Why Is It So Important to Keep the Dachshund Occupied?
Imagine the same song is always playing on the radio, the same films are always shown on TV and the same book is on your bedside table day in and day out to browse.
In the long run, this would be extremely annoying and boring. It is very similar to your dachshund if you just take him out for a walk three times a day and don’t otherwise occupy him.
The dachshund may be small and also feel at home in an apartment, but at heart, he is a real hunting dog with a lot of self-confidence, joy of movement, and intelligence that wants to be encouraged.
With games and meaningful activity, you not only keep the dachshund physically fit and healthy, but also give him a mental load, which is just as beneficial for his well-being and satisfaction.
In addition, you will certainly have just as much fun romping and working with your dog and your mutual bond will be strengthened by playing.
How Can I Keep My Dachshund Busy?
There are many possibilities and there are no limits to your imagination when it comes to playing and learning units for the dachshund. However, since it was originally used for hunting, you can keep it busy with search and tracking games or have it fetched.
Dachshund and dachshund clubs often even offer special courses such as man trailing or tracking that you can attend with your four-legged friend. But there are also many ideas at home, in the garden, and on the go to make living together interesting and exciting.
These include, for example:
- Tugging games
- Activity games with food
- Intelligence toys bought or made by yourself
- Learn new commands and tricks
- Movement games
- Digging and shredding
You don’t have to constantly ask the dachshund to play and keep him busy for hours.
A few small units spread over the day are sufficient. You can also weave small tasks into your daily walks and make them more interesting.
What to Look for When Buying Toys
- Does the toy smells very unpleasant or has a strong chemical smell? Fingers and paws off!
- If the odor does not go away even after airing it, dispose of it as well.
- Make sure that toys are declared as “pollutant-free”.
- Pay attention to quality and robust materials. Especially if your dachshund has a strong need to chew and gnaw.
- Avoid plastic toys. This often breaks faster. However, it is easy to wash off and keep clean.
- Intelligence toys are often made of plastic.
- Watch your dog play. Intervene when he starts destroying things.
- Some games may require you to instruct him. For example, if he wants to bite his way through an intelligent toy, show him how it works.
- Buy toys that fit the size of your dachshund.
- It is better not to use sticks and branches for retrieving. The risk of injury is just too great.
- Better to use a cotton rope, a ball, or a dummy.
- Tennis balls are unsuitable for dogs and are even dangerous. Take “tennis balls” that were specially made for four-legged friends.
- Avoid items that look like everyday items. Chewing shoes for dogs serve their purpose, but how should the dachshund know that he is not allowed to chew your sandals too. The same goes for plush toys. Not that the children’s cuddly toys fall victim to the dachshund.
- Don’t buy toys that might get on your nerves. This is especially true of squeaky toys.
- Dispose of damaged toys immediately.
- Do not leave the dog unattended with unknown/new things. He could swallow parts or injure himself.
- In your absence, only offer things that have absolutely proven their worth.
Tip: Always put toys away after use and do not leave them lying around for free. Create a small collection of various articles and conjure up a part every now and then. This will keep the toys interesting for longer. Wash / clean things regularly.
Rules of the Game for the Dachshund Occupation
1. Motivation is everything!
Have tasty treats ready so that your dachshund looks forward to the game, stays on the ball and you can enjoy his full attention.
Pay attention to low-calorie rewards (if possible) or have only a few favorite treats ready so that you do not become overweight.
When you ask the dog to play, always do so with enthusiasm in your voice and be a little theatrical.
2. Choose the right time
Don’t rage together after eating or after the walk.
Even the best delicacies will no longer really motivate the dachshund and after a long walk, a nap is often the order of the day.
Work with the Dachshund after he wakes up, before feeding, or in between.
3. No compulsion
If the dachshund just doesn’t feel like playing, leave it. He should be enthusiastic about it and not be forced.
4. Identify preferences
Not every dog likes to fetch sticks or ball games, others have little use for intelligent toys and can easily get angry if something doesn’t work right away.
Find out what your dachshund likes and forget about games that make him lose his interest quickly.
5. Increase the level of difficulty slowly
With new tricks, games, and activities, you should first break down the entire task into small units so that learning success can be achieved quickly and motivation is maintained.
Gradually increase the learning workload until the dog knows how to do it or what you want from him.
6. Never without supervision!
Regardless of whether it is a bought dog toy or a self-made one. Never leave the dog unsupervised with new things in order to be able to quickly identify and eliminate possible dangers.
If an object has proven itself, however, it can also be used without your presence.
