Dachshunds, also known as sausage dogs, might be extremely adorable as pets, but you might be wondering if dachshunds are easy or hard to train.
Yes, dachshunds can definitely be trained, however, it is difficult to train dachshunds.
Dachshund puppies are easier to train than adults, but even then, if you are persistent and patient with them, adult dachshunds too can make good progress with their training.
Potty training and preventing dachshunds from barking excessively are two areas that can be quite challenging.
A lot of owners resort to crating until they have accomplished the training. It can take a lot of patience to train dachshunds.
Why are dachshunds hard to train?
Dachshunds were bred centuries ago in Germany as hunting dogs. They might not be used today for the same purposes, some of those genes are still present in them even now.
Dachshunds were used to hunt badgers and other smaller animals.
Even today, when you try to train them, you might see them being easily distracted by a bird or a small animal that caught their attention. This is why dachshunds have a short attention span.
The dachshund is not the smartest dog breed. It ranks 92nd in intelligence among all dog breeds. This isn’t too low, but that means that they are average in intelligence.
Some experts believe that dachshunds are smart. However, they do not test well. This could be because the smartness of dogs is calculated by their ability to do tasks and follow commands.
However, Dachshunds can be very stubborn. They are also independent by nature and like to do everything their own way.
As hunting dogs, they needed to be stubborn and independent in order to pursue their prey till the end.
This could be why they refuse to obey commands. All these qualities can make it difficult to train dachshunds.
How to train your dachshund?
Here are certain tips for you to train your dachshund.
Be patient and consistent
Dachshunds can be hard to train. They are stubborn by nature and if they don’t feel like obeying commands, they don’t. They are also not very smart, so they take time to learn.
This is why it is important to be patient and consistent while training your dachshund. If your dachshund is not obeying any of your commands, be firm. Give commands consistently and calmly but firmly, so that it knows who is in charge.
Do not give up easily as teaching dachshunds will take time. But at the same time, do not pressure your dachshund, as it can overwhelm it.
Keep the sessions short
Dachshunds have a short attention span and get easily distracted. Young puppies also need a lot of rest throughout the day.
Make sure you keep the training sessions short and take frequent breaks. An ideal session should last for 10 to 15 minutes. You can repeat the session 4 to 5 times a day until your dachshund gets used to it.
Time it right
Dachshunds are not very smart dogs and have a short attention span. They tend to live in the moment quite literally. They will only understand what is happening at the moment.
So if you are rewarding your dachshund, you need to do it immediately. For example, if you teach your dachshund the command “Sit”, and it sits, you need to reward it as soon as it sits down. Your dachshund needs to understand why it is being rewarded.
You can also use verbal cues such as “Good boy” or “Good girl”. Some people even use a clicker so that your dachshund associates the noise of the clicker with a reward and understands that it has done something right.
Keep it simple
Dachshunds can learn new things quite quickly. However, you cannot teach it too much too fast. Do not overwhelm your dachshund with a lot of commands all at once.
If you try to teach it too many things at one time, it will get very confusing, and might end up learning something wrong.
Keep things simple. Make sure your dachshund learns the first command before it moves to the next command.
Make it fun
Do not make your dog’s training a serious affair. Keep it light and fun.
If your dachshund enjoys what it is doing, it will want to do it again. Make training fun so that your dachshund enjoys learning new commands.
Turn work into play and your dachshund will be a lot more willing to be trained. Not only that, mixing learning and playtime will help you bond with your pet.
Use positive reinforcement training
Always use positive reinforcement while training your pet. Use treats and praises for everything that your dachshund does well.
This will encourage it to continue the good behavior. If your dachshund does something bad, try to ignore it or firmly tell it “No”.
Do not ever shout at, hit, or abuse your pet in any way. This will make your dog even more aggressive and stubborn. Always speak calmly to it.
Use rewards that would motivate them
While you are training your dog through positive reinforcement, use rewards that your dachshund loves. Usually, food is a great motivator for pets.
Try out a few different food treats to find out which one your pet loves the most, and try to use it only during training, and not as a part of its daily diet.
Try to pick small food items that your dog would love and that is also good for their health. Make the sessions fun so that your dog will look forward to getting them.
Every once in a while, you will come across a dog which does not get motivated by food. In this case, you can praise your dog or give it a new toy.
Dachshunds love to play, so playtime can be a good motivation for them to learn new things. Dachshunds love squeaky toys and balls. You can introduce such factors to motivate your pet to learn.
Eliminate other distractions
Dachshunds have a very short attention span and they get easily distracted. This can really be a problem when you are trying to train your dachshund, as it will run after any new stimulus.
When you are just starting out training for your dachshund, try to start in a quiet, closed room, where there are no distractions.
As your pet learns the basic commands, you can slowly take its training outside, starting with your backyard and then moving to a local park, or even to a beach.
Get out and socialize
Socialization is an important part of dog training. The sooner your dog gets used to being around other dogs, the better.
Your dachshund will be less likely to show aggressive behaviors towards strange dogs if it knows how to be around them.
If anyone you know has dogs, you can start with some walks together, and then gradually arrange playdates. Introduce the dogs first so that you spot any early signs of nervousness or aggression.
Always keep teaching your dachshund new things. Don’t stop its learning. Dachshunds can be really smart and they love new and creative things.
Once your dog has mastered the basic commands, move on to the next level.
For example, if you ask your dog to fetch a bone, and it obeys it perfectly, then try to get your dog to fetch a specific bone.
At what age should you start training a dachshund?
You can start your dachshund training when it is about 8 to 12 weeks old. If you have just got it home, give it a few days to settle down in the new environment. At this age you can teach it the basic commands such as “sit”, “down”, or “stay”.
What trainings does a dachshund require?
Your dachshund needs to be trained for certain basic things.
- Crate training
- Potty training
- Barking training
- Chewing and nipping
- Lead training
- Recall and recognition training
- Basic commands
Which commands do you need to teach your dachshund?
There are a lot of commands you can teach your dachshund.
You can start with basic commands such as Sit, Stay, Stop, Down, Fetch, Drop, Leave, Come, Quiet, Back, and so on, and then move on to some specific commands, such as fetching a particular object or sitting at a particular spot.
Can you train an older dachshund?
Yes, you can train an older dachshund. It might be a lot more difficult, as adult dachshunds can be more stubborn.
You need to be very patient and consistent with your training. Reward it for good behavior with treats and lots of attention and praise. Correct it when it indulges in wrong behavior by saying a firm “No”.
Do not make a big issue of its bad behavior. If you continue to ignore the bad behavior and reward the good behavior, you might be able to progress with the training of your adult dachshund.
It is also possible that you might not be able to completely get rid of some of the bad habits that it has learned in the past, but you can work through them.
What happens if your dachshund is not trained?
Dachshunds and all dogs should be trained as soon as you get them in your life. Not training your dogs can only cause problems to you and maybe even to others.
As soon as your pet is old enough, they should be trained and socialized so that they can live properly. If your dachshund is not trained, you will not be able to control it. It will not obey your commands, and it may not react well to strangers.
If you get an older dachshund that hasn’t been trained, then you might have a problem figuring out what to do. The behavior of your dachshund will then depend on how it has been treated earlier in its life.
Did it get away with doing absolutely anything? Was it mistreated and abused? An older dachshund may react very differently when you try to give it any commands.
If you get an older Dachshund, you need to be prepared for anything. The dachshund might be aggressive, or too scared to do anything.
It is possible to bring your dog back on track and improve its behavior, although it might take much longer to do it.