First Week Of Double Dachshund Life – Crate Training

When we got Choco late last year, he was not Crate Trained. So getting him to sleep or go in a crate seemed impossible.

We tried all the usual tactics of feeding him inside the crate, making it into a fun paradise of toys. It didn’t work…

There was a lot of whining, whinging and trying to escape.

We then found he was much more comfortable sleeping in his bed outside our bedroom.

We put this down to the fact that he wasn’t crate trained early enough in his life. Seeing as we got Choco at 8 months, we felt we probably lost the early, critical months for crate training.

So when we got Cookie, we were so unsure whether it would be possible or even if its necessary. However when coming home on the first night, we swung by a fellow Dachshund owners home as they had outgrown their crate and they were gracious enough to donate theirs to us.

We was undecided if a crate would be long-term, but we definitely knew she’d need to sleep in there at least for the early stages. We didn’t want her randomly waking up whilst we slept, to chew on something or hide in a gap she shouldn’t be in.

Day 1

The first night was easy! It was too good to be true! We put her in the crate and she did not fuss at all. She patiently waited in there whilst we fed her dinner. She went in willingly and when it was time for sleep, we had her crate in our bedroom to start with and had random moans for which we simply reminded her that we were there.

We took her out a few times so she could relieve herself, but other than that, she slept like angel.

We had heard horror stories about crate training so we were amazed by how good she is!

Day 2

The second day, definitely not easy!

Clearly she had become more confident in her surroundings. She started play biting Choco, trying to dominate him. Choco has always been a more gentle playful dog, so he simply acknowledges she’s a puppy and lets her have her way.

We tried separating them when she became too much for him and put her in the crate. She would just clamber to come out.

During the day it was setting the tone for how it would be in the night. We were not looking forward to the sleepless nights, but I was prepared for this!

The advice we were given was to simply put them in the crate and leave them to settle themselves.

This was not working out for us at all.

I can be strong enough resist giving her the attention, but I was very conscious of our neighbours as we live in a second floor flat.

We managed to actually leave her howling for 1hr solid and we were certain it wasn’t toilet reasons as she had eliminated right before we put her in. Her crate wasn’t covered and I was in line of sight, but she just wanted to be on me. I went over to the crate to try comfort her whilst she still inside and whilst I had at least my finger in the crate, she was ok.

After 3hrs it became too late in the night to let this carry on.

So we decided to move her crate into our bedroom.

So I literally slept with one arm off the bed hanging down so my finger could be in the crate.

Not ideal, but it worked!

Day 3

The third day was very much like the second except we had a few moments with her actually being ok in the crate. We were excited thinking we hit a new milestone or ‘turned a corner’ as some say.

But when it came to the night time, it was very reminiscent of the second night except my finger in the crate did not settle her. She still howled!

I took her out for multiple toilet breaks but had no joy. She was still not eliminating.

So on the third night we resorted to actually raising her crate to our bed level so she can see us. This worked!

She was settled in the crate. We all slept peacefully.

Day 4

The fourth day was very much like the third. It just required a few toilet breaks but we were making progress.

Bearing in mind whilst Cookie is being crate trained, Choco is still sleeping in his bed by himself.

However only adjustment for Choco is we put his bed in our bedroom. He usually is outside our room, but we didn’t want him to feel she’s allowed in but he’s not. So we invited them both into our room during this training process.

Day 5

This is where it all changed for us!

During the day, the crate activities were just like before. Occasional stretches of time in the crate to get her used to it. We fed her in the crate. Played with her with using toys in the crate, but when it came to the night time, this is where the game changed!

Choco took himself to bed and before we even thought about putting Cookie in her crate to sleep, she climbed into Choco’s bed with him and they cuddled and slept!

We didn’t have the heart to separate them and we wanted to test if this would help her sleep peacefully.

So we left a few pee pads out incase she wanted to eliminate and shockingly, this worked out amazingly!

She did not whinge at all in the night, she took it upon herself to jump out of bed to go pee and she climbed back in with Choco.

After that successful night, we saw no reason to keep pushing her into a crate to only be unsettled and have disrupted sleep.

After the 5th night, we actually just stopped crate training altogether. We left the crate out for her and she did sometimes pop in and out freely during the day. However, we did not put her in there to sleep as she seemed to sleep very well with Choco.

A few weeks after we had actually collapsed the crate completely and bought a larger pen for both of them to be able to fit inside.

