Monday, March 22, 2010

Is Your Dachshund A Drama Queen?

Oh, say it ain't so!  We would never use our powers of cute to sway you humans in any way whatsoever!  Regardless, one reader asked a UK vet these questions: Why does their miniature black and tan short haired Dachshund shiver so much? Could the dog be cold? Could the shivering be due to nervous excitement? Or could there be another cause?  And Pete Wedderburn answered:

The question reminded me of a story told by a colleague whose Dachshund shivered in a similar way when outside on the patio, wanting to come inside. After initially feeling sorry for the dog, and allowing it to come inside each time, she decided to do a simple experiment. When she next saw the dog shivering outside, she stepped away from the window where he could see her, and instead she observed the animal from a hidden viewpoint. She discovered that when the dog thought that he was not been observed, he behaved normally, with no shivering. As soon as his owner stepped back into his vision, he stood in a miserable, hunched position, shivering. He’d learned that if he acted as if he was cold, he was immediately allowed back into the home, which was where he wanted to be.
Of course, there are occasions when dogs shiver because they’re genuinely cold.  You can’t ignore these behaviours, but it’s worth using a little human ingenuity to find out if they’re genuine.
It’s one thing to be fooled by Meryl Streep when you’re being entertained at the movies, but quite another to be manipulated by a potential Oscar winner in your own home.


Thankfully us American Dachshunds would never do this.  Must be a British thing.


Peejums said...

I've been calling my Roxy a drama queen since she was only a few months old. When she was but a wee pup, we took her to a dog lovers' event where they had a microchipping booth set up under a huge vendors' tent. I decided to get her chipped, and as soon as she was stuck with the needle (although I'll admit it was a large one) she let out the most horrific yelp imaginable. A hush fell over the ENTIRE tented area, and it seemed that everyone turned to look in our direction. I felt absolutely terrible and humiliated.

She's all about the shivering, too (even when the temperature is in, say, the low seventies)!

Anonymous said...

I had a black & tan dachshund named Dickens when I was younger - he used to fake a gimp leg whenever my Dad would yell at him. He would literally hobble around like he had a peg leg until he got out of viewing distance! They are such clever little dogs!

angie said...

riley shivers when he's cold or when he really has to poop. that's fun trying to figure out which one...

Anonymous said...

One time I thought I was being nice and fed a small piece of food to one of my clients dog. After one feeding everytime I come over this dog would see me and whenever I ate she would literally stand there and watch to see if I would feed her. Everytime I locked into her eyes she would start yelping and shivering. I did not fall for it I just thought how weird. Why is this dog acting this way. There's nothing wrong with her. Then I googled and found out that these shivers are totally trying to get ones attention. I mean the dog is not even cute and to try and shiver or quiver in front me. No way! Well everytime it sees me it does this to me and it's really annoying. This dog is too dumb to think I would fall for it. Also, whenever I step away from the table where my food is located the dog would come running towards the table and lick on the table with its disgusting tongue to try and eat food or crumbs on the table. It's really disgusting since I don't even know where that tongue is and it's licking all over the table where I eat. Also, the dog gets let out everyday and it stinks like dirty water. Not sure how long I can stand this.

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