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"Daniel, I am very happy to say that since using "Secrets to Dog Training", teaching Maggie who the "Alpha Dog" is, using command enforcement and frequent training sessions have helped tremendously. We enjoy her so much more and she is very well behaved with a few things that we still have to work on. Thank you so much for all your help. Because of your books we are now able to keep our pet and enjoy working with her and it has changed our lives. We are now so much more aware of her needs and her wants. Thank you again."
--Nancy Gray (Michigan, USA)
I have a miniature longhaired dachshund named Maggie (16 months) of age. My problem is that she always seems to be so sad. She has never been very playful. I can be sweet talking her and she holds her nose up in the air and looks away. She gets lots of attention and is a pampered member of the family. She is not affectionate. She lays around with the saddest look on her face. She gets most excited when she is around other dogs. She seems to love this very much.
We have been thinking about getting another dog for her to have a playmate, we are just not sure if this is what we want to do or not. Do you have any suggestions? Please help if you can.
Hi there Brenda,
Thank you for your email regarding your 16 month old Dachshund, Maggie and her apparent sadness at home. Many single dog households seem to have this problem and it can be a tricky decision to know whether to purchase another animal to keep this dog company or not.
I think it is first definitely very important to rule out any health related problems for her 'depression' or 'sadness'. There are several health related problems that can affect young animals that may lead only to signs of depression and/or lethargy.
The likelihood of these being the cause of Maggie's lack of get up and go is definitely low, however it is always worth checking, since the majority of young dogs are usually very playful. A simple clinical check-up with your local Veterinarian should help clear any potential health related problem up. The Veterinarian may also have some good advice for you regarding her behavior at home and the possibility of purchasing a playmate for her.
I personally definitely think it is a good idea to have two dogs together in a household, however that does not necessarily mean that this is absolutely necessary in order to keep a dog in a single dog household happy.
There are definitely measures you can take to try and increase your dog's activity at home. First and foremost, ensure that Maggie gets plenty of love and attention. She should also be taken for two walks per day of a fair duration of between 15 – 30 minutes per time. If she loves interacting with other dogs, take her down to the local dog park (if you have one in your area) and let her free with other dogs). It may also be a good idea to get her involved in a dog obedience class so she can further interact with other dogs as well as learn more good behaviors!
Dogs can commonly become bored at home if they are left along during the day with nothing to do. You should ensure that you have steps in place to minimize any boredom Maggie may feel when you and your family are away from home. Ensure she has plenty of chew toys and playthings. A Kong is ideal for keeping dogs busy. You can fill these particular toys with food like peanut butter and/or dog biscuits and dogs will literally spend hours trying to lick this out of the toy. Hiding toys around the house can also be a good idea for a dog that needs to keep herself entertained. Obviously having someone with her would be ideal, but of course is hardly ever possible, and ultimately probably not necessary.
If you did think that purchasing a playmate would be the best bet for Maggie, the next step is making the choice as to which breed to get! Try and avoid having more than 1 female together in your household, since the nastiest of aggression problems occur between females in the dog-world. I would suggest a male of the same breed as Maggie – and be sure to have both de-sexed (unless you want more than 2 dogs in the house!!)!
Best of luck with Maggie, she sounds like a lovely dog in every other respect. If you can make her happy, you will have a perfect dog. Please let us know how you get on and what you decide to do regarding a playmate.
Daniel Stevens and the Secrets to Dog Training Team
It is about time for another check up with the vet. I don't think this is a medical problem, as she has always been this way. She does get lots of love and attention. She also has plenty of toys. I do have a toy that I can put treats in for her when I leave. She does look forward to this. It is not a kong. She didn't seem to care for the Kongs very much. She acted as though it was too much trouble to get the treats out. She is one pampered little girl. I am making a commitment to exercise her more. It wouldn't hurt me any either.
I am going to hold off on getting another dog right now. When I do, it will probably be a rescue dog.
She has been to a puppy class and a obedience class. She really loved being around the other dogs. I don't really have a park where I can just turn her loose to run and play with other dogs. She obeys pretty good, but I don't trust her that much around other dogs, and I don't trust the other dogs much either.
Well thanks for your advice on this problem and I will let you know how it all turns out.
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