Category Archives: Dachshund and dog training

Persuade your dog to do his business in the snow

Don't let snow stop your Dachshund from doing his business
Out in his paddock, originally uploaded by ejwines2.

Darwin the Dachshund’s owner writes, “Although Darwin likes to frolic in the snow, he’s not to keen on doing his business outside unless we dig him a paddock.”

As a Canadian who knows a lot about snow, I’d like to recommend you do the clean-up pronto before anything gets frozen to the tundra.

Update: The Oregonian of Portland is reporting on this difficult dog situation:

Lots of dogs are asking themselves the same question right now. It’s especially challenging for all the little dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Yorkies and other “vertically challenged” dogs. For some, the snow in their yards is taller than they are.

What’s an owner to do?

Tips for those who won’t (or can’t) build a poop paddock.

Yes, Dachshunds can do earthdog too!

The Terrierman has posted a fantastic article that he wrote for Dog World magazine on earthdog trials also known as “go to ground.” Everything, including the tunnels and the caged rats, is explained very clearly (not the case in a lot of other articles) and you come away wanting to sign up your Dachshund.

Terrierman writes:

Owning a terrier without ever seeing it work is a little like owning a bottle of wine only to read the label. People do such things, but what a lot they are missing!

After all, it’s not like terriers were created to cruise kitchen linoleum to scarf up lost cookie dough. You can put a bucket of show ring rosettes out in a field, and your dog will not take a second sniff. On the other hand, your dog may stare out the window all day in the hope of catching the mere glimpse of a squirrel. A terrier is, first and foremost, a working dog and a terrier is happiest when given some chance to work.

Once you’re feeling guilty about your dog’s urban existence, Terrierman turns on the inspiration:

The good news is that in 1971 Patricia Adams Lent, a breeder of Lakeland, Cairn and Border terriers, founded the American Working Terrier Association (AWTA), and created a new kind of sport called “go-to-ground,” which involves terriers and dachshunds entering a simple underground maze in order to locate caged rats. AWTA earthdog trials were first copied by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (1976) and then by the American Kennel Club (1994). Today variations on this type of trial can be found in Denmark, Germany, Spain, Canada, Sweden, and Finland.

From the beginning, the goal of go-to-ground trials has been to be as inclusive as possible. Scottish Terriers, West Highland Whites, Cairns, Dandie Dinmonts, Norfolks, Norwich’s, Australian terriers, Border Terriers, Fox Terriers, Parson and Jack Russell Terriers, Lakelands, Welsh Terriers and Bedlington’s are all welcome at AKC and AWTA go-to-ground trials, as are miniature and standard dachshunds. The goal is not to replicate actual hunting, but to give people an opportunity to have a little fun with the dogs, and perhaps give Kennel Club terrier and dachshund owners some idea of what their dog’s “prey drive” is supposed to be about.

Go read the whole article.

Book review: Divine Canine

By the Monks of New Skete

When we first got our dog Bridget 16 months ago, the advice on how to train her began flowing within minutes of her arrival. And as advice that relates to the rearing of the young almost always is, the counsel we received was highly questionable and contradictory.

“We’re using the RCMP method,” advised an old friend with a puppy the same age and a copy of an aged dog-training manual used by the Mounties. “Grab the muzzle and hold it shut if they bite.”

“Have you heard of How to be your Dog’s Best Friend by these famous monks in New York state?’ asked a brand new dog walking acquaintance. “They are really against paper training.”

From monks to Mounties, the choices were mind-boggling. And even if the Mounties were looking all around less credible, thanks to their problematic handling of humans, the monks’ line about being your dog’s best friend wasn’t all that appealing either. As a parent, I’ve never wanted to be a human child’s best friend let alone a dog’s. It all sounded just a little too new agey for me.

In the end I threw my hat in with the adorable Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan and his holy trilogy of exercise, discipline, affection.

Alas, Cesar, who has apparently since remedied the problem with his latest book, didn’t provide much in the way of concrete advice to go along with all the inspiration, which is how I came to find myself just over a year later with a dog who still won’t come when I call and who retains her penchant for biting people’s feet just like a little Dachshund mix featured in the book.

What with the Mounties in the headlines again, this time for tazering people, and the monks putting out a new book — Divine Canine, which also has a companion TV show — the moment seemed right to give the brothers of New Skete a try.

Well, I am indeed very glad I did. Divine Canine is one of those books that fill you with the power of possibility, the dog book equivalent of listening to the theme from Rocky or Chariots of Fire. “Yes, yes, yes,” I say to myself as I read, “I can do that.” I can do what Brother Christopher, the trainer featured throughout the book, does because, unlike Cesar Millan, he is telling me exactly how to do it. In fact, Brother Christopher even has photos. I am truly, divinely inspired.

In fact, I am so inspired I put Brother Christopher’s techniques to use almost immediately. Next time we are at the park and Bridget starts biting another dog walker’s feet, instead of ineffectually pulling her away and screaming, “No foot,” I calmly take her aside and look into her eyes as I say “No foot” in a firm, non-screaming way. Progress has already been made thanks to the Monks’ emphasis on the importance of eye contact.

Now, maybe this is un-Monk-like to admit, but I am inspired not only by my own dreams of a delightfully obedient dog but also by the schadenfreudeliciously horrible behaviour of some of the other dogs featured in Divine Canine. These dogs, all adults, are way, way worse behaved than my Bridget. In fact, one of them, Chico, is so bad, he even causes the ever patient Brother Christopher to question himself and his dog training techniques.

In the end, however, both trainer and dog rally for a happy ending. Chico learns the five commands the monks feel all dogs must master: heel, sit, down, stay and come. And thanks to the Divine Canine’s recipe of inspiration, concrete tips, and perspiration, I swear that Bridget is going to follow in his footsteps and learn them too.

In the mean time, the Daily Dachshund and Dog News highly recommends this attractive book to anyone whose adult dog hasn’t yet mastered the five basic commands. We’ll most definitely be passing a copy along to the friend who used the Mounties’ method. Turns out his dog could still use a few tips.

The Monks of New Skete
Divine Canine
The Monks’ Way to a Happy, Obedient Dog