Dachshunds may look cute, but do not be fooled by their short stature and funny ears because they can be free-minded and stubborn creatures, making them hard to train if you do not know where to begin. If you have never owned a Dachshund before and are thinking, oh, well, I will housebreak it like any other dog, you might be in for a big surprise.
But why are dachshunds difficult to train? Is there anything you can do to make it easier? Read on to know more.
Why Are Dachshunds Hard to Train?
Centuries ago, Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs. Some of those genes, of course, have been handed down to this era’s Dachshunds as well. Hence, you might notice that when you are trying to train your doxie, it gets easily distracted by a bird or a small animal outside.
That is why these dogs have a reputation for having a short attention span. Also, this breed is a skilled manipulator and will get away with anything unless you have set firm rules.
Are Dachshunds Smart?
You may be thinking, well, so my pet is a bit hard to train, but maybe it will learn quickly. The truth is, Dachshunds do not fall among the smartest dog breeds in the world. It ranks 92nd in intelligence among all dog breeds, which is not dumb, but only average.
Some dog experts believe that dachshunds are quite smart, but they don't test well. This is because the results of a dog's IQ test depend on the ability of the dog to follow commands and do tasks. So dachshund being stubborn little creatures, may simply refuse to follow commands, and thus getting a bad result in the IQ tests. But while they may not be considered the smartest breed, Dachshunds learn several words more quickly than many other dogs. If you want to test your dog's IQ, here a useful article.
Why Are Dachshunds So Stubborn?
Again, we may have to blame this one on its ancestral hunting genes. In the olden days, this breed of dog needed to be stubborn and independent to successfully chase down a badger or other small animals.
Over time, this stubborn nature has remained in their genes. So much so that when you want your dog to learn something new, it may vehemently resist it and look the other way. Even when trained, these dogs can be quite headstrong at times and show reluctance in obeying commands.
How to Train a Dachshund
Alright, so, are Dachshunds easy to train? In most cases, the answer is no. But that does not mean you cannot housebreak your little doxie through a bit of extra perseverance. How do you do that? Let’s find out.
Dachshund Training Secrets
If you are not making headway with your sausage dog’s training, here a few tips.
Begin training your Dachshund puppy when it is 8 to 12 weeks old:
It is always good to start training any dog at an early age, but it is especially true for Dachshunds. This is because the older they get, the more stubborn they become.
Moreover, if your pup is less than eight weeks old, it may not have developed enough intelligence to understand basic commands. Give it time to settle down in its new home and then begin the training.
Be patient and consistent:
Dachshunds are known to be clever and can get away with anything through their cunning. Do not let yourself be fooled. If your dog is playing tricks on you and not listening to your commands, you must be firm. Give peaceful, steady, and consistent instructions that show the Dachshund that you are the one in charge.
Also, because Dachshunds are a bit hard to train, you must be extra patient with them. Do not give up easily but also do not put extra pressure on your pup to learn things quickly. It will happen when it happens.
Keep training sessions short:
As doxies are easily distracted, it is not a good idea to train them for hours at a stretch. Give them their deserved breaks and pick the session up again later in the day. An ideal training session for a Dachshund should last no longer than 15 minutes.
You can, of course, repeat the sessions 4 or 5 times a day, depending on how far along your dog is on learning new commands.
Use positive reinforcement training:
Use treats and praises to reward good behavior while training your Dachshund. Doing so will encourage your dog to follow what is right, and in due course of time, it will do only the things you want it to do because it will expect a treat.
At the same time, be sure to be calm and ignore any undesirable behavior. Do not shout or scold your dog at any time because this may cause it to get more stubborn and downright aggressive.
Use treats they can’t resist:
The treats for your Dachshund’s positive reinforcement training must be things that your dog loves. Typically, food treats are good enough to get them motivated, but you may need to try out a few different food treats to know what your pet likes best.
When choosing food treats, be careful to pick small food items that your dog gets attracted to and that benefits its health as well. Also, try to make your dog’s training sessions fun and active so that the pup looks forward to them.
Eliminate other distractions from the training environment:
The clever, manipulative sausage dogs are easily distracted. So, when you are newly training a Dachshund, be sure to begin in a close, quiet room where no one is around. It is best to choose a space where the dog will not be distracted by a bird sitting outside the window.
As your pup masters the basic commands, you may cautiously try to move the training sessions outdoors, and over time, at a local park or by the beach.
Train Steadily and Slowly
Dachshunds are fun-loving, witty, and loyal companions. All they need is a little bit of time to adjust to the loving life you want to provide them with. It may look like it is challenging to train a doxie, and for many reasons, it probably is, but with patient and steady sessions, your pet can master almost every command.
Be firm with your doxie, but do not be negative. Admire its courage and cleverness, but also let it know that you are the master. With consistent training, your Dachshund pup can grow up to be the loving companion you always wanted in a pet.