Dachshund Training: How to Tame the Beast


Your Ultimate Dachshund Training Guide

Do you think that training a Doxie is an easy task? Well, it may look like it at first, but you can face many challenges in the process. Don’t worry—we’re here to take you through every step of the way so that you are fully prepared when the training time comes! 

Dog training depends on the type of session your buddy needs, as well as the breed and psychology of the dog in question. If done correctly, training your dog to perform a variety of complicated tasks can be an invaluable and exciting experience for you as well as your little beasty.

In case you prefer to train your dog yourself and want to develop their skills, here is all you need to know about the nature of Dachshunds along with helpful tips on how to train them successfully.

Meet the Dachshund Almighty

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Dachshund dogs are popular due to their dwarf status. Although they are not among the top 10 world’s most expensive dog breeds to own, taking care of them is not what you’d call cheap.

Dachshunds aren’t big dogs, but don’t let their looks deceive you. They have plenty of courage and sometimes can even attack other animals, even those much bigger than themselves. In the past, the Dachshund owners used their pets for hunting badgers, so their innate drive is to be quick and restless. By nature, they are stubborn, self-ruling, and not always easy to deal with. So, in three words—challenging to train! 

They must have owners who can understand their personality and adjust the training process accordingly. The Dachshund breed will show an inclination towards leadership from a young age, and it needs to be nipped in the bud. If you don’t show strong will and authority over them, they will be prone to destructiveness.

These dogs’ way of thinking is also rather specific. Given that Dachshunds were used for hunting, it is logical that they have both highly developed natural intelligence and quick reflexes. They make their own decisions on when and how to attack the prey, which means they can be fiercely independent. They can also act up in the presence of children who don’t know how to treat them.

This breed is loyal, lively, and likes to be surrounded by people. It doesn’t take much time to understand the reasons why Dachshunds are so loveable. Their loving personality makes them popular with people, which is why they rank high on the best dog breeds to adopt list. You can easily fall into the trap of spoiling them, even though they need a firm hand, especially in the beginning. As the Dachshunds are prone to belligerence, the crucial part of raising them is training and discipline. We present you with various techniques you can use to make sure your training sessions are fruitful:

  1. Include rewarding into training
  2. Correct bad behavior in a positive way
  3. Provide your dog with confinement
  4. Use as few words as possible
  5. Avoid showing violence in any way
  6. Keep the training short
  7. Be consistent
  8. Socialize your pet

Include Rewarding into Training

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Rewards make an integral part of every training process, and the owners should use them as much as they can. Rewards are used to praise good behavior. There are several ways of rewarding, and the most important ones are:

  • Treats
  • Petting
  • Praise and Play

Eat Your Treat!

You should give your buddy a treat when they follow the order successfully. It is up to you to choose the treats that you will use. Whether it’s real ones that you can buy at dog food stores or homemade treats, anything your hairy companion loves can come in handy. 

If you opt for purchasing food, bear in mind that your dog’s nutrition is vital for their health. Raising a healthy Dachshund entails finding the best dry dog food for small dogs as well as the best canned dog food for puppies who prefer wet food. For senior dogs, it’s vital to give them food that can help prolong their lifespan, so scan through the best senior dry dog food. If your buddy doesn’t like canned food, make sure you avoid feeding them with the worst dry dog food available today.

You can also use one of the top 10 best dog dental chews as they taste like a treat and keep your dog’s teeth healthy. If your pup is not responding to them initially, bring a chew closer to their nose, let them sniff it, and then start the training session. 

Treats should be small. If they are large, some time will be lost on chewing, which can result in moving the focus away from training sessions. Check out the list of worst dog treat brands, to know what to refrain from. 

Ready, Set, Pet!

Dogs don’t always accept petting eagerly. There are certain areas that owners should avoid petting, such as their: 

  1. Head
  2. Muzzle
  3. Leg
  4. Paw

Even the pups who like petting may act negatively if someone goes right for these areas. This also refers to the Dachshund, who will interpret your move as an attempt to force dominance and then get irritated. Introducing petting little by little will be less stressful for both the pet and the owner. You can always scratch them under their belly or behind their ears, they’re going to love it!
If the dog starts enjoying petting immediately, this is an excellent rewarding method. It should be done after the dog responds well to the order and in such a way that it pleases your canine and makes them feel loved and comfortable. 

Time for Play You Say? 

Praise and play is also a significant part of any training. Your dog can sense whatever you are feeling, so it is recommendable to train your dog when both of you feel relaxed. You need to carry out training with patience. The greatest reward for your pet is precisely your positive response to their actions, and one of the ways to achieve that is by praising. 

