like, you know, once you’re like you’re part of the community, everyone shares that common interests, which no one can quite understand.

Naomi: It’s a network, and it’s a community. Yeah. And where you might not have anything else in common with these people, but you’ve got your dogs in common and you make some great friendships out of it. I’ve got some amazing friends from these groups.

Will: So, you mentioned exercising the dog so that they kind of improve their muscle strength and all that kind of stuff. How much exercise does a dachsy need?

Naomi: From a puppy, I mean, obviously short walks, start with short walks and build them up to longer walks. I walk down to the post office at Docklands, which is around about five K’s there and back, might be a little bit more. I walk pretty quickly, but I have built them up to do that. And like I said, I’m running with Chloe now. So, we do a couple of Ks up till about five K and I will build her up overtime to do that, but do it slowly. It’s not something that you can just go out and do five Ks all of a sudden. Just build them up. And especially when they’re puppies, because their growth plates are quite far apart when they’re puppies. Short walks, get them used to the lead or harness or whatever you decide to use with them, whether it’s a half check and yeah, build them up over time, once their bones are fully formed and their growth plates are fully grown, then you can exercise them regularly. A daily walk or twice daily walk is perfect. It wears them out. All my dogs are asleep now we’ve had our morning walk and then they’re less likely to be destructive if you do need to go out or go to work.

Will: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s the big thing, which I feel my guests I’ve had on the podcast trainers and people that have businesses in like the active dog space. It’s largely to do with…when they are being destructive, I think the first port of call is, you know, exercising and being active. Because that tires, as it says, it tires them out, but it gives them that stimulation rather than being cooped up at home all day.

Naomi: Exactly. They’re not bored. They’ve had their exercise, they’ve had their fun and when they wake up have some toys or treats ready for them to get there when they get their next wind. Yeah.

Will: How about training? How hard is it to train a Dachshund?

Naomi: They can be quite stubborn, but they’re also very, very smart. So, they do learn very quickly. And I know with my lot, food, food, for some dogs it’s a squeaky toy, might be a ball. So, find your dogs thing, whatever it might be. And they can train very easily and very well, but they are stubborn.

Will: Yeah. I can imagine, I guess like with any dog as well, it’s the earlier you use the discipline to train the better it’s going to be or the more effective it will be. So, yeah.

Naomi: Absolutely. Yeah. So, yeah, you’ve just got to find that thing that works for you and then they’ll be the most amazing dog you’ve got, but I guess reward-based training is the way to go. You have a dog that’s much, much happier rather than being forced to do something, they’re doing something because they want to, and they’re getting a reward at the end of it.

Will: Okay. So, let’s say I was looking to get a dachshund of my own or, you know, wanting to be a new owner and I’m considering breeders and shelters and all sorts of different things, what questions should I be asking? What research should I be doing?

Naomi: So, if you’re going to a breeder, the first question to ask is, do you test? Do you do genetically test? Do you do a PRA test? Now, PRA is progressive retinal, I think it’s atrophy, correct me if I’m wrong, which is blindness that can form over time. Just make sure they’re doing their testing, go and visit them. It might be a little bit difficult at the moment. So, perhaps wait until you can visit, ask to see the parents, if you may not be able to see the father, but the mother, ask to see the mother, check the conditions of the property. Are they inside? Are they outside? Are they in a kennel? Is it clean? Does it smell? Yeah. Just be really, really thorough. And if a breeder tells you you can’t come onto the property, that’s something to be aware of. I would steer clear. Definitely steer clear. If someone says, I’ll meet you down at the local servo, we’ll drop the dog off, again, steer clear.

Will: It sounds fishy. Yeah. I think another thing would be to do some, I guess, some research of your own, speak to your vet, speak to, you know, people like yourself or the dachshund community or whatever dog you’re trying to get, just speak to the community.

