Owners of dachshunds understand that their pets are far too playful and inquisitive to sit still and stay quiet for hours on end. Dachshunds need a good deal of attention and should always have something to play with or something to do. Thus, finding the best toys for dachshunds is an important aspect of being “a good master.” Below, we introduce some dachshund toy basics and then move on to review five of the best dachshund toys on the market.
Why do Dachshunds need toys?
You might be tempted to think that a dachshund, or any dog for that matter, doesn’t need man-made toys. In the wild, after all, no one manufactured toys for the wolves, the ancestors of all domesticated dogs. But being a pet is different. Dachshunds need a toy to keep their jaws and teeth strong and clean. A chew toy also reduces boredom and separation anxiety, not to mention discouraging your dog from chewing on your sofa or wooden furniture. Giving your dog a toy will also allow for the release of pent-up energy and promote physical, mental, and emotional canine health.
Important Dachshund traits
Physically, dachshunds are descended from scent-guided hunting dogs. They are true hounds and were originally bred to track down rabbits, foxes, and other small game. Their small size and elongated shape is a result of the need of breeders to produce a dog that could enter dens, holes, and tunnels to chase out game holed up inside. Even more interestingly, dachshund packs were once used to nip at the heels of wild boars.
Today, dachshunds make great watchdogs since they bark at even the approach of a stranger passing by. They are not likely to scare intruders away through physical intimidation, but their territorial nature makes them great “alarm bells.” Sometimes, dachshunds are still used to hunt small game, but they also commonly serve as dog show stars and family pets.
As to personality, dachshunds pack a lot of it in a small package. They are very, very playful. They are also typically affectionate, clownish, and love to be the center of attention. Additional traits include: quick to “stand up to” and bark at other dogs, kid-friendly, highly intelligent, and relatively easy to train.
What sort of toys suit Dachshunds?
Dachshunds love a wide variety of toy types. That makes it a bit difficult to define what are, in fact, the best toys for dachshunds. Nonetheless, we can provide you with some general guidance.
Chase and catch toys are a great pick because dachshunds love to run, bite and grab, and “be on the mission” of returning to the thrower toy in mouth. They may also enjoy running away from you with this type of toy, however.
Any toy that challenges them to solve a problem or that you can use for doggy hide and seek is a good choice. Interactive toys that surprise them with something new will be appreciated. And if you can find a dachshund toy that hides a tasty treat inside, all the better!
Be sure to experiment a little to discover which toys your dog likes best. Remember that dachshunds each have their own unique personality that affects the way they play.
What to look for
What qualities and features should you look for when shopping for a dachshund toy? The list may vary from person to person, and dog to dog, but here are some helpful hints.
Look for toys that can stand up to a good deal of chewing. Understand that even non-chew-toys will be subjected to dachshund teeth.
Also shop for general durability. After all, you don’t want to be shopping for a new dachshund toy every couple of weeks for as long as you own your pet.
Make sure the toy is appropriately sized for your dog. Dachshunds are small and do well with smaller toys, but size differences within the breed and due to age must also be considered.
Be sure the toy is non-toxic and will not easily break into small chewed off or shattered pieces. That would be dangerous to your dog and a waste of money on your part.
Anything that bounces, rolls far, or is easily tossed about by your dachshund will be very entertaining. In fact, it will be entertaining to you as well as to the animal, so look for a toy that “puts on a show” if possible.
What to avoid
While most toys will range from adequate to super-terrific for your dachshund, not everything is “dachshund toy material.” Here are some things you may wish to avoid.
Look out for squeaker toys. While entertaining at first, many dogs will tear the toy apart in search of that mysterious something inside that is making the funny noise.
Fetch toys may be best avoided in some cases. If you have trained your dachshund to return the objects thrown, fair enough. But in many cases, dachshunds chase what you throw but fail to fetch it back.
Toys designed for kids should not be used for dachshunds. These are often toys that don’t stand up well to chewing. Plus, if you have a your child, he or she may try to play with it too, thus spreading germs.
Don’t go for dog toys that mimic the look of household items you don’t want your dog to chew on. That is just asking for confusion and trouble.
Don’t get your dachshund a skateboard. Bulldogs easily pick up the skill of skateboarding, but dachshunds will be out of their element.
Our Top 5 Dachshunds Toys
1. Kong Classic Dog Toy
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The Kong Classic Dog Toy sports a unique look. Its form is like that of three consecutive connected balls with a hollowed-out center. A favorite among dachshund owners for over three decades, the Kong offers extreme bounce, supremely chewable natural red rubber, and a perfect hideaway spot for doggy treats.
