Are you thinking about getting two dachshunds? Or maybe you already have a dachshund and are thinking of getting another one? We’re going to answer all your questions about living with two dachshunds.
Should you get two dachshunds? Yes, if you can afford two dachshunds and don’t mind the extra work you’ll have to put in, getting two dachshunds can be a good idea. Dachshunds are pack animals that like having a companion, but it may be better to introduce a second dog once one’s already settled.
Read on to find out how hard it is to look after two dachshunds, whether they need buddies, what you’ll need to buy, what the good and bad points of having two are, and whether they’ll fight with each other.
Table of Contents
- Do dachshunds need companions?
- What is littermate syndrome
- Will all dachshund siblings get littermate syndrome?
- Can you prevent littermate syndrome in dachshunds?
- What is the best age to get a second dachshund?
- How do I choose the sex of my second dachshund?
- What do you need for two dachshunds?
- What is the downside of having two dachshunds?
- Will two dachshunds fight?
- Is it good to have two dachshunds?
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet or qualified dog behaviourist.
Do dachshunds need companions?
Yes, dachshunds need companions. But they’re equally happy with humans or dogs. If you play with him and give him plenty of attention, he’ll be happy as an only dog. If he gets lonely and you aren’t always around, you may want to consider getting a playmate.
In many cases, two is better than one. But, getting two littermates together, can sometimes lead to behavioural issues and aggression in the future. It’s called ‘littermate syndrome’. This can also happen with puppies of the same age and size that come from different litters (especially two females). So it may be better to wait until the first pup is 8-12 months old before bringing a second into your home.
What is littermate syndrome
‘Littermate syndrome’ is where two puppy siblings become SO deeply bonded that noting else matters – including their owners! They’ll be completely emotionally dependant on each other and get severe separation anxiety if they’re ever apart (even for a matter of minutes).
They’ll stop interacting with people and won’t learn the basic training and obedience skills they need. This lack of socialisation and development leads to extreme fear of other people and dogs. As they reach maturity, littermates (especially two females) may fight or become aggressive towards each other. This can sometimes be so distressing that rehoming is the only option.
Will all dachshund siblings get littermate syndrome?
No, not all siblings that are raised together will get ‘littermate syndrome’. Lots of different things influence behaviour, including training, socialisation, early experiences and whether there are other dogs in the home. Some littermates will be the best of buddies and live happily together. It’s just something to be aware of (especially with two female pups) and get advice from your vet and breeder about.
Can you prevent littermate syndrome in dachshunds?
Although genetics is said to play a part, you can do things to help prevent ‘littermate syndrome’. The main thing is to treat each dachshund as an individual dog. While they’re still pups, work on separating them for part of the day. This means separate crates, one-on-one training, separate training and socialisation classes, separate trips to the vet, separate feeding areas, separate sleeping areas, and even walking them on their own occasionally too.
You just want to raise them as independent, well-socialised dachshunds. They need to learn how to cope on their own and that you’re in charge of the pack. If they’re too bonded and distracted by each other, it can lead to unhealthy behaviours and cause serious issues with training, obedience and aggression.
What is the best age to get a second dachshund?
The best age to get a second dachshund is when the first one is at least 8-12 months old. In fact, anything between 8 months and 5 years is ideal because the older dachshund will still be young enough to play, but old enough to (hopefully) help train the new pup! The older dog will also be established in the pack and the young pup won’t try to challenge this.
That’s not to say older or senior dachshunds won’t be OK with a new puppy, but some may struggle or get irritated by all that boundless energy! It just depends on the dog.
But, this doesn’t automatically mean you should rush out and get a companion for your dachshund. If you’ve lived with one dachshund in your home for a while, he might like having his own space, and may hate having another dog around.
Dachshunds are independent and feisty and this can sometimes be a problem when introducing a second dachshund. So spend time working out if your dachshund would be able to cope with it. If he’s fairly chilled, he should be ok. But if he’s in his senior years, territorial or very attached to you, it might not be a good idea. Whatever you decide, take the time to introduce your dachshund to his new pal slowly and responsibly.
How do I choose the sex of my second dachshund?
In general, two boys do much better than two girls. Raising two girls together, especially those of the same age or from the same litter, can often lead to fighting once they reach maturity. This is not as common with two males, but you should still stagger the ages so they’re at least 8-12 months apart.
Male and female dachshunds (with an age gap of at least 8-12 months) also do well in packs, but you need to think about how that’ll work. For obvious reasons, it’s more difficult having an ‘entire male’ in the same home as a ‘female in season’. They’d need to be separated for a few weeks or stay with family or friends during that time.
What do you need for two dachshunds?
These are the one-off costs you should take into account if you have two dachshunds:
- 2 beds
- 2 leads
- 2 harnesses
- 2 collars
- 2 ID tags
- 2 food bowls
- 2 water bowls
- 2 crates
- 2 doggy toothbrushes
- Grooming brushes, scissors and nail clippers
- The cost of buying the dachshund(s)
- 2 lots of microchipping (the breeder or rehoming centre might cover this)
- Neutering for 2 dogs (read about the risks of neutering too young)
- 2 lots of vet bills (jabs and check-ups etc.)