Naomi: Contact the dachshund clubs or the dog clubs, your local dog club. The dachshund clubs have the registered breeders. They’re the ones that are going to give you the best information. They’re a world of information. They’ll let you know which questions to ask. They’ll often give you a list of breeders that have got dogs available, which is very rare with dachshunds. If you’re looking at a rescue, I’d probably do it for a second dog, not for a first dog. You don’t know what you’re getting. It’s a bit of potluck. You are going to get an amazing dog. You may get one that needs nurturing, often these dogs come quite broken and you don’t know what their background is. Or you might get a little bit of information. They’ve come from all sorts of different situations. They may be from a shelter. They may be from a rehome. They may have been in foster care. They may have been taken from relationship breakups. You just don’t know. And I guess being aware of that, and it’s going to take a number of weeks for that dog to actually relax and become how it should be. It’s going to take three to four weeks for that dog to be how it’s going to be, just nurturing, being aware of what you’re getting. And yeah, it’s very rewarding.

Will: It does sound so. And they sound like a great dog. Obviously they’re very popular at the moment. And for anyone that’s looking to get one, I’d recommend all the advice given today in terms of just doing your due diligence, but also don’t be afraid to go down the path of getting a dachsy because they sound like a very loyal dog. They love being around you. So, if you’ve got an environment home where you can give them all that care and love, then it could be a great dog.

Naomi: Absolutely. Join Facebook groups and ask questions, ask lots of questions. What should I look out for? What happens if, you know, what do I need to do? We’re a very supportive community. And I think I belong to groups in most states around Australia and even some overseas and everyone is so supportive. They’re going to help you no matter what your question is.

Will: Okay. So, I want to hear a little bit more about your website. So,, you’ve got all sorts of cool products on there. Bandanas, satchels, harnesses, toys, bedding. I’m just reading off the list now, but I’d like to hear from you what, you know, you mentioned you’ve got some unique products. What would you say are some examples of a couple of the unique products that you’ve got on the website?

Naomi: Oh goodness. So, I do like to look for things that are not available here as well as sourcing local product. At the moment, I’ve got some beautiful ceramic pins that are made by a lady locally. Each one is unique and different. I’ve got a supplier in Shepparton who makes my customized easy fit harnesses. She also makes key fobs, she makes earrings, she makes a lot of things for me, she’s quite amazing, as well as homeschooling her children. And currently in a caravan while she’s looking for a new house. So, she’s pretty amazing. And I also saw some great items from overseas, from the UK and from the states, which is currently not available here. So, all sorts of things from your basic catering that are quite funky to homewares, mugs, umbrellas, you name it.

Will: That’s cool. I imagine the harnesses and those types of things would need to be, I mean, having customized unique harnesses for dachshunds would be important because of the strange shape and all that kind of stuff.

Naomi: Absolutely. The big chest, the long body, and often every single dog is a different shape. It’s a different size. It’s a different width. It’s a different weight. So, I often get asked, “My dog is three, what size harness do I get?” And that’s a really open question, a bit more information. The general size, I’ll give them a general size, but obviously we’ll need a lot more information than that. There’s no fixed set size for a dachshund to be.

Will: No. I mean, they’re going to have different size chests and everything, so they need to, I guess, measurement is the best way to go, right?

Naomi: Absolutely. Yeah.

Will: Cool. So, apart from the website, where can people find out more about what you’re doing and all the cool stuff you’re doing in the dachsy space?

Naomi: Instagram, #mydachshundonline, and also on Facebook, I’ve built up an amazing community of followers, which is very exciting. Awesome. It’s overwhelming. And since COVID, which has been quite horrendous for everyone, my business has been growing unbelievably. So, thank you to everyone who supports me and my little business. It’s just been incredible. It’s been an awesome ride.

Will: Yeah. Thanks, Naomi. Well, I love what you’re doing. I love how passionate you are about dachshunds and I feel like as much as I’ve loved speaking to you, I’m not going to miss, I have to try and pronounce that word over and over again. Yeah. But thanks so much for coming on “The Dog Show” today. It’s been great to chat to you and I’ll share all those links in the show notes so people can find out, you know, what you’re doing on Facebook, Instagram, and on the website as well.

Naomi: Amazing. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great.

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The Dachshund - Personality, Behaviour, and Health Issues with Naomi Jones (Episode 11)