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The 7 Most Unusual Habits of Dachshunds

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on April 12, 2024

Dachshunds, often affectionately known as “wiener dogs” due to their long bodies and short legs, are a breed full of character and quirky traits. Originating from Germany, these dogs were bred to hunt badgers, rabbits, and other tunneling animals, traits that strongly influence their behavior even today. Their unique physical design not only gives them a distinctive appearance but also contributes to some of their most unusual habits. Despite their small size, dachshunds possess a brave and curious nature, which often leads them into humorous and sometimes perplexing situations. This article explores seven of the most unusual habits of dachshunds, shedding light on why these little dogs behave the way they do and how these behaviors reflect their hunting heritage and bold temperament.

1. Burrowing and Tunneling

Dachshunds have an innate tendency to burrow and tunnel, a habit that directly stems from their breeding purpose. Originally used for hunting burrowing prey, they possess a strong instinct to dig and explore underground spaces. This behavior often translates into their home life, where dachshunds may be found burrowing into blankets, laundry piles, or any available soft material. While this can be charming, it can also pose challenges, such as when a dachshund decides to dig through a flowerbed or under a fence. Encouraging them to dig in a designated area or providing them with a dig box can help manage this behavior while still allowing them to indulge in their natural instincts.

2. Stubbornness

Dachshunds are notoriously stubborn, which can sometimes make training a challenge. This stubborn streak is often seen as a manifestation of their intelligence and independent thinking, traits that were essential for a dog that had to hunt and make decisions independently. This stubbornness requires patience and creativity in training. Using positive reinforcement and finding incentives that truly motivate a dachshund are key strategies. Although their stubbornness can be trying, it also adds to their charm and the sense of accomplishment when breakthroughs in training occur.

3. Vigorous Tail Wagging

Dachshunds exhibit an unusual habit of vigorous tail wagging that extends beyond simple expressions of happiness. Their tail wagging can be so intense that it seems as if their entire body is wiggling. This enthusiastic tail wagging often happens during moments of excitement, such as greeting family members or at meal times. It’s a reflection of their exuberant personality and zest for life, showing just how eager they are to engage with the world around them.

4. Obsessive Barking

Dachshunds have a deep, loud bark that belies their small size, and they tend to use it liberally. This barking can become obsessive, especially if they perceive a threat to their territory or want to attract attention. The habit originates from their need to alert hunters to their location underground and to scare prey out of hiding. In a modern household, this trait can become problematic. Training to control excessive barking is essential, and it’s important to understand that their barking is often an expression of their protective nature or a demand for engagement.

5. Following Scent Trails

With their keen sense of smell, dachshunds are predisposed to follow scent trails, a behavior that can lead them on many unexpected adventures. This habit can often see them snuffling along the ground on walks, oblivious to their surroundings. While this trait makes them excellent hunting dogs, it can pose challenges during everyday activities like walks, where a dachshund might stubbornly follow a scent despite commands to move on. Providing plenty of opportunities for structured sniffing, like scent work games, can satisfy this urge in a positive way.

6. Hoarding Toys and Treats

Dachshunds often display a hoarding behavior, gathering toys, treats, and even small items of clothing into their beds or designated spaces. This behavior may be related to their instinct to collect and protect resources, a valuable trait for a hunting dog in the wild. This hoarding can be endearing but also messy. Encouraging good habits and providing specific places where they can store their treasures can help manage this instinctual behavior.

7. Sleeping Under Covers

One of the most endearing habits of dachshunds is their love of sleeping under covers. This is linked to their burrowing instincts and desire for a secure, enclosed space. It’s not unusual to find a dachshund completely buried under pillows and blankets, perfectly content in their cozy den. While it’s important to ensure they have easy access to their hiding spots and can breathe comfortably, this behavior is generally harmless and a fundamental part of their character.

Learn More About the Dachshund Dog Breed: Information, Facts & Pictures

Dachshunds are a breed rich in personality and peculiar habits, from their intense tail wagging to their love of burrowing. These behaviors, while unusual, are deeply rooted in the breed’s hunting heritage and their distinctive physical and mental traits. Understanding and appreciating these habits can greatly enhance the relationship between dachshunds and their owners, providing a deeper insight into their unique world and how best to care for these spirited little dogs.

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