Dachshund Behavior Issues

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How can you Stop Dachshund Behavior problems?  It can be frustrating to any dachshund owner when they are experiencing behavioral issues with their dog.  Luckily, by doing some research and using some dog behavior technics, most challenges can be corrected or controlled.

dachshund behavior

Keeping your vet in the loop of any behavior issues with your dachshund can also help combat any challenges your dog has you facing.  You are not alone, there are many dog owners and veterinarians out there who have some experience that they can share with you and help you out.

The Most Common Dachshund Behavior Issues:

  • Separation Anxiety

  • Excessive Barking

  • Eliminating Indoors

  • Digging

  • Chewing

  • Aggressive Behavior

1. Separation Anxiety Advice

It is important to Understand Separation Anxiety in your Dachshund.  You want to help your puppy be comfortable when you leave the house.  Separation Anxiety training is needed to help your puppy learn that you will be back and he doesn’t need to worry or cause destruction in the house while you are away.

Training Tip: If your dog has separation anxiety, most of the destruction will occur in the first 30 minutes of your departure.

Tips for Treating Separation Anxiety:

Leaving

To avoid triggering a separation anxiety episode, make sure to not makeover or have direct interaction with the dog right before you leave.  Certain noise triggers like getting your keys out and saying “Good-bye” can set them off.  If your dachshund gets whiny when you are ready to leave.  Just like leaving a child at daycare or school, don’t make it an emotional mess at drop off.  Be strong and don’t give in.

Coming Home

Make sure to not make over or have direct interaction with the dog right when you arrive home at least for 5 minutes. Then, let your dog outside immediately without a lot of excitement.  Again, don’t make a big fuss when letting them out.  Make it a normal calm routine letting him outside.

Walking

If your dog has accidents in the kennel or the house when you leave, make sure to take them on a 20-minute walk before you leave. They will usually empty themselves on the walk and last longer in the house without an accident.

Training tip: If you work full time or are unable to let your dog out during the day, get some help.  You can ask your friendly “stay at home mom” or retired neighbor if they want to earn some extra money for letting your dog out.  Or, you can search on google for some local dog walkers in your area.  There are even an apps for finding your local dog walkers.

Catching them in the Act

If you catch the dog in the act of destroying something in the home, don’t go back inside your house!  This will reinforce this behavior and they will believe that all they have to do is to destroy something to get you to come back home.

Keeping Occupied

Give your dog some food before you leave. If it is part of your routine to give your dog his breakfast before you leave for work, give it to him right as you are leaving to keep them occupied and not panicking.

Calm Environment

Leave a radio or tv on before you leave the house to help your dog listen to familiar sounds while you are gone.

Consult a Vet

For more severe cases of separation anxiety, consult your vet for some help.  They may recommend some medications that can help keep your dog calm.

Natural Antidotes

Use natural methods to calm anxiety. Did you know that the use of CBD oil is an effective solution for anxiety? You can also check out your local pet store for lavender based treats or diffusers that will release a calming lavender scent in the air to help keep your dog feeling safe and calm.

Sleeping Habits

Make sure your pup is getting enough sleep.  Give them a comfortable bed and blankie to feel safe and warm at night or during nap time.  How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?

2. Barking

Excessive Barking can occur when the dog is bored, when he is ready to come back in the house, or when he just wants some attention.  Some dachshunds are territorial and want outsiders (people and animals) to know that they are protecting their home.  When a dog has separation anxiety, that can also cause excessive barking.

Tips for Stopping the Excessive Barking:

    • Attention: When your dachshund insists on barking at you, avoid responding verbally or physically to the dog. If you give them attention, they will continue barking to get more attention, starting a bad habit.  Give more attention to your dog when they are behaving and not barking to give them the love and attention that they need.
    • Exercise: Dogs that constantly bark in the evening may be doing so out of boredom. They need to have some playtime and more walks to tire them out and promote a good night’s sleep.
    • Neighbor Distractions: If you let your dog out on their lead to go potty in the evening and your dog barks at the neighbor or neighborhood dog or cat, try to pick a time to let them out when there aren’t any people or animals out and about.  If your neighbor lets their dog out at the same time your dog is out, your dog will be too busy barking at the other dog instead of concentrating on the task at hand.

3. Eliminating Indoors

Some dogs have accidents in the house.  Sometimes, they have a good reason and sometimes not.  Its possible if they weren’t properly house trained as a puppy, they may have more accidents in the house as adult dogs.  They may have an illness. They might have separation anxiety issues.  Or, it might be from too much excitement, or just being submissive.  Sometimes, it is hard to tell what the cause is.  My dachshund would leave a “prize” for me on my side of the bedroom floor if I was away on a trip for a couple of days.

Poor Housetraining:

If the reason for soiling inside the house is related to poor house training, then check out my guide on potty training your dachshund.  This guide can be used for dachshunds of all ages.