We don’t currently make a point about them sleeping in there, but we leave all their toys in there and they occasionally play inside or just pop in to get a toy. They also run in there as a place of retreat if their play fighting becomes a bit too much for one another.

So although we technically failed at crate training, we have found our own flow with their sleeping arrangement.

Life with Two Dachshunds – Becoming @chockies.modern.life

As part of the Sausage Blog, I had intended on doing more regular updates with our experience with Choco in general, but more specifically I wanted and should have done more regular updates at least week-by-week to update you all on life with two Dachshunds.

To those whom have joined us on regular walks, you would know that getting a second Dachshund/Dog was on our minds for months.

We wasn’t fixed on our second dog being a Dachshund, but it was definitely top choice for Choco.

Our motivations for getting a second was for Choco to have more company for when we go on walks, someone to run with, somebody to play with and for those odd occasions when we have to leave him at home, someone to keep him company.

We also got Choco at 8months so we completely bypassed the early stages and missed out on a lot of early experiences with him.

So we wanted a second to have these experiences and for Choco to have a companion.

Our biggest reservation along with the usual questions of “Can we handle it? Can we afford it? Is it too much?” was simply “How can we cope with being on 2nd floor flat with no lift and needing to carry to Dachshunds up and down 4x a day?”.

It was a consideration we have for months going back and forth and then one day we decided to just go for it!

Our criteria was a Chocolate and Tan Miniature Dachshund Smoothed Hair Girl.

We searched the web and choices were very limited. We found 3 that were available.

First one we found was a seller whom purchased their dog and 10 days later realised they couldn’t cope. It was upsetting for us to hear that someone came in not prepared for doggy life, but we at least sought comfort they realised early enough so that there’s potential for her to find a good loving home from early.

We were going to consider her, however we did want to have the experience from the very beginning. As silly as it may sound, we felt that we lost 10days at this point and we wouldn’t have gotten to see their parents etc.

The second breeder we found online was simply incredibly rude! So lets not dive too much into this one. It is such a shame as from the photos and description, their puppies seem like they would have been a great option.

Then going onto the third puppy we found online, everything checked all the boxes we needed.

The third puppy was KC Registered, Chocolate and Tan Smooth Haired Miniature Dachshund, Female and Gorgeous.

We received a warm welcome from the entire family and seeing the beautiful home the puppies were clearly bred with love.

However after meeting this little puppy, for some reason we were not overwhelmed with love. As cheesy as it sounds, we didn’t feel a bond. As before she checked all the right boxes, but we didn’t feel like we had to take her home.

So we went to discuss further over coffee.

Whilst sitting in the local Costa Coffee, we were pretty close to a decision where we got a message from a fellow Dachshund friend notifying us that their breeder had a litter and has two black and tan girls ready to go immediately.

This took us by surprise and it felt like fate as she did not know we were actively looking, she just knew we were considering a second. Not only that, we were sitting in Costa Coffee in Harlow and her breeder is in Essex.

We decided to at least view. The puppies were not the colour we wanted, but we felt we at least had to view before making any commitments.

Upon arrival, we were presented with a very difficult choice. We saw two beautiful Black and Tan Dachshunds.

We felt the one on the left was an absolute stunner and visually a perfect example for a Black and Tan Miniature Dachshund, but the one on the right was just extremely unique for her size and colouring. We could not decide.

We literally were with the breeder for almost 2hrs deciding before we came to the decision, we will take the one on the right!

We chose her for a few reasons.

Mostly due to her temperament. Throughout the time there discussing and viewing, the one on the left was constantly barking where the one on the right remained calm and unphased by her sisters bark.

This was important to us as Choco barks a lot and we didn’t want them setting each other off.

We also felt that the one on the right is just very unique and special, mostly due to her very petite size and we just couldn’t resist.

So the one on the right eventually became our little Cookie!

We ran an instagram account for Choco, @Chocos.modern.life, and we was not sure if we wanted to continue posting them as separate dogs or together. But we decided they would not be without each other so they then became @Chockies.modern.life .

Train Your Baby Like A Dog – Review

Introduction

First and foremost, I am not a parent and I’ve only been living the doggy life for 10months. So the following is all my opinion from what I have seen in my own personal life as a dog owner and uncle to many nieces and nephews.

