Training a Dachshund including Puppy Dachshund
6th February 2023
Categories: How to Train
Dachshunds are renowned for excessive barking and being stubborn, but not in Vislor Dog Trainer Lauren’s experience. She owns a Dachshund called Buttons who has been trained since she was a puppy to be a well-behaved family pet. Training a Dachshund can be difficult sometimes, as is the case with many hunting dog breeds, but Lauren is sharing her tips so you can start training your Dachshund puppy or adult successfully.
Buttons the Dachshund Training at Home
Before we get into Lauren’s tips, check out some clips of Buttons at home being trained with the family. Buttons is as well-adjusted as a Dachshund gets, so if you want your Dachshund to behave like this – follow Lauren’s advice below!
Dachshunds, also known as “sausage dogs” or “wiener dogs,” are a popular breed of small dog with a distinctive elongated body shape. These dogs are known for their playful, affectionate nature and their loyalty to their owners. However, they can also display notoriously hard to deal with bad behaviour, health issues and attention spans that can be as short as their legs.
When puppy training your sausage dog it can be tempting to baby them and treat them like royalty, they are little dogs and very cute after all! This may get your dog’s attention for a while, but it can lead to a poorly adjusted adult dachshund. Keep your dachshund training sessions short and sweet. Focus on basic commands first and don’t let bad behaviours slide in between sessions – even if they make you laugh. A well-behaved dachshund puppy is the best kind of cute dachshund.
Start Training Habituation
A good dachshund puppy home is one that keeps them busy. Expose them to different sounds, give them training time out and about, and have your training session in a different environment. There are lots of fun ways to make the training process engaging for your dachshund.
Early exposure is key – it seems common that the average sausage dog is ‘frightened’ of lots of things but often people pick them up and carry them as they are small. This can lead to separation anxiety and a lack of positive socialisation. Some outcomes of this can be barking, bad behaviour around other animals and not learning basic commands.
Buttons the dachshund puppy started doing training as soon as Lauren brought her home. There was crate training from day one, this is really important as it gives your dog a safe place. Start teaching toilet training outside straight away, not using puppy mats as a lot of dachshund owners or people with small breed puppies do. They may have a small bladder but basic training should get them potty trained in no time. Teaching your dachshund basic manners is high up on the list – waiting for food, not snatching treats, waiting to go in and out of doors, cars or their crate. Positive behaviour is important for your sausage dog.
Sausage Dog Potty Training
Toilet training is also an important aspect of training your dachshund. Dachshunds are small dogs, which can sometimes make them easier to potty train than larger breeds. However, they can be stubborn and hard to train. To toilet train your dachshund, you should take them outside frequently and on a regular schedule. Toilet training can be an issue in the world of dachshund training, although Lauren has never had an issue thanks to putting in the work early on. If you are struggling then you might have to take your sausage dog outside every half an hour, every time they are let out of the crate and again straight after eating. You may stand outside with your dog for up to half an hour until they go to the toilet. Once they do you should reward and speak to them in a positive way, giving lots of praise. It is tempting to get them back in a nice warm house before they have been to the toilet as they’re so tiny and they will start shaking at the slightest thing. However, with perseverance and good training, you will have a dog that will happily go outside.
One of the main health risks to dachshunds that current or potential owners should be aware of is IVDD or “Invertebral Disk Disease”. It is an inherited disease that affects the disks between vertebrae in the spine.
IVDD will cause pain, coordination issues and sometimes incontinence so it is important to get your dachshund checked at the vet if they show any symptoms.
Kennel Club Screening
There is a kennel club IVDD scheme to help diagnose dogs and help breeders to avoid the risk of passing it on to future generations. If you are buying a puppy from a reputable breeder it would be a good idea to see if the parents have been assessed beforehand. Dogs are graded from 0 meaning an extremely low risk of producing IVDD to 3 being the highest risk which should be avoided. Find out more on the Kennel Club website
Training Fun Tricks
Lauren also does mark training with Buttons and started this from day one. This means taking time to train your dog to stand or sit on a set marker, like the piece of wood in the photo. You want them to go to the same spot when you ask them. You can also use “place training”, for many dogs this is training them to go to a bed or sit in a certain place – for Lauren and Buttons this has transferred over to many aspects of their lives and means they can do things together like go out in the horse and cart safely.
