Why Do Dachshunds Bark a Lot? (Strategies)
Dachshunds are well-known for their deep, incessant barking. If you own a Dachshund, you know this breed barks more than most. This behavior can be frustrating for everyone living with the dog, your neighbors, and even your dog himself.
Although Dachshunds do bark a lot, the barking often serves a purpose, and they can be trained to bark less frequently.
Continue reading to answer the questions:
- What is the original purpose of Dachshunds?
- Do Dachshunds bark a lot because of their genes or their environment?
- How can I train my Dachshund to stop barking?
- Does barking hurt my Dachshund?
History of Dachshunds
Dachshunds originate from Germany in the late 17th century. Dachshund translates to badger dog in German because they were bred to hunt badgers.
These dogs had to be short enough to fit into badger holes, and their rib cages had to be large to protect their organs while underground. Dachshunds’ large lungs and chests make it possible to bark so loudly that their barks are often confused with those of larger dogs.
Dachshunds are also known as scent hounds, meaning they hunt using their sense of smell. Such dogs are supposed to notify their owners by barking when they find their prey.
What Causes Dachshunds To Bark?
Have you ever heard the phrase nature vs. nurture? Like people, dogs’ personalities are shaped by inherent traits typical within their breed and the environment in which they are raised.
Dachshunds are very loyal and loving dogs who form lifelong bonds with their owners. Unfortunately, they also have several personality traits that fuel their desire to bark incessantly.
They have extremely high energy levels, which was perfect for hunting dogs but can be difficult for dogs living in small spaces. Dachshunds require outlets for their energy. When they feel trapped, they will often bark.
Additionally, Dachshunds are very territorial. They consider most noises threats to themselves, their owners, and their homes. Hearing an animal or person approach can be enough to make a Dachshund bark.
Most noises around the house can make a Dachshund suspicious. The sound of a garage door, doorbell, or a toy may agitate them. Dachshunds bark in an attempt to scare off any perceived threat.
In some cases, Dachshunds may bark due to separation anxiety. They can bark to communicate their fear and desire for their owners to stay home.
Researches believe separation anxiety affects up to one in every four to six dogs. Thus, it is very likely that any given Dachshund barks in distress.
Most dog owners know that training a dog reduces most behavioral problems, including barking. However, they may become frustrated with Dachshunds because they are more difficult to train than most other breeds.
Dachshunds are very stubborn and hesitant to respect their owners. Owners must first gain their dog’s respect, or the training process will be slow and mostly unsuccessful. Even after Dachshunds learn to respect their owners, they may not be open to obeying commands.
Despite the personality traits listed above, not all Dachshunds bark frequently. Their home environment also plays a crucial role.
Dachshunds require a great deal of exercise. When stuck in crates or small apartments all day, they will become agitated and bark more often.
Boredom can also have adverse effects on Dachshunds. Their environments should be stimulating and keep them entertained. Limited access to toys and new play areas, such as trips to the park, can cause frustration.
Spending much of the day alone can upset Dachshunds as well. They often form strong bonds with one person and require consistent love and attention from that person. Being separated for long periods every day causes anxiety.
How Can I Train My Dachshund To Stop Barking?
Before you try to eliminate your dog’s barking, find the reason behind this method of communication.
Does the Barking Serve a Purpose?
Consider your Dachshund’s exercise regime. They should spend at least 60 minutes exercising daily to help their mental and physical health.
Plus, they should exercise across multiple stimulating environments. You may want to let them play in the yard, take a walk around the neighborhood, or play at the dog park. Tired, happy dogs bark less frequently than those with built-up energy.
Even Dachshunds who spend plenty of time outside may bark when inside. In this case, try bringing new chew toys home for your dog to cure their boredom. Having your Dachshund help you with yard work can ward off boredom and allow them to get some exercise.
Is your dog getting enough attention? Our schedules get busy, and we may not notice our pets suffering. It is important to remember that Dachshunds are affectionate, loyal dogs who crave love.
If your dog is lonely, they may be barking to gain your attention.
Separation anxiety can be difficult to address. You cannot stay home all day, but many dogs hate their crates. When you crate train your Dachshund, remember to associate the crate with safety and peacefulness, not punishments.
At first, lead your dog to the crate with treats and place something that smells like you inside. Only leave them in the crate for short periods initially, and build their tolerance gradually.
If none of the adjustments above decrease the amount your Dachshund barks, it is probably time for some training.
What Not To Do?
First and foremost, never hit your dog.
In 2017, the Journal of Veterinary Behavior released an article warning of the dangers of punishing dogs, especially anxious dogs. Yelling often leads to increased amounts of barking.
Yelling may counteract your efforts in several ways. First, this behavior shows your dog that you approve of loud noises.
Secondly, you reinforce the idea that there is something to fear. Your Dachshund is probably barking out of fear of an unfamiliar noise. When you yell to intimidate them, they will believe that fear is a reasonable response.
Many dog owners try to let their dogs bark until they wear themselves out. Unfortunately, this is also counterproductive. When your dog is free to bark, they will bark until the perceived threat disappears, such as a critter in the yard or the mailman.
They will then believe that they solved the problem by barking.
Anti-barking gadgets are controversial. It is typically best to consult a veterinarian or dog behaviorist before using one. Keep in mind that these are not long-term solutions.
What To Do?
That may seem like a long list of tactics to avoid. Below, you will find tips for training your Dachshund not to bark.
Two methods to try if your dog is barking when the doorbell rings, the mailman comes, or something occurs around your home are:
- Briefly and quietly acknowledge your Dachshund. If they are trying to alert you, as Dachshunds were raised to do, they will quiet down once they know you are aware of the situation. Do not raise your voice or show excitement. Acknowledge without emotion.
- Use distraction techniques. You can throw a ball or squeak a toy. You can even provide short, simple commands, such as “Come here.” The distraction must be unrelated to barking so that your dog does not associate barking with toys and attention.
Once your dog is crate trained, you can use the crate as a cool-down area. It should be a quiet, stress-free zone where your dog can decompress. However, this will not work if your Dachshund associates their crate with punishment.
Whichever method you choose, always reward your dog for silence. You can use treats, attention, or their favorite toys.
Can Barking Hurt My Dachshund?
One reason vets disapprove of ignoring dogs when they bark is that too much barking can cause health complications.
Your Dachshund’s larynx can swell if they bark for too long, and they may develop laryngitis. They may then suffer from coughing, trouble breathing, and difficulty swallowing.
Do Dachshunds bark a lot? They certainly do. Barking is a huge part of their history, and they have been trained through the years to alert their owners of potential threats.
Dogs also recognize barking as a viable method of communication, so Dachshunds may bark if their needs are not being met.
While it is unrealistic to hope that your Dachshund will never bark again, you can take steps to decrease the frequency and intensity of their barking spells. With some time and patience, you can return your home to its once peaceful state.