It’s not uncommon for Dachshunds to get less exercise than they should.
Common reasons I’ve seen that many owners aren’t able to exercise their Dachshund enough are:
- They think their Dachshund doesn’t need much exercise
- They under-estimate how much exercise their Dachshund is physically capable of
- They think potty-break walks (on a leash or in the yard) are enough
- They have physical limitations that prevent them from taking their Dachshund on daily walks
- They are too busy
If your Dachshund has a lot of pent-up energy, they may actually be trying to tell you. The key is learning to recognize your dog’s particular signals.
Below are 9 signs that your Dachshund isn’t getting enough exercise.
9 Ways Your Dachshund Might Be Trying to Tell You They’re Not Getting Enough Exercise
Your Dachshund probably exhibits a one or several of these telltale signs when they need more exercise than they are getting
1) Destructive behavior
If your dog gets into the trash, or destroys furniture, they aren’t simply being bad. The chances are your dog needs more exercise.
Is your dog always trying to get into the trash, tearing up every scrap of paper they can find, munching on your shoes, or chewing on furniture like the couch or door?
If so, this destructive behavior can indicate that your Dachshund has a lot of extra energy to burn.
Because you are not keeping them entertained and feeling relaxed, they may be creating their own ways to keep themselves busy.
This type of “boredom busting” can be dangerous because your dog could ingest pieces of whatever they are chewing up, causing intestinal damage or a blockage.
2) Not sleeping through the night
My Dachshund sleeps with me. When she isn’t getting enough exercise, one of the most obvious signs is that she is restless at night and usually doesn’t sleep through the night.
She may wake me up at 1 am to go potty and hang out in the yard.
She may come to bed still wanting to play or wake me up early ready to go.
A Dachshund who is tired from activities during the day is a lot more likely to sleep through the night.
She may also simply have a hard time getting comfortable at night – disrupting my sleep by tossing and turning.
If your dog suddenly starts having difficulty getting comfortable at night, especially if your pup wakes you up one or more times to go potty, it’s always good to take your dog to the vet to get checked out to make sure there is not a medical cause.
However, if the no underlying health issue is found, the behavior is very likely due to not being tired enough.
3) Excessive barking
The Dachshund breed already has a reputation for barking frequently but lack of exercise can make it worse.
A Dachshund who doesn’t get enough exercise can get frustrated. This pent-up energy can cause them to be whiny or to be on high alert.
When your dog is on high alert, they are often listening for, and trying draw your attention to, every little sound by barking.
Basking can also serve as a way to get your attention because they know you will probably come see what is wrong or yell at them for doing it (which is attention to them, even if it’s not delivered in a happy voice).
4) Refusing to walk or getting tired quickly
This one seems counter-intuitive. Why would your Dachshund, who is not getting enough exercise, refuse to walk or walk for very long?
It’s because too much rest time can cause a Dachshund to lose fitness.
They may also start to lose muscle mass, which can make any exercise feel harder to them.
A Dachshund who is used to laying around most of the day may learn to be more comfortable inside. They may not be enthusiastic about walks at first.
This behavior is more likely to be related to a lack of exercise if your dog has been sedentary for a period of time.
If you think this is the case, be sure to increase the length and duration of walks slowly.
If your dog was walking normally the other day and is suddenly refusing to go along, there could be a health-related reason. In this case, a visit to your veterinarian might be in order.
Another simple check you should do is to make sure they don’t have chafing from their harness, it’s not twisted or on wrong, or the leash is not wrapped around their legs.
Here are some more reasons why your Dachshund may be refusing to walk on a leash.
5) Weight gain
A Dachshund’s weight is primarily controlled by two things – exercise (calories out) and food/treats (calories in).
If your Dachshund is looking a little chunkier than they used to, you can probably get them back down to a healthy weight by increasing the duration or frequency of their walks.
In case you are curious about how much your Dachshund should be walking, read these two articles:
You can also try teaching your Dachshund to hike or perform some other kind of physically demanding exercise.
If your Dachshund’s exercise level or food amount (including the type of food and treats) hasn’t changed, but they have gained weight, it’s always good to discuss this mystery weight fluctuation with your veterinarian.
6) Pestering or annoying behavior
A Dachshund that isn’t being exercised enough may be constantly trying to get your attention.
This behavior may also manifest as forgetting their training (manners) or generally “being a jerk”.
They may do this by constantly pestering you to play with them or by acting out (negative attention is better than no attention at all in your dog’s eyes).
Some Dachshunds will try and tell you they need more exercise by constantly trying to get in your face and under foot.
7) Won’t focus on training
Picture a a little kid with a lot of energy that keeps fidgeting in class and can’t concentrate.
If your Dachshund isn’t getting enough exercise, they will also have trouble listening and focusing on you.
If you’re trying to practice training exercises with your dog, even if it’s something they already know, they may not be willing to do it.
If you keep repeating a command and your Dachshund just doesn’t seem to get what you are asking, or they keep looking away from you, it could indicate that they need more exercise.
A Dachshund who is not getting enough physical or mental stimulation may, look “bored”.
Other Dachshunds may give up on trying to let you know they are bored and become withdrawn and sad.
All dogs experience periods of activity and rest in the house but if your dog seems lethargic, stares into space a lot (vacant stares, and frequently sighs) it may be a sign that they need another walk.
Mental stimulation can also help keep your dog engaged and alert so if you don’t have time for a walk, you can try exercising your dog’s mind with a short training session or other brain game.
If this withdrawal seems more extreme – like if you find your normally social dog avoiding you or you constantly find them hiding in a closet- it may indicate an illness or injury so you may want to make an appointment to visit your veterinarian.
On the flip side of withdrawal is hyperactivity.
Whether a Dachshund reacts to insufficient exercise by constantly bothering you or withdrawing, they may occasionally run around the house acting crazy to burn some of their excess energy.
Hyperactivity can manifest itself as running around the house all crazy because your pup is desperate to burn off some energy.
It can also result in your dog pulling hard on the leash on your walk. Pent-up energy can turn into over-stimulation once your Dachshund gets out of the house.
Of course, if that behavior is normal for you dog, it could just be bad leash manners.
How to Increase Your Dachshund’s Daily Activity
First, if you think your Dachshund is not getting enough exercise, make sure you are walking them enough times a week.
If you think your Dachshund may not be getting enough exercise, try increasing the frequency and length of their walks. If it’s still not enough, try a more challenging activity.
Also make sure that you are walking your dog for a long enough period of time.
If you want to up the intensity of your Dachshund’s exercise, consider taking your Dachshund on a hike.
Hiking offers a new challenge and larger variety of smells (to provide mental stimulation) than a stroll around the neighborhood.
You may be surprised how much your pup likes it and how far your Dachshund is willing to hike.
Other activities your Dachshund may like include swimming, agility, and “field trial” sports like Earthdog.
With enough exercise, your Dachshund can be a happy, healthy, and well-behaved companion.