Training a dog doesn’t need to include anything all that major. In fact, pretty much every dog has to go through at least some training basics such as obedience training, potty training, and more. Are dachshunds as hard to train as people say, however? To find out whether you need to worry, we’ve covered all the basics of dachshund training below.
Are Dachshunds Hard To Train?
In a word – yes. Sadly, dachshunds aren’t the easiest dog breed to train. Learning how to train a dachshund can be time-consuming and even slightly annoying, especially if you have experience with certain shepherd or gun dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever, the Border Collie, or others.
However, training a dachshund isn’t quite as difficult as some people may lead you to believe. It just takes a couple of extra steps compared to training other breeds.
Why Are Dachshunds Hard To Train?
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that dachshunds are hard to train because they are dumb. That’s a very wrong conclusion to jump to, however. Doxies are an incredibly intelligent breed that also happens to be a scent hound breed – and that’s the crux of the matter.
Scent hounds like the dachshund have been bred for centuries to ignore all stimuli around them and to focus on their noses above all else. And when we say “all stimuli” we mean people as well. The dachshund’s one job on the field has always been to get the badger’s scent (or fox’s or rabbit’s) and track them through the entire forest if it has to. As you’d expect, this has made dachshunds quite headstrong.
So, when you’re trying to train your dachshund to do or not do anything and the dog ignores you – it’s not because the dog doesn’t get it. It also isn’t being disobedient – it’s just being a dachshund.
How To Train A Dachshund?
The first thing you must do when you want to train a dachshund is to go through a good obedience training course. You won’t necessarily need the help of a professional trainer for that but you can certainly do that too if you want to speed up the process. Alternatively, there are plenty of great online courses and methods you can follow too.
But, to give you some pointers, obedience training a dachshund involves several key components:
- Always use positive reinforcement. Like cats, Doxies really don’t respond well to negative reinforcement. All you’ll accomplish with it is make your dachshund resentful and even more disobedient.
- Treats are your friend. Most dachshunds are very food-motivated and you can use this to your advantage. Giving your dog treats after successfully completing tasks will teach your dachshund to listen to what you have to say and to want to obey you.
- We recommend not free-feeding your dachshund (i.e. leaving a bowl of food at your dog’s convenience at all times) but feeding on a schedule instead. This will help teach your dachshund that you decide when it’s mealtime and you’re the alpha of the house. It’s also smart not to give your dachshund food when it begs but only once it has stopped begging or before it starts. This will further reinforce the idea in your dog that you decide when things happen.
- Keep training sessions short. Because of their scent instincts and hound nature, dachshunds are very easily distracted. Maintaining a distraction-free environment while training is smart for that reason. Even then, however, the dachshund’s attention span just isn’t that long. You can look at your Doxie as an ADHD child. So, keeping training sessions short but frequent is the most effective way to go about it.
- Be consistent. As with training any other dog, you need to make sure you’re not giving off mixed signals. Like people, dogs learn through repetition so make sure everything you try to teach your dachshund follows a strict progression.
- Ignore your dachshund when it’s misbehaving. This can sound counter-intuitive at first but it is the way to go with this breed. Dachshunds may be headstrong but they are also attention-seekers. So, whenever your dog isn’t following your commands, just drop everything and pretend the Doxie isn’t there. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the dog will start doing exactly what you’ve been wanting just to get your attention – that’s how smart dachshunds actually are.
Are Dachshunds Hard To Potty Train?
We’ve covered dachshund potty training quite extensively here but to give you the cliff notes – yes, potty training a Doxie is quite the challenge. As with obedience training, this isn’t a matter of the dachshund not being smart enough to understand what you want, it’s a matter of the dog doing preferring to do things his way.
So, training a dachshund how, when, and where to potty is a time-consuming exercise. That’s why all experts recommend that you take a lengthy period of time off work before you start potty training your dachshund. Alternatively, you can work from home or you can rearrange your schedule with those of your other family members so that there’s always someone home.
We don’t mean to scare you with all that, of course. Potty training a dachshund is perfectly doable – it just takes a bit of consistency and patience.
What Other Types Of Training Should A Dachshund Go Through and Are Those Difficult As Well?
While pet dachshunds rarely need to be trained for certain “jobs” there are several key types of training any Doxie owner would be smart to go through. In addition to the must-do obedience and potty training, you’d also want to do:
- Crate training
- Barking training
- Lead training
- Recall training
- Nipping and chewing training
- Basic commands training (i.e. “Sit”, “Down”, “Come”, etc.)
All of those are considerably easier than potty and obedience training. However, they are also contingent on the obedience training itself. So, once you go through that first, everything else should be easy. If only potty training could wait for the obedience training, then that would have been easier as well.