Illness:

Don’t assume that your dog’s accidents in the house are only behavior related.  If they have a UTI, a parasite, or a disease (like Cushing’s disease or kidney disease) they may not be able to help it.  Sometimes the only way to let you know that they are ill is to have an accident in the house to get your attention.  Get your dachshund checked out at the vet regularly to make sure they are healthy.

Separation Anxiety:

If your dog has a bad case of separation anxiety, they may have accidents in the house.  See the tips above for some great advice on helping your dog.

Excitement:

If your dachshund has an accident when he is excited, try to avoid greeting your dog with too much fuss when you arrive home.  Try to wait a couple of minutes before loving up your dog.  To help distract your dog, give them a little food in their bowl.  Keep your voice calm to keep your dog calm.

Submissiveness:

Your dachshund is being submissive if he trembles in fear and has an accident when someone approaches him.  To avoid this behavior, avoid eye contact and physical contact when approaching the dog. Give him the space he needs to feel safe.

4. Digging:

Why do Dachshunds dig?  Dachshunds were bred to hunt Badgers.  During the hunt, they had to do a lot of digging to help track down their prey.  Nowadays, doxies may dig for other purposes.  They may just be bored and need something more constructive to do.   Keep up their daily exercise, walking, or play routine to tire them out.

They may be hormonal or in-heat and want to wander the neighborhood for a companion.  Of course, the solution to this would be visiting your vet to discuss getting them spayed or neutered.  Your doxie may also just be too hot on a summer day and wants to dig and lay in the cool dirt.  Lastly, a dachshund may want to bury a favorite toy or bone.  My doxies love to dig in their food bowl and then cover their food with a blanket or toy.

5. Chewing

You may be experiencing some Destructive Chewing from your dachshund if they need to revisit their obedience training.  Your doxie needs an appropriate toy or chewy treat available that he is Allowed to chew and to deter him from choosing something important to you and your family. Excessive chewing can also be caused from Separation Anxiety.

As young puppies, dachshunds, use their mouth to explore their surrounds.  It is important to have toys or treats that the dog is allowed to chew on so he doesn’t go looking for your shoes or the kid’s favorite toys. Be careful giving your dog an old shoe or old socks to chew on, they won’t be able to differentiate between old and new items that they aren’t allowed to chew on.

As for your heavy furniture that can’t be hidden from the dog, try some non-toxic anti-chew spray.    Grannick’s Bitter Apple No Chew Spray is my favorite choice for my two doxies.  You can spray around the perimeter of the furniture to deter them from chewing on it, Super Helpful!

6. Aggressiveness:

Aggressiveness is the most unacceptable behavior in any dog, especially if it is towards your family or friends.  If your dachshund shows his dominance towards other people or dogs, they may have issues with submitting to authority.

In some cases, this may have been from a lack of Socialization Training. In other situations, it may be caused by their Sex hormones, like testosterone. Neutering is a strong recommendation for dogs that assert their dominance because of strong hormones.

Adding some more exercise to your dog’s daily routine will help keep your dog calm.  By walking, you are treating your dog’s physical and mental needs.  If your dog is cooped up all day, they may become aggressive, bored, or depressed.  They need to get outside and move, just as much as you do.

Fear: At times, your dachshund may act aggressively if they feel threatened in fear.   It is their way of protecting themselves.  Make sure to remove any issues that cause your dog to feel fear.  If there are any children that are too rough around the dog, make sure to remove them or the dog when roughhousing starts up.  Allow your dog to retreat to a safe space so he doesn’t become overwhelmed.

If you as the owner are the one the dog is fearful towards, give them more space.  Try to act more calm and gentle around the dog.  Also, offer your dog a small treat or bits of dog food to help them feel safe.

Pain: If your dachshund lashes out when you pick them up or go near them when they have an injury (especially their long backs) make sure to be gentle with them. Back injuries can be very severe with dachshunds.  Your dog could be hurting or have an illness that makes them feel yucky.  Take them to the vet if you notice they yelp when you pick them up or aren’t acting like themselves when you approach them.

Dachshund Tip: Older Dachshunds: As Dachshunds grow older, they may develop hearing or vision issues.  Approach your dachshund in a calm manner and allow the dachshund to know you are present using his other senses (touch, smell, etc..)

Biting: If your dachshund is known for biting, keep them away from children.  Also, remove your dachshund from the room when you have guests over so that no one gets hurt.  Also, it is a good idea to post warning signs on your property to warn visitors about any potential danger when they enter your home or yard.

To Resolve the Aggressive behavior issues, it helps to revisit obedience and command training.  If you find that revisiting behavior training isn’t working for your dog, seek professional help.  Schedule a visit to your vet for some recommendations on specialized behavior trainers in your area.  To avoid any legal ramifications, get some help for your dog and cover yourself when it comes to avoiding any injury of other people or animals.

For more “No Chewing Spray” Options for your furniture, check out My Pet Needs That Website.

APA Cited References ( Bibliography):

Schweitzer, Karen. 2010. Our Best Friends The Dachshund. Pittsburg, PA : Eldorado Ink.

Pinney, Chris. 2010, 2000. Dachshunds. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educatinal Series, Inc.