By Lady Fi, June 2016
In January 2016 the Victorian Government announced its new law to reduce registered dog breeders to a maximum of 10 breeding dogs.
Our challenge as mini dachshund breeders (and purebred breeders more generally) is how to continue to run a robust pet dog breeding program with so few dogs, for it is simply not possible to have wide genetics when the gene pool is so small. Wide genetics underpins good health, and this means sufficient numbers of males and females. Numbers are also needed to enable the early rehoming of mums and to not hesitate in moving any dog on if health, temperament or appearance are not spot on.
A sound breeding program needs at least 30 dogs at any time. This figure allows for a high ratio of males (about 10), youngsters growing on (about 5) which leaves about 15 mums who are actually productive at any given time. A mini dachshund will average 3-4 pups a year. And those of you following us on Twitter will be familiar with our odd big litters of six, and tiny ones of one only fur child.
So the challenge is how to continue to improve the population of Australian miniature dachshunds under the new laws.
The good news is we have been working towards this for a long time. We have canvassed many ideas and we have settled with the plan that allows us to continue without any compromise to welfare, health, temperament or looks.
So what are we doing?
A number of changes are happening at Dachshund Australia. The main one well under way is shifting our mums into family homes within a 30 minute radius of our vets in Sale, Victoria. We started this project three years ago and it has been a great success. With lots of refining along the way, we now have one third of our mums living off site. Twitter followers will have seen pix of some of these guys; Keepa and Dash in Bendigo, Ralph and Pippi in Yarram, Womble and Bertie in Stratford, Honey in Stratford and so on.
It’s important to note that Dachshund Australia puppies are ONLY available through Dachshund Australia on the Available Puppies private viewing page (see the Puppies page of website to gain access). I say this because there are fraudulent people/scammers who charge outrageous prices and claim to be associated with us. They are not.
The beauty of this is it is very much our breeding program: our attention to detail and the overseeing of the whole program, vet costs, whelping and so forth. Plus the intention is for the families’ to keep their mums once they retire, so there is the wonderful continuity of one home for life for the breeding mum. Also, it allows families to share in the joy of bringing new life into the world.
Under this new system of doing things, more and more Dachshund Australia’s ‘Doggy Central’ will become a centre of excellence for advising and assisting our doggy families as well as making the all important match to prospective owners.
We will continue to expand the genetic base of Australia’s miniature dachshunds by importing the breed. Dave and I went to the USA in late 2015 and met with breeders to go through the complex and very costly exercise of bringing into Australia two superb long haired piebalds – dogs never seen here before.
2016. Donald and Ariel (pictured) arrived in May and have settled very well and are a joy! Our strong ties with USA colleagues has seen us also secure two glorious blue mini dachshunds – a colour not seen Australia. These guys should be arriving in September this year.
We will continue to maintain substantial breeding dog numbers so we can secure the future of the miniature dachshund as one of Australia’s most diverse and healthy purebred pets for generations to come.
In fact, we are taking a huge step that will come to fruition by December this year, or possibly early next year. It’s hush hush at the moment, but we can say we believe it revolutionise how purebred dogs are bred in Australia. Excellent!