Dachshunds - These Ain't Your Mama's Couch Potatoes!
Ok, I admit it, I was one of those people who thought dogs like dachshunds were part of the little, yappy, boring, limited-activity dog category. Usually I see them dressed up in cute little dachshund pajamas while being pushed in a stroller by their overly protective parents who call them Precious and Babycakes.
Could a Dachshund Become a Search Dog?
While at an odor-sniffing dog class, imagine my surprise when someone actually showed up with one of those little Dachshund wiener dog puppies. The yapping was still quite noticeable, but this one was walking on its own four little paws, missing the dachshund sweater, and getting an A+ at finding the hidden scents. Once she even went rogue, squirting under the 2 foot high fence (guess she couldn’t jump it) and ran barking at my dog who is 3 times her size. Ok, so maybe they weren't all spoiled little varmints.
Outside fun with Dachshunds
So, in a moment of weakness, I invited my new friend to bring her two long-hair dachshunds, Evie and Guiness, to my 12 acre farm to have a play day with my "real dog” – an athletic, fun-loving, running and swimming, extremely awesome Springer Spaniel mix, Abby. Well, I think Abby may have met her match. Those eight little dachshund legs could run like lightening! It was actually highly entertaining to see such tiny legs run so fast.
It was really interesting to see how bold those little beasts can be; even my horses weren’t safe from the watchful eyes of the dachshund! One by one as the horses made their way past us, little Evie would run after them and bark. Now, mind you, it was still the yappy Dachshund bark, but it appeared to be working; either that or the horses seriously couldn’t hear or see Evie and were just contently moving on with their life. Nonetheless, it was pretty entertaining watching the horses munch on the grass while Evie stood behind trying to herd them along. Evie was serious about her job!
Can Dachshunds Swim?
Dachshunds are not necessarily built for swimming. They’ve got long bodies and the tiniest little legs. Did I mention Abby is a swimming machine? She can swim for hours without ever tiring, then run for a few miles, and swim even more! However, I digress… Guiness actually followed Abby into the pond and made it about half-way across before deciding perhaps he'd better come back to shore.
So, we broke out the cute, little doggy lifejacket so Guiness could have his swim without his parent worrying about his legs giving out in the middle of the pond. If there’s anything cuter than a Dachshund decked out in swimming gear, I haven’t seen it!
Both he and Evie took turns splashing in the water, having a great doggy time.
Do Dachshunds love to hunt?
We spent an entire afternoon watching the dogs play. When Abby took a break with us on the deck, you can only imagine what the adorable dachshunds were doing; out hunting around for more adventures; Evie (the horse-herder) even ventured under the deck where we were sitting. Mind you, my dog has to crawl on her belly and almost got stuck under the deck once. I’m fairly certain the dachshund was walking around normally, probably with 2 inches clearance!
In any case, moments later, a fox (yes, a real live red fox) went shooting out from under the deck with mighty Evie on his heels. Abby got in on the chase as well but, luckily, the fox managed to run through a fence and stopped both hunters in their tracks. Turns out, dachshunds are a dog breed originally bred for badger hunting. They are actually tiny, adventurous, hunting machines built for outdoors and small badger holes. I'm not sure those two ever did stop until they were ushered back into their car at the end of a fun-filled day. I’m tired just thinking about their activities that day!
So, my mind and attitude have been modified and I have a new respect for the Dachshund breed. While dachshunds are great for apartments where small dogs are a must, you really can have lots of outdoor fun with a dachshund. They run, they swim, and they play! You might still need a dog ramp for stairs for their pintsize legs but their hearts and personalities are as big as their attitude!
To learn even more fun facts about the Dachshund breed, check out "Dachshunds - Are They The Right Dog for You".