7. You are the boss
You decide when a game starts and ends again. It is therefore important to stop a session before the dog becomes tired or listless.
How Much Exercise Does a Dachshund Need?
The term “exercise” is usually used to describe the period of time during which the dachshund should move around or stay outdoors. The walks are of course the basis. If you have a very large apartment or even a garden, the dog can “let off steam” there to a certain extent. However, sniffing in the garden at home is no substitute for a walk. The urge to move can also be satisfied with a few games. You should allow the dachshund at least 2 hours of exercise per day. I would love to do more.
Make Walks Engaging and Interesting
Walking is an activity that we do with the dachshund several times a day. So why not use these laps for a little game and variety?
After all, it’s boring to do the same lap day in and day out and just “just” run around with the dog. Even if a walk is long and long, the dog does not enjoy seeing and doing the same thing every day.
So how can walker tours be made varied and interesting?
- Always clockwise through the neighborhood? Run the usual walk in the opposite direction.
- That alone can add more flair.
- Take a break on the way and use it for a little game, some fetch training or practice a few tricks.
- Often goes to new places or explores the surrounding area together. Maybe you can drive to a beautiful wooded area or to the lake by car?
- Are there dog buddies in the neighborhood? Great! Meet up with other owners and let the dogs play together and sniff the roadside.
- Motivation is greatest when there is appetite and hunger. Pack a few chunks of dry food from the morning meal and give some basic commands along the way. If your dachshund obeys, he will get something from it.
- The recall can also be practiced with tasty bites in between.
- Does the dachshund have a favorite toy? Take it with you. He can carry it around or look for it on the go.
- Almost all dogs like ball games. With a ball sling, such a ball can be thrown effortlessly even over a greater distance and the dachshund heart is happy.
- Do you often go for a walk with the dachshund in pairs? A person can hide and then you let the dog look for you.
- Is your dachshund’s hunting instinct just too big for a carefree run? Take a long retractable
- leash or a tow leash and give your four-legged friend more freedom of movement.
- It doesn’t always have to be the typical walk. A trip to the dog park or the beach is also very nice. Of course, you can also take the dog with you to meet friends.
How Often Do I Have to Go for a Walk with the Dachshund?
This is related to your dog’s age and health. Puppies should be able to go out for a few minutes several times a day, around 6-7 times. The increased frequency is also used to learn how to be house-trained and can also be used wonderfully for training on leash handling. However, a healthy adult Dachshund needs more exercise. You should take him for a walk three times a day. Preferably in the morning, noon/afternoon, and evening. The dachshund will certainly be happy about a few extra minutes outdoors just before going to bed. So he can lift his leg one last time before going to sleep.
How Long Do I Have to Take My Dachshund for a Walk?
A few minutes are enough for puppies to let them explore everything and get used to the walks in a playful way. So several times a day for 5-10 minutes are fine to start with. Once your dachshund has grown up, you can go for long walks with him and enjoy spending a full hour outside with the dog per lap. It should be at least a good 2 hours per day. But these are only guidelines. Of course, your dog also moves elsewhere, e.g. in the garden or during play and training. You can divide the 2 hours of gas time evenly over all three laps or walk a long time and the other times shorter. Of course, you can also be out with your dachshund for longer. He’s always happy to be part of the party.
Mentally Exercise the Dachshund
There are many games to exercise the dachshund’s brains and to challenge them mentally.
This can be just as tiring and exhausting for your little four-legged friend as physical activity, so please don’t overdo it.
Often 10-15 minutes are enough for the dog to be satisfied and to keep the motivation span up until the end.
With many mind games, exercise and a lot of running are not necessary at all, so that even seniors who are no longer so physically fit can be busy and adequately occupied.
Dachshunds: the Treat in the Bottle
This has now become a real classic among intelligence toys and is very easy to make yourself. All you need is an empty plastic bottle without a lid, a bamboo stick (or a thin metal stick, a piece of clothesline, a thick kebab skewer, etc.), and a treat.
First, make two holes in the top third of the bottle that should be opposite each other. Now guide the bamboo stick through these two openings, give a special bite to the bottle, and then hold the stick with both hands.
Your dachshund must now try to turn the bottle so that the delicacy falls out. In order for it to work the first time, you should hold the bottle at a slight angle so that a slight nudge leads to success.
Since the dachshund is a rather small dog, 0.5 L bottles are ideal.
Dachshunds: Fat Prey
Withhold some of the daily food rations and let the dog work a little to get his food. This works best with dry food.
Wrap this in a newspaper or put it in an egg carton, which is then closed and, if necessary, hidden.
