Dachshund Behaviour Problems can make little sausage dogs high maintenance and some say the worst breed to live with! Lively, compact, and brave – your Dachshund is a bundle of energy and a smart, vigilant dog with a loud bark. Oh yes – the Dachsie or Doxie (as Dachshunds are fondly known) makes a fine watchdog but has an attitude to match.
Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers. Their long backs, short legs, and slender cylindrical bodies helped them easily flush out small animals for their hunters.
Today, the breed is mainly used as a pet and a companion dog, but thanks to their breeding history, Dachshund owners often face several behavioural issues in their pets.
Enlisted below are some common Dachshund Behaviour Problems pet owners might face in their sausage dogs.
Table of Contents – Dachshund Behaviour Problems
- What are The Common Dachshund Behaviour Problems?
- Conclusion – Dachshund Behaviour Problems
What are The Common Dachshund Behaviour Problems?
Common behavioural issues seen in dachshunds are:
- Not coming when called
- Chasing small animals
- Excessive digging or burrowing
- Excessive barking
- Separation anxiety
Let us study each of these briefly and the training solutions you can implement to tackle Dachshund Behaviour Problems.
1. Not Coming When Called
According to experts, Dachshunds might not come when called due to distraction, confusion, or fear of ending the fun they are having.
Dachshunds are smart dogs but, like toddlers, they tend to get distracted easily. Sure: you may have trained your little ‘sausage’ in your living room to come to you when called, but what about places with distractions?
When you train your Doxie in ‘recall’ start with the training in an area with no distraction – your home, backyard, front yard, etc. You can gradually start to practise the recall command at the beach, park, mall, and other places with distractions in the form of other dogs, people, etc.
Make sure you give the command only once and do not use too many words. You might also want to use a long-line leash in the beginning while training. Always use high-value training treats and lots of praise or play to reward your Dachshund. Eventually, you might be able to reduce the treats and get your dog to come to you for praise and to continue the play session of fetch or tug for example.
2. Chasing Small Animals
Chasing is an instinct in a Dachshund. Remember: these dogs were bred to hunt small animals like badgers and that instinct is still hard-wired in their DNA.
Train your dachshund to build the skill of impulse control will help solve this most common and frustrating of Dachshund Behaviour Problems. You can reward your pet with high-value treats to stay near you while having distractions like passersby, rabbits, cats, birds or possums in your yard.
It is also important that you keep your dog leashed at the dog-park, dog-friendly cafe or beach. Also, make sure your yard is fenced and that your dog cannot put itself in danger if it chases animals.
You may consider enrolling your Dachshund in lure coursing to help it channel its impulses. Also, you must exercise your pet for at least 30-45 minutes (games like fetch, tug-of-war, etc.) to expend its energy.
Dogs also benefit from receiving daily environmental enrichment and mental stimulation to tire them out. These activities are a great way to stop anxiety and calm a hyper dachshund puppy on a rainy day; interactive food toys, puzzles, snuffle mats, stuffed Kongs and licky mats. An under-stimulated Dachshund can be frustrated, reactive, aggressive, destructive, barking excessively and prone to obesity.
3. Digging and Burrowing
Digging is an instinct in almost all dogs but it can be one of the common Dachshund Behaviour Problems. In Dachshunds, digging is especially prominent thanks to their high prey drive for small animals like weasels, rabbits, possums and badgers. Boredom, anxiety, and a lack of exercise can also trigger digging in your little dog.
To minimise this behaviour, you can provide a designated digging area for your Dachshund in your yard. A shell pool filled with sand in which toys and treats are hidden can become a healthy outlet for this digging behaviour. Do not leave your dog unsupervised in the yard. If needed, crate-train your Dachsie and provide several interactive toys to keep them occupied and tire them out when necessary.
Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to your high-energy Doxie so it is too tired to dig. Dachshund Behaviour Problems can generally be solved by providing appropriate outlets for naturally occurring behaviours like digging and hunting.
4. Excess Barking
Not all forms of canine vocalisation are examples of bad behaviour. Your Doxie might bark to warn you about some danger or an intruder on your premises. However, excessive barking is one of the most common Dachshund Behaviour Problems and can be annoying not only to you but also to your neighbours.
