Comedian Sarah Cooper started a funny dog thread on Twitter with this tweet:
Thousands of replies told Sarah all about dachshunds. About how they were bred to be small enough to fit into badger holes, but aggressive enough to drag badgers out of them. About how neighborhood and household dachshunds terrorized all other dogs.
Twitter, which never agrees on anything, agreed that dachshunds are assholes.
Even dog breeding groups, which put the best possible spin on all purebreds, concede that dachshunds are “more likely to be aggressive towards both people and dogs,” although the they do not specify more likely than what.
More likely than ANYTHING would be my guess.
My father had a dachshund. When two German shepherds tried to invade their yard, twenty-pound Ziggy Star Dachs attacked them. The German Shepherds fled, tails tucked between their legs.
So when Andy and I packed up our two big rescue dogs and went off to visit Dad, I had concerns. Not about Woofie; he could convince any dog to play with him.
But Fey? Fey grew up starving on the mean streets of Los Angeles. While she was obedient for humans and would never start a fight, she’d sure as hell finish it–usually by biting an attacking dog’s ear with her sharp, almost serrated teeth.
Fortunately, Fey ignored well-behaved dogs. Most dogs ignored her right back.
But Ziggy Star Dachs wasn’t most dogs. Like many small dogs, Ziggy wasn’t well-trained. Or even remotely trained. Which is often typical for smaller breeds. If a small dog misbehaves, the owners simply scoop up the dog, removing him from any problem situation. When Ziggy tried to run off with the butter dish, all Dad had to do was take three steps and grab him.
With big dogs, training is crucial. I spent months training Fey and Woofie to “stay” and “come” when called (because if they decided to run, not even Usain Bolt could’ve caught them). I taught them “leave it” because I didn’t want to be dragged every time they spotted a squirrel, an aggressive Yorkie, or a fast food wrapper.
When we arrived at Dad’s, I had Fey and Woofie sit nicely for their introduction to Ziggy.
Ziggy charged ninety-pound Woofie immediately. Woofie responded with a play bow, and followed up with a pounce. Ziggy darted under a table. Woofie bowed again and whined. Ziggy charged. Woofie danced back, then pounced again. Ziggy scooted under a different table. Woofie loved this new and awesome game.
Fey sat at my side and watched until the male dogs were tired. Dad brought out chewy treats to keep the canines occupied while the humans chatted.
Ziggy wasn’t content with his chewy. Bit by bit, the little dog scooted our way. Which would have been fine if Ziggy was after Woofie’s chewy. Woofie would have happily played chewy tug-o-war with for hours. But Ziggy had designs on Fey’s chewy. When he got within 2 feet, Fey raised her head and growled.
“Leave it,” I told her. She went back to her chewy.
Dad picked up Ziggy and put the dachshund on the other side of the room with his own chewy. Ziggy inched back toward Fey. Dad put Ziggy back on the other side of the room. Ziggy again began his inexorable crawl toward inevitable conflict.
Dad put Ziggy on a leash and gave him a new chewy. Ziggy ignored it, moving as close to Fey as the leash allowed. (Meanwhile, Woofie ate all Ziggy’s untended chewies.)
Dad kept the relentless Ziggy leashed until I took all the dogs outside for a potty break.
Outside, the dogs had a blast in the Utah snow. Woofie’s giant paws gave him enough traction that he could finally out-corner Fey. She chased after him, determined to take him down. Ziggy manfully ran after both large dogs, barking—only to dive into snow drifts when they changed direction and galloped at him.
While little Ziggy labored mightily to get back to the patio, I took advantage of his absence to feed Fey and Woofie their dinner. Woofie finished in seconds and took off again. Instead of playing with Woofie, Ziggy zeroed in on Fey.
“I wouldn’t,” I warned him. “Sit.”
Ziggy didn’t sit, of course. He continued stalking Fey. I stepped in front of him. Ziggy tried to scramble over my boots.
Fey turned toward Ziggy. Slowly, silently, she pulled back her jowls and bared her teeth.
Ziggy stopped. Fey returned to her food.
“Well,” I told Ziggy, “at least you’re not a complete idiot.”
Wrong. Ziggy zipped around me, heading straight for Fey.
Fey spun, snarled, and snapped her jaws a foot from Ziggy’s nose.
He rolled onto his back.
And then he peed himself.
Turns out there is an animal that can out-aggressive a dachshund.
The Los Angeles Ghetto Elk eating her dinner.
You’d think Ziggy would have learned his lesson.
Instead, he spent the entire weekend trying to steal chews and food from Fey. Because dachshunds.