The Kong Classic comes in six sizes, ranging from small to extra extra large. It is made in the USA and will cost you less than 10 dollars.
Some like to fill the Kong’s center with peanut butter, which creates no mess since dogs lick it clean. Others opt for official Kong treats. The toy can easily occupy a dachshund for 30 minutes or more and is well worth the asking price. Plus, it is recommended by dog trainers the world over.
However, you never can quite tell in which direction the polygonal-shaped Kong toy will bounce. That can be a good thing as far as creating suspense, but it can also be frustrating if you can’t get it to bonce the way you want.
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The FurryFido interactive dog toy is a nearly indestructible toy that should last for years. It has the general shape of a ball but is faced by numerous blue hexagons. There are circular bumps dotting each hex, and there are openings in the toy where treats can pop out during play.
FurryFido is made of non-toxic, thermoplastic rubber, which makes it both strong and safe to chew. And the special design means that your dog’s teeth will be cleaned while he or she happily chews away.
The puzzle-like nature of this particular toy is great for increasing your dachshund’s IQ or just maintaining strong mental health. The treats are more difficult to get out of the toy than with most other such toys. That could keep your dog engaged for hours on end!
The one thing to watch out for is that the FurryFido is quite a heavy toy if you don’t buy it in the right size for your dog. The toy costs a bit more than some, at 15 dollars, but it also comes with a lifetime guarantee.
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The Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel is a truly unique dog toy that is sure to get your dachshund excited. The three plush, squeaky squirrels can be snugged up into the three holes on the plush tree trunk.
The squirrels are complete with bushy tails and cute little whiskered faces. But if you prefer, you can opt for the bees and bee hive, birds and nest, or hedgehog and log versions instead. And sizes range from “junior” to “ginormous.”
This toy is very creative and will keep your canine occupied for hours. Perhaps, it may keep him from chasing the real squirrels off your property. The dog will learn the skill of pulling the tightly packed squirrels out of the tree trunk.
However, some dachshunds will try to tear the plush toys apart to get at the squeak. It can also be difficult to know which size to get for this toy, and the toy is made in China. The price tag is 10 to 15 dollars.
4. Chuckit! Ultra Ball
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The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is a favorite of many a dog that cooperates in playing fetch or catch. The balls come in sizes ranging from 2 to 4 inch diameters and in packs of one, two, or four. The whole package costs a little less than 10 dollars.
The most unique feature of Chuckit! is its incredibly high bouncing ability, which is due to the form of rubber it is made of. The balls are easy to see, irresistible to pets, float, and clean up easy. The material is very durable and safe for your pet’s health.
These balls are great for playing in pools and lakes, besides of course on land. You can chuck them by hand or with the Chuckit! Ball Launcher for even more fun. Unlike tennis balls, they wash off quick and easy.
Some have reported, however, that the plugs in the ball tend to fall out eventually and that some dogs will chew off pieces of rubber. It is non-toxic, and you can get three months of more of hard play. What more do you want for under ten bucks?
5. The Zogoflex Qwizl
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A new toy just put out by West Paw Design is the Zogoflex Qwizl. It is a treat-dispenser toy that is durable enough to come with a lifetime warranty. It only costs between 10 and 15 dollars.
The Qwizl is a brightly colored, elongated chew toy with a hollow center. It is more rounded toward each end, slightly resembling a rubber bone. It is somewhat challenging for the dog to extricate the treats, which encourages “mental stimulation” and makes treats last longer.
The Qwizl is durable enough for a pit bull to chew on for quite some time without destroying it, so it will certainly be tough enough for dachshund use. The toy is also 100% recyclable, made in the USA, dishwasher safe, and FDA certified for eating off of (by dogs only).
One major drawback is that this particular toy only comes in two sizes, small and large. And there is also the possibility that it will take a long time for your dog to get the treats out of the central chamber. The two end-pocket treats are easier to access.
Finding the best toys for dachshunds is not as easy as one might think. It is also far more important than we usually realize, helping with physical, mental, and social health.
Toys with hidden treats inside encourage your dog to play for as long as it takes to dislodge the goodies. Chewable toys can help clean your dachshund’s teeth as well as keeping him or her entertained. Fetch toys, especially that roll and bounce and have bright colors, are good for those dachshunds trained to bring the toy back.
Each dog may prefer a different toy, so consider your dog’s personality and experiment awhile before investing in a toy your dog will keep for months or years to come.