Dachshunds are cute and one of the most popular family pets in the world. But when you see these dogs run after a squirrel or sniff rats, you’d wonder, “are dachshunds good hunting dogs?”
Dachshunds are undoubtedly courageous dogs. Let’s go a little back in history and know more about them.
Are Dachshunds Good Hunting Dogs?
Yes, Dachshunds are one of the best hunting dogs in the world. They might look really cute to you, but they were once popular for hunting badgers. Germans in the 18th century bred dachshunds to hunt badgers.
In fact, the word Dachshund literally translates to “badger dog” in german.
Their sausage-like body and short legs made them perfect hunting dogs, especially for tunneling animals like rabbits, badgers, and foxes. Dachshunds were popular for digging and squeezing into the tunnel.
They would fearlessly go into a fox’s den or hunt down a badger.
Dachshunds were good at catching underground prey. They were fast-moving and could live in the burrow too. That’s why hunters made very many varieties of dachshunds. Let’s know why dachshunds are amazing hunting dogs.
7 Reasons Why Dachshunds Are Good Hunters
So, you might be wondering if any of that’s true. Get this beyond their adorable looks. Dachshunds are a hunting breed. They can take down a fox or a boar.
The very reason why dachshunds were good hunters lies in their physical body traits. Not just that, they developed impeccable hunting instincts over the centuries.
Dachshunds also come in a variety. So, hunters would choose their size depending on the animal they wanted to hunt. There are many reasons for making Dachshunds great hunting dogs. Let’s take a look.
Amazing Sense of Smell
Dachshunds are a part of the hound dog family. They, like other hounds, use scent to focus on their prey. In fact, they can solely concentrate on the scent and avoid everything else.
A modern dachshund will stick their nose to the ground if something is fishy. Some people also called dachshunds scent hounds. For instance, they might dig the furniture or yard after smelling rats.
Not only do they follow the scent, but they are also very loyal. So, your Dachshund is probably being protective when he comes sniffing your snack.
But, they aren’t really easy to train. That’s why you won’t find dachshunds at the airport despite the amazing sense of smell.
Loud and Deep Barkers
Many people don’t consider getting dachshunds because they bark excessively. It’s true that they are loud and deep barkers. Dachshunds would also react to squirrels, moles, and badges. They chase sounds and try to warn their human companion.
Unlike other dogs, dachshunds could easily bark loudly because of insane energy levels. Loud barks would allow hunters to locate dachshunds when they were inside a burrow. Hunters would track the bark and pull out dachshunds using their tails.
Long Body and Short Legs
Dachshunds are adorable and really cute. German breeders purposely designed their bodies this way. Their large and paddle-shaped paws brought them close to the ground.
They could dig earth quickly. And their long bodies would help them squeeze into the burrow. Their smooth bodies help them effortlessly navigate narrow tunnels. They became perfect hunters for animals similar to their size.
Scientifically, Dachshunds are chondrodysplastic. That means they have abnormal development resulting in their peculiar shape. Being short makes them perfect for hunting small animals.
If you love your Dachshund’s ears, you can thank breeders for that. Their big floppy ears would help them hold on to the scent for longer. Dogs usually have a good sense of smell. Theirs is excellent.
Their ears also prevented dirt, grass, and debris from entering inside. This would make hunting underground easy for them.
Not just that, floppy ears prevented distant sounds. Usually, dogs have straight-up ears. However, dachshunds have floppy ears so that they can focus more on hunting.
To get the most out of this breed, Germans bred three types of dachshunds. Each size allowed them to hunt different-sized animals living underground.
Come in Variety
If you’re trying to get a Dachshund, you’d have thought of color and size. Dachshunds come in many shapes and sizes. While the size may not matter now, it was important some years back.
Humans have earlier used a standard version of the Dachshund to chase foxes. Later, they bred miniature dachshunds to hunt small animals like ferrets or hares. Dachshunds also come in different coats.
In the past, Dachshunds were low-maintenance and had short coats. Through the years, humans have developed a wide variety of Dachshunds. These include longhaired and wirehaired dachshunds to cope with environmental needs.
For instance, a longhaired dachshund would make for a great hunting partner in winter.
Large Lung Capacity
Dachshunds are small dogs, so one could argue that they’ll run out of steam soon for an activity as tiring as hunting. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Dachshunds have more endurance than other breeds their size. The reason is quite simple. Hunters gave them a deep chest.
That’s why they have great lung capacity. You can notice this by the shape of their body, broader near the front and narrower in the back. Dachshunds get more oxygen than other dogs, which makes them tireless.
Natural Hunting Instincts
Dachshunds have incredible hunting instincts. This is why hunters still use Dachshunds to hunt game animals in Europe.
Their sharp instincts help them track down their prey.
They would use their sharp scent and cut their human companions’ work short. So don’t be surprised if your Dachshund sprints after a squirrel with ferocious intensity, as it’s in their DNA to hunt.
Can Dachshunds Still Hunt?
Absolutely yes! Dachshunds can still hunt. Although Dachshunds are largely seen as cute household pets, the hunting instinct is engraved in their genes.
In recent times, they’ve been used to hunting small game animals like rabbits and squirrels for sport. To leverage their excellent sense of smell, they are also sometimes used to track down larger wounded prey.
What can Dachshunds Hunt?
Yes, you can train a dachshund to hunt. They might come in handy when solving rodent problems. They can even chase down foxes.
Dachshunds need proper training to do serious hunting. You could find many hunters in Europe who still train sausage dogs to hunt. They know the ins and outs of training a hunting dog.
Wondering if hunting skills can be any good for dachshunds? Yes, hunting games can be an excellent way to keep your Dachshund busy. Moreover, they could lead to physical and mental development.
Reward Good Behavior
If you want to train your Dachshund to hunt, you’ll need your dog to be obedient first. The best way to make your dog obedient and loyal is to reward good behavior.
Avoid punishment as much as possible. They may become aggressive and frustrated because of punishments. Avoiding punishments will also help them know who’s a friend and who’s the prey.
Know the Scent and Smell
Alright, it’s now time to use the basic training. You will have to get your dog familiar with the prey and their scent.
You can train them to find toys with the scent of the prey buried into the ground and reward them with treats when they dig it up. The same technique can be used to train them to charge at prey.
Play Hunting Games
You can play hunting games to grow hunting skills in your Dachshund. Take a toy with the scent of prey and bury it in the ground. Encourage them to use basic common when they dig the ground. Finally, reward them.
Did Dachshunds Hunt Badgers?
Yes, Dachshunds hunt badgers. German hunters designed their bodies specifically to hunt badgers.
Why Were Dachshunds Bred to Hunt Badgers?
Larger hunting hounds are not very effective at hunting badgers. Their body is too big to enter small caves. But dachshunds can enter a tunnel and flush badgers out so the hunters can catch them.
Do Dachshunds Hunt Foxes?
Yes, Standard Dachshunds are perfect for hunting foxes. Foxes can be elusive and hide in narrow openings in their dens. Dachshunds can enter into their den and flush them out.
Dachshunds are great hunting dogs for animals are their size and smaller. They have a great sense of smell which can track down even larger animals for the hunters to catch.
Even today, dachshunds are good hunting dogs. Their hunting technique is effective for smaller tunneling animals.
They have great lung capacity. That means they have the power and stamina to track down their prey for long periods of time. Plus, their powerful legs can dig the ground for hours.