Dachshunds, like all modern breeds of dog we are used to seeing today, were initially bred for a specific task

Dachshunds, like all modern breeds of dog we are used to seeing today, were initially bred for a specific task. Breeders and breed enthusiasts work with breeds to bring out desirable traits that will benefit their breed’s respective duties and skills, and to quell those that are undesirable or non-beneficial. The Dachshund in particular was bred to hunt small mammals on the ground and in burrows, which becomes obvious when taking into consideration their size and body structure.

Dachshund clubs in America and worldwide support something called Earth Dog Trials, sponsored by the AKC. These trials have been very popular with terrier enthusiasts for years. The trials cover various tasks that are similar to agility trials, but are more natural and based on instincts the dogs are born with, such as navigating labyrinth-like burrows to uncover a caged rodent. Dachshunds excel at these trials and have even been banned from certain Terrier Association trials because they beat out their terrier competition so easily.

The Dachshund Club of America once hosted a “Wiener Dog Race” for nothing more than a gag. These races pitted Dachshunds against each other on a track not unlike Greyhound races, and was intended as funny piece of entertainment. However, since this first race, the act of racing Dachshunds actually caught on and began to spread.

Concerned with the terrible fate of racing dogs like Greyhounds, such as abandonment after their prime, confined housing, a lack of socialization, or just general poor quality of life, the Dachshund Club of America has since renounced the act of Dachshund Racing and strongly discourages any owner from participating in it.

Dachshund enthusiasts support Earth Dog Trials in lieu of the Dachshund Races because it accentuates the Dachshund’s natural instincts and skills, whereas racing does not. Dedicated breeders and enthusiasts alike are concerned that with the success and rise of Dachshund racing, new breeders will work to breed the dogs for speed instead of what they are born to do, which can damage desirable traits in the breed.

True Dachshund enthusiasts are devoted to preserving the breed and the skills at which the Dachshund already excels. Earth Dog Trials, along with being more ethically operated than dog races, are a wonderful way to exercise your Dachshund’s talents and intellect, as opposed to placing undue stress on a dog performing an activity he or she was not bred to perform.

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