Hot Dog: What Are the Best Toys for Dachshunds?

With their short, stubby legs, extra-long body, and pronounced narrow snout, it's hard not to develop a soft spot for the Dachshund. While this stout, compact breed may look almost cartoonish, their bravado and surprising athleticism make them mightier than the may appear. So how do they play?

OUR PICKS FOR THE TOP TOYS FOR DACHSHUNDS

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Dachshunds at a Glance

While their funky yet adorable look captures enough hearts to be an immensely popular breed, the dachshund was not bred to be a cuddly lapdog. They were bred to hunt badgers, hence, the breed name – Dachs is German for badger, while hund is German for dog. Their slender bodies and powerful paws made it possible to handle this job easily.

While the wiener dog is known for his long, sleek frame, this body structure leaves room for a host of physical variations. Dachshunds come in three distinct coats –smooth, longhair, and wirehair. They also come in two sizes – standard and mini. Universally, though, the breed is pronounced DAKS-sund, not DOUSH-hund.

No matter what size, length, or color you get, you can expect your dachshund to be brimming with confidence. This is a brave little dog that will often act like he doesn't know his size. Add in disdain for strangers and a loud, sepulchral bark, and you have a canine that can be a pretty effective watchdog.

While a dachshund’s compact size and generally easy grooming needs (especially regarding the smooth variety) make them an agreeable breed for apartment dwellers and city folk, your neighbors may not appreciate the breed’s barky ways. Non-socialized wiener dogs can also be problematic around kids, and may be prone to nipping if they get annoyed.

If there is one think that matches the length of a dachshund’s frame, it’s the breed’s independent streak. This is a smart, stubborn breed; one that will do what they can to do things their way as much as possible. As such, they can pose a training challenge to novice dog owners or owners that are low on patience.

Even though these traits may drive you up the wall, the ire caused by these things tends to melt away the minute your dachshund looks up at you with his deep, soulful eyes and a facial expression that seems to wordlessly say “I’m sorry – love me!” whenever he’s caught doing wrong. And love him you will.

The good news here is that your doxie will love you right back. Weiner dogs tend to deeply imprint with a single family member, and while a properly socialized one will attach to your family, he may show a special affinity to the one he chose to form that bond.

How do Dachshunds Like to Play?

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There isn’t a time estimate on how much exercise you should give your dachshund, primarily because your little wiener dog will be cool with any amount of exercise you’re willing to give him. While this may sound like a dream dog for couch potato owners, this flexibility could represent a double-edged sword.

A lack of exercise and a small body is a recipe that can easily lead to weight problems if you’re not careful. This may end up putting extra strain on a dachshund’s back – something particularly noteworthy since back troubles are a big deal with this breed. Also, be careful not to overfeed, which can be a common issue amongst smaller dogs.

As you take your wiener dog for a walk on your quest to prevent him from being a bratwurst, you should always make sure he’s leashed. Doxies are prone to spring into action and chase small animals as soon as they see movement. Because they are surprisingly athletic, you may have a tough time wrangling him post-chase.

While doxies can dash – a trait that has enabled them to get involved in greyhound-type racing, don’t expect him to be a fetching dog. However, you can expect him to keep pace with you if you run with him along a dog beach or in an open field. That is, of course, until he sees a squirrel scurrying away nearby.

Dachshunds also love a good game of hide and seek. This is because doing so directly taps into his badger-hunting instincts. This drive means that he will stop at nothing until he finds whatever object you hid from his view.

What Toys are Long on Fun for Dachshunds?

The best types of toys you can get for your dachshund are those that allow his instincts to run wild. Durable chew toys that allow for treat stuffing make wonderful toys because it enables them to go for the prize in the opening – much like they would have gone after a badger hiding in a hole.

While doxies aren’t fetching breeds, it’s a good idea to have balls or small, sturdy chew toys on hand to play hide and seek. Your dog will enjoy going after the object because it not only is instinctual, but it also creates a loyal bonding moment with you. Just make sure your wiener dog can get to the prize relatively easily.

What Toys Should be Avoided?

If you want to keep a clean house free of stuffed fluff, you may want to refrain from buying your dachshund a lot of squeaker toys. Doing so will tap into some seriously dark places in your doggie. That little squeaker isn’t a noisemaker to him – it’s the heart of an adversary, and he must stop at nothing until it gets ripped out.

The key phrase here is “an abundance.” You may be able to get away with getting your dachshund a couple of high-quality stuffies designed to withstand your dog’s teeth and powerful digging paws. If you do, make sure he doesn’t work on them too close to your furniture, or he may choose to keep right on digging - especially if he gets bored.

Our Final Recommendations

Zanies 6-Pack Latex PrePack Dog Toy

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The hunting instinct runs deep in the dachshund bloodline, and it shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to playtime. Having the Zanies 6-Pack Latex PrePack Dog Toy around will allow your dog to satisfy this instinct easily. You’ll be able to easily create a happy bonding moment with him in the process.

In fact, you can use these half-dozen balls to test his hunting mettle. When you’re ready to play, you can hide them in the same room in places your wiener dog can get to and have him seek them out. Since doxies are hounds, he’ll be able to use his keen sense of smell as well as his intellect to locate them.

When he does “track” them down, be sure to celebrate his victory! Dogs respond positively to praise and treats, and dachshunds are no exception. They may be stubborn and independent, but they will give in for certain things.

KONG Classic Dog Toy

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Considering the instincts that all dachshunds carry, the KONG Classic Dog Toy may be the most ideal toy you can purchase. The reason for this somewhat bold statement has to do with the toy’s design.

The oblong, conical shape is small enough for the dachshund to trap it in between his paws, and it’s durable enough to withstand his bite, helping to clean his teeth in the process. Most importantly, the toy’s wide hole on the bottom is large enough to stick in a treat, and maybe even a little peanut butter to boot.

When these elements work together, you’ll be able to see the dachshund’s instincts at full capacity. A wiener dog will be able to steady the toy and dive in with his narrow muzzle to carefully and surgically pluck out the treat from within. It actually makes for quite the fascinating sight.

The toy also makes for a good way to fight boredom if you have to leave him be for an extended period of time. He’ll spend time trying to pick apart the hard rubber shell, even though he won’t get far because they’re so sturdy. He’ll also be less prone to destructive behavior.

But let’s face it: even if you caught your little dachshund surrounded by a circle of sofa fluff or pillow feathers, all he’d have to do is look at you with his big, beautiful eyes and you’ll be compelled to forgive him. That is the mighty power of the dachshund breed. He’s smart enough to use his looks to manipulate a pass for his mischief.

And chances are, you’d be totally okay with his unique brand of canine voodoo, even if his mischievous ways get the best of you and his furniture. You’d be in good company if that’s the case – there are groups of people that are so devoted to the breed, they couldn’t fathom owning another kind of dog. Clearly, the doxie is doing something right.

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