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.
For information on how to train and care for your dachshunds and to sign up for a free mini course and opt into our newsletter for top rated pet products.
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Thank you, thank you, thank you, common sense at last! We have had our minature dachshund for 6 weeks now and have had so much conflicting advice over the amount of exercise he should have. I’ve been giving him three small walks a day and have been exposing him to all sorts of experiences and as a result have a very chilled happy pup who is willing to be handled by anybody. So many people have told me he shouldn’t go beyond the garden for the first year I was doubting my instincts
Thanks for visiting.
So glad that you enjoyed my article and you are walking your Dachshund :-)
I take my little 1 year old falco jogging with me I live in a city so he’s exposed to lots of noises he’s not bothered by the noise and he loves to run aside me the more exercise the happier he is
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Just got 2 8-year old rescue doxies (male and female) and am trying to find out the best thing to use for training my dogs to go on walks. A harness? What type of leash and collar? I tried the thin retractable type of leash and it was very hard to control as they are at the point where they pull ahead, wander and sniff. I read conflicting information about what to use (leash or harness) so as not to hurt their back. The goal is for them to learn how to walk at my side (or behind) and let me lead, but am wondering if its too late to get them to learn. They are otherwise housebroken and in good health. I would appreciate any wisdom or ideas from the greater doxie brains out there!
Thanks for visiting.
I like to use a harness with our Dachshunds because it does not pull on their necks and risk hurting their backs.
Dachshund Luke is 12 now and we use a retractable leash with him because he walks so slow and likes to sniff everything, however they are hard to use when you are walking two dogs at a time. For you I would suggest a normal leash for each of them.
You are not too late to teach them to walk to ‘heal’. Do you have a dog training near you? The short courses so wonders when you want to teach dogs something new. In reality dog training is really teaching you how to train your dog. It really just takes a little time and practice.
Before taking them out for a walk try a quick lesson or two to get them alert and know they are working. Maybe ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ and ‘come’ with perhaps a treat when they do it. Then go for you walk and teach them to ‘heel’ – just be careful as some training courses suggest you pull your dog back when they get in front of you – a dachshunds back can get hurt that way so you will need to rely more on spoken words or a signal.
You may also find it easier to train one dog at a time – this could also be a short lesson in the house before you go out.
We have a 5 year old dachshund that we took over from a couple who couldn’t have them. We also have another dog who is so placid and chilled too. The dachshund always whines at night when we put them to bed. He has also bitten on 3 occasions. First time after 2 weeks of us having him, second time when a relative stranger tried to put his collar on and lastly when a friend screamed with joy at some good news. How can we stop this behaviour. We have had him for 2.5 years and walk them daily.
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My 1 year old dachshund is very over weight. We go for 3 walks a day. I have reduced his food to a 1/4 cup twice a day. Can I double up on the walks without wearing him out. He is still active in the house, likes to chase the cat and his toys but is double the size of most dachshunds we meet and I am worried about his back. I have tried everything, changing food, giving him less. I weigh him and he keeps gaining not losing. He is supposed to be a mini, from mini parents but he is huge. He was the largest puppy in the litter. The breeder told me he would be between 11 to 15 pounds but he is 25 pounds now. His head and feet are also larger than the other mini’s we meet. I just don’t know what to do and am getting worried as I don’t want his health so suffer he is so young. Any advice would be appreciated. He has such a lovely disposition and is very sweet.
Katherine, how far do you walk your Dachshund?
My Dachshund is also a larger framed mini, but he seems to be quite slender, despite the fact he will only go for one walk a day. He will however easily do a 5-6 mile walk in one go!
How far are you walking your dog each time?
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We walk about 45 minutes each walk 3 times a day. I took him to the vet for a check up. He is now on Dr. Hills Metabolic Diet food, zero treats. He was measured, back and front legs and head circumference. The numbers were put in the computer and his ideal weight should be 16 pounds based on his measurements. So, he has nine pounds to lose. This is being done over a 25 weeks. He lost just under one pound. I have him weighed at the vet clinic every week. The first week I was to mix his new food with regular food so should be more of a loss this weigh in.
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Great to hear that your Dachshund lost a little weight! Dachshund Luke has always been on the slim side and we put that down to his obsession with his toys and his love to play. We give him challenges – wrapping up a toy in an old towel or a couple of t-shirts – he uses up a lot of energy trying to get the toy out. He also loves for us to hide a toy and then he has to find it. He will run around the house for at least half an hour looking for a toy.
Good luck with your little one. Keep up the good work.
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Love this site, informative & answered my questions. My dachshund is super smart but has been misbehaving lately. I assumed she got enough exercise in our house & small trips to the store & such. Now I know to walk her regularly. We are new owners & love Casey immensely. Thank you
Also I want to add if you spend little time being at home you can buy kind of petcam to interact with your dachshund remotely. By the way Petcube camera has lazer pointer to play with, so it allows to spend a bit of energy of your lovely four-legged friend and keep him exercised till you come home
Thank you for this blog! I have a 4 and half month old. We got him from the humane society and the first week we battled with pneumonia and now he is teething. He has stopped eating his dry food so we switched to wet food and now is only eating once a day. Is this normal and okay? Also any tips for helping him get through the teething. We walk him at least 3 times a day but he’s starting to not want to listen when we go outside. Any help and comments are much appreciated! We love having him but just want to train him well and get it right!
