Originally posted on the Orvis UK blog.
Meet the Plum, the newest canine companion to join the Orvis Family. Getting a puppy is a monumental feeling which Claire from the PR company Zambuni is thoroughly enjoying right now. Claire has kindly written a blog to introduce Plum to us as well as to discuss the strange yet perfect circumstances in which Plum has been able to be trained during this lockdown period.
Plum arrived on Sunday and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect amidst the stay at home ethos of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a Miniature Wired Haired Dachshund, also known as a Teckel (badger dog). Part of the hound breed group, they were originally used for hunting by scent or sight.
I have been researching the breed for two years now. Lola, my beautiful best friend, a working cocker spaniel, died in October and we really missed having a dog in the home although I was not ready to rush into getting another dog. I had found two Miniature Wire Haired Dachshund breeders through recommendations and kept in touch with both of them for when the time was right. They vetted me heavily as the breed is so popular now that there are always a queue of owners. As with any breed, there are always things you need to look out for so finding a responsible breeder is key. I also wanted a puppy that had been brought up in a loving family so was confident and socialised from an early age.
When else would you have several weeks to dedicate to settling a puppy into their new home and having time to dedicate to their training regime? Normally life is so busy and although I’m able to have a dog in my office and visits to the supremely dog-friendly Orvis HQ in Andover are a high point, we would definitely have struggled to find the time at home between vaccinations to give a puppy the love and company it needs at any other time.
Plum couldn’t have arrived at a better time and it was a miracle that the breeder had one bitch ready to arrive just before lockdown.
We chose the name Plum as we love foraging and when we are in the Pyrenees, the main things we forage for are plums, walnuts and sloes so it reminded us of times when we are at our happiest and we also thought a rich and fruity name would suit her. She brings so much joy into the house during a time when so much is changing and in flux outside.
Miniature wire haired dachshunds are hunting dogs from Germany bred to get rabbits from their warrens. Plum loves burrowing under the blankets in her Orvis beds to get cosy. Dachshunds are notoriously fierce and courageous and love their family. They are lively, intelligent and loyal. Their hunting instinct can sometimes mean they are stubborn and hard to train. They are devoted to their owners and can suffer from separation anxiety.
Early training is essential due to their independent nature so we have started already. Every day, we leave the house and walk around the block for 10 minutes so Plum gets used to being left from an early age. This is so important as they can be destructive if not trained to be alone. We have started to train her recall and sit. Next will be walking to heel. All good behaviour is praised.
We had been warned that this breed are notoriously difficult to house train although Plum has been pretty good so far and is already going to the back door to ask to be let out on most occasions. She definitely seems unaware of her small size and carries her little well-muscled body proudly, especially when fetching a toy. Her favourite at the moment is a small cuddly pheasant. We love her feet as they are broad and big and her cuddly nature means after playtime she happily snuggles on our laps while we work or enjoys time to sleep and watch us from her bed. We have all fallen instantly in love with her and are looking forward to lots of playtime and training to come.