Before getting a dachshund there are a lot of things to consider. Often overlooked by us, and yet one of the more critical aspects in a dachshund’s life, is exercise.
If thinking about a doxie as a new addition to your family or you are already the owner of our favorite breed, determine if you are capable of providing your new family member with the exercise they require.
Dachshunds are members of the hound family and are courageous and willing to do about anything for their owner if properly trained.
The dachshund is known as a courageous and spirited animal. It needs to chase, kill or flight when faced with stimuli.
Exercise should attempt to match what they would naturally want to do if you consider their breed.
Exercise is extremely helpful in their overall health and lifespan.
Andrea R. 20-year Veterinarian
A dachshund needs daily exercise to promote a healthy bond between you and your canine friend.
It keeps behavioral problems at a minimum, keeps your furry member in a positive place in their mind and it creates a calmer animal that’s beneficial for you and your dog.
By far the most important thing about exercise is that it keeps you and your dachshund happier and healthier!
Dachshunds are in need of physical, mental and bonding exercises on a daily basis to lead a happy, healthy and full life.
The duration of exercise is just as important as the type of exercise done.
Dachshunds require an owner who will allow them the proper exercises so that they are mentally stimulated and are able to release their positive and negative energy.
Through exercise, they are more focused on you and live a productive life that is full of adventure!
An owner needs to remember that dachshund’s require proper exercise and that these needs should be met to have a successful relationship with your dog.
Here are 10 fun ways you can properly exercise your dachshund:
Too long have we viewed the dog walk as a “necessary daily thing we do” for our companions.
Instead, our walks should be fun, involve mental stimulation and a physical exercise as well.
It is SO exciting for your dachshund when they take you around for a walk; and you can relish in their enjoyment on your walks together!
The importance of a walk is that it builds the foundation of your relationship.
A walk is one of the most important parts of their life and allows you to bond with your dog.
Your energy (think of this as your emotional state) during the walks is what gives your dog clues.
Keep yourself present and in the moment.
A walk is not only to build trust, but it also provides both of you with a mental break and once again provides you the time to learn about your dachshund.
It also lets them enjoy time alone with you!
A tip: If you are having problems walking your dog, I have one suggestion that hopefully will help.
If you cannot find your dog walks without pulling, or some other issue, stop and wait for your dachshund to notice that you both have stopped.
Help them through a command such as heel to find their proper place during a walk and continue on.
You may even consider stopping altogether until your dog brings it’s focus back to you.
Once this happens, reward them with whatever they enjoy most and then continue on. Eventually you’ll have your dog willing to walk at your side.
And don’t forget the sunscreen before heading out on your new adventure with your four-legged friend!
Usually used by dog trainers as much more of a mental exercise, the treadmill is a wonderful way to workout your dachshund.
It’s perfect for those rainy days when you simply cannot walk or days that are too hot.
This is often called a “focusing exercise” as they can walk forward without distractions around them.
It also teaches their minds to find a calm place during a walk, to slow down their brain and simply enjoy the exercise.
Mentally this can exhaust your dachshund’s mind, so a light game of play or a nap is probably required after the treadmill exercise.
Typically this requires assisting your pup with getting comfortable on the treadmill while it isn’t moving.
Any dachshund owner knows how much your weiner dog will do for food items! Use their motivator to get them onto the treadmill.
Then, slowly build up to you standing in front or beside your dachshund on the treadmill.
Start off at low speeds until you find the one your dog is most comfortable with and make sure they have relieved themselves before you start a treadmill exercise.
Ending up with an accident is easily avoided, and it isn’t fun to clean up as I’ve learned from personal experience a few too many times.
When you begin the treadmill exercise, always start at low speeds and build up from there.
As an example, start your dachshund at 5 minutes twice a day, at a rate that works for them. This is typically started at 1.5 mph and can go as fast as the dog enjoys.
Build up on both the amount of time or distance on the treadmill as well as the speed your “hot dog” is running at.
One thing for you to keep a look out for is paw damage that may occur in some dogs and could occur with any exercise that puts too much stress on their paws.
You can always buy a paw balm that does wonders for them if this does happen.
As hounds, the ancestors of these cute and feisty dachshunds were bred to hunt. A teaser pole allows for endless hours of entertainment, enjoyment, and exercise!
An easy exercise for you to do, it takes less physical effort from you, and helps shape the relationship between you and your dog.
Using this fun tool is a low key exercise for you and your dog.
A teaser pole, in a brief description, is a pole with a toy attached. It reminds your dachshund of animals in the wild.
It can be placed on the ground as you move around the toy and watch your doxie take chase.
See how your dachshund reacts (they will see it as prey) and play away from there.
Ranging from basic to advanced, training is the number one exercise you can do. It establishes the relationship, builds your bond, creates focus and develops trust.
Out of all the exercises on this list, training is by far the most broad and the most important.
