Training your Dachshund

Dachshunds are cute dogs, no doubt about it.  But getting a dachshund properly trained may prove a challenge.  These little hot dogs can be disagreeable and nasty when it comes to submitting, so be prepared for a bit of a battle during training.  Is specialized training required for these dogs?  Let’s examine that question.

Understand the Dachshund Disposition

Training your thin little friend will require strong leadership and plenty of patience on your part.  These dogs are inherently stubborn and strong willed – characteristics that led to their survival in the wild despite their diminutive size.  The key will be to get the upper hand in the negotiations and then these qualities will work in your favor, as well as your Dachshund’s.

Keep in mind that you are training an animal that requires strong leadership or it will resist it.  Prove yourself to be the one in charge with firm resolve that is never harsh or violent.  And remember that no matter how cute your puppy is, firm will must be used or your precious little pup will learn to play you for everything it wants.   A well-behaved Dachshund is a great companion.  A spoiled, whiny one can be a real pest.

The truth you must remember is that neglecting your Dachshund’s training puts them at risk.  A Dachshund with a mind of its own get into trouble quickly.  It might mix it up with bigger dogs and possibly come out the worse for it—though pound for pound they are tougher than most.  They may also do too much jumping, a terrible strain on their elongated backbones. Good training will prevent those behaviors and protect the dog.

The Basics of Training your Dachshund

A Dachshund does require training that is tailored to the characteristics of its breed.  Dachshunds by nature are active and without enough exercise will be restless and anxious, and those things work against good training.  Bred as hunters to pursue and eradicate vermin, they’ve got a desire to run, sniff everything within reach, and exert themselves.  Make sure your dog gets a chance to do this regularly and especially prior to training sessions.  You’ll have a more contented, relaxed Dachshund to work with.  Otherwise your pooch will use that pent up energy in counter-productive ways that seem quite devious.

Employ these tips for the most effective training:

Use Short Sessions: Dachshunds have short attention spans and when they lose interest getting them to respond is pretty tough.  Be energetic to match their intensity level and work hard in 5-10 minute segments.  Once they get distracted by a chatty squirrel or a scent they want to follow, you and the lesson you think is so vitally important will be deemed a nuisance they can’t possibly bear!

Start with Basics: For Dachshunds these include things like teaching them to sit, stay, go and heel.  It is also important to keep them from jumping on the furniture because they don’t belong there, but also because the landing when they jump off can damage their back.  If you do find your dog on the couch, lift it off rather than letting it jump off and give it a stern reprimand only once you have set it down, but while it is still in your grasp.

Consider Clicker Training: Clicker training is proven effective with many breeds and Dachshunds take to it particularly well since they rely on their ears as few dogs do.   Clicker training is ideal for active dogs like these since the clicker can be heard at a good distance.  Get information on how clicker training is done and give it a try.

Use Small Rewards: Positive reinforcement works better than the negative kind with Dachshunds because of their sometimes taciturn disposition.  Being harsh with the dog might cause it to grow more stubborn or even aggressive.  Like all dogs, however, they enjoy positive attention from the leader of the pack – you.  A small, tasty treat or a quick scratch behind the ear along with an encouraging word when they obey works wonders.

Knowing up front that Dachshund training requires time, patience and energy will fortify you to give it what it takes.  Above all, don’t let your pooch use its cute looks to get its way with you.  A spoiled puppy is annoying.  A spoiled mature dog will nip, run off to seek adventure in the world, and generally make life hard on you.  Remedial will be nearly impossible.  Be the strong leader this dog needs and it will learn to follow your direction, becoming a valued member of your household.