There’s no denying that Dachshunds are adorable little dogs. They’re notable for their unusual shape – a long back with short legs – which sometimes compels people to compare them to hot dogs or refer to them as “wiener dogs.” They’re often also referred to as “Doxies.”
But are Dachshunds easy to train? For any potential dog owner, it’s best to get a good idea of a dog’s temperament and trainability before leaping into adoption, as it can help avoid potential problems down the line. So we’ve compiled all the information you’ll need to help you make the best possible decision for a potential new addition to your family!
Table of Contents
What Are Dachshunds Like?
One of the most important things to note is that Dachshunds are good watchdogs, which is great if you’re looking for a dog who will keep an eye on your house and alert you to intruders or visitors.
However, part of being a good watchdog is barking. Dachshunds tend to bark; despite their small size, they have strong lungs, and their barks can get pretty loud. If a dog prone to barking will grate on your nerves (or disturb your neighbors), a Dachshund might not be the best choice for you and your family.
If the potential for barking doesn’t deter you, you’ll find that Dachshunds are also incredibly loyal, devoted dogs who love to be around their family. So in choosing to adopt a Dachshund, you choose a friend for life.
As you might expect from a devoted pup, your Dachshund is likely to bond closely with you, wanting to spend a lot of time in your company. However, if you work long hours or will be away from home for extended periods, your Dachshund might get lonely and act out. If so, this might not be the breed for you.
They also tend to be pretty active dogs that need to play and get plenty of exercise. So you’ll need to devote a decent amount of time to exercising your dog.
Finally, Dachshunds are typically smart dogs that can be a little stubborn.
What Is the History of Dachshunds?
To truly understand the temperament of a Dachshund, it helps to know the breed’s history. The little dogs originated in Germany, and “Dachshund” translates to “badger dog.” That’s because Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers!
You might not expect such cute little dogs to be ferocious hunters, but their long, low body shape makes them ideally suited to digging for small ground-dwelling animals.
Badgers are notoriously fierce, too. They have sharp claws and teeth and are not likely to give up without a fight. That’s why Dachshunds have strong jaws and relatively large teeth to help defend them against any relation they might have experienced at the hands of their prey.
Because of the potentially dangerous situations they were bred to experience, Dachshunds are courageous and could sometimes be described as aggressive or antagonistic.
Not being scared of a fight, they’ve even been known to go head-to-head with breeds much larger than them, not to mention their propensity for chasing toys, birds, and other small animals.
How Do Dachshunds Behave?
Although Dachshunds were originally bred as fierce hunting dogs, they’re a lot more easygoing today, making them excellent companions.
However, some of their original hunting dog behaviors still remain: Doxies are more likely than many other breeds to dig, so keep an eye on them in your backyard if you don’t want a bunch of holes in your lawn!
Dachshunds also tend to be very intelligent and playful, making them fun to play with, but this means they can also be mischievous.
They may also figure out how to manipulate you into giving them treats or allowing bad behavior. Their mischievous and stubborn nature can make them relentlessly pursue what they want.
This relentless nature can also lead to Dachshunds becoming overweight. If your Doxie is constantly pestering you for treats, sometimes it’s easier to give in. However, be careful not to overfeed them.
The higher a Dachshund’s weight, the more strain is placed on their backs, risking IVDD, disc injury, and paralysis.
Are Dachshunds Easy To Train?
Dachshunds are known for being a little stubborn and mischievous. However, that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to train. They’re even recommended for first-time dog owners without prior experience training dogs.
A Dachshund’s intelligence is a big reason why first-time dog owners may gravitate toward this breed. Because they’re so smart, they can quickly pick up commands and tricks compared to other breeds.
Their intelligence can also mean that they disobey you or become belligerent because they like to be independent and not told what to do all the time. However, since they’re so loyal and social, positive reinforcement and affection can quickly win them over.
Still, new Doxie owners might find the breed challenging if they’re not familiar with the proper methods of discipline to let the pup know who’s in charge. You will want to establish that you’re the dominant one in the pack early.
In short, training a Dachshund has its challenges, just like most dogs. But even for people without much experience, training is by no means an impossible task. It will require patience, but it will be rewarding for you both in the end.
How Can I Train My Dachshund?
Just like training any breed, it’s imperative not to exhibit violence toward your dog at all. Violent or aggressive punishment in response to bad behavior doesn’t help a dog understand the right way to behave – instead, it just makes him afraid of you and more likely to respond with aggression.
Instead, use positive reinforcement. This approach is particularly effective with Dachshunds, who are highly social dogs that respond well to, and are motivated by, affection. Rewarding good behavior with praise, treats, and physical contact will yield much better results.
Because Dachshunds are prone to frequent, loud barking, you’ll likely become tired of this behavior at some point. However, you can help to reduce barking by ignoring it. A dog that realizes the barking isn’t capturing your attention will cease to use it as an attention-getting tactic!
It also helps to socialize your Doxie from a young age. They’re likely to bark at anything they find unfamiliar, so allowing them to get used to different people, places, and stimuli from puppyhood will help them become better-adjusted throughout their lifespan.
Digging is also a potential problem behavior for Dachshunds. After all, it’s what they were originally bred to do. However, if you’d like to keep your lawn looking its best, you’ll be eager to find a way to reduce this behavior.
Setting up a sandbox where you hide your pup’s favorite toys will give them an acceptable location for digging, making them less likely to dig up your yard and garden randomly.
It may also help to make sure your Doxie is occupied since digging is a behavior that can occur when your dog gets bored or lonely. When you’re not around, Dachshunds can benefit from crate training– having a safe and comfortable confined environment can help them feel safe and secure.
Is It Easy to Care For Dachshunds?
There are three types of Dachshunds: short-haired, wire-haired, and long-haired. If you’re concerned about shedding, short-haired Dachshunds, also called smooth Dachshunds, tend to shed the least, simply because they have less fur.
A standard Dachshund’s weight can range from 16-32 pounds, while a miniature Dachshund should weigh 8-11 pounds. They’re small dogs, which makes them suitable for apartment living.
Back problems are a common risk for Dachshunds, especially as they age. In addition, some are genetically more likely to have back problems due to IVDD or intervertebral disc disease.
In general, you can prevent back problems by avoiding stairs whenever possible and preventing your pup from jumping too much or very high-speed running.
You can help prevent back problems by learning the correct way to lift your Dachshund. Make sure to place one hand under your dog’s chest and the other under the lower body. An even distribution of weight and support will prevent pain and injury.
Don’t leave their back feet dangling.
So, are Dachshunds easy to train? Just like any other dog breed, they have their quirks. But, with effective training and positive reinforcement, you’ll find that your Doxie can become a loyal companion and a wonderful addition to your family.