The dog will smell the food and try to reach it. It is shredded, scratched, and chewed and it’s a lot of fun on top of that. Old kitchen paper rolls are also suitable for this.
Add food, snack bars, or bones, fold the ends, and voilà! If you have old socks, you can also fill them with feed.
If your dachshund wants to eat the sock or cardboard box right away, you should rather be present at this game and dispose of the packaging as soon as the contents have been found.
Tracking option in the house:
The Dachshund’s nose is in demand here and it is usually extremely fine and sensitive. Take a piece of sausage or another treat and use it to “draw” a track on the floor (preferably tiles).
This can only be in one room or lead through the whole house. Do not let the dog watch you do this, but only bring it afterward.
Now show him a piece of the sausage and let him pick up the track. Watch as he sniffs his way through the house and at the end of the trail the dachshund will of course receive a reward in the form of the sniffed food.
To keep motivation up, you can also put out small bites in between on the trail.
Track search variant outside:
Boil sausages, chicken, or the like and pour the resulting liquid into a bottle after it has cooled down.
Drill a hole in the lid and dribble a trail outdoors on the path, the meadow, and so on.
Here, too, you show the dachshund a piece of the delicacy, and if he succeeds, he’ll find the cooked chicken in the end.
You can also increase the level of difficulty by not laying a continuous track, but only occasionally letting some liquid drip onto the floor.
Dachshunds: cup game
This game is very simple and can be learned quickly by dogs. Place an appetizing bite under a small plastic cup and let the dog sniff and display it.
He can tap the mug with his paw, sit or lie in front of it, or knock the container over, whatever you want. Once the dog has learned this, increase the difficulty. Now take several cups and show the dachshund under which you are hiding the delicacy.
Now the containers are mixed and the dog is allowed to sniff out where the reward is waiting if he has not already found out by watching.
Dachshunds: tea game
A variant of the shell game for which you need several different types of tea. You now put one tea bag of each type under a mug at some distance, the other comes in a small plastic or freezer bag and stays with you.
Now let the dog smell a bag and find the corresponding counterpart under the cup. If the nose is right, there is a reward.
Dachshunds: New Tricks
Try to teach the dachshund new commands that differ from the daily commands such as “stay”, “sit” and “sit down”.
How about doing males, rolling on the floor, barking on command, or falling over? New commands promote the brain and you can show friends and family a few tricks the next time you visit.
Action and Movement for the Dachshund
Dachshunds love to exercise and often have a lot of stamina. In addition to the walks, you can also inspire them with other little action games.
Dragging Games for Dachshunds
A cotton rope or a sturdy ring from a specialist store is not absolutely necessary for such games. Just knot an old tea towel or cut up a pair of jeans or a sheet for a lot of fun.
The dachshund loves this kind of activity and will be delighted to snap when you wave the cloth in front of his nose. He bravely braces his little legs into the ground and repeatedly snaps at the prey in order to take it piece by piece.
You can give him the triumph from time to time and let him walk away with the trophy. Shortly afterward, however, take the toy away from him, as you should always end the session.
You can also interrupt the tugging with a “Stop”.
Playing Football with the Dachshund
Even if the ball appears quite large compared to the dachshund, many dogs like to push and push the soccer ball in front of them.
You can take advantage of this and teach the dog, for example, to maneuver the ball into a marked “goal”.
This works very well with clicker training. If a goal is scored, there is of course a reward.
Even a group of dogs can spend hours pushing the ball.
Wild Hunting/Dog Fishing
This hunt is ideal in a garden, on a dog meadow, or on a walk.
Tie a short rope to a stick or small branch and attach an old towel, pillowcase, or something similar to it.
With this “fishing rod” you wag around in front of the dachshund, let it whiz through the air, and run in zigzag movements across the meadow. Are you betting that your dog will follow the towel with enthusiasm?
You can also buy a dog fishing rod relatively cheaply in specialist shops or online.
There are of course the classics such as Frisbee, sticks, or balls. The dachshunds also often enjoy doing dummy work, as it satisfies their natural instinct as hunting dogs.
But you can also let the dachshund bring other things for you. How about the newspaper, the remote control or slippers? To do this, the dog must of course be able to assign the terms to the individual objects and have learned the command “bring” beforehand.
So you can send him back to look for an object every now and then during the day and at the same time stimulate the dog physically and mentally.
Obstacle Course + Agility
The dachshund is only suitable to a limited extent for pure agility, as it should jump as little as possible and narrow slalom running is not good for long backs either.
Nevertheless, you can do an obstacle course with your four-legged friend.
