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Meet Pierre — jack of all tricks — and his person, Rachelle

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Meet Pierre — jack of all tricks — and his person, Rachelle
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: Rachelle
Dog’s name: Pierre
Dog’s Instagram: @pierredownthere
Type of dachshund: Miniature wirehaired dachshund
Dog’s age: 11 months
City: Jackson Heights, Queens

Tell me about a favorite memory with Pierre since you got him.
I’ve absolutely loved seeing my husband fall in love with Pierre. I’ve always been a dog person, but my husband had never had a dog before. When we first got Pierre, I think my husband was a little bit shell-shocked. We had talked about it so much, of course, but then Pierre’s physical little body was there and I think there was a little bit of an “oh my god, there’s a creature in my home!” moment. But he’s totally fallen in love with Pierre — he’s such a great dog dad, and he’s completely obsessed now. They cuddle all night long, and they make out, too. He’s definitely a dog person.

Does Pierre have any secret talents or tricks?
I was really intent on teaching him tricks and commands from the very beginning. It melts my heart to watch him perform and to see his brain working. He knows how to wave, and he’ll give us kisses on command. I also love when he “speaks” because he doesn’t do a bark — he does this silent woof that is just so adorable. He can jump through hoops, even if it’s just a hoop shape that I make with my arms. We used to do “bang bang” too, where I would point finger guns at him and he would play dead, but I always felt slightly weird about pretending to shoot, so now we do “take a nap” and he’ll lay down on his back. It’s super cute.

He’s gotten more and more advanced, too. For awhile, he needed both a verbal and hand signal to do a trick, but now we’ve been phasing out the hand signals.

Does Pierre have a favorite human food?
Cheese. Pierre loves cheese, and it’s a special treat because we generally try to avoid giving him dairy. Any time we have to give him a pill, we’ll put it in cheese or cream cheese because he loves it so much.

The majority of things he eats are “human food,” though, because we make almost all of his food. We alternate the grains and proteins that he gets. For protein, we’ll boil ground sirloin, lamb, pork, or salmon, and then we’ll make oatmeal, rice, or quinoa, too. I have a vegetable mix from Dr. Harvey’s that I rehydrate, so I cook that up and give some of that to Pierre too. After dinner he’ll usually get a little bit of fruit — apples, strawberries, or blueberries — and some sort of no-hide chew. I like the fact that we know what he’s eating. We cook for him way more than we cook for ourselves, but he’s a puppy, and we’re definitely still in that neurotic new parent phase.

What advice would you give to a first-time dachshund owner?
Train them from the get-go. Don’t waste any time! I really recommend doing a lot of research on puppy training and canine enrichment, and then sticking with a routine and schedule. Develop their minds and their noses with puzzles and nose work toys. They’re known to be stubborn, but they’re so smart and they can pick up on a lot. Putting the time and effort into training will really pay off!

Do you own Pierre or does Pierre own you?
[Laughing] I think I own him. I only say that because I definitely force Pierre to do things that he would rather not do. He definitely doesn’t like to dress up or have charms on his collar as much as I make him — he’d far rather be naked. I probably force him to pose for pictures and travel around the city with me more often than he’d like to. It sounds mean, but it comes from a place of love! We’re both pretty obsessed with each other, though, so overall, it’s really a mutual love.

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