December 2nd marked a whole year since we brought our little fur babies into our home in Manchester and our world changed forever.
Peter and Nancy are standard Dachshunds and after dreaming of adding one to our world since I was a little girl, it was decided that we would bring ONE home to us once we moved into our first house together.
Little did I know that we’d actually end up with two standard Dachshunds but my goodness was it the best decision ever!
I honestly cannot fathom the fact that they’ve been with us for a whole year already! It’s absolutely flown by and it’s been such a fun year getting to know these two hilarious pups. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been tough in parts but for the most part it’s been a year filled with love, with lessons and with a heck load o’fun!
I haven’t updated you formally in quite some time, in fact in almost a year since my “one month pup-date” post back in January. SO sorry about that but as I said, it’s been pretty darn hectic indeed. I asked over on Instagram Stories for your questions about owning a Dachshund or two and you got back to me in your DROVES!
So, I’m going to answer those questions today, mainly the questions that I haven’t answered before, so if your answer has gone unanswered within this post, then do check out my initial blogpost here which will no doubt have all the questions, particularly on how we went about finding a reputable breeder and some general tips and trick for training a small dog too.
Why did you pick the names Peter & Nancy?
Well in all honesty we don’t have much reasoning for selecting their names, however my mum was Googling German names as Dachshund’s are German dogs. Peter came up in a list of many and it stuck with us all. We loved it and knew that was what we’d name our little chocolate dachshund when the time came to bringing him home. And as for Nancy, well she wasn’t supposed to be coming home with us BUT after a long game of going through the alphabet and selecting a girls name for each letter, we settled on Nancy when Father John Misty’s track “Nancy From Now On” came on in the car. It suits her SO much but naturally they both have a whole host of nicknames so rarely get their full name, unless of course they’re being naughty.
How do their personalities differ?
I love this question so much as I am ALWAYS talking about how totally different the two of them are from one another and how distinctive their individual personalities are. Since my first post their personalities have changed SO much, so do give that a read to see how they have developed since. In a nutshell they're both super loving dogs by nature, they're both playful and still very young (apparently dachshunds don't develop fully until they're 3 years old) they're extremely loyal and protective, sociable and obedient at times if not a little stubborn at others.
But lets start with the big man, Peter!
Peter is the most excitable dog EVER! He has an annoying tendency to jump up at any guests and visitors we have, but the trick here is to completely ignore him. He is getting better and is calming down much quicker now we’ve instilled the “ignore” technique but I do feel like we’ve got a long way to go with that. He’s a super loving and caring dog but is a little bit of a lone wolf. He doesn’t like being held for longer than a minute or two and is quite happy sitting away from us, but HAS to be touching in someway, whether it's simply a paw on your leg in bed or sitting against you but not on you, he's happy to be alone but knowing that you're near.
However, when he fancies a cuddle, he REALLY fancies a cuddle and it’s one of the most special moments of my day!
Peter very rarely switches off and needs A LOT of stimulation. He’s mad about toys, particularly his ball and his frisbee and he can play fetch, literally, for hours on end. He’s a touch protective over us and Nancy which is something we’re desperately trying to snap out of him, particularly when in the park. However, if he’s distracted by a stick or a toy or a treat then he’s absolutely fantastic. He is a little boy through and through, he’s excitable, loves playing, he loves a cuddle (but on his terms) and he’s mischievous but is extremely obedient, more so than his little sister Madam Nancy!
Nancy is hilarious. She is the most cuddly dog I’ve ever known and is much more chilled than Peter. As long as you’re stroking her back, tickling her tummy or scratching behind her ears then she’s yours, she’s a little floozy and will flirt with anyone to get those tummy tickles. She’s much smaller than Peter so easier to control but she is definitely a feisty one still. They’re both very loud dogs when it comes to barking, but that’s just the nature of the breed. They’re both SO playful with one another which truly melts my heart and they each can give the other one a run for their money. Nancy doesn’t have anything that she’s particularly in to, except squirrels, she loves a squirrel, so with that she’s a little harder to persuade to do something as she has definitely got the stubborn sausage dog trait particularly when trying to get her up in a morning… Just like her dad haha!
What are your doggy must haves and essentials?
A ball and a frisbee FOR SURE for ole Peter. LOTS of blankets as they love burrowing and snuggling, and a rope ball as they love to play tug of war together.
Aside from that and I guess food wise, low-protein natural dog biscuits (avoid anything that isn’t brown in colour as that means it contains food colouring which sends them a little bit loopy), oily fish once a week (they get dandruff so this keeps it at bay), chicken and any form of meat they both go absolutely wild for. Dentastix are key for keeping those gnashers nice and clean and also keeping them occupied for a little while when we first leave them at home. They also love any form of bone or chew which keeps them quiet for a wee while.
Why did you get two and what are the benefits of this?
We didn’t plan on getting two but Nancy was the only pup from the litter without a home to go to as she was the runt of the litter and was therefore not advertised as they weren’t sure if she would make it or not. When we went to collect Peter, Nancy was in the pen with him and we simply couldn’t leave her behind.
At first I was totally nervous about getting two, however it was the best decision we made as it made the whole thing surprisingly easy. As they have one another they slept right through the night from day one and have since slept like little angels.
As they have each other they’re never bored, they don’t suffer from separation anxiety and they just generally have a friend in one another which is SO lovely to see. They’ve always followed in each others footsteps training wise so in all honesty it’s been a doddle.
Do you leave them home alone? If so for how long and how do they behave?