Like a walk, your energy during training must remain calm and you should be assertive.
This exercise creates verbal and non-verbal communication that will be useful in outdoor social situations like dog parks where behavioral problems can develop.
If you find that you are having problems, you are probably going too fast. Start slowly and build up in steps.
Tricks and Tasks
Dachshund owners know their dog loves putting on a show.
As little jokesters, they are easily taught basic tricks (even task work like opening a door) with the proper motivation.
Usually, as dog owners, we know that a treat is the best way to reward your Dachshund.
The treat is the best way to start a new trick with your dog. It is a high reward item and is best used at the beginning of training a new task.
Treats can slowly be taken out of the exercise and replaced with another reward as you progress.
Let’s start with what all dachshund owners worry about. Back issues.
Dachshund owners should be aware of the dog’s back during agility and avoid anything that causes undue stress on the spine.Mike T. CVT
So while it may seem daunting, a dachshund is completely able to do agility.
With the help of you, as a team, you can both be extremely successful in this field and even earn awards.
Known to be courageous, a dachshund will be successful in an agility exercise, with the help of an owner who’s willing to provide the time and effort.
A dog, in general, is typically used to being a member of a pack. Most dogs in the United States live with a counterpart.
However, many dog owners do not include socialization in their plan for care.
This can do damage to both dog and human and it can create behavioral issues in your dachshund which may even lead to more aggressive behavior.
This is the last thing we want from our beloved pals.
In helping to avoid this, you should begin the process of teaching your canine the proper social behavior from the beginning at home, on a walk, during training and if we’re honest – through all interactions.
If you got your dachshund as a puppy, you’re in luck! Most dog care facilities offer puppy socials. These are usually for puppies under 12 months in age.
You can use this time to utilize your training skills, perception skills, watch your pup, all while making humans friends!
Make sure your dachshund is using the correct body language with other canines and make sure they are getting that same respect back.
When you make other dog connections with your dachshund, it builds onto the bond you are already creating and gives your dog the ability to trust you.
For those of you who you got your dog at an older age, these facilities typically have other weekly socials based on many different factors (size, weight, breed, temperament and more).
Just find a place near you, and don’t be afraid to try it out.
These are superior to the dog park and should be used, if possible, instead of a dog park.
A dog park provides no structure except your reliance on others and their knowledge of dog psychology.
It can be stressful to worry at the dog park that another dog isn’t socially trained.
Damage done at the dog park is often unseen until you see behavior changes or something of that nature.
Of course, a pet store is always available as an option for an outing. Also, more and more restaurants are becoming dog-friendly.
However, be aware of your dog’s needs. Can they be outside at dinner and respect the situation, act nicely and therefore respect the pack?
If not, see about training. Once you and your dachshund have overcome the heel, you can continue to more advanced obedience.
Finding a local trainer is easy to do, but make sure to keep looking if the first one does not suit your needs. As a team, you need to be able to trust your dog trainer.
Play and Train
Previously, we discussed training in a far more serious manner. Playing with your dachshund gives you both an outlet to play and get their energy out.
For the two of you, it gives you individual time to communicate through play and helps you become a team.
One of the best ways to exercise and bond with your dachshund is through simple playtime sessions with training intermingled in.
Find your dog’s favorite toy, get down to their level and play!
In the middle, stop and let them calm down. Once you’ve got them to focus on you, give your play command and begin again!
Soon you can move onto harder commands (long downs, etc), tricks, and whatever else you can come up with during your play and training exercises.
You can build on this, but the foundation of your relationship is in your interactions with your dog. Play is one of the biggest parts of their life with you.
A game of fetch or simply the process of teaching this exercise, will be one of the best things you do for your dog.
You’ll end up playing fetch to wear them out while also helping mentally engage them.
Play is great, just make sure you begin and end the play time session with a command to help your dog understand the importance of your role as pack leader.
It helps you establish that you’re going to set the boundaries and therefore the rules for your dachshund.
As mentioned above, bred to hunt, a dachshund uses its nose as its top form of interacting with the environment around them.
Their ancestors were expected to flush out, using their nose, what their handlers were hunting. This exercise gives your dachshund the ability to live like their ancestors.
Although only now becoming popular, you can easily find a place to train and eventually compete in this competition.
This exercise builds on years of instinct and their genetics. You should do this to provide your hound dog with an exercise they were built to do.
It establishes your bond, as you must work as a team to succeed.
Related to the rat hunt, scent training is an exercise built for a hound dog like our dachshunds and helps build trust with your canine partner.
As a hound dog, born trackers, scent training is an excellent opportunity to learn about dog psychology and how your dachshund operates at an instinctual level.
Dachshunds are amazing creatures. They need an owner who can match what they need.
Not only in the exercise department, but it is critical they get properly exercised as they thrive in a structured environment.
If not, behavioral problems often develop. I wish you and your dachshund a terrific journey through exercise!