Channel 4 (UK) aired a show titled “Train Your Baby Like A Dog” on August 20th at 8pm. This show sparked massive controversy over the dehumanisation of children due to the unorthodox methods to parenting.

Prior to its actual release, there were campaigns to cancel the shows broadcast and people criticising its methods and message.

As a dog owner, I was very curious to watch this as I have had many conversations with friends and family about the struggles I have with two puppies and sometimes their responses have been “it’s just like having a baby”.

So the irony that through day to day conversation, I hear the comparison with our dogs to babies is quite common for us, but then when a show is released with the comparison for a baby with a dog everyone is up in arms.

That being said, I wanted to discuss my own personal opinions with the concept in general and the methods that were used in the show.

Train Your Baby Like A Dog

Dog trainer and animal behaviourist Jo-Rosie Haffenden has been training dogs for many years. From watching the show you can clearly see she’s very good at what she does. She is a trainer of dog trainers and her dogs are extremely well behaved.

In the show, she is introduced to two struggling families where one family is struggling with a 3yr old boys temper tantrums and then the other is struggling with sleeping by herself in her cot.

For the 3yr old boys tantrums, her techniques are simply identifying when a tantrum is about to happen then diagnose why. Once the trigger has been identified she implements a technique whereby they simply change the environment in someway. Whether that be offering a task or challenge to keep the child occupied or removing them from that environment altogether.

With regards to sleep training the younger baby, the mother in the show was having no success when she was using the ‘cry it out’ method, which is in itself very controversial even in the parenting world. Jo-Rosie identified where sleep training animals also have the same obstacles and that comfort and trust needs to be established before leaving any baby alone.

By the end of the show, it was revealed that the training methods she proposed did in fact have successes and that the 3yr old boy had less tantrums and the young baby girl was in fact sleeping in her cot.

Review

I must state again, I am by no means a dog training expert nor a child raising expert. I will simply be drawing from my own experiences as an uncle and dog owner.

That being said, I feel my position allows me to be unbiased and overall I feel the title of the show is of more controversy than the actual tactics used.

What I saw in the TV show was a comparison drawn between dogs and children on an emotional and communication level.

To someone whom doesn’t have pets, they most likely just see them a living and breathing animal which may, or may not be cute.

What they fail to realise is dogs are extremely emotional beings. They do experience love, loneliness, anger and fear. I would argue in some cases, they feel these emotions on a higher level than any human.

So what did I learn from this show?

Raising a child and training a dog requires you to be understanding, empathetic, patient and observant with your communication.

It’s easy to quickly assume as humans we are the more superior being and that we have a greater level of communicating.

But in reality a new parent will struggle to identify what a baby is trying to communicate with a cry just as much as a new dog owner will struggle with a bark.

Equally a baby or child will struggle to understand what is good and what is bad, just as much as a dog would. Communication works both ways and if you can’t communicate what is good and bad to your baby or dog, then how will they ever learn?

Jo-Rosie promotes the treat based training whereby rewards or treats are offered for good behaviour. Using treats is just a simple way of communicating praise to either the dog or child. Letting them know this is what is desired.

Conclusion

If you take the title out of the equation and understand that most pet owners love their pets like they are their children, you may feel differently by the training methods used.

Likewise every child, just like every dog is different. They have different temperaments, learning ability and so forth. So these methods may not suit your child, but they may suit some children.

When a child’s communication ability increases, you will naturally have to adjust your parenting style anyway and at that point dog training techniques may not be useful to you.

But if you take away the term ‘dog training techniques’, you have jobs whereby you get paid more commission on top of your salary for performing better? Is that not the same as a treat? Do you feel like you’re being treated as a dog?

So all in all, my stance on the show is that you do whatever works for you and what you feel comfortable with.

If your techniques as parent is working out for you, be happy! But if not, there are alternative methods and in this show, there are some ideas presented to you.

But no need to setup campaigns to pull this show from being aired.

Anyone who doesn’t agree with the message or methods used, simply don’t use them.

Click Here to watch the show on 4OD. It will be online for 25 more days, so catch it whilst you can.

Keeping Your Dachshund Cool In The Summer

Here in the UK, we are currently going through a heatwave of around 32* + weather.

I still consider myself a new dog owner and I wouldn’t have really known about dogs and summer weather being a potential issue until I witnessed with my own eyes what the hot weather can do to a dog.