Thank you for visiting dachshund Luke. I am so happy to hear that your little one is over the pneumonia!
Dachshund Luke is a very fussy eater – he is 14 years old now and still can be picky. We switch him from wet to dry and add plain boiled chicken if he is not eating.
Some dogs only eat once a day but with little dogs I feel they need to eat more often. I would suggest that you ask your vet re his eating habits to make sure he is healthy.
Training is critical with Dachshunds as they like to be the boss:-) Is he potty trained? If not then check out my ebook.
I like to take my young dogs to a basic training class. Not only does it socialize them but they learn (or rather you learn how) to sit, stay, come and heel. They remember this early training for life. You can do it yourself too, use treats and start with sit. Say Sit (T – make sure you pronounce the T) Si-T. At the same time with your palm up raise your hand. Your dog will eventually sit – lots of praise and maybe a very small, tiny piece of a healthy treat. Repeat – you will be surprised how quickly they understand sit. I like to do hand signals for all commands so that they understand even if they are further away from you. Good luck :-)
My Fiance and I purchased a miniature Merle Dachshund off of craigslist about two months back. Upon getting him we noticed that because of his rare coat he is mostly deaf and his pupils look like runny egg yolks (although it does not seem to affect his eyesight). We were unaware of his, what I call “special needs”, but he seemed to have had full reign from where he came from and the previous owners never informed us of his eyes and hearing until we were ready to pick him up. I was wondering if anyone knew how I could start potty training a mostly deaf dachshund? I am aware that these breeds are one of the most difficult to house train, but I’m ready for the challenge and don’t want to give up on him like I have read so many people do. My France’s family has owned many, but together Moose is our first, and it’s been a challenge to say the least as he is a very obnoxious pup. I love him though, and we need some help. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
-Jessica & Silas
Hi Jessica and Silas,
What a lucky dachshund to be adopted by a caring family!
Dachshunds are very good at learning hand signals and we use them with Dachshund Luke. We are glad we did because he is 14 now and going deaf :-)
Have you taken a look at my ebook How to Potty Train A Dachshund? It is easy to follow and really does not matter if your dog can hear or not. Instead of saying Go Potty you could have a signal for him. He will learn just the same as hearing a command what it is you want him to do. It is just a case of being consistent every time.
Wishing you all the best with your little one.
Karen and Dachshund Luke
I have a mini doxie. He is a very pickie eater and at times gets sick cause he will not eat his dry dog food or any other food either? He is three and has been like this on and off. I have had to change his food in fear that he has allergies to certain ones. Any ideas on food I can give him
I need help My 1 1/2 dashound used to walk for at least 45 minutes a few times a day, now he will only walk a few feet and then just stop and refuses to walk. I just got a 4 month old dashound and now she has to walk and I figured this would help him to walk. Now he will walk a short distance and then just stop! He refuses to walk and wants to go home, when he gets home now he wants to play. There is nothing medical wrong with him, I just want to take him for a good walk. Any suggestions.
Thanks for this valuable info. Could anyone please advise me on how wise or unwise trying to arrange for my mother’s daschund to travel with her on a 12 hour transatlantic flight would be?
Is it advisable? Is it possible ? What precautions should one take? We know these dogs are very ‘fragile’ , and sensitive when ‘exposed’.
The dog is 13 this year. Healthy but showing signs of ageing , due to being mainly indoors all her life , with daily short walks but an indoor pet nontheless. My mother needs to travel from Mexico to England to be with me for a 2-3 months. We are unsure bringing the dog with us would be risk free.
Could anyone please enlighten us on this matter?
We had a dachshund Rocky, very laid back, he passed away 2 months ago, oh how we loved him, we took a big plung and now we have 11 weeks old two brothers, very happy boys, my question how do I take both out to potty and walk please help, we love our boys
My fathers doesn’t walk his dachshund not once but i keep telling me that he should walk the dog every day because it can really hurt her. What should I do to convince him to walk the dog?
Thank you so much for this. Finally someone that is able to give me solid advise for my Dachshund. The amount of gibberish and conflicting advise over the exercise duration is horrendous. I started to give my dog little snippets of exercises per day, and so far it does look like he have an extra spring in his steps!
Very interesting thank you. my hubby & I live in the bush & have a standard dachsie who we rescued from the local vet done 18 months ago. she loves the bush & exploring. I take her for regular walks every few days & she eats Hill’s mini adult kibbles at her own rate. She is fit & well, shiny & so content. Our little darling girl!
I have a 6yr old male dachshund Basil, as I am elderly now find I can only give him a half hour walk each day & on certain days ie icy or too wet I don’t take him out. He was 3 lbs overweight so got a dog treadmill. He lost the 3lbs & loves going on it. He runs around the garden & house too & is fitter than ever.. the treadmill was the Best Buy ever.. my other dog loves it too.