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5 Reasons the Dachshund is a Hot Dog

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Dachshunds were initially bred for hunting. And although few modern owners employ the fearless weenie dog as badger-ouster, it's still fun to tap into the doxie's athletic instincts.

Dachshunds are a great fit for doggie competitions. They're quick to catch on, whatever the trick or task, which means these all-around competitors can tackle everything from agility trials to freestyle dance. While agility training will have a dachshund jumping hoops and running chutes, freestyle dance will tap into his penchant for following commands (set to music, of course). And because dachshunds have a strong prey drive, they're also adept at tracking tests -- a competition in which they follow a scent in a mock search-and-rescue arena. Your dachshund can compete for titles and trophies at AKC-sanctioned events, and local breed clubs offer low-key competitions, too. Is it any wonder this natural-born athlete was the official mascot for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany?

A real renaissance dog, the dachshund has brains as well as brawn. Learn about his comedic timing on the next page.

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