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People often mistake Dachshunds for being somewhat inactive because of their small size and unusual build. However, they are often full of energy and playful. So, yours is probably constantly jumping up at you when you’re at home and wanting attention. Which is fine and you’re happy to play with him as much as possible when you can. The problem is, you are out at work each day and he spends a lot of time alone. So, what would be ideal is if you could quickly tire him out before you left in the morning,
Training him to fetch would do just that. You could head to a local field, throw a tennis ball or frisbee for 15 minutes and he’d spend the rest of the day napping. As they say, a tired dog is a happy dog. This new game is also fantastic exercise for him, so it should keep him fit, lean and in great shape.
Training a Dachshund to play fetch isn’t always a walk in the park. Many simply do not like dropping a toy once they’ve gone to the effort of chasing after it. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can ensure he does both the chase and the fetch. One of those techniques is to tempt him away with another enticing toy. There is also a pull back method that will motivate him.
If he’s a puppy then he should be keen to play and a fast learner. You could see results in just a few days. If he’s older, stubborn and not so interested in learning new games, then you may need a little while longer. Be prepared to invest a couple of weeks into training. Succeed and you’ll have a fantastic way to channel his energy into something productive, while also giving him all the exercise he needs.
Before you start training, you will need to get your hands on a few things. You will need at least a couple of toys. Frisbees, tennis balls, or even sticks will do the job. Then you should stock up on some mouth-watering treats. Alternatively, break his favorite food into small pieces.
You don’t need to set aside any time for training, you can practice when you are out for your daily walk. Avoid training in the house, this is a guaranteed way for something to get broken.
Once you have all of the above, just bring a positive attitude and work can begin!
The Dual Toy Method
Go out for your walk as you normally would. However, make sure you have two toys with you. One you should keep hidden to start with.
Capture his attention by calling his name and showing him the toy. Then throw the toy not too far and encourage him to chase after it. Point to it and shout until he catches on and gives chase.
Hold up the remaining toy
Once he’s picked up the other toy and started running back towards you, you need to convince him to drop it. To do that, pull out the other toy you had concealed. This should automatically make him drop the one in his mouth.
Once he’s dropped the first toy, you can then throw the second toy in the opposite direction. Make sure he watches you throw it and then give him the same encouragement to chase after it.
Practice this for 10 minutes each day. To start with, you will constantly be throwing toys back and forwards, but you are also getting him into a habit of picking one up, returning it and then dropping it again. Once he’s got the hang of it, you can then cut out the second toy.
The Pullback Method
Spend a few minutes at home each day getting him excited by a particular toy. You can play tug of war and get animated. You want him to get worked up by the mere sight of it. You can also leave it in his bed at night, this will make it feel even more like his.
Head out with a friend
Now head to a local field with your Dachshund, a friend, and the toy in question. For now, keep the toy out of sight. Now get down to his level and hold him by the collar, while your friend takes out the toy.
Make sure your Dachshund can see the friend with a toy, then have him throw it. Make sure you hold him by his collar for at least a couple of seconds. The very fact he can’t run after it will only make him want to get it even more.
Once a couple of seconds have gone and he’s pulled against you, release him. Shout and encourage him to get it as he runs. If he stops half way, run towards it with him. If he sees you heading towards it he will quickly catch on.
Once he’s got the toy, you need to lure him over and convince him to drop it. So, hold out a tasty treat for him to see. Then pat your legs and entice him over. Don’t hand over the treat until he drops the toy, then reward him. Practice this several times each day and he will soon get into the habit of fetching the toys you throw for him. You can then slowly phase out the treats.
The Lead By Example Method
Take your Dachshund out to a local field. Make sure you have a frisbee or tennis ball with you. Start talking in an animated voice and get him worked up as you go. You want him to know he’s about to play a big game.
When he’s looking, throw a ball or frisbee. Keep it relatively low so he can still see it and then wait for his reaction.
If he doesn’t naturally start chasing after it, you need to show him how it is done. Dogs mirror their owners' behavior, so you need to lead by example. Start running towards it while waving your arms in the air and shouting. You may look crazy, but this will definitely get him worked up.
Let him win
Make sure you let him get to the toy first. Dachshunds, like most dogs, will quickly give up trying if they do not think they are going to win. So, let him win and then start showering him in verbal praise.
Pull out his favorite food or toy and call his name. Make sure he runs to your feet and drops the toy before you hand over the reward. This returning part of the trick is just as important as the chasing part. Practice this each day until the fetch game becomes his new favorite pastime.
By James Barra
Published: 01/23/2018, edited: 01/08/2021