Wire Haired Dachshund Club

It's a Dachs Life! – Breed Survey 2012

Please help us find out how healthy and long-lived your Dachshunds are.

Dachs-Life 2012 will be a three-month survey of UK Dachshunds, whether pet, show or working, starting in January 2012 and run by the Dachshund Breed Council.

Why we need a Breed Health Survey

We like to say to people that Dachshunds generally suffer from few health problems and are long-lived, providing they are kept well-exercised, fit and fed a healthy, balanced diet. The last major survey of the breed was carried out by the Kennel Club in 2004 and reported the average lifespan of a Dachshund to be over 12 years. This year there was a TV report of a Miniature Dachshund that lived to be 22, which is truly amazing.

Our Breed Council Health website has a health reporting page and we have been collecting information from owners for nearly two years now. However, that really only tells us about dogs with health problems. It's already confirming back disease to be the number one issue reported in the breed (no surprises!). But, we don't know what proportion of our Dachshunds suffer from back problems.

Dachs-Life 2012, for the first time, will provide us with a better picture of the health across the breed by asking owners to submit reports on their healthy dogs as well. For example, it’s much more useful to know that perhaps 20 out of 500 Dachshunds had a particular problem, than simply having 20 owners reporting that problem. This survey will help us put any problems in context and help us identify how healthy our Dachshunds are, here in the UK.

What we need Dachshund owners to do

It’s very simple! For each of your Dachshunds, we need you to record on a Survey Form any health problems they currently have and any they develop over a three month period (January to March 2012). These should be conditions that have been diagnosed by your Veterinary Surgeon. If your Dachshund is unfortunate enough to die in that period, we’d like to know what the cause was (even if it was just “old age”). We also need you to submit Forms for all your healthy dogs.

What will happen to the survey data?

At the end of the three month survey period, post or e-mail your survey form (one for each Dachshund you own) to us and we will begin the analysis of the data. We are asking you to include the KC Registered name of each Dachshund, but all data will be treated in the strictest confidence and no names of owners, or dogs’ details will ever be published. By including your Dachshund’s name, we will be able to carry out analysis of pedigrees and, if necessary, come back to you for further information.

Once we have analysed the data, we will publish a full report of our findings and conclusions. The Breed Council will be able to use this data to help focus its Health Plans over the next few years.

Roger Sainsbury BVM&S, MRCVS is Chairman of the Breed Council's Health and Welfare Sub-committee. He said: “The 2004 Kennel Club Breed Health Survey and our current online survey tool are very useful sources of health data, but with knowledge of the population that the dogs in these surveys come from, the data goes into a different league. This is why we are asking for information on all healthy Dachshunds too – this will allow us to see just how common these conditions really are.

Download the Survey here.


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