Instead of treats and praise, you can give them their favorite toy to chew. Another way to spend quality time with your furry pal is to take them outside for a run. There are also some rules that you need to follow upon leaving the yard, which you can find in the top ten tips for running with your dog

Combining all types of rewards is highly recommendable. If the owners rely only on treats, for instance, the dog’s focus will in time shift from the actual order to food. Expected rewards will slow down performance and reduce concentration. Treats are an ideal solution for rewarding at the beginning, but as time passes, your dog needs to start seeing you as a reward as well. That’s when the playtime comes into play. 

Correct Bad Behaviour in a Positive Way 

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All sorts of bad behavior that these pups manifest are usually a result of loneliness or boredom. If you want to help your dog with separation anxiety, resource guarding, or problems related to aggressive behavior, your approach should be friendly and positive. You should not punish your pet. Instead, try to root out bad behavior. The typical signs of misbehaving are:

  • Excessive barking. Although it’s difficult for this breed to suppress their barking utterly, you can help them keep it under control. Try to ignore it, because if you don’t, they will start seeing it as a way to draw your attention every time they feel like it. The Dachshund dogs tend to bark at anything new to them. Let them get familiar with the outside world from a young age.
  • Digging. As mentioned, the Dachshund breed used to hunt badgers in the past, and it’s clear why they enjoy digging so much. One of the ways you can protect your yard is to provide your pet with a sandbox where you can hide their favorite toys and treats. This makes the digging at that one precise place much more rewarding, and they will unlikely dig anywhere else. If you are not able to make a sandbox, try keeping the Dachshund occupied continuously. They tend to start digging when they are bored, so keep them active! Never let your dog wander in the yard unattended.
  • Chewing. To prevent the Dachshund dog from chewing, give them a chewing toy that can replace your shoes and furniture. A chewing toy is an essential tool in training your canine, and here you can find a list of top 10 best dog toys of 2020.  Never hit or yell at them. This kind of negative training technique can only make things worse and aggravate your pet.   

Keep Them Busy

One of the most significant causes of bad behavior with dogs is boredom. Keep your pooch busy, play together in a yard or a park, take them for a walk, go for a run, but make sure you teach the puppy to walk on a leash before going out! Any form of energy release is recommendable. Just be careful, the Dachshund dogs, just like their Pug friends, have short legs, which makes them prone to spinal health issues. Check-ups at the vet should be regular. 

Provide Your Dog with Confinement

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Puppies tend to try out all sorts of behavior patterns to see how far they can go. It is crucial to create some confinement for your pooch, especially if you are not able to supervise them. It will prevent them from roaming around the house and making their own rules while you are not there. If left unattended, they will get the feeling there is no control over them and that they can do whatever pleases them. 

One way to create a safe and enjoyable environment for your dog is to confine them to a crate. Some people might argue that this type of confinement is too unnatural and brutal, but as it turns out—it’s useful! As the crates feel like an animal’s lair, the canine will feel safe. They will consider the crates as their private place, and it’s unlikely that your dog will make a mess and soil it. 

Getting a Dachshund used to a crate or kennel is tiring and the owners need to do it gradually. First, leave your dog closed for half an hour and then let them out. This breed is known for having a small bladder, so your pet could make a mess if left closed for too long. Also, it takes some time for them to get used to the idea that the crate is their safe space. 

The owners can associate this safe pace with positive feelings by leaving their pet’s favorite toy inside. You can also give them treats in the crate but steer clear of the worst dog treat brands on the market! This will surely speed up the process of familiarizing themselves with the new space. The dog should not be sent to their safe place as a means of punishment, because they will find it repellent. Here you can inform yourselves more about why crate training is great for your dog.

The perfect size of the crate for Dachshunds is 24 by 30 inches or 24 by 36 inches. If you need more information, you might find it useful to go through these dog kennel ideas

The Fewer Words You Use, the Better

Once you start teaching your dog the most basic commands, try to use only one word for each command. The shorter the word, the better. The best way to start is by using Yes and No sharp words. Commands that can ensue are: sit, come, stay, and leave. It is much better to say sit rather than sit down. The Dachshund will make an association between the word and the order faster if the command is short and effective.

Avoid Showing Violence in Any Way

If the Dachshund dogs refuse to listen to you or they make a mess, don’t yell, punish, or hit them. Their bad behavior is usually just a result of your inadequate training. Any negative actions can leave permanent consequences on your pet! Here are some of the consequences:

  • The Dachshund dogs may end up getting hurt
  • They can get aggravated and cause even more significant harm
  • The stress can lead to severe trauma in a dog

Keep the Training Short

The Dachshunds are playful and energetic dogs. It is easy for them to get distracted. As they have such a short attention span, keeping the training brief and frequent is the perfect combination for success. It is recommendable to work with them up to ten minutes per exercise, two to three times a day, especially if they are puppies. Training duration can extend as the canine gets older. Each session should be ended on a positive note. For better effect, change rooms in which training takes place. Thus the dog will understand better that they should follow your commands wherever you are. 