These are the ongoing costs of having two dachshunds:
- Pet insurance
- Dog food
- Poo bags
- Annual booster jabs
- Doggy toothpaste
- Doggy shampoo
- Doggy conditioner
- Dog Toys
- Dog Treats
- Flea treatments
- Worming medication
- Vet bills!
And you’ll also need to think about what you’d do if either of your dachshunds had an accident or got sick. And then there’s the cost or dog sitters for when you go on holiday, doggy day care, walkers or sitters (if you use them), and you can double all these costs when thinking about how much two little sausage dogs will cost.
Each dachshund needs his own things. Some things will last a long time, like bedding and a lead and collar, but other costs will be on-going and you’ll need to budget accordingly.
What is the downside of having two dachshunds?
It can sometimes be challenging to have two dachshunds. Here’s why:
- Double the noise
- Less space
- Training difficulties
- Competitive streak
- A shift in dynamic
- Bad habits
This is what you need to know:
Double the noise
Dachshunds are loud. Put two of them together and everything gets louder. You can train them to stop barking so much, but there’s not much you can do if they’re constantly setting each other off.
They might be small but having another dachshund in the house does take up extra space. Are you sure you have enough room to have two running around? Do you have a garden or outside space where they can let off steam?
It can be hard to train two pups at once because they’ll get distracted by each other. And each dachshund might be aware of the other one getting a treat or more attention. You’d need a friend or relative to help you out so you can train the puppies separately.
This is another reason why getting two dachshunds at least 8-12 months apart is better. That way you focus on training one at a time. The older one will then (hopefully) help train the younger pup, and things like potty training will become easier second time around – that’s if you nailed it first time around of course!
Dachshunds are competitive, and this can sometimes lead to a bit of rivalry. Watch out for them trying to outdo each other because they could get a little too feisty and may need to be separated. This won’t happen with all dachshunds and is more of a problem with two females and littermates, but is something to be aware of.
Dachshunds will get jealous if the other dog gets more attention than them. Every member of the family needs to spread the love as evenly as possible.
A shift in dynamic
If you get another dog, you probably won’t be your dachshund’s best buddy anymore. Are you ok with that?
Some dogs can influence each other’s behaviour in bad ways and they can pick up bad habits. That’s why you shouldn’t get a second dachshund just to combat the first dog’s separation anxiety or aggression – you could then end up with two nervous or snappy dogs.
Will two dachshunds fight?
Two dachshunds shouldn’t fight, as long as you get them at different stages in their lives and give equal attention to both, so they don’t get jealous or possessive. The ideal age gap is from 8 months to 5 years, but there is no set rule.
As before, getting two dachshunds around the same age or from the same litter is more challenging. Once they reach maturity, they can fight or become aggressive towards each other. This is especially common with two females. Most breeders wont allow you to take two siblings from the same litter for that very reason.
It can sometimes be harder to introduce a second dachshund once one’s already settled but it does depend on the dog. In general, dachshunds are sociable little things that love playing with other dogs, especially other dachshunds. So a lot of sausage dogs fit perfectly into a two-dachshund household.
Is it good to have two dachshunds?
Yes, it can be good to have two dachshunds. Here’s why:
- Your dachshunds will never get bored
- They will settle quicker
- Socialisation will be easier
- Older dogs may take pups under their wing
- Double the fun!
This is what you need to know:
Your dachshunds will never get bored
Your little sausages will run each other ragged, which means they’re less likely to be loud or destructive from boredom. Having a playmate will keep them happy, health and mentally stimulated, allowing them to play in ways that come naturally to them.
Your dachshunds will settle quicker
Two dachshunds will settle down a lot more quickly because they’ll have each other for reassurance and comfort. They’re less likely to develop separation anxiety too, as they won’t be so reliant on you for support and attention.
Socialisation will be easier
Dachshunds are known for being territorial and can be wary around strangers. But if they have a doggy pal from a young age, they’ll probably be more chilled around new dogs and people.
Older dogs may take pups under their wing
If you have an adult dachshund and introduce a new puppy, the older dog can have a good influence on the younger one (as long as the older one is well-trained). This isn’t always the case, but it’s a nice little perk if it happens.
Double the fun!
Who wouldn’t want two (or more!) of these funny little clowns pottering around? Dachshunds are the best dogs, full of love, affection and fun!
So, there you have it. Dachshunds love having other sausage dogs around to play with, but there is a downside. Two dachshunds cost more, they’re more work, can be loud and there may be a shift in the dynamic at home. But then again, they’ll never get bored, they’ll keep each other company, they’ll give double the love and be double the fun! So now it’s over to you to decide whether to get one sausage or two!