Exercise and Training

Exercise

A young puppy does not need any formal exercise, playing in the garden will be sufficient. A puppy needs lots of sleep, so allow her to go bed whenever she wants to.

NEVER ALLOW CHILDREN TO DRAG A PUPPY AROUND ON A LEAD.

NEVER ALLOW YOUR DACHSHUND TO RUN UP OR DOWN STAIRS.

Once the puppy has finished her course of inoculations, start to take her for a short walk of about 5-10  minutes every couple of days or so to help her get used to traffic and other people and dogs. By the time she is about 4 months old, she should be having a 15-20 minute walk every day, then as she gets to 5 months gradually increase the distance and time to about 25 minutes every day. By 6 months she should be going for a 30 minute walk on the lead each day. By a year old you should be giving your dog a 45-50 minute walk a day. Once adult, your Dachsie will take any amount of exercise you care to give. The general guidance is 5 minutes of “formal” exercise per day, per month of age. 

The 5 minutes per day per month of age is a good, easy to remember, guide. If you over-exercise them before they are fully grown and the growth plates have closed you risk ending up with out-turned front feet and a very “stringy” dog. They need to mature slowly and build muscle-tone. Just because they will walk for miles doesn’t mean they should. The 5 minute guide is “formal” on-lead walking. It excludes the playing and running around off-lead that they will get in your garden or if allowed off-lead in a park. If they are allowed free exercise, they will stop when they have had enough and tired themselves out. If they are walked on a lead, they don’t have the same freedom of choice to stop when they want to.

The exercise advice is particularly relevant for puppies that will be shown because too much exercise, too soon, will cause out-turned feet, poor toplines and poor body development.

Even with a “pet” you’d be far better allowing the puppy exercise in the garden so she can decide when she’s had enough rather than any long walks where you risk over-tiring her. They are full of energy until they “grow up” (if they ever do), but you will have a far fitter dog in the long-term if you don’t over-exercise when young.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you of course, but do ensure she gets out and about so he is well socialised by meeting different people and experiences different situations.

Training

Some basic training is needed to allow your puppy to achieve her full potential as a companion. Training, or the lack of it will influence her disposition.

The only training needed for a week or two is to prevent bad habits forming. If you allow the puppy to jump up at people it will be difficult to stop her later. A puppy jumps for attention, put her down and praise her on the floor.

Lead training should be introduced as part of playtime. Encourage her to come on the lead by playing with her. Consider attending training classes, if only an 8-week beginner’s course. They are invaluable, and a trained dog is a happy dog. A list of reputable training clubs is available from the Kennel Club, or ask your vet.

Are Dachshunds hard to train?

If you want a dog that’s going to be easy to train, buy a gundog, or border collie, not a Dachshund. Dachshunds are not noted for their obedience but, with patience and persistence by the owner, they can be trained to basic levels of obedience. However, they are Hounds and when they are off the lead, if they get a scent, they can “go deaf” when it suits them. They do have very strong characters and need to know who the boss is, otherwise they can definitely rule the house. They are loyal companions and generally make good family pets.

In the UK there is an active “working community” of people such as deer-stalkers who use “Teckels” as they call them, to track fallen deer. These are some of the most highly trained and obedient Dachshunds you will see anywhere. They will sit quietly, for hours, waiting for a command to follow a blood trail and then they will lead their owner directly to the fallen animal. Their obedience easily matches the best of any border collie. These are truly exceptional Dachshunds though and most owners would not be able to achieve such control.

You’re probably never going to train a Dachshund to be a Guide Dog or Drug Sniffer Dog! Generally, they do obedience up to the point that suits them! For some, that’s a pretty low level; but for working Teckels, it’s quite remarkable.

Overall, these are amazingly fit, healthy and rewarding dogs to own; full of character and trainable enough to be fun.

Do they come back, if let off the lead?

It depends!!! If you let them off the lead when they are young puppies (after they have completed their injections), you can usually teach them to come back by use of encouraging commands and titbits as bribes. However, some dogs have a very strong hunting instinct and may never be safe to let off. The secret is to start young and make it fun for them to come back.

Is it safe to let a Dachshund off the lead when you are out for road walks?
No. They have absolutely no road sense. However well trained your Dachshund may be, it is simply not worth the risk (and potential heartbreak) to let her walk near a road, off the lead. Near a road, always keep your dog on a short lead, never use an extending flexi-lead.

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