For many the idea of buying an older mature dachshund is appealing and here at Coots we have many chats with families about this as we are able to offer a choice of Puppies, Infants and Mature dogs. We thought we’d put pen to paper ( or fingers to laptop) and share some of our tips and advice on how to manage the first days and weeks with an older dog.
By the way, these tips apply to Dachshunds. We don’t confess to know about the behaviour of other dog breeds. We are Sausage experts only!
The Rule of 3
We always advise families of the rule of 3 when they buy an older Sausage…..
3 days to settle in and feel safe in their new home and environment
3 weeks to learn new routines
3 months to truly feel like home
Having realistic expectations is important. It is true to say that some of the Sausages we have re-homed have settled in immediately, like old slippers, it’s just like they’ve always been there, but others it’s taken time and patience. It takes time to feel secure in their new home and of course to get to know and trust their new family. You must remember, Dachshunds are a very loyal breed. This can make them very territorial, they consider it their job to protect their family.
When they arrive, it is most likely that they will attach to one of the family members immediately. This person will provide a sense of security for them. It’s important however, that all other family members are involved immediately in his/her care to avoid any territorial behaviour when he/she is feeling vulnerable. Sharing the responsibility of feeding, different family members taking it in turns to walk and have cuddles on the sofa at night, these are all good tips.
When you get your Sausage home, start as you mean to go on. Dachshunds are clever! Very clever! Decide before they arrive where they will be sleeping, what the routine will be throughout the day, where they will go to the toilet. Once decided, make sure that this is instilled the moment they arrive. At bedtime, if he/she cries a little, provide reassurance but stay strong. This new bedtime routine will be understood within a few days, that’s all.
Your dog is house trained but remember he/she doesn’t know where the garden is and where you want them to do their business. They need you to show them often in the first few days, keep taking them outside. When they go to the toilet, reward them with a treat. Quickly they will know that is what is required. A little boy may try and cock his leg to scent his new home. It’s natural, he is marking his new territory but that doesn’t mean it’s OK. You need to watch him like a hawk. When he does it a very firm no and take him outside. This may last a couple of days but again, he will know it is not OK and it will stop.
Whilst we are sure you will take some time off work to settle your Sausage in his first few days/weeks, remember, if you plan to have times of day when he/she will be left alone eg. when you do the school runs, or when you go to the gym or maybe work a few hours a day away from home, then you must again establish this with them quickly in those first few days so they learn what is ‘the norm’ Make sure they are somewhere safe and always leave the radio on for them when they are alone. All Coots Sausages have been born and raised listening to relaxing dog music ( ask google or alexa for relaxing dog music) They recognise this music and it helps to relax them. You can also leave him/her with a great boredom breaker, for example a pigs ear or antler.
Consistency- that’s the key. In some instances a mature dachshund can be a bigger challenge to rehome than that of a puppy or an infant. They are more set in their ways, have set routines and are firmly rooted in their environment. Patience is required. It is important that you allow the breeder of the dog to advise which dog is most suited to your family. Choosing the dog based on appearance or because you’ve always had boy dogs is never the best place to start. A good breeder will carefully match the right choice for you and can advise if he/she has any foibles, the best routine to adopt and best way to introduce to other family pets etc. Every dog is different and their needs differ accordingly.
We have re-homed many mature dachshunds successfully into new homes. We always guarantee if it doesn’t work, we will always have our dachshunds back again. It must be right for both you, your family and the dog.