Posts Tagged ‘Dachsador’

Dachshund X Labrador = Dachsador!

July 29, 2012

Years back there was a car called the Chevy Vega.  It had a nice looking body, but was built with a gutless, underpowered, cheap engine.  What could have been a real nice car and even a bold step in the direction toward smaller and more fuel efficient cars that history shows that GM needed to go in was instead one of the worst cars in the history of GM.

Until the cars started ending up on the trash heap and kids started putting 350 V-8s under the hood.  What you ended up with was a subcompact car with muscle car oomph.

The same principle was carried out more professionally with the Shelby Cobra: you take a little car body and cram a 427 inch Corvette RAT engine in it and you get something special.

Heck, it works great with cars; why not try it with dogs?

There are all kinds of breeds of dogs out there, of course.  And then when you add in the fact that dogs have a way of ignoring the rules and creating their own breeds of “mutts,” well, it truly takes all kinds to make up a world.

I’m here to talk about what happens when you take a “big block Labrador” and put it into a “compact Dachshund body.”  You get this:

Aint she pretty?

I love dogs, and have always found them to be incredibly beautiful creatures to go along with the fact that they are world-class athletes.  If dogs were allowed to compete in the Olympics, they’d end up with pretty much all of the medals for pretty much all of the track and field and swimming events.

I’ve always particularly loved the big dog breeds, such as the Rottweilers that I’ve had.  There is simply nothing like watching a big dog running with the big dogs.

But this 42 lb Dachshund-Labrador mix has truly opened my eyes to the middleweight class of dogdom.  In the case of this one, she’s basically an “atomic Dachshund,” complete with webbed feet like a Lab, a weight that’s right near the middle between a 20 lb Dachshund and a 60 lb Labrador Retriever female, and legs that are about twice as long as a Dachshund’s but about 3/4s as long as a Labrador’s.

This is a dog that might have happened “by accident,” or might have been the result of “designer breeding.”  When I finally figured out what my little darling was, I discovered that “Dachsadors” are a designer breed.  You’ll have to “ask an expert” how you breed a Dachshund with a Labrador.  And if you find out, please tell me so I can finally have an answer for all the people who have asked me just that very question.

She is a high-speed, low-drag low-earth orbiting ballistic missile system when she’s in full-pursuit of a rabbit or squirrel.  And this is a dog that has now caught a jackrabbit – and believe me that aint exactly easy! – in addition to a few cottontails (it turns out neither rabbit species particularly like to be caught and literally SCREAM until I make her put them down).  She’s got a combination of speed and agility that has to be seen to be believed.  I call it torque; she’s got those powerful leg muscles and that short running stroke to get going fast REAL quick.  It is not unusual at all to see her run with both sets of legs parallel to the ground at the same time.  It’s almost like she’s flying, and all she needs is a little superdog cape:

She’s a very athletic thing that loves to jump as much as she loves to just plain flat-out haul ass:

I often just find myself simply admiring her exquisite musculature and shape:

I find her to be a beautifully muscled and beautifully proportioned dog.  I love watching her trot along so easily and gracefully with her beautiful wheaton coat gliding over her ribs and muscles:

And of course she has been since the day we brought her home as a little puppy:

She’s just been a tremendous little dog, and I love her dearly.

A few extra details about her:

She is without question the most joyful dog I have ever been around.  She will wag her tail if you just LOOK at her.  She loves to play and can keep herself quite entertained by throwing one of her toys into the air and catching it.  And frequently she’ll just get a little bee in her bonnet and start racing through the house at top speed with a happy-to-be-alive gleam in her eyes.  She’s got a few different courses to race on.  And the more I laugh the more she runs.  When I adopted her, she was a nearly 10 week-old puppy in a glass cage at a shelter, and had been in the cage for close to 2 weeks.  When she was introduced to her back yard she ran like a happy little fool and just never really got over her love of running.