Let him walk under a fallen log or balance on him. You will also find plenty of objects in the garden or house to present the dachshund with new challenges:
Use a crackling tunnel (e.g. from your children), or let the dachshund crawl through a row of chairs that you darken with a blanket. An old shelf, on the other hand, can be converted into a seesaw and with the help of books, you can create a small alley (e.g. L-shaped) that the dachshund has to cross.
In addition to movement, the dog’s head is also required here, so let your creativity run free.
Dachshunds love to dig and root. Maybe you have an old ball pit that your children have outgrown by now?
Hide some tasty bites there and off you go on the wild search. Alternatively, you can fill a large cardboard box with scraps of newspaper and empty toilet paper rolls and let your nose find and dig.
If you don’t want a mess of snippets in your apartment, you can take a big old towel or blanket and hide a few goodies in the folds. There are also special sniffing carpets for such fun and challenging search games.
The dog will paw and dig to get the reward. But be careful: some candidates prefer to take the direct route and just bite through.
Can I Do Dog Sports with the Dachshund?
Many sports that involve speed, agility, and jumps are not really suitable for the dachshund. The short legs and long back are simply not made for such activities. So agility is not necessarily suitable for the dachshund and should be avoided. The same applies to flyball, in which the dogs have to jump over hurdles and where speed is of the essence.
But that doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to avoid dog porting with dachshunds. There are other great activities for your dog.
The companion dog course: The companion dog test is usually a prerequisite if you want to take part in competitions with your dog. Here the obedience of the four-legged friend is put to the test and how suitable it is for everyday use and socially acceptable. In order to take the exam, dog schools offer preparatory courses for companion dogs. Regardless of your sporting ambitions, these are always a good idea.
Obedience: The dachshund may be stubborn, but it can certainly shine in obedience, the high school of subordination. Communication is the be-all and end-all here. Basic commands should sit perfectly and communication at a distance is also extremely important.
Dog dance: Here too, solid communication is essential. Movement sequences and commands are coordinated together with any music and should be in harmony with the rhythm. You can design your choreography individually and adapt it to the special needs of the dachshund anatomy.
Tracking: A dog sport that is very popular with the dachshund. After all, it’s all about nose work and the dachshund is predestined for this. Here the dog has to follow an artificially laid track on the ground. At home, for example, you can drag a sausage across the floor or use another delicacy. You can play many other great sniffing games with your dachshund in your private life.
Mobility: It’s all about trust, concentration, and teamwork. Mobility is a little bit like agility light. So a variant that gets by without pressure to perform and the dog does not run against time. This dog sport also has the advantage that it can also be used for physiotherapeutic therapy. Mobility also includes actions such as walking over a rustling tarpaulin, being driven in a wheelbarrow, or walking over a wobbly ramp.
Can You Go Jogging with a Dachshund?
The dachshund is certainly not an ideal jogging companion. The short legs make it difficult for him to keep pace and his spine could be damaged if too much strain. If you still want to take your dog out for a run, have a veterinarian examine him thoroughly beforehand. Increase the workload very slowly and gradually build up good physical condition and muscles. Only let the dachshund run at a trot and it is better not to gallop for too long. Keep the distance short. The dachshund is quite persistent, but not a fast runner over many kilometers. If you take him on hikes and long excursions, he will be happy and he will not get out of breath that easily at a moderate pace. Remember that a certain level of fitness, a slim shape, and good muscles are important for the Dachshund for its health and support the musculoskeletal system. However, there are certainly better ways to accomplish this than taking it with you for a jog.
How Much Exercise Does the Breed Need?
Stray dogs living in the wild, as can often be found in various holiday countries, play rather seldom. Most of the time, this behavior is only observed in puppies and young dogs. Adult dogs generally do not waste any energy romping around with their fellow dogs. Their daily occupation is limited to walking through territorial boundaries, defending the area against strange four-legged friends, tracking down food, and looking for mating partners. However, if there is an oversupply of food, even the grown-ups sometimes get carried away with a game.
Of course, your dachshund has a steady source of food and it doesn’t need any energy reserves to defend its territory or to fight for survival. That is why he needs something else to do. Because exercise and mental workload are important for a healthy body and the immune system.
Treat your dog to three nice long walks a day. The dachshund is also happy to be part of the party or to keep you company in the garden. However, adjust the amount of exercise you do to suit your living conditions. Old dogs take it easy and sick dogs should not be overwhelmed.
How Much Sleep Does a Dachshund Need?
You can recognize a well-exercised dog mainly by the fact that it is balanced and relaxed at home. Four-legged friends sleep and doze for a large part of the day and this is important for their well-being.