Whilst we were out on a casual walk a few weeks ago, the weather was probably no hotter than 24* but it was still pretty warm. The dogs were playing in the open fields where one of them suddenly stopped moving and decided to stay still. The owner picked up their dog and found that their dog was shivering uncontrollably and drooling.

Immediately we took her into the shade whilst they arranged an emergency vet appointment.

At first we didn’t know what was going on as the other dogs seemed fine and were still playing.

We speculated that it might have been an upset stomach etc.

But the following day I stumbled across a graphic being shared around in the doggy forums where they discuss the symptoms of heatstroke.

After seeing this, it was clear to me that the dog was showing signs of heatstroke and as a relatively new dog owner, I would not have really been aware of this being such an issue with summer weather at 24*.

Now that this week is averaging 30-32*+ I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss a few best practices.

Tip 1 – Walk your dog early morning and late night

Before the sun can fully rise or is about to start setting is when the temperatures are lower. In the middle of the night is clearly going to be much cooler, but realistically you won’t walk your dog at this time.

It may be a little inconvenient but ideally you should try walk your dog outside of peak heat hours. So your daily routine may have to change throughout summer.

Tip 2 – Restrict exercise

We all want to exercise our dogs to maintain their weight, keep them active and happy, but in this type of heat, letting them generate more internal heat within their bodies is potentially dangerous given the fact that the outside temperatures are soaring.

Keep their exercise in shaded areas and to a minimum

Tip 3 – Carry Water

Like us humans, in the heat, we get thirsty. So it’s essential you carry around something where you can give your dog water on-the-go!

Whether this be a collapsible bowl which you simply fill with bottled water, or a doggy specific bottle with a bowl on the end for them to drink out of.

We opted for a bottle we found on Amazon.co.uk

We first noticed it as other dog owners during our walks were using it and were impressed by the convenience it offers. I will write up a review on this product soon, but in short, it is convenient, clean, tidy and simply works!

Click Here to purchase your one via Amazon.co.uk.

Tip 4 – Do Not Walk on Pavement for Long Periods

In the summer the concrete ground can get hot and our short legged Dachshunds unfortunately don’t have much clearance with their chest and belly’s from the ground. Therefore the heat can reflect off the ground and back up to the bodies.

Keep their exercise on grass where possible or remember to stay in shaded areas on concrete.

There are more in-depth articles out there, however I just wanted to do a quick post to ensure the message is spread and that people are more aware of the dangers this heatwave can provide to our short legged friends.

Sausage BLOG – 7 – Meeting @Boscoandhisbigstick

It’s funny how when you’re not a part of a certain group or interest, you don’t notice it. Then when you’re involved in that world, you see it around you everywhere!

I never noticed too many Dachshunds until I got Choco and now I see them everywhere when I’m out.

I absolutely love Dachshunds and enjoy meeting new ones. They generally bring people so much happiness with their little characters.

Whenever I walk my Choco, I get stopped very regularly as people just want to say hello or sometimes simply walk past, but turning their heads with a smile of admiration whilst looking at Choco.

Then earlier this year, I saw a video appear on my facebook news feed which took this to the next level!

If you watch this video, not only will you see a little dog with big ambitions for carrying very big sticks! You see how much joy he brings people.

As he walks down bossing his way through the park, people look down, smile, laugh and step aside for the Park’s Branch Manager.

With the fact I already love Dachshunds as a whole, I really wanted to meet this specific one named Bosco!

As we both live in London, we did manage to arrange a walk last Sunday for where I got to witness Bosco and his Big Stick in person!

It was just like the videos you see on social media but funnier!

I got to witness with my own eyes, Bosco find the best spot on the big stick to pick up for optimal balance, likewise the random people walking past him being filled with joy and laughter. I even heard someone say “That’s the dog with the instagram account” lol… So Bosco is officially a celebrity in my eyes!

Bosco already has a large following, larger than ours in fact, so I’m sure most of my current readers are already familiar with him. But if you’re not already following, go check him out on Instagram.com/boscoandhisbigstick .

Please subscribe and click the notification bell so you can see the notification appear from YouTube.

Sausage BLOG – 6 – Greenwich Park Dog Walk

Pacho’s owners organise a dog walk in Greenwich Park on the 3rd Saturday of every month.

Click Here to follow the event on the “Meet Up” website.

The meet up is open to all dogs whom are playful as it’s a very social atmosphere. Majority of the dogs will be Dachshunds, mostly because a lot of us whom regularly meet up have Dachshunds.

