Stop Dachshund Behavior Problems

Dachshund Behavior Issues

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Many dachshund owners would agree that doxies are the most loving family dog, but they can sometimes act out in spite or have choosey listening skills.  It can be frustrating when experiencing behavioral issues with your dog.  Luckily, by doing some research and using some positive training technics, many behavior challenges can be corrected.

Keep your veterinarian in the loop of any behavior issues you are experiencing with your dachshund.  You are not alone, there are many dog owners and veterinarians out there who can share tips with you and help you out.

The Most Common Dachshund Problems:

  • Separation Anxiety

  • Excessive Barking

  • Eliminating Indoors

  • Digging

  • Chewing

  • Aggressive Behavior

Stop Dachshund Behavior Problems

1. Dachshund Separation Anxiety

It is important to Understand Separation Anxiety in your Dachshund.  You want to help your pup be comfortable and content when you leave the house.  Separation Anxiety training is needed to help your dog 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, don’t make it worse by getting emotional.  Be strong and don’t give in.

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 (through the window or remotely on a doggie camera), don’t go back inside your house!  This will reinforce the 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.

This is one of our favorite ways to keep our dogs occupied for hours while we are away: How to use a Kong Toy Simpawtico Dog Training Youtube video.

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

You can use natural methods to calm dog separation anxiety too. 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?

Stop Dachshund Behavior Problems

2. Barking

Why do dachshunds bark so much? Excessive Barking can occur when your 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 the outsiders (people and animals) to know that they are protecting their home.  If your dog has separation anxiety, this 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 during the day to tire them out and help 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 they don’t.  It’s 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 or separation anxiety issues.  It might be from too much excitement, or just being submissive.  Sometimes, it is hard to tell what the cause is.  My dachshund, Reno, 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 dog 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 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.  Wait a couple of minutes before loving them up.  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 stop this behavior, avoid eye contact and physical contact when approaching the dog. Give him the space he needs to feel safe.

Stop Dachshund Behavior Problems

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 dachshunds 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 also needs an appropriate chew toy or treat available that he is Allowed to chew.  This will help deter him from choosing something important to you and your family. Excessive chewing can also be caused by Separation Anxiety.

As young puppies, dachshunds, use their mouths 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.

Avoid giving your dog an old shoe or old socks to chew on, they won’t be able to tell the difference 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.  If your dachshund shows his dominance towards other people or dogs, they may have issues with submitting to authority.

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

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.

Is your Dachshund Aggressive?  Post warning signs on your property to warn visitors about any potential danger when they enter your home or yard.

Understanding Separation Anxiety Dachshund

Here are some other reasons your dog may be showing aggressive behavior:

  • Fear: At times, your dachshund may act aggressive if they feel threatened.   It is their way of protecting themselves.  If children or other pets are playing too rough around the dog, allow him to retreat to a safe space.

    If your dog is afraid of you (the owner), make an effort to give them more space.  Try to act more calm and gentle around the dog.  Also, offer your dog small treats 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, they may have an injury.  Back injuries and diseases, like IVDD, can be very painful in dachshunds.

    Your dog may have an illness that makes them feel terrible.  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..)

How To Resolve Aggressive Behavior Issues:

1. More Exercise:

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.

2. Training:

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.

References:

  • Schweitzer, Karen. 2010. Our Best Friends The Dachshund. Pittsburg, PA : Eldorado Ink.
  • Pinney, Chris. 2010, 2000. Dachshunds. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educatinal Series, Inc.