She is also the most remarkable dog I’ve ever seen in remembering where things were and any kind of change.  If anything in the house gets moved for any reason, she KNOWS about it and zeroes right in on it.  If she’s out in the desert and something new got blown or placed or built or dumped anywhere near her domain, she is instantly aware of it.

And she likes to watch TV more than any dog I’ve ever heard of – especially if there are animals on.  I’ve had on the Westminster dog show and she has watched enraptured for a good half hour straight.  When one of her “shows” comes on in the form of a commercial, she recognizes it by the music jingle and looks up on cue just when the dogs appear.  She will wag her tail at certain times, perk her ears at certain moments, etc.  She loves to watch horses, but is quite interested in just about anything that has just about any kind of animal.

When I got her and figured out what she was (the shelter labeled her as “a red and white hound mix”), I discovered that people were intentionally breeding these “Dachsadors.”  You can easily understand why when you think about it.  Labradors are and have been THE most popular breed of dog by AKC registration because of their many fine qualities.  Dachshunds have been slipping, going from as high as the fourth most registered breed of dog in 2004 to the sixth most in 2006, to the eighth most in 2010 and the ninth most last year.  But obviously a lot of people see a lot of positive traits in both breeds of dog.

So why not put them together?  What you end up with is a medium-sized dog of excellent temperament and intelligence.  And if you really want a Labrador Retriever but can’t have a dog that large, well, why not shrink it down?

The people who know dogs that look at my little darling see a Labrador face from the front and a Dachshund face from the side.  And I always enjoy being around dog lovers who will come over and tell me they’ve never seen anything like her, and how beautiful she is and what a great shape she has.

I’m glad she’s female because while my Rottweilers were “macho dogs,” this one is definitely “daddy’s little girl.”

P.S. I mentioned that I’m a Rottweiler lover.  It’s amazing how different dogs can be and how wonderful they are at being the incredible things they were bred to be.  My last Rottweiler was HUGE by Rottweiler standards – standing nearly 32″ at the shoulder (in the realm of Great Dane height!), weighing in at nearly 200 lbs, and standing about 6’6″ on his hind legs (I’m 6’2″ and he could jump up with his front paws over my shoulder and look me right in the eye – and he was leaning at an angle).  He was the product of very large parents which led to a 3-puppy litter that allowed him to get as big as the genes from already large parents would allow him to get.  He was incredibly smart and impossibly strong.  That dog could easily knock a big, strong man down and that man wouldn’t get up unless and until that Rott wanted to let him get up.  Before him, we had two brothers who were what we called “muttweilers” being the result of a purebred female and the neighbor’s 3/4 Rott-1/4 German Shepherd who jumped the fence.  I used to go backpacking in the Willamette National Forest and reuglarly went on 3 day outings.  I would hike from 10-15 miles a day, depending on the leg, while the dogs chased each other off the leash.  I kid you not, those dogs would run at least 150 miles a day each of the three days.  No human being who ever lived could have begun to do what those dogs did EASILY.  One year I took one of them to visit my parents and my father and I went hiking.  That dog loved to walk ahead, but he didn’t know which way we would go at one point where the trail split.  And when my dad took the uphill path, the only way the dog could get ahead of him was to jump up a rocky outcropping that we figured was easily 8′ high.  That Rottweiler mix took one step back and MADE that jump; at the very top he had to pull himself up with his front legs with an effort my dad found as amazing as the jump itself.

Dogs are just amazing, aren’t they?  And the only thing they do better than their many amazing feats of speed, agility, leaping, strength, endurance, etc., etc., is be the best companions in the world.

Hope you enjoyed my show-and-tell about my dog!

Warning! A Few Things You Should Know Before Getting A Puppy From A Shelter

July 10, 2010

I’ve bought three dogs in my life prior to the one I recently brought home from a shelter – and all three came from backyard breeders.

The first two were Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix brothers (from the same litter) that were sired by the 3/4 Rott 1/4 German Shepherd dog from next door who beat the purebred Rott to the party.  The third was a purebread Rott.

The two mixes were as healthy as could be.  The purebread Rott had an umbilical hernia – for which the breeder took full financial responsibility.

