Dig the Dachshund
Dig the Dachshund
There's a reason the Dachshund, German for "badger dog," is among the country's most popular dog breeds. They're very smart dogs that are willing to please their owners.
Bred for hunting and digging out badgers, these dogs are known for their elongated shape and short legs. They come in three varieties, each with a distinct personality type. The longhaireds have a softer, sweeter temperament. Smooth-coated Dachshunds have a more independent, ornery streak. And the wirehaireds are well-known as clowns.
Dachshunds aren't needy as far as energy goes. They really seem to fit into a low-key lifestyle as well as an active one, which is why I really like the breed. A lot of people say it's hard to find a dog toy that's tough enough to put up with a dachshund -- they love bones and chew toys. I give my dogs cow hooves because they really last a long time -- longer than rawhide bones.
Dachshunds Dig Digging
Many Dachshunds are natural diggers, although many breeds of dogs enjoy digging. And when your tulips are the target, it's a problem. The trick is to figure out why your dog does it. Is he seeking comfort? Does he want attention? Or is he just bored?
Oftentimes dogs dig because they need more to do. If he's digging out of boredom, try a non-breed-specific dog activity: obedience, agility and rally events, for starters. Otherwise, I just go out and play with my Dachshunds. My dogs love to retrieve a tennis ball. I'll go to dog parks, where we can play fetch to their hearts' desire. Once your dog is exhausted from a good romp, he'll likely forget about digging up your garden!
Channel Your Dog's Digging Urge
For Dachshunds, Terriers and other small breeds that like digging, you might also want to try Earthdog tests. These apply your dog's natural hunting instinct by requiring them to follow a scent through a tunnel. The further they get in the trials, the more difficult it gets. They have to respond to an owner's recall, even as the tunnels get more difficult to navigate.
Earthdog competitions give dogs a lot of confidence in an activity they're bred to do. When you can channel their instincts, they get to do something they really enjoy in an environment where they're supposed to do it. Visit the AKC's website for more information on Earthdog tests.
Virginia Thomson is a Dachshund breeder in the state of Washington. She shows and raises purebred, AKC-registered longhaired miniature Dachshund puppies.
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