Doxies are friendly dogs but what about the famous dachshund loyalty to one person – how serious is it, is it a problem, and what can you do about it?
If you spend a bit of time in the canine world you’ll find out that some dogs are “extra social” and get along with everybody while others fixate on a single person. Doxies belong to the second group. Is this a good or a bad thing, however? And, more importantly, what can you do to manage the situation?
Why Is The Dachshund Loyalty To One Person What It Is?
Doxies were bred as a scenthound breed in Germany. For centuries they were used to track and chase badgers, rabbits, and other forest burrower animals during hunts. Why does this matter, however?
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It matters because it was a common practice for the hunter and the scenthound to be bounded together. Even though most hunters would have more than one hound with them, from the point of view of the hounds, there was only one human in the whole wide world they cared for.
Did the hunter usually have a family and kids? Yes. Did the hounds interact and get along with them? Sure, from time to time. But it was always the hunter that fed them, cared for them, trained them, and whose commands the scenthounds followed.
So, even though dachshunds are almost never used as hunting pets anymore, their instinct to always bond with one person more than any other remains. This is typical for other breeds too but not for all – many guard dog and watchdog breeds were bred to love and care for the whole family equally.
What Additional Factors Can Further Focus The Dachshund Love Onto A Single Person?
Naturally, it’s not all instinct. There are quite a few other things that help answer the “Why do dogs have a favorite person?” question. These can include anything such as:
- You are the one feeding the dog
- You rescued the pup personally from the pound or from the streets
- The dog went through the obedience training routine with you
- You give the Doxie a lot of treats, more so than other members of your household
- The dachshund sleeps close to you most of the time
- You work from home so the dachshund spends most of its time with you
- You do both daily walks with the Doxie
- The dog gets most of its physical affection and interaction from you while your other family members just walk past it
- You play with the Doxie the most
- There’s something else about you the Doxie fixates about – maybe it perceives you as the “alpha” of the household, maybe it just likes your scent, and so on.
So, while everyone loves a dachshund, any of the above reasons can guarantee that the dachshund will love one person above all others.
Is My Dachshund A Bit Too Clingy?
When is this “obsessive loyalty” a problem and when is it just cute? There are several levels to the typical dachshund loyalty to one person. Let’s try to list them in order from “mild focus onto a single person” all the way to “a dangerous obsession”:
Level 1 Dachshund Loyalty To One Person
Your dachshund prefers to sleep with and spend time with one person but also clearly loves everyone else. This may make some family members a bit jealous but not too much – whenever they want to play or snuggle with the Doxie, the dog should still respond readily and happily. So, while the dachshund will look to you for most of its needs, it won’t ignore everyone else.
Level 2 Dachshund Loyalty To One Person
The dachshund tends to avoid certain family members. There doesn’t seem to be any aggression in this act, the dog just won’t like being hugged or carried by some people. It also won’t come to play with them but it won’t go as far as to keep a notable distance – it just ignores some family members as it would a flower pot.
Level 3 Dachshund Loyalty To One Person
Such a single-person-focused dachshund will show fear, distrust, or even aggression toward everyone but a single member of the household. There can be many additional sub-levels here depending on how pronounced these tendencies are. Obviously, this is not ideal and can range from either just inconvenient all the way to dangerous. Such a dachshund can go as far as to attack some members of the household.
Thankfully, this is very rare and there will need to be some kind of provocation for a Doxie to get this antisocial. If you and your family take good care of your dachshund, it should never get this focused on a single person.
So, if your Doxie is in or around the first level of single-person focus then you should have nothing to worry about and that is indeed the norm.
What To Do If Your Dachshund Isn’t Social With All Family Members?
The way to deal with this situation is pretty intuitive – socialize the dog slowly, steadily, and responsibly. Another important note is to make sure the dachshund knows he/she is not the alpha of the household. If your dachs becomes overly protective toward a certain person the reason often is that the Doxie has decided it’s the boss of the household. Proper obedience training is also very useful here.
Naturally, these things are best done when the pup is young but even at an advanced age, they may be necessary. Also, if the dachshund is too aggressive, it may be wise to contact a professional dog trainer. But, to give you some general ideas, you can try the following:
- Have other family members feed the Doxie
- Get all people in the household to play with the dog
- Show affection between the dog’s chosen person and all other people
- Take turns walking the dachshund outside or engaging in other pleasant activities with the dog
Going through this process is important not just for your own sake but for the dog’s too. Dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety so the more people the dog can trust and feel good with, the lesser the risk of severe anxiety.