No other health issues.

The two brothers were housetrained in five days.  The purebred Rott was housetrained in a long (albeit very long!!!) July 4th weekend.

Furthermore, I had a pretty good idea what I was getting when I got my backyard-bred pups.  I was able to see both parents (although in the case of the two mix brothers, I had to look over the fence to see the daddy).

And they were healthy.  The two Rott/Shepherd mixes used to go with me on three-day backpacking trips in the Willamette National Forest.  I would hike 12-14 miles a day, while the dogs chased each other through the trees.  They would EASILY run over 300 miles in those three days.  That’s healthy.

Now let me compare that to my little shelter baby.

First of all, you don’t get a whole lot of an idea what kind of a dog you’re getting, what breed it is, or how big it will likely be, if you get a puppy from a city/county shelter.  That may not matter to you.  But if it does, be aware.

In my own case, I got a “hound mix” puppy.  What’s a hound mix?  There are 23 breeds under the category “hound.”  Moreover, the card said she was 2 months old.  But what does that mean?  If the puppy is 7 weeks old, how do they classify it?  What if it’s 11 weeks old?  There’s very little information to go on, and the employees’ knowledge tends to pretty much conform to the card.  If you’re looking for a anything specific, good luck at the shelter.

It turns out my “hound mix” was a part Dachshund, part Labrador puppy.  A Dachsador.  She’s very cute, but I wouldn’t have picked her if I’d known she was part Dachshund.  Without meaning to disparage Dachshunds, I was looking for a bigger, more athletic, and hopefully less stubborn, dog than a Dachshund.

That said, she IS real cute.

Here’s some pictures of my little Dachsador darling:

She’s a cute little Dachsador, isn’t she?  She’s got webbed feet, like a lab, but her legs shorter than a Lab’s, while her body is longer.  At this point, she’s got a nice, athletic, low-center of gravity without being overly “Dachshundy.”  I hope she stays that way.

Even though she wasn’t what I’d set out to adopt, I loved her right away, and wasn’t about to take her back once I found out about the “weiner dog” part.

Well, read on.

The next thing I discovered was that, having lived in a cage for a good two weeks, in which this little piddle-and-poop machine was allowed out maybe twice a day if she was lucky, she was MUCH MUCH harder to housetrain than a non-shelter puppy from a backyard ever was.

If you get a puppy from a shelter, just realize that the staff have literally trained it to be at home laying around its own waste.  You will have a much more difficult time housebreaking your cute little shelter rescue.

But that isn’t the end of it, either.

In my case, I went to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus and bought myself a disease machine, as well.

The Coachella Valley Shelter has a seven day policy during which they will take some degree of responsibility for an animal’s medical condition.  After that, they will impolitely tell you, you are entirely on your own.

In the seven days you have, there is no possible way to find out that your puppy doesn’t have a potentially serious issue.  You rolls the dice and takes your chances.

First it was bordatella, aka kennel cough.  I noticed my puppy was coughing/wretching in a nasty way.  I didn’t know what it was.  Did I tell you that I’ve always obtained my puppies from backyard breeders, and that I’d never had any problems?

That wasn’t good.  But I got ten days’ worth of antibiotics, and it seemed to take care of the problem.

But read on.

Next I began to discover that my little girl had little patches of hair loss.  At first I thought it was from fleas and scratching, so I waited until after she’d had her stitches out from her spaying and gave her a flea bath.

To no avail.

I took her to the Animal Samaritan Hospital for her third multi- shot, and asked to see a vet to diagnose her.  They didn’t have any available vets, as it was “spay and neuter” day, so I got an appointment.

Then I took her next door to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, hoping to get her seen by a veterinarian there, and was basically treated like slime for suggesting that – given the fact that the puppy they sold me had two serious diseases – they should maybe help me deal with the problem.

Did I tell you about that backyard breeder who took total responsibility of the puppies she sold?