These walks seem to be getting bigger and bigger!

At the same, so are the dogs whom are attending.

When we all first met, most of the dogs were all very young puppies, but now they’re exiting out of the puppy stages but they are all still very playful.

It was a great time and the walk lasted for a total of 2hrs. Most of the time wasn’t walking however, it was letting the dogs run circles around us!

Choco & Navy play well together, but today was on another level! See the pics below and video above for highlights of today’s walk.

Sausage BLOG – 5 – Spending A Full Day With Pacho…

Life has been a bit manic lately so I haven’t had much time to post up a Blog.

There has been a Dog Shot at Mudchute Farm, a Hyde Park Sausage Walk, Greenwich Park Walk and other smaller dog meet ups amongst the usual suspects.

But none of which have been written about or documented properly just because life has been too crazy to focus on that.

However, things are levelling off somewhat and I definitely wanted to share the latest experience with caring for two dogs!

It has always been on our mind that we wanted a second Dachshund to keep Choco company whilst we couldn’t. Whether that be during the day to play whilst we work and get on with household chores, or if we needed to pop out for a period of time to either go gym or shopping.

However, we do live on a second floor flat with no lift, so my biggest concern was going up and downstairs with two.

The first day we had Pacho was the 10th June 2019 and unfortunately it literally rained ALL day. So we did not go outside at all and heavily relied on pee pads! lol

They just wrestled and slept together all day… it was lovely to see…

The second day we had Pacho was 18th June 2019 and this day was the real test!

Carrying two Miniature Dachshunds whom are 6.5kg+ and almost the size of a small standard in length was tough! Getting them in and out the car was also tricky! They would try and jump out as soon as the car door opens, but luckily their seat belt lead held them in place.

Now here’s where the real fun began!

I walked them both on leash towards the middle of an open grassy area to let them off leash for free running!

This was scary for me as Pacho isn’t my dog and I wasn’t sure what his recall is like with me. To be fair, Choco is my dog and his recall is still very sometime-ish even with me. But I at least had hope that they would stick together!

For the most part, they did… But they did divide and conquer! Both finding their own pieces of poo to roll in and before I decided who to stop, the damage was done!

After the damage was done, they had a lot more freedom from me! I wanted minimal contact with either and they both sealed their fates for a bath when we got home.

For the most part, the day was great! They played all day and kept each other company, however I am still not convinced that having two would be easier for leaving them home alone.

How To Hold a Dachshund

I do feel this topic is a little overlooked with Dachshund owners. I hear many of them discuss how to not let their dogs go up and downstairs, jumping on and off furniture, but not too much attention on how to hold their Dachshund.

Due to their long spines, it is important that you do not hold them from the centre of their spine but instead support from their chest and rear.

If you are holding them with one arm, you must support their chest with your hand as well as their rear between your elbow and side of your chest.

Some people may not be able to hold them like this due to strength or length of arm.

If this is the case, it’s best to hold your Dachshund in front of you with two arms. As before, supporting their entire body is important and not let their rear hang.

Click Here to read more at WikiHow.

Sausage BLOG – 4 – Running with Kipp!

We met Kipp about two weeks ago and bumped into him a week later. We had a great time we thought we would arrange another run with him!

Between running away from domination, stealing his toys with some playful biting, it was a lot of fun! Definitely burnt a few calories today…

Not much else to say, but there’s more to see!

Photos and videos are below…

Follow Choco and Kipp on instagram for more pics and some of Kipp’s amazing stories! He must show me how to make them so fancy!

Sausage BLOG – 3 – Dulwich Park

Usually we head down to Greenwich Park as its usually got a few dogs running around off-leash. It’s generally one of the nicer parks in London and not terribly far from us.

However, this morning we decided to check out Dulwich Park as this is only 5-10min drive and has free parking!

To our surprise we saw more dogs than we usually do in Greenwich! So Choco got to say hello to a few dogs of various breeds.

We met another little Dacshund named Frank. A little 5 month old Black and Tan one. We had a short run, but we were heading in different directions at the time. Hopefully Choco and Frank will have their run soon!

But the biggest surprise was bumping into Kip!

We actually met Kip a week ago whilst having a family picnic at Dulwich Park and when we met, he was on-leash at the time, so we didn’t get a chance to run properly then; but today Choco had PLENTY of fun!

Until next time Kip!