On the other hand, a Dachshund who is not kept busy tends to behave nervously, is easily irritable, and may yap frequently. Many breed representatives also look for alternative employment independently if their owners do not take sufficient care of themselves and provide for action. Such dogs are usually less able to calm down.
On the other hand, being overwhelmed is of course not exactly healthy either. If you don’t allow your four-legged friend enough rest, you can make your dog sick in the long run.
Many underestimate how long such a dachshund actually spends resting. A dog makes himself comfortable between 17-20 hours. With puppies and sick dachshunds, this number of hours can increase to a full 22 hours. However, he does not spend all of this time sleeping. Your dachshund is only asleep for around 5-8 hours.
Clicker Training and Target Stick as an Aid in Education
Dog lovers worldwide swear by the effectiveness of clicker training on their four-legged friends. A little cracking frog comes into play here and you also need a few very tasty treats that motivate you to participate. You can start right away.
The aim is to guide the dachshund with the help of the clicker. The clicking sound acts as a reward. You must first teach your dog the link “click = treat”. To do this, show the dachshund the clicker and press it. After the click, the hand goes to the treats and one of them is presented. You repeat this several times throughout the day.
Afterward, the bite is no longer just served. Now the dachshund has to work for it. In the beginning, use a command that your four-legged friend has already mastered. Maybe he’s already doing a great “seat”. So give this command and click exactly at the moment when the dog’s bottom touches the ground. The reward follows again. In this way, the connection between the clicking sound and the treat will strengthen as the training progresses.
If you present your dachshund with new challenges (tricks) or if you use clicker training for basic education, you should reward every behavior that goes in the desired direction at the beginning. Let’s say you want the dachshund to sit in a small suitcase. In the beginning, you reward looking at the suitcase or sniffing at it.
Four-legged friends who know clicker training often get really creative and offer suggestions for solutions to get a treat.
What are the Benefits of Clicker Training?
- Promotes creativity and thinking;
- Works with positive reinforcement;
- Encourages the dog to participate;
- The clicker always makes an identical sound (in contrast to the human voice);
- Food is a great incentive for motivation;
- With treats and clickers, you can train with the dachshund anytime, anywhere;
- Precise reward possible;
- No physical contact with the dog is necessary;
- Distance training possible;
- Can also be used on shy or behavioral dogs;
- Even complicated tricks can be learned with the clicker.
Target Stick as an Extended Arm
The target stick is often combined with a clicker and has a very eye-catching end. Often it is a small colored ball. The dog should follow this. To start with, you reward the touch with a “click” and treats. If the dachshund wants to touch the target stick again, pull the stick a little so that the dog has to run behind.
With your extended arm, you can now guide the dachshund to all sorts of things. For example, to run through slalom poles or on which side he should run next to you. You can also use it to guide him in dog sports or you can use him to teach tricks.
How Should I Keep the Dachshund Busy in Bad Weather?
Nothing could be easier than that. When it is wet and uncomfortable outside and the temperatures drop in winter, there are plenty of employment opportunities for the dachshund in the apartment or in the house.
Above you will find many suggestions that can be wonderfully implemented indoors. Whether wild tugging games, tracking, or playing with cups: There are many activities both physically and mentally to encourage and exercise the dog. Mind work is often just as exhausting as a round of romping and fighting. Nevertheless, daily strolls are of course mandatory and cannot be replaced by games.
However, they are an ideal addition to shorter walks if it should be too uncomfortable outside. Whereby this feeling usually applies more to the master than to the dachshund.
By the way: You can organize great outdoor games even when there is snow and ice. Bury a bone in the snow or throw in small treats for the dachshund to search for afterward. You can also throw snowballs for the dachshund to “chase”. Often the four-legged friends just love to dig in the cold snow and don’t need any treats as a reward.
Games and Activities for the Dachshund Puppy
For the dachshund puppy, employment primarily means learning. Playfully and with a lot of praise and reward, he is taught the basic terms and learns what is important in dealing with us humans and his environment.
And at the beginning of a dachshund’s life there is so much to discover and understand: housebreaking, nibbling on hands (bite resistance), furniture, shoes are not permitted, how do I walk on a leash, how do I deal with fellow dogs, how do I learn by myself stay, etc.
This is a lot of information for such a small puppy and can be very exhausting in addition to the obligatory walks. So don’t overstrain your puppy, otherwise, instead of being tired and satisfied he may simply be overwhelmed and excited.
Nevertheless, games should also be used in moderation for employment. Drag and search games, for example. The earlier you start training, the faster the puppy will learn and understand what you want from him. Play and education can be wonderfully combined.