Dachshunds are small, short-legged dogs originally bred for hunting badgers. These long-bodied dogs’ ability to flush out small game makes them excellent hunters. But with their short and stubby legs, you wonder, can dachshunds do agility sports?
What is dog agility sports?
Dog agility is a competitive dog sport where dogs use jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and seesaws to navigate an obstacle course. The course has been specifically designed for dogs to enjoy with humans.
You and your dachshund will run around a pre-set obstacle course. You or the handler will give out cues, commands, or body language to direct your dachshund on each of the 14-20 obstacles.
Agility is scored based on time and fault. The goal of dachshund agility is to go through all the courses within the time allotted with no or minimal fault.
A fault in dog agility includes:
- Running out of sequence
- Displacing or knocking off a bar on a jump
- Refusing to go through an obstacle.
- A handler who touches the dog or the obstacle
- A handle who can’t control the dog.
The dog with the fastest time after all the penalties are deducted is declared the winner.
Can dachshunds do agility?
Yes. Even though they have short legs, dachshunds can participate and even excel in agility competitions.
With a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour (32 kmh), dachshunds can run and zip through weave poles, tunnels, and ramps with ease.
But what about the jumps? Can dachshunds jump over hurdles and walls?
The answer is yes. Dachshunds can jump through modified hurdles. Agility has different height classes so that dogs of different heights can participate. Dachshunds can compete in agility competition in either 8-inch or 12-inch height classes. These two heigh classes are perfect for dogs 10-14 inches under the withers and that’s where dachshunds compete in.
How to train a Dachshund for Agility?
Dachshunds are agile little dogs, but they need to be properly trained for agility competitions. If you’re training a dachshund to run through an agility course, it’s important to assess your dachshund’s temperament for agility. Highly energetic dachshunds that enjoy running are perfect for agility. More so if they respond well to specific commands and instructions.
It’s also important that dachshunds are properly socialized and cared for. The best way to do this is with safe toys that help them play with other dogs or by exposing the dachshund to new things, such as other animals or sounds.
Typically, dogs are trained using positive reinforcement techniques which is the use of rewarding the dog when they are successful. This helps to create a trusting relationship between owner and pet.
You, as the dog owner, play a pivotal role in dachshund agility training. You also need to be physically fit as well as able to establish good communication with your dachshund. You can train and practice at home using your own backyard agility equipment.
You can purchase all the agility training equipment you need here.
If you feel that you need more help from professional trainers, you and your dachshunds can take agility classes to help you get in shape while bonding with your pup over this fun sport and prepare for agility competition.
Agility courses can be set up in your backyard or indoors, but it is important that the course design meets the standards of the American Kennel Club. If you have never been to an agility class before, one thing you will learn is that it’s not about the speed of the dog but learning how to work as a team with your dog.
There are so many benefits to dog agility classes for your dachshunds. It is a great form of exercise that will help your dog get in shape while also providing some mental stimulation. You can even take it with you on vacation or road trips. Dog agility classes are designed to help your dog learn how to jump, climb, crawl, run, and weave through obstacles while trying to earn points throughout the course. Your pup will receive plenty of treats during the adventure which is an additional benefit.
Dog agility is a type of dog sport that involves the handler directing the dog through an obstacle course. The obstacles are usually very simple, but this is an exercise in speed and agility to get to the other side. Agility classes are designed for dogs of any breed to have fun getting active, while you work on perfecting your leadership skills.
Daily practice and repetition will help your dachshund learn the agility ropes and be ready for competition in no time.
Are Dachshunds Hard to Train?
Dachshunds are a breed of dog that is known for being a stubborn and independent-minded dog. They have a tendency to be difficult to train due to their stubbornness. Despite this reputation, dachshunds have been bred to serve as loyal hunting dogs and companion animals.
Dachshunds will generally follow their owners around and snuggle up on their laps, but they don’t always sense what the owner wants them to do. They may play with children or other dogs instead of following commands. If they find something more interesting, they may get distracted and not pay attention to you
This is why dachshunds are one of the breeds that require a lot of patience and understanding when it comes to training. They have a short attention span so training should be done in short periods throughout the day. One important thing to remember is to never reward for bad behavior.
Provided with the proper training and guidance, many dachshunds have proved their ability to conquer agility courses.
Best Dog Sports for Dachshunds
Dachshunds are not just little dogs who live their life on the sofa. You can find a dachshund who loves to be active and can enjoy a wide variety of sports. With proper training and practice, dachshunds can become great athletes in their own right.
As dachshunds are small dogs, they can enjoy participating in dog sports for small breeds. Small breeds of dogs aren’t always the best at playing with their larger counterparts. Since your dachshund is a little on the short side, try to find sports for small dog breeds. These games and events will be tailored to your four-legged friend’s size and because they’re not as heavy as larger pups, won’t require as much physical exertion.
Small dog breeds are sometimes ignored when it comes to physical activity. They don’t need as much exercise as larger dog breeds but they still require some form of activity to maintain their fitness level. If you own a small breed of dog, here are some sports and activities they can do.
Earthdog Trial for Dachshunds
Earthdog trials are competitions that test a dog’s ability to work in a controlled environment, near the ground. The trials consist of tunnels dug into the ground, which the dogs must crawl through and search for articles hidden under the ground and dig them out.
It’s a canine sport in which dogs are required to detect the scent of a hidden animal, usually a fox, and dig it out. The dogs are assessed on their obedience to commands, ability to follow the scents, and digging skills. They must be able to indicate the location of the hidden animal by either barking at or pawing at it.
The trials are set up as a series of obstacles for the dog to overcome and they can be very challenging. As dachshunds are natural hunters, it’s a perfect sport for them.
Scent Work for Dachshunds
Scent work for dogs is a pleasant and useful activity. It is a form of scent training that teaches dogs to use their sense of smell in order to find hidden objects. Scent work is also known as trailing, tracking, or hunting, but it can be done in a way that does not involve chasing after an animal. In fact, there are many scent games you can play with your dog indoors.