Another common issue with dachshunds is their tendency to bark excessively. This can be frustrating behaviour for both you and your neighbours. To address this, it is important to teach your dog when it is appropriate to bark and when it is not. This can be done by using a verbal cue such as “quiet” or “enough” to stop your dog from barking, and rewarding them when they stop. Basic training in Lauren’s house means zero tolerance for barking. This bad behaviour can often escalate and feed into other bad habits in dachshunds. You may need to be a bit firmer but it is an essential part of dachshund training, start as you mean to go on.
Loose Lead Training
Lauren sees a lot of dachshunds who don’t like going for walks, or “planting” – digging their paws in and refusing to go any further. She believes this is due to dachshunds being carried a lot as puppies. They are small, yes, but remember they were originally bred as hunting dogs so they are more than capable of doing a short walk around the block as puppies. Lauren will of course pick her up if the terrain is too much or the mud is deeper than her short legs. As a rule, Buttons is not carried. She easily keeps up with Lauren’s other dogs, an American Bully and Presa Canario, on their daily walks!
Dachshunds are Hunting Dogs
It’s easy to forget that Dachshunds are a hunting breed, but not so long ago their role was to kill other animals such as Badgers which is why “Dachshund” means “Badger Dog” in German. Below is a clip from “The Great“, a show about the early life of Catherine The Great who was the Empress of Russia in the 1700s.
In this scene I trained and handled a Dachshund who “fights” and kills a live raccoon for the entertainment of Russian Aristocrats. Dachshunds were bred to fearlessly seek out prey in their burrows to fight animals often larger than themselves. Obviously, no raccoons were harmed in the making of this show, which was overseen by the American Humane Society, but it is a telling portrayal of where the breed comes from. It is also a telling portrayal of my acting skills in costume.
Their hunting past may also explain the “Napoleon Syndrome” that many Dachshund owners have observed with their dogs. This can lead to reactivity with other dogs, which can be managed through “following state of mind” training sessions. By teaching your dog to be more aware of you and what you want, you can shape more positive behaviour around their attitude toward what they might see as rivals.
Keeping your Sausage Dogs Warm
Sausage Dogs are small, short-coated and thin-skinned so they will feel the cold very quickly. They will tell you if they are uncomfortable by shivering and it is important to get them used to wearing a coat early on in training, especially when they are puppies. It is natural for most dogs to resist wearing clothing at first but just like introducing a dog to walking on a lead, the more you do it the less they will mind it until they accept what has become an established routine.
Dealing with Bad Behaviour
First and foremost, it is important to establish yourself as the leader where the dog is taught to adopt the “following state of mind”. Dachshunds are known for their independent nature, and they need to understand that you are in charge. This means setting clear boundaries and rules for your dog and consistently enforcing them. This can include adopting “restriction” strategies such as using designated areas in your home where your dog is safe from unwanted destructive behaviour.
Reactivity is a common trait amongst many hunting or working breeds so it is important to teach Dachshunds self-regulation through effective positive punishment at the first signs of reactivity to people or other dogs and positive reinforcement when they behave appropriately. You should always remember to resist the impulse of removing a Dachshund puppy from stimuli they are reactive to. Instead, expose and guide them through these reflexive behaviours until they are more comfortable.
Once you have established yourself as the leader, you can begin to work on basic obedience training. This should include commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” and “come.” Start by teaching your dog these commands in a quiet, distraction-free environment, and gradually increase the level of difficulty as your Dachshund puppy progresses. You can use food or their favourite toy as a reward to start teaching these behaviours. Consistency is key here – make sure that you are using a firm voice with the same command word every time, and that you are rewarding your dog for good behaviour.
To reiterate an important aspect of training your Dachshund puppy is socialization. Dachshunds are known for being protective of their owners, and they can be prone to aggressive behaviour towards other dogs and people. To prevent this, it is important to expose your dog to a variety of different people and animals from a young age. This includes taking your dog to puppy socialization classes and introducing them to friends, family, and other pets.
Finally, it’s important to remember that training is an ongoing process. Dachshunds are intelligent and curious dogs, and they will continue to learn and grow throughout their lives. To keep your dog engaged and motivated, try incorporating new and different training exercises into your routine. This can include things like agility training, obedience trials, and trick training.
In conclusion, raising a dachshund can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it can also be a rewarding experience. By establishing yourself as the leader of the pack, working on basic obedience training, socializing your dog, addressing barking issues, potty training, and incorporating new training exercises, you will be able to have a happy, well-behaved companion. Remember to be patient and consistent, and reward your dog for good behaviour. With love, patience, and a positive attitude, you can train your dachshund to be the best.
If you need help, or have any questions about Dachshund dog training, then Vislor can help. Our team of experts are experienced in helping owners train their dogs and solve behavioural problems.