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Meet Benjamin — hide and seek pro — and his person, Racquel

Meet Benjamin — hide and seek pro — and his person, Racquel

We all know that our relationship with dachshunds is one that only other dachshund lovers can understand, so we’re putting some of our favorite parent-pup duos in the spotlight. Sit, stay, hear about these doxie parents’ relationship with the breed that stole their hearts, and get to know the dachshund that sealed the deal.

Human’s name: Racquel
Dog’s name: Benjamin
Dog’s Instagram: @benjaminthedox
Type of dachshund: Miniature black and tan smooth dachshund
Dog’s age: 8 months
City: West Hartford, CT

What originally got you hooked on dachshunds?
I never had a dog — or any pet — growing up. I had an aunt who had dachshunds, though, and I had heard about their quirky and comical personalities. Their body shapes are comical too, and they seemed like goofy dogs in general. I always thought I’d get a bigger dog for security, but live in an apartment, so a big dog was out of the question. Now that I have Benjamin, I’m hooked on their personalities and how sweet and cuddly they are — so much so that I’m probably going to end up as one of those crazy people with 14 dogs.

What’s your favorite part about being a dachshund owner?
My favorite part about being Benjamin's mom is the fact that he loves so unconditionally. I think that’s a quality of dachshunds in general, but it’s pretty special.

I also love how easily embarrassed Benjamin gets. We’ll be playing fetch, and he’ll run in the opposite direction of what I’ve thrown, and then he’ll realize that he got it wrong and be so embarrassed that he won’t make eye contact with me. He gets clumsy when he’s tired, too, and because he’s so small, sometimes he’ll bounce off the couch when he tries to jump up. He’ll look up at me and then look away. It’s hilarious.

What advice would you give to a first-time dachshund owner?
I know people have mixed opinions about crate training — some people are very for it, and others are really against it — but it was so helpful in training Benjamin, especially with potty training. His crate is his safe space, so he will never go to the bathroom in it. Now that he’s trained, we’ve transitioned out of the crate, but he’ll still go in on his own.

They’re such small dogs that it’s easy to pick them up and maneuver them, but I think consistency with early obedience training is really important. SInce they’re stubborn, if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile, and once bad patterns develop, they’re tough to break. It’s really worth the effort to train them early!

Does Benjamin have a favorite human food?
Definitely peanut butter, but he’ll eat anything. I make popcorn a couple times a week, and when he hears it popping, he freaks out. He can hear food wrappers from another room, too. Peanut butter is his favorite, but he loves everything. Well, except vegetables.

Does Benjamin have any secret talents or tricks?
Benjamin is really good at playing hide and seek — we play it with food. I’ll show him a piece of cheese, and then I’ll put him another room and quickly hide the cheese. He’s so good at sniffing it out, and it’s especially cute when I hide it under furniture and he whines and scratches his little body under the furniture. The moment he gets the cheese and eats it, he’ll run back into the other room because he wants to play again. He really likes to earn his food. Even with his dog food, I’ll drop pieces and he’ll walk around from piece to piece, eating. Feeding him is one of my favorite things, because it’s such a simple thing, but he loves it so much.

Do you own Benjamin or does Benjamin own you?
I definitely own Benjamin. But I make an effort to make sure he knows that he can’t get away with things. I won’t actually be upset at him, but I’ll pretend to be a little mad so that he gets the point. If he rips up a toy, there’ll be fuzz everywhere, and I think it’s adorable that he has fuzz on his face, but I’ll pretend to be stern so that he knows he shouldn’t have done that. When he was really little, I was very intentional about not letting him wander around on his own, so when he was out of his crate, I was actively engaging with him so that he wouldn’t end up chewing something or destroying something that wasn’t his. After two or three months of more vigorous training, I think you have a dog who is more easily satisfied.


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