Some people read about our hiking adventure stories and say “My dachshund would never do that. My dog hates (insert said weather condition here).” Sure, they will sometimes scoff at the rain or wind or snow when you open the door but will usually head out with a little encouragement.
Encouragement only goes so far though. Chester knows when he has had enough. It’s like a switch. It’s bound, bound, bound pulling me up the hill until he is too cold or too tired.
When he has had enough he just stops in his tracks and gives me this look (see photo for the look). I’ll try to tug on the leash a little and encourage him. Sometimes he was just bluffing and it works. Other times he puts his head down and digs in to counteract my pulling. There is a distinct difference between “I am not done smelling this spot” and “I am DONE”.
This is how our snowshoe hike this weekend went. It was clear but the temperature was about 20 degrees. As soon as Chester and Gretel hit the ground they took off up the hill. Again, I was breathless trying to keep up.
First it was Chester in the lead. Then Gretel would squeeze past him on the trail and take the lead. Then he would pick up his pace and pass her again.
We were bounding up the trail and Chester dropped a little behind. Then there was this ‘thunk’ as my arm about ripped off. I turned around and Chester gave me ‘the look’. I gave him a little tug and said, “come on, let’s go” but he only leaned against the leash harder.
Chester is usually such a trooper that when he refuses to go even one more step I know it’s time to go back. We turned around and his enthusiasm returned as we headed back down the trail for the car. When we got back, Chester and Gretel had little ice balls on the end of their toenails. Chester knew it was getting too cold.
If you want to try, don’t worry about pushing your weiner dog a little. They know when they are DONE and you will know too. They will stop before they hurt themselves or do something dumb. That is more than I can say for some humans.