Auguste stinks. It’s time for a bath, which he tolerates, looking at us miserably as if to say “How can you torture me like this? I thought you loved me?” Then, when we lift him out of the tub, he goes crazy, rushing back and forth, biting his towel and shaking it, and dragging it around the house as fast as he can. He then trots into the bathroom and lies down because he LOVES the hair dryer, and practically purs like a cat when we dry him off. He’s a nut. A stinky one right now.

When we bought him, his breeder asked if we knew anything about dachshunds. I’d already had one (though it was a mixed breed), so I knew that their backs were fragile and they should be carried down stairs and not let on furniture because jumping down from a high sofa or bed would eventually strain their backs and shoulders. But did I know they had a stronger odor than other dogs? That, I admitted, I did not. I’d never really noticed! But this is what the breeder said – “Many people give up their dachshunds because of their odor – and because they are headstrong, stubborn, and hard to train.”  I asked what could be done, and he said, “don’t bathe them too often, use very mild soap, and take them to the groomer twice a year. As for training, if you find something that works with a dachshund, publish it in a scientific journal.”

Not reassuring – but I’d never really thought of if before, In fact, Auguste was one of our easiest dogs to house train. He was house trained almost right away – but I think most of it was because he grew up with an already well trained older dog. Rusty, our Lab, would sigh and look pained whenever he did anything wrong. She was also a “rub it in” personality, and would prance up to us after Auguste was scolded and give us her best “I’m a perfect angel” act so that we’d pet her, while Auguste looked on and sulked.

Auguste was a smelly little dog, but it was mostly because he’s so low to the ground he gets into everything, so I was always washing him off. He hated it. I washed Rusty off too, but you can’t use any kind of soap on a Lab – it strips their coats natural oils and they end up smelling awful; Never wash a Lab! Just rinse with water. Usually this gets everything off. German Shepherds are the same – in fact, I’d say the less dogs are washed, the better they smell. Exceptions to this are the non shedding breeds and curly coated dogs, whose fine, fluffy hair traps all sorts of dirt and gunk and needs frequent grooming. Otherwise, for shepherds, Labs, and dachshunds, a good rinse every week with clean water (just a shower will do!) and a good brushing after keeps their coats clean, shiny, and smelling pleasant. (I won’t pretend Auguste ever smells wonderful, but I love him anyway.) He’s not that bad – but right now he’s hiding out on the balcony because I told him it was time for his bath – and he knows that word!