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Is the Dachshund or the Greyhound the Right Breed for You?

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The Dachshund
The wonderful “wiener dog”

No doubt about it: the Dachshund, with its sausage body, stubby legs, and waving tail, is probably the world’s most recognizable breed. But make no mistake—though short of stature this breed has a big personality.

Whether going underground to chase small game or attempting to steal food from the coffee table, this breed is fearless. (The breed standard notes the Dachshund is “courageous to the point of rashness.”) This characteristic traces back hundreds of years to the Dachshund’s roots as a hunting dog developed by German foresters to track game to its burrows.

As the huntsmen of the 18th century discovered the value of these low-slung yet energetic hounds, they began to breed coat varieties to suit different uses: the Dachshund was crossed with spaniels to produce the Longhaired Dachshund and with the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to create the Wirehaired. Small-sized Dachshunds, used to hunt smaller game, eventually became established as Miniatures. There are three coat varieties to choose from and two official sizes (Standards are usually from 16 to 32 pounds and Minis are under 11 pounds) as well as a wide range of colours.

Unfortunately, that distinctive long body means one in four Dachshunds will develop disc problems called Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease. It is paramount to make sure this breed stays trim and doesn’t engage in risky behaviours like jumping off furniture, standing up on hind legs, or climbing too many stairs, all of which put extra strain on backs. Devoted Dachshund fanciers, however, will have no issue with the extra care and consideration loving a wonderful “wiener dog” entails.

Could the Dachshund be the breed for you? Read more at


The Greyhound
Great of heart

This tall elegant hound, possessing incredible speed and a big heart, has been capturing human affections for longer than just about any other breed. References to Greyhounds in art and literature date back thousands of years, including a mention in the Bible. From Greek gods to Egyptian nobles, everyone wanted a sleek Greyhound at their side.

The breed began as a hunting dog par excellence. Everything about the Greyhound, ancient or modern, says “speed.” Long legs, slim head, deep chest, fine coat, a unique “hinged” spine—all contribute to the Greyhound’s status as third fastest animal in the world. However, the Greyhound has another secret edge: his heart really is huge. Relative to body size, the Greyhound heart is not only larger and more efficient than any other dog’s, but outperforms that of the Thoroughbred racehorse.

Despite his love of running, however, the Greyhound is essentially a couch potato that can curl up into a surprisingly small space. Naturally hardy and easy to care for, the Greyhound’s fine coat makes grooming minimal. The downside is that the fine coat, along with very little body fat, leaves the hounds susceptible to winter’s chills.

The Greyhound’s gentle, laid-back nature makes him an excellent family pet, as has been discovered by the thousands of owners who have adopted former racers retired from the track. Note that this breed can run and loves to chase so a leash or fenced exercise area is necessary. Of sweet temperament, Greyhounds can make excellent therapy dogs, visiting hospitals and seniors’ care homes, where their long legs make them just the right size to lay a head on a hospital bed or nudge a hand.

Could the Greyhound be the breed for you? Read more at

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