Find out the root cause of the barking. If your pet is barking to alert you, you might want to train it to bark on cue, implement a calmness protocol and minimise the rehearsal of barking by blocking distractions.
Sometimes, illness, pain, or problems with hearing could compel a Dachshund to bark. Also, most Dachshunds bark when they are left home alone. If needed, seek the help of a canine behaviourist, dog trainer or vet to determine the root cause of barking and try behaviour modification.
5. Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is one of the most common Dachshund Behaviour Problems. Due to the anxiety of being left home alone, your pet might urinate indoors, cry, whine, bark or destroy things.
There are 3 simple ways to stop separation anxiety in your Doxie:
- Enrol your dachshund in doggy daycare or hire a pet sitter/dog walker to check on your dog every few hours.
- Crate train your sausage dog to improve their life skill of independence and limit the destruction and indoor soiling. However, make sure to have a pet sitter/walker come and relieve your dog every few hours.
- Get a calm dog to provide your Dachshund company.
Ideally, aim to train your Dachshund from puppyhood to be left alone for 2-4 hours each day. Crate training is the best and quickest way to train your dog to be okay with being left alone. (As such, it is cruel to leave a dog home alone for over 8 hours. Remember: adult dogs need to go potty every 4-6 hours while young pups need potty breaks every couple of hours or even more.)
Are dachshunds difficult dogs?
Dachshunds can certainly be high maintenance for owners that don’t fully understand and appreciate their needs. Although they are a small dog breed, they were originally bred to hunt and therefore if not provided with outlets for these natural behaviours, they can become a barking, chewing, aggressive, digging, and anxious mess. Meet their needs for mental and physical stimulation by providing interactive toys, food puzzles, stuffed Kongs, sniffy walks and scent games. Similarly, training should focus on developing life skills such as independence, calmness, tolerance to frustration, confidence and optimism.
What are common Dachshund behaviors?
Dachshunds are natural-born hunters, therefore they often still exhibit behaviours such as digging, chasing, chewing, excess barking, easily distracted by sights, smells and sounds etc. It is not uncommon for them to get jealous and suffer from separation anxiety – hence their training should focus on developing life skills such as independence and confidence.
Why is my Dachshund so disobedient?
A commonly reported Dachshund Behaviour Problem is that they are stubborn and disobedient. This is likely to stem from their inability to ignore distractions in the environment. When training an easily distracted dog, start in low-distraction environments like your home and yard. Once your dog has a strong grasp of the behaviour you’re training, you can then start to proof it in new environments. Find treats and toys/games that your dog loves to engage with, this will increase their motivation for performing the obedience behaviours you’re wanting to train. Similarly, focus is a life skill that can be improved, the best dog trainers know how to improve a dog’s ability to focus on their owner and the task at hand.
How to discipline a dachshund
The use of punishment and aversive dog training methods are not required when training dachshunds. If you have trained your Doxie in life skills such as tolerance to frustration, optimism, focus, independence, flexibility, calmness etc they are unlikely to suffer from common Dachshund Behaviour Problems.
Similarly, if your dog is misbehaving, instead of disciplining them, ask yourself what behaviour you want and train that behaviour. This dog training method is particularly effective in solving bad behaviours, when an incompatible behaviour to the one you wish to stop, is trained.
For example your Dachshund is jumping up on you and guests; train the dog to sit or have four feet on the ground for attention. Train the behaviour around minimal distractions and only practise when your pup is calm. While you are training the new behaviour don’t allow your dog to rehearse the bad behaviour by placing them in their crate or behind a baby gate when guests arrive.
Conclusion – Dachshund Behaviour Problems
Dachshund Behaviour Problems stem from their innate hunting instincts and surface when owners struggle to provide healthy outlets for chasing, digging and sniffing behaviours. Dachshunds are unique dogs that have little quirks. Some of these quirks include digging, constant crying, soiling indoors, and not coming when called.
If not handled properly, these quirks can quickly become problematic and might even harm your little dog.
Thankfully, you don’t have to live with these Dachshund Behaviour Problems. Use the training tips and general guidelines given above to handle your dog and modify its behaviour. If needed, seek the help of a canine behaviourist or a dog trainer who specialises in behaviour modification in dogs.