We started to leave them alone pretty soon after we got them and whilst at first it was hard and they cried a lot, we slowly built up the time we left them alone for and now they’re absolutely fine. We don’t leave them for too long throughout the day or on an evening but knowing they have each other definitely helps me at least.
We crate trained them from the off and they truly love their little space. It’s a pen with tonnes of blankets and a bed and they just sleep for the time that we’re out of the house. We’ve tried removing the pen before but it just doesn’t work for our two. They feel safe and secure in their little space and as we don’t leave them for longer than just a few hours they’re very happy in there indeed. We don’t come home to any accidents or damage which is of course always nice but the few times we did leave them without the pen the sight we came home to was not pleasant at all.
Where do they sleep?
They sleep downstairs in their pen too unless it’s Friday or Saturday and George and I fancy a lie in, in which case they’ll sleep with us for a little treat.
Peter wakes us up crying each morning around 7/8am when he needs a wee, however if he’s up in our bed he sleeps right the way through until we decide it’s time to get up.
They’re truly amazing sleepers and you can often find them sat in their pen, waiting to go to bed at around 11pm every night, it’s adorable!
How are they with training including toilet, recall and tricks?
Toilet training was slow I must admit but after doing some research I learnt that this is pretty normal with this type of breed. However we’ve officially nailed it with Peter, he’s amazing and can hold it until he’s let outside or he sits waiting at the back door when it’s time for him to go. Nancy’s a little less good in this department as occasionally she can’t hold it and we miss the opportunity to let her out, however, this hasn’t happened in the last month or so and before that it was two months ago, so we’re definitely there with it overall.
With recall Peter is great, he can be trusted off lead as long as there is a ball and a frisbee involved and he always returns when we call “Peter Come”
Nancy, however is a little diva. She’s certainly got the hunting gene and as soon as we’re outside her nose is to the ground sniffing out the squirrels. On the few times she’s been off lead she’s just darted into the bushes on the hunt for squirrels and birds and it’s often felt impossible to get her back. So, with that she’s never allowed off the lead but we make sure we give her a good run so she gets the exercise she needs.
Have they had any health scares/problems?
Dachshunds are known for spinal problems, however this is often a genetic thing and with P&N’s family tree there has been no sign of IVDD in the past. However, we’re still super cautious about this and don’t allow them to take the stairs alone. They do hop on the sofa on their own but we have heard conflicting things from different vets and studies regarding building up the muscle around the spine by allowing them to do the occasional jump up. So it’s a big no to stairs but a yes to a one hop on the sofa or bed, all in moderation and nothing too vigorous for their little backs.
Aside from that we’ve not had any real health scares, they have both been neutered which of course is costly but for the best health wise and aside from that little Nancy has had a water infection which is very common and easily treated with antibiotics.
Are they expensive to look after?
I think all dogs are expensive, particularly when it comes to feeding them and providing them with toys and treats that keep them stimulated, particularly when your dog has a tendency to destroy their toys like our two. BUT all in all they’re fine and nothing that we didn’t expect when venturing into the world of owning a dog or two. I personally LOVE treating them to new toys and treats and the occasional outfit as they’re my little babies 🙂
How are they behaviour wise including barking/chewing etc?
They bark A LOT! So that is definitely something to consider if you’re thinking about adding a sausage dog into your world, apparently it’s in the breed!?
Chewing we’ve only ever had one occurrence of chewing and that was unfortunately with a pair of George’s mums shoes… Aside from that we’ve been extremely lucky and nothing else has ever been destroyed.
How often do they need walking and for how long?
People presume that as dachshund’s are small dogs, that they don’t need a lot of exercise. That is WRONG! They are hunting dogs by nature so are wired to go-and-go and hunt-and-hunt. They need a good walk every day and we try to give them at least 20-40 minutes exercise per day. They are fair-weather dogs and will cry if they’re out in the rain, so living in Manchester this can sometimes be an issue but it’s important to get them out as often as possible as they’re also extremely sociable and intelligent dogs and you can totally tell when they’ve not been out that day, they go a bit crazy!
What has been the biggest challenge with having dogs?
Every day was a bit of a challenge to start with when we first brought them home but I think the biggest challenge for me was learning to live my life.
For a while I was constantly distracted when I was out with friends or family, worrying about leaving them alone. I would count on my fingers how long we had left them for and they were beginning to dictate my life.
As they’ve gotten older and as I’ve learnt their daily patterns a little more I know that they’re quite happy to be sleeping for the time that we’re out so I’m less highly strung about leaving them than I was.
How has your life changed since getting them?
Similarly to the question above our life has changed tenfold since bringing little P&N into our life. Travel is kept to a minimum which isn’t something that is too tricky for either of us, it just means my work trips are even more special and considered than ever before. And when we do go away together we have a friend of ours stay over at our house to keep the dogs in their usual routine which is key at this early stage in their lives. Or if it’s on a weekend then my mum and dad will look after them, they’re as in love with them as we are!
As cheesy as it may be, I am happier than ever before and coming home each day has never felt more magical. The love these two show George and I is unlike anything we’ve ever had before and it’s pretty much impossible to be sad when they’re around. I feel like they’ve really allowed and pushed me to grow up this past year as they’re such a huge responsibility, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. They’re by far the best and most hilarious things in my life and I am so grateful to have them here with us.
And that concludes this little year on pupdate! I hope you found it useful and you enjoyed hearing more about Peter & Nancy. They're absolute angels and I can't imagine life without them!
If you have any other questions do leave them below and I'll be sure to get back to you asap!