Be Consistent

Consistency is an essential part of dog training. The Dachshunds have it in their nature to strive for leadership, which means that they will take advantage of any flaw they sense in their owner’s training process. If at any time the owner gives in to any measure or the dog is rewarded beyond training, they will forget all the rules and commands they have learned. There are three rules which make an integral part of consistent training, and those are:

  • Sticking to a daily routine. Practice and training sessions should be an obligatory part of every day. The owners must repeat them several times a day, and they should be short (five to ten minutes). 
  • Rewarding only good behavior. By no means should pooches receive a reward for their bad behavior. If the owners give them treats beyond training, it will be counterproductive. 
  • All family members are part of the training. Preventing your dog from misbehaving is in the interest of the whole family, and everyone should be involved in the training process. If you don’t want your dog to beg for food while you are eating, no one should give them food during meals. 

If you break any of these rules, your dog will stop seeing you as a strong leader. That means that you will lose control over your pooch, so it is crucial to have consistency in training your family dog

Socialize Your Pet

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Exposing your Dachshund dog to the outside world from a young age can have only a positive impact on their behavior. There are several ways which you can use to maximize socializing your pet.

  • Daily walks. Each walk outside your yard is beneficial for the dog as they grow accustomed to a wide variety of strange things. Getting them used to the outside world can undoubtedly alleviate behavioral oscillations. 
  • Awaken their senses. Gradually acclimate your furry friend to lots of different sounds and smells. That’s one of the great ways to relieve your dog’s fear of loud noises. 
  • Meet and greet. Introduce the Dachshund to new people and other dogs. Make sure that while cuddling with your pet, other people pay attention to keep their hands so that the dog can see them!

Puppy Training

The sooner you start training your pups, the better. The first year of any puppy is essential in forming their habits. Here in the table, you have all the details you should know about raising the Dachshund puppy. 

3‒5 weeks Training your puppy can start! Be careful, in the first month your dog only begins to interact with their surroundings, so start easy!
5‒7 weeks Gradual socializing and exposure should take place between five to seven weeks. 
8‒12 weeks Puppies can leave their mother. You can start teaching your puppy basic commands in a fun and positive way.
12‒16 weeks In this period, one of you takes on the leader role. If you want to avoid the you-are-not-a-boss-of-me scenario, this is the time to start being a bit firmer.
4-7 months Include as many activities as possible. Your puppy is now a ball of joy and energy, so take them for a walk, go for a run, or play with them often.
7-10 months This is when your puppy starts shaping their personality. Any flaw or changes you notice in their behavior can be significant, so beware. 
10-12 months Similar to teenagers, this is when you can expect most behavioral oscillations. Try to understand their needs, give them enough attention daily, and make sure they know you’re always on the alert. 

Check out These Cute Dachshund Mixes

If you are still not certain if the Dachshund is the right choice for you, there are many Dachshund mixes that you could consider. Check them out!

Dachshund Pug mix Dachshund Lab mix Dachshund Beagle mix
Dachshund Golden Retriever mix Dachshund Pitbull mix Dachshund Corgi mix
Chihuahua Dachshund mix Jack Russell Dachshund mix Dachshund Poodle mix
Dachshund Yorkie mix German Shepherd Dachshund mix Dachshund Terrier mix
Pomeranian Dachshund mix Cocker Spaniel Dachshund mix Shih Tzu Dachshund mix
Min Pin Dachshund mix Basset Hound Dachshund mix Dachshund Husky mix
Maltese Dachshund mix Dachshund Dalmatian mix Australian Shepherd Dachshund mix
Border Collie Dachshund mix Rottweiler Dachshund mix Doberman Dachshund mix
Papillon Dachshund mix Rat Terrier Dachshund mix Italian Greyhound Dachshund mix
Bulldog Dachshund mix Blue Heeler Dachshund mix Boxer Dachshund mix
Great Dane Dachshund mix French Bulldog Dachshund mix Pekingese Dachshund mix
Dachshund Boston Terrier mix Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dachshund mix Cairn Terrier Dachshund mix
Shiba Inu Dachshund mix Dachshund Bichon mix Weimaraner Dachshund mix

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachshund
  2. https://www.quora.com/Can-a-dachshund-be-trained
  3. Toy, J. “Bilateral Separation of the Distal Femoral Epiphyses in a Dachsund-Cross Puppy.” Veterinary Record, vol. 97, no. 14, Apr. 1975, pp. 263–264., doi:10.1136/vr.97.14.263.
  4. Beauchesne, Ryan. Crusoe, the Celebrity Dachshund: Adventures of the Wiener Dog Extraordinaire. Griffin Publishing, 2015.

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