Why You Should Walk And Exercise Your Dachshund
Prevent your Dachshund getting bored, overweight and untrained
Many Dachshund owners feel that because of their small size they get enough exercise in their house and therefore do not realize the importance of walking a Dachshund. Some owners constantly carry around there dachshunds and their little legs hardly touch the ground – I know they love it but they need exercise!
Whilst it is true that with a big yard and lots of playtime a Dachshund can look fit. However, there are many more reasons for taking the time to take your Dachshund for a walk.
Socializing Your Dachshund
Dachshunds are very social dogs and enjoy seeing other humans and dogs. This teaches them how to behave around people and animals and immensely improves their general wellbeing. A dog that has not been properly socialized can be skittish around people and even resort to biting. A Dachshund that is not used to being outside of the home can become a problem when it comes to vet visits or when you have no option but to take your dog somewhere. They are often scared and fearful of the outside world.
Start by taking your Dachshund for short walks and introduce him to people and other dogs – a great place to do this is a dog park but please make sure they have a section for small dogs so that he can not escape nor get trampled on by a rowdy larger dog. If you can time your visit to the dog park when it is not so busy that it overwhelms your dog then even better. He may at first just hang out near you but after a short time the inquisitiveness of a Dachshund will take over and he will soon be wanting to sniff the other dogs.
Dachshunds are prone to becoming overweight and this will cause major back problems for them. Too many Dachshunds suffer from back pain purely because they are fat, this can lead to needing surgery and even loss of feeling in their back legs. Bred to be working muscular dogs, their long backbones are not suitable for carrying more than their natural body weight. An overweight Dachshund needs to have regular exercise and a healthy diet. Walks will not only be good for both of you but also stimulate his internal organs and muscles thus preventing many illnesses including back pain and liver problems.
The Bored Dachshund
Dachshunds are by nature intelligent and need mental stimulation. They are working dogs and their breeding has focused on their ability to think for themselves, work hard, and spend a lot of time tracking small animals. Of course, not many Dachshunds still work for their dinner but they do need the stimulation of the outside to prevent boredom and depression. New smells, other dogs, people, and new places all help to keep your dachshund healthy and prevents boredom.
The Fearful Dachshund
Due to their small size, dachshunds can be scared of loud noises, large objects and eventually anything outside their home. Taking regular walks introduces your dogs to these things and teaches them that there is nothing to fear. If your Dachshund has developed a fearful nature, it is imperative that you work slowly in introducing him to the big scary outside world. With a lot of patience and training your dog will gradually learn to enjoy and look forward to his walks. Please make sure that you have a good leash because Dachshunds are stronger than they look. If something scares them their first instinct is to run, this sudden spurt of energy can easily break a weak leash or pull it out of your hands. Letting your scared dog get loose can be very dangerous, with the risk of them running blindly into a road or refusing to come back to you.
The untrained Dachshund
Although it is true that a dachshund can be very stubborn, they are also very intelligent and keen to learn. Hundreds of dachshunds are dumped in shelters every year, because their owners failed to train them properly producing a stubborn dog that rules the household. Some of the lucky ones are picked up by Dachshund rescue groups and are then trained in foster homes, going on to be adopted out as loving pets.
Taking walks with your dog is the perfect time to start training them. Do not let your dachshund walk you – you will be reinforcing his alpha dog status and giving him all the power. Start by learning how to train your dog and then introduce him to short lessons. A well trained Dachshund is a joy to be around, but if you slack off these lovable dogs will make up their own rules.
Unable to walk your dachshund
Many people chose a dachshund because of their small size and loving nature. They enjoy snuggling on laps and love being fussed over, so it is not surprising that they are perfect dogs for people that live in apartments and do not want, or are unable to walk their dog.
If you are not in a position to be able to take your dog on regular walks and perhaps live in an apartment it might be worth paying a dog walker. Please make sure that you get someone you trust to walk your dog, and that they are used to small dogs and are aware of their upper body strength.
Another alternative is doggy day care. They seem to be popping up everywhere and are sometimes attached to vet offices or training centers. If you decide to go this route, be sure to pop in and check out the facilities first. Make sure they are aware of your dachshund’s special needs. Especially when it comes to their backs – They need to know how to correctly pick them up, not let them twist and turn, supervise them around larger dogs that might accidently hurt them during play, and not let them climb or jump on anything.
Also, try challenging your Dachshund during playtime. For instance, hiding a toy and letting them find it, is a game they love. Another game they love is wrapping a toy in an old t-shirt. This not only provides exercise for their whole body but also is a game that appeals to their working/hunting instincts.
Please make sure that the toys you chose are suitable for Dachshunds – they have very strong jaws!
Visit Toys and Supplies The Dachshund Love for information on Dachshund approved supplies – all tested and approved by Dachshunds.
You can also train your dog to sit, stay, come, and walk to heal as a way of not only having a well-trained dachshund, but also helps keep your dog stimulated.