Shows and Competitions for Your Dachshund

Dachshunds pick up on training quickly; combine that with their love of the spotlight, and you'll see that entering Dachshunds in shows and competitions could be fun and a great way for the two of you to bond. You might even have a champion in the making.

If you want something else to do in your spare time that includes your Dachshund, why not consider a little friendly competition? The more you explore dog competitions, the more you may be surprised at how endless your options are.

Obedience competition

Basic obedience background is essential for any canine sport, so one of the best places to start is with obedience competition. Try attending an AKC- or UKC-sanctioned obedience competition to see how it works, or attend less-formal obedience events sponsored by your local dog club.

  • Canine Good Citizen test — A 10-part exam that tests a dog ability to demonstrate good manners and proves he can act like a good citizen in public.

  • Rally — In Rally, dogs and their handlers (that's you) compete on a course of 10 to 20 stations, performing an obedience task at each one.

    Obedience trials — Formal obedience trials include rigorous obedience tests and tests of tracking ability — a Dachshund specialty. Check out the AKC and the UKC for rules and information on how to get started.

Conformation shows

At a conformation dog show a trained judge analyzes each dog to determine which dog most closely matches the written breed standard. Your dog must be registered with a purebred dog registry like the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Spayed or neutered dogs may not participate in conformation shows.

Canine freestyle

If your Dachshund is better at funny tricks and precision commands, and you've got a modicum of amount of grace, the two of you may love to compete in canine freestyle — a competition that combines obedience moves with choreography. You pick the song, you make up the moves, and then you and your Dachshund perform for the crowd . . . and maybe even earn titles!

You should attend a few events to see what it's all about. Check out the Canine Freestyle Federation and the World Canine Freestyle Organization, Inc. and then try out the doggie version of Dancing with the Stars.

Field trials

The purpose of field trials is to give breeds designed for field work the opportunity to exercise their natural abilities. In a Dachsie field trial, your Dachshunds will track small game through dense brush and alerting hunters to the location of the game (don't worry — no wildlife gets hurt).

If you're interested, you should visit a field trial or two to see what it's all about. To find a field trial in your area, check out the AKC field trials information.

Tracking tests

If your Dachshund loves to follow a scent, consider tracking. Tracking is a fun, addictive, outdoorsy sport — kind of a competitive form of canine search and rescue. Your Dachshund can earn tracking titles, and you'll have fun watching him use his natural nasal abilities. Check out an AKC-sponsored tracking event to learn more.

Agility trials

Agility is hot these days because everyone loves to watch it. Who can resist dogs jumping through hoops, running over teeter-totters, and tunneling through chutes all on one fast-paced obstacle course? The dogs can't resist it, either. If your Dachshund is athletic and you think he'd enjoy agility, consider training him for agility work.

Agility is so much fun that it may become an every-weekend activity for you and your Dachshund. You can find agility events through the AKC's agility page, UKC's agility page, or your local dog club.

In agility trials, the height of the jumps are adjust for the height of the dog, so your Dachshund's back should be safe. However, if your Dachshund is at risk for disk disease, stick to obedience or another less stressful activity.

Earthdog tests

Bottom line: Dachshunds love to dig. But you already know that. If yours is a digger extraordinaire, he may have the right stuff for earthdog tests or den trials in which the dog scurries through a maze of tunnels looking for prey (don't worry no one gets hurt).

Earthdog tests are a lot of fun and most Dachshunds require minimal training to excel in this sport — it's in your Dachsie's genes. Visit AKC-sponsored earthdog events or an AWTA Den Trials, to see what it's all about.

Beginners can start out with the Introduction to Quarry test (not required for more advanced levels of competition). This test requires that your dog get to the rat within two minutes and work the quarry continuously for at least 30 seconds. This test can help you determine whether your Dachshund is a natural at earthdog tests.

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