The Dachshund is a small breed of dog that can reach a height of 17-25 cm depending on the variety. They tend to be elongated and compact with short legs in relation to their body.
The coat is quite often a harlequin tone (pattern of ragged dark spots often on a clear background), or unicolor (from yellow to red), brindle or two-tone, although the most common are black or brown with tan markings.
With regards to temperament, the Dachshund is a very balanced dog with strong personality and much initiative. They also adapt easily to different environments, which makes it a perfect breed for carrying out good animal assisted therapy (AAT).
Next to Dolphins and Donkeys, dogs are the most popular therapy animals, even though we have been introduced to therapies with horses and monkeys. In addition to helping people with disabilities, Foundation Canis Majoris also oversees the protection and well being of the dog, the other main protagonist in the project Canis Majoris. Dogs are not only therapy animals, but they also carry the role of company animals. Their trainers and owners protect them excellently, and they provide for them the necessary care advised by the veterinarians. Furthermore, dogs form part of the therapeutic unit, and should not be mistaken for exploitation, under any circumstance.
The true added value which dogs provide to a project like this one, is that they carry on the affective attitude, and closeness towards the human being. The reactions they create daily, in their owners or their caretakers are extraordinary.
To undertake therapy tasks, nonetheless, one cannot rely on just “any” company animal. Its a task which requires dogs with a specially balanced character, and which are able to learn complicated orders, in short time and with a certain user friendliness. These types of dogs cannot get distracted easily, and must be ready to develop proper responses, in the company of people or other animals, without presenting aggression whatsoever. Among the races of dogs which best respond to animal assisted therapies are the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever and the German Shepard.