Activities For Dachshunds

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Introduction

The Dachshund is an oddly shaped little pup, but they were bred to be fierce hunters. Their broad paws and strong chest and legs allowed the Doxie to burrow into the dens of their prey. The Dachshund is an extremely smart breed of dog, and they need activities that stimulate both their mind and body. Often a rather lively little pup, finding activities for your Dachshund can be somewhat daunting as you will need to consider games that will not involve jumping. (Due to their elongated body, the Dachshund is not advised to jump from high places.) However, you will find that this little fellow has the ability to dash quickly. In fact, the Doxie loves to run! Dachshunds also enjoy digging (remember the big paws!), so play that incorporates his need to dig is excellent for the Dachshund!  Always remember that the Doxie likes to be the center of attention, and they crave praise for a job well done!

Agility Exercise

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Dog Treats
Blankets
Pillows
Empty flower pots (2 of the same size)
Activity description
While you will need to be careful about setting up an "obstacle course" for your Dachshund, it is possible and will be enjoyed. Remember though, the Doxie is prone to back issues due to their elongated spine, so you need to keep any "jumps" pint-sized with the Doxie in mind! Although the Dachshund is prone to weight gain, and he can appear quite plump, the Dachshund is actually quite athletic and craves activity. In this activity, you can use the blankets and pillows to create a digging area inside your home. Simply pile them on top of a treat (after showing the Doxie that there is a treat there, of course) and watch the Dachshund dig away! This activity will tap into the innate need for a Doxie to dig (remember, he was developed to burrow into the dens of his prey). You  can also make a small "jump" obstacle for your Doxie by taking two empty flower pots and placing a broomstick across them. Eventually, your Doxie will find great enjoyment in running and jumping over this homemade obstacle.
Step
1
Set it up
Gather your items and set up varying stations for your agility training. Place a broomstick across two empty flower pots (remember, these should be small). Also, gather old blankets and pillows to create a digging station. You will also need treats for the digging station. Your Dachshund will be pleased that the digging results in a prize!
Step
2
Training time
To show your pup what you expect regarding the jumping obstacle, once it is set up, take them to the obstacle. Say "jump." Place the pup on one side of the obstacle, then move to the opposite side yourself. Hold a treat in your hand, and repeat the command. Once the dog jumps over the obstacle, reward them with the treat. Repeat as necessary.
Step
3
Digging time
You will need to show your pup the treat a few times, and you may need to show them that you are hiding a treat under the pillows and blankets. Use the command "Dig" when you are ready for your Doxie to start searching for the treat. With enough practice, your pal will eventually see a pile of pillows and associate that with the digging game.
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Hide and Seek

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
ball or an old shoe
Activity description
The Dachshund is a natural-born hunter. Engaging the Doxie in games that capitalize on those hunting instincts will keep the pup sharp both mentally and physically. Hide and seek can be played indoors or outdoors. (NOTE: One should be cautious when considering outdoor play with the Doxie. The dog may run when unleashed. It might be a good idea to play Hide and Seek in an enclosed area when outdoors.) The Dachshund is very intelligent, and, of course, a natural scent hound. You may choose a chew toy, an old shoe, or a tennis ball for your object. With just a few repetitions, the Doxie will catch on to the game. In fact, they may find your hiding spot for the object and initiate a game with you!
Step
1
Introduce the game
Show the object to your Doxie. You might want to say "ball" if the object is a ball, or you might say "shoe" if the chosen object is an old shoe. You want the Dachshund to associate a word with the object. Allow the Doxie to smell (scent) the object.
Step
2
Practice makes perfect
The first few times that you play, you may have to show the dog where you hide the object. Praise them when the object is found. You might also give the dog a treat. Always ask "Where is my shoe (or ball)?" to initiate the game. After a few practice sessions, your smart little Dachshund will surprise with the ease of finding the object. At that point, you can increase the difficulty.
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Chase

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Thin piece of rope
favorite toy
Activity description
This game will tap into your Dachshund's innate desire to chase prey. You can incorporate one of your Doxie's favorite toys, or you can purchase a toy that has a built-in string. Regardless, you can pull the toy behind you while encouraging your dog to "chase" the "prey." Remember, the Doxie is a born hunter, and this activity will give them both mental and physical stimulation. This activity can be done inside or outside, although you might want to begin training them for this activity indoors. Eventually, you can take the "prey" and twirl it over your head and encourage them to chase the prey in this manner.
Step
1
Prepare the toy
You will need thin nylon rope. Attach this rope to the toy. You may either drag the toy along, or, after your Doxie catches on to what you expect during this game, you may twirl the toy around and simulate a chase for the toy. (NOTE: There are toys available that come with the rope already attached, but it might be a good idea to train your Doxie with a toy that they already like.)
Step
2
Chase and catch
This step is quite simple. You will likely want to train your dog for this activity by dragging the toy along, allowing them to catch the toy from time to time. When you do allow for "catching," give your pup praise and a treat. Eventually, you can work up to running and twirling the toy above your head while the Dachshund chases you.
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More Fun Ideas...

Go Fetch

Like most dogs, the Dachshund loves to play a game of fetch. A tennis ball is just the right size for your small dynamo. Begin this game in your hallway at home. Roll the ball, and encourage your pup to chase it. When the dog picks up the ball, ask them to come back to you. Praise the dog for returning. Work on the command "Give." When the dog drops the ball into your hand, give them a treat. Repeat as necessary.

Hunting for Dinner

A variation of the digging game, you can hide treats in not-so-obvious places around your house. Some owners may leave a small pile of kibble in the same manner.

Conclusion

Playing with your Dachshund will help to increase the bond between the two of you. Certainly, you will want to create games that draw on the Doxie's instincts to scent, hunt, and dig. Playing Hide and Seek will allow the Doxie to work out that hunter and gatherer instinct that he was bred for. Any time the Dachshund is allowed to dig, he is putting positive energy into an activity (plus he isn't ruining your yard!). Some owners have been known to create small digging areas with sand or mulch for their Dachshunds. Of course, training is necessary so that the Doxie knows exactly where this area lies. Remember, the Dachshund is prone to weight gain, so daily activity is a must for this short, stout fellow.