Ahornzwinger Family Dog Training

...because every dog loves to learn!


Willi's First Birthday

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Willi's 1. Birthday

Today is Willi's first birthday! What a year it has been. Lots of training, showing and fun with our first Dachshund. We couldn't have asked for a better dog. He is very well mannered, good with all other dogs and people, but not overly enthusiastic about getting petted by strangers. And very funny! Dachshund's are not couch potatoes. I don't think there were many hours during the day that Willi wasn't up to something. We hope we have many healthy and happy years with Willi to come. Watch my blog for updates on shows, trials and training. My weekly blog will end now. If you are interested in a dog like Willi - look for a reputable working-dog breeder, with breeding dogs with working titles, like Earthdog, tracking or field trial titles. Thanks to Willi's breeder Brigitte Walkey and her Springwood kennel in British Columbia and thanks to Jolanta Jeanneney from Born-To-Track and owner of Willi's Sire for all the help and tips!

Willi Week 51

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Earthdog practice

Today was Willi's second Earthdog practice. He did a great job; he went into the tunnels twice and started working the quarry. On the photos you can see him at his second introduction to the (safely enclosed gerbils, which by the way weren't intimidated even a little bit; they kept on munching on their food). His sister already has her Junior Earthdog title and we will go to our first trial next month. Obviously his hunting instinct awoke and he is ready to go! We are really lucky to have him! To read more about Earthdog, please go to:


Willi Week 50

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

A fit and fun working dog

Thinking about the Dachshund as a German working dog breed, the working Dachshund should be lean and athletic, have a maximum of fitness and endurance. The wire coat of the Wire-haired Dachshund should be short and thick, with short undercoat, which makes the dog resistant to weather and water. This is Willi, almost a year old, after a 2 hour hike and (leashed) mouse hunt in the bush. Does he look tired to you? I don't think so! His daily food portion is exactly the same as our German Shepherd's portion. They get an equal amount of daily exercise. For all dogs, but especially for all dogs with long vertebrae (back), it is very important not be overweight. Both of our dogs are very athletic and train regularily in dog sports with a maximum endurance level.

On the training side - we are still improving tracking in all weather conditions. Today was very windy and tracking was more difficult. We have to track in heavy wind more often.

Willi Week 49

Posted on June 9, 2013 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Different tracking methods

This is Willi starting on a blood-track scent pad. I used previously frozen blood from raw dog food processing - thanks to Steve and Susanne from Susie's Raw Dog Food! - on an 100 paces long track across a community park along a busy road. The breeze was minimal but it had rained on and off throughout the day. The track was 10 minutes old. Willi started concentrated, but got distracted by mosquitos and decided to have a quick pee off track after which he started again and found the end of the track. There, he stopped and waited for food. Throughout the track he was trailing and running while circleing at the corners.

The second track at a different area in the same park was layed out with kibble, approx. every 2 to 5 steps. The length and age of the track was the same. At first Willi was extremely distracted by mosquitos but found concentration back on the track on kibble. He ate just a few of them but nicely followed the track to the end. This time calmer and slower.

I will start placing an article at the end of the track soon.

Willi Week 48

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Dachshund protection

Willi is clearly a hunting dog, but he is a great house guard as well. Today he had fun trying out protection. He loved chasing the "bad guy", but the sleeve for the big dogs was just a little too big to bite. Afterwards he enjoyed a great game of tug and barked very nicely. The working Dachshund is a fearless and versatile breed.

Willi Week 47

Posted on May 25, 2013 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Gun Shyness? Not!

The gun shyness test is part of different dog sports. For hunting dogs the gun shyness test is an important test to determine soundness and fearlessness in hunting dogs. The dog has to lie in a down while several (blank) shots are fired in close vicinity. Is the dog fearful or runs away he/she will fail the test. In other dog sports, like Schutzhund or IPO, blank shots are fired during the obedience routine to determine if the dog is sound and fearless. Willi sat-in during a practice today and was behaving absolutely sound and fearless. He doesn't show any nervousness or fearfulness and remained calm and quiet. There was no doubt that our Willi is a fearless dog, but this practice just proofed it one more time. To learn more about hunting dog tests check out the website of the North American Teckel club at:

Willi Week 46

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)


On Track

Willi is an awesome little tracker. He did about 250 metres of blood-track today and the only thing he has to learn is to pace himself. He gets some gentle reminders with pops on the leash that he should concentrate on the track and not race the track. He does exceptionally well and always finds the target - a heap of wiener pieces. We tracked through grass and sandy patches today. The left pictures is from the start of the track - pop on the leash - the right picture is at the end of the track as he finds the wiener. I hope to be able to make a video of Willi tracking soon.

Willi Week 44

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)


The last snow has melted and Willi started digging in the yard. He is looking for mice under the patio door and enjoys the sunshine. I have contacted the local Earthdog Club and we hope the season starts soon. I have never done Earthdog before and it will be a new adventure on the dog training journey. Willi is maturing and is wildboar coat is shining through is black top coat now. He did another great track this weekend. He is very excited to approach a track and he has already made the connection between tracking collar and upcoming track, as he starts sniffing the ground as soon as he has his tracking collar on. He wears a hand-made blood-tracking collar. If you are looking for tracking gear for your Dachshund go to:


Willi week 43

Posted on May 1, 2013 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Tracking is finally here!

Although there is still is a little snow on the ground, we found some open areas and finally did our first food track on Saturday. As you can see Willi is very enthusiastic and tries to race through the track. He has to learn to slow down and concentrate on the track. He just starts on this track here on the photo and the leash is tight as it runs slowly through my hands. He tracks with a very nice deep nose. I train him to keep his nose as much on the track as possible. Hunting dogs like to trail on their tracks and move on and off the actual track. To stay put on the actual track will involve a little bit of learning. So far he did two beautiful young dog tracks at the weeeknd. Way to go Willi!

Willi Week 42

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Fun In The Ball Park!

Although we had a few flurries and fridged temperatures for the last two days, the snow is almost entirely gone and it's time to get the dog toys out! For the first time Willi chased and carried a ball around for almost an hour. He treats it as a hunting object, yet he has a hard time finding it in the grass. He simply has to learn to use his nose for that too. We had great fun this evening. It was still 0 Celsius but the sun only set after 8 pm and there was lots of time to play and enjoy the sunset. Willi really enjoyed running and playing and sleeps exhausted in his dog bed now. He developed a new behaviour and we do have fun with that one: When on a car ride, Willi starts "singing" as soon as the vehicle slows down. I think he anticipates the arrival at the dog park since he can't see much out of his crate in the back of the vehicle. However, we don't always drive to the dog park when we are going for a ride.... He is such a funny guy! If the weather stays like this we will do some tracks this week!