Have you ever spent ages choosing a toy for your dog, only for it to be ignored after 20 minutes?
If so, you are not alone. Animal psychologists have found that dogs display “neophilia”, which refers to a tendency to prefer newer things.
This can make it seem like no toy will ever be good enough for your dachshund, but rest assured there are some great toys out there that can keep them occupied longer.
It is difficult to know which toys are best for your dachshund, so we have narrowed down our favourites to show you what makes a great toy for a dachshund.
Our top Dachshund toys
- Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Toy
- SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy
- Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower
- Arm & Hammer Super Treadz Gorilla and Gator Dental Chew Toy
- Benebone Real Flavour Wishbone Chew Toy
Types of toys
Celebrity animal behaviourist Cesar Millan notes that playing with you will be far superior to any other toy in the eyes of your dachshund. We get that this isn’t always possible though, so we have outlined all the different types of toys below:
Firstly, interactive toys. These are those that Millan is referring to, such as balls for fetch or hide and seek. They allow you to interact and bond with your dachshund through play.
Next, cuddly toys. These are soft toys that your dachshund might like to cuddle or even sleep with. They provide comfort and can calm your dachshund but are not very robust.
Teething toys are great for puppies. They are designed to be chewed so should be robust. They should also be made of harmless materials.
Self-amusement toys are those that can be played with alone. These should be robust enough to endure playtime and small enough that your dachshund can fit his mouth around it (but not so small that they can be swallowed!).
Lastly, Puzzle toys are ones that test your dachshund’s intelligence by providing them with an objective to work towards. One example of puzzle toys are treat-dispensers that you can fill with treats and let your dachshund figure out how to release them.
Dachshund’s favourite toys
Dachshunds have very particular characteristics, some of which stem from their initial purpose as hunting dogs. Whilst they are no longer employed to hunt live animals, many have retained an inclination towards actions such as seeking, burrowing and barking.
Also, they share physical attributes such as short legs and long noses that, whilst previously ensuring their ability to conduct these hunting duties effectively, now just render them distinctly lovable.
These attributes, however, also equip them with some disadvantages in that they are notoriously prone to obesity and back problems.
Given their specific features, it is perhaps unsurprising that dachshunds also have specific interests when it comes to toys. A great toy for a dachshund should be:
To save you constantly having to replace them, a great dog toy should be robust. There is also another reason for this though, as constantly destroying their toys can reinforce the idea that destroying things is fun and acceptable – which won’t be as cute when it comes to your sofa.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) highlights the importance of regularly checking your dog’s toys to ensure no pieces have broken off. This is especially important for teething toys or any others that are made for chewing.
If the outer material is not robust, an alternative to keeping your house mess-free might be a toy with no stuffing.
As we know, dachshunds are prone to obesity, and toys that keep them moving might help to combat this.
Games like fetch or hide and seek can combine a dachshund’s need to exercise with their love of games involving you, killing 2 birds with 1 stone!
Likewise, it is not just their bodies that need exercising. Dachshunds are innately intelligent creatures, so a puzzle toy that engages their brain might keep them entertained longer than a simpler toy.
That said, simple does not always mean ineffective! You could create your own ‘puzzle’ with a very simple hide and seek toy. Literally, anything you can hide – a plastic bone, a teddy – can serve as a hide and seek toy.
The Humane Society suggests that any toy marked as safe for children under age 3 is safe for a dog. This is mostly a way of ensuring that the materials in the toy are non-toxic if accidentally ingested.
Due to their small mouths, dachshunds have a lower chance of swallowing small parts than larger breeds, but it might still be worth avoiding anything very small.
Squeaky toys can build aggression as they ignite a dachshund’s natural motivation to find and destroy. The Humane Society recommends supervising any play with squeaky toys, to ensure no parts are swallowed.
As we mentioned before, the best toys are new toys and ones you can play with together.
There will be, however, undoubtedly be some toys that dachshunds will continue to love playing with on their own. Millan advises that showing an interest in your dachshund’s toy yourself can help to increase their interest in it.
You can try it yourself with our favourites:
Our top picks for your dachshund
Below we look at 5 of our favourite toys chosen specifically for Dacshunds.
This interactive puzzle toy features squeaky squirrels that you hide in the soft tree trunk for your dachshund to find. This might suit boredom-prone dogs or those that need to be left alone for some time.
This puzzle toy taps into dachshund’s natural hunter instincts without causing a mess or reinforcing aggressive behaviours.
This toy is soft so can be left safely with your dachshund, but also doubles up as an interactive toy – you can take the squirrels out for hide and seek or fetch.
You can also choose from a range of sizes, so this might even keep the smallest of miniature dachshunds occupied.
This toy is not very durable, but you can buy replacement squirrels separately.
The squirrels are squeaky so this might not be for those who want a quiet toy!
- Provides mental stimulation
- Doubles up as an interactive toy
- No mess
- Range of sizes
- Not very durable
- Squeaky noise
This comforting soft toy might suit young puppies in new environments. The “real-feel” heartbeat and warming heat pack are made to emulate the feel of the mother. This can help with sleep and behaviour and reduce stress.
The heart can be turned on and off when needed and the comforting toy might help to settle a dachshund in their bed or crate.
The toy is machine washable if you take the batteries out but is not very durable so will not suit chewers. It also contains stuffing so if it does get chewed or ripped it will cause a mess.
- Not durable
If you love the idea of interactive toys and fetch, but do not have the mobility to reach down for a ball, this toy might be able to help. This lightweight ball thrower comes in sizes up to 26 inches long so can be used by pet parents of all ages.
The launcher fits standard tennis balls size and easily picks up balls from the ground without you having to reach right down.
Even if you do not need any assistance, this toy can stop you from having to bend over constantly whilst still being able to provide your dachshund with lengthy interactions.
The ergonomic handle fits in your hand comfortably and is a simple, affordable design.
- Range of sizes
This chew toy doubles up as a tooth cleaner! The ridges in the alligator’s back scrape the teeth and the material is infused with baking soda to clean even more.
The small or large options means that this toy might be good for dachshunds ranging from teething puppies to extreme adult chewers.
The material is durable and made of natural ingredients but is not edible so you should always supervise its use! It also makes a squeaky noise which might be annoying to some pet parents.
- Cleans teeth
- Puppies and adults
- Natural ingredients
This durable chew toy comes in a size small enough to fit in a dachshund’s mouth and might save your furniture from being chewed.
It has a strong-smelling real bacon flavouring which will entice them in and might hold their attention longer. It is also designed in a shape that dogs find easy to pick up.
The is meant for adult teeth, though, so will not suit a teething puppy.
This toy must be used under supervision due to potentially sharp pieces being chewed off. It is also not edible must be replaced when it starts to deteriorate.
- Real bacon flavouring
- Can’t be used without supervision
- Sharp pieces
The best toys for dachshunds
Our top pick for dachshunds is Outward Hound’s Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Toy. Despite being less durable than others, it can provide your dachshund with mental stimulation whilst allowing you to be as active or inactive as you like. The squeaky squirrels will entertain any dachshund and you can use the squirrels for hide and seek if you want!
Now you know what makes a great toy but remember that playing with you will always be your dachshund’s favourite. When this isn’t possible, make sure their toys are durable, safe and stimulating for a happy doxie and a tidy home.