I insisted that it was only right that a vet at least look at her, and the senior vet tech came out, and, without bothering to look at the puppy, started telling me off.  I asked her if it bothered her that she was selling diseased puppies that would literally make a lot of puppy mills look good by comparison?  She indignantly said that the puppy was NOT diseased.

REALLY, MISSES MEDICAL EXPERT?

  • ‘Kennel Cough’ is the term that was commonly applied to the most prevalent upper respiratory problem in dogs in the United States. Recently, the condition has become known as tracheobronchitis, canine infectious tracheobronchitis, Bordetellosis, or Bordetella. It is highly contagious in dogs. The disease is found worldwide and will infect a very high percentage of dogs in their lifetime.
  • Demodicosis, also known as red mange or “demodex”, is a common skin disease of dogs

Here’s a picture of what this “non-disease” can do to a dog:

Then the “senior vet tech” added insult to stupid.  She personally villified me, loudly telling me that I had been nasty since the very first day I had come in, and that she wasn’t going to deal with me any more.

The problem was that 1) I’d never seen this woman before, nor she me, so how could she know how I had acted?  And 2) I have been in that facility a total of four previous times (to pick out a pup, to take the pup home, to get the border kennel antibiotics, to have her stitches out), with either a friend or family member with me each time.  I had never been anything other than pleasant.  I’d never felt that I had any reason to be unpleasant prior to this moment.

The vet tech was trying to demagogue me, turn me into an “angry man” who had no credibility, so that others wouldn’t take what I was saying seriously.

I walked out.  I’ll never darken the door to that shelter again.

The funny thing was I went looking for a mixed breed at the county shelter because I had decided that “mixed breeds” were healthier.  But not from a government animal shelter, they aren’t.

Here’s the bottom line: think twice before you get a dog from a shelter, especially if it’s a puppy.  People love the “politically-correct” aspect of an animal shelter, and how they “rescued” a dog or cat.

If you’re about rescuing a dog or cat, and don’t care how much it will cost you in vet bills, how much suffering your pet may have to endure due to diseases, or how much destruction will likely happen to your carpet before you finally have housetraining under control, then by all means, get your dog from a shelter.  Just do it with your eyes wide open.

Don’t think I’m mocking people who do the above.  I am familiar with people who actually deliberately seek out dogs with serious health issues.  They love dogs, and are willing to go to the wall for animals no one else would want.

On the other hand, if you just want a good, healthy pet, with the least amount of potential horror story to await you, then start looking around the backyards.

Animal shelters are trying to do the right thing.  I wouldn’t argue that.  But you should read Andersonville, just as one example, so you can see that good intentions can literally pave the road to hell.  In the case of Andersonville (or the Union equivalent at Elmira, New York), there were too many inmates and too few resources.  And horror resulted.

At some point, even people who want to do the right thing become part of the disease and horror that they take part in.  This vet tech refused to look at that; so she lashed out at me as “the enemy” instead.  Even though all I wanted was a little help taking care of an animal who had had two serious diseases inflicted on her as a result of the shelter’s kennels.

When I was in the outer kennels of the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, I saw that a good 2/3rds of the dogs were lying in their own feces, their own urine, or in too many cases, both.  There are WAY too many dogs there for the staff to even begin to adequately take care of.

I should have known then what I might be getting myself into.

The Campus is a beautiful facility.  But somebody spent all the money on the appearance of the facility, rather than budgeting for the cost of actually caring for the animals.

This mange might clear up, but from what I’m told, there is a very real possibility that it will be a long-term, very persistent, very expensive condition.

I just wanted a good, healthy dog.

I could take this puppy back to the shelter and say, “YOU deal with her.”  It would satisfy my sense of poetic justice – particularly if I was able to hand her to that vile vet tech.  But that’s just not the way I roll.  I took responsibility for this animal, even if I got screwed by a dirty, disease-ridden, bureaucratic-ridden den of incompetence.

Say what you want about how anti-pc I am, but I will NEVER get a dog from an animal shelter again.  And I strongly advise you that caveat emptor applies more at your government animal shelter than it does your used car lot.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 527 other followers