Training Commands for your Dachshund
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In this Article, we will review Dachshund puppy training (verbal commands) and learn how to stop Dachshund Separation Anxiety.
Did you know that you can start training your dachshund basic commands before he is 6 months old? The sooner that you start teaching, the better. Keep your puppy command training sessions short and sweet. Just like young children, puppies have a short attention span. Don’t let training go on too long.
1. Training Command: Sit
Let’s start with the “Sit” training command. Have your dachshund positioned directly in front of you. Have a small treat (dog food, kibble, small dog treat) ready for positive reinforcement. Hold that small treat above his nose, slowly move it to the back of their head.
If he sits automatically, make sure to say “Sit” when he sits. If your dog doesn’t sit automatically, give a gentle push on his hindquarters and say the “Sit” command to help him understand what that command means.
When he sits down, verbally praise with “Good” and give him the small treat. Don’t put the treat too far above his nose, you want it reachable (so they don’t have to jump). As you practice, try to have your dog remain in the “sit” position from a couple of seconds up to 10 seconds at a time. It is recommended to do this training a couple times per day for about 2-3 minutes per session.
Training Tip: If your training session is not going as planned, go back to the command that your dachshund learned before and end your session in a positive fashion.
2. Training Command: Down
After your dachshund has mastered the “Sit” command, move on to the “down” command. Have a small treat (dog food, kibble, dog treat) ready for positive reinforcement. Start the dog in the Sit position directly in front of you.
Hold the small treat in front of his face (but not too close), and move the treat down to the ground, then give the command “down”. He should lean forward and follow the treat down. Once his stomach touches the ground, verbally praise him with “Good”, and give him the small treat.
When practicing the down command, gradually increase the time that the dog is laying down from a couple of seconds to about 10 seconds. It is recommended to do this a couple times per day for about 2-3 minutes per session.
Training Tip: The moment that your dog performs the desired command, give them verbal praise or use a clicker signal and a small treat for a reward. This give positive reinforcement.
3. Training Command: Stay
The Stay and Come command can be taught together. Start with your dachshund in the Sit position and facing you. Then, hold your hand up showing the palm of your had to the dog (like a stop sign) and say “Stay”.
If your pup stays in that position for a couple of seconds, verbally give him praise and a small treat. Each time you practice this command, back away from your dog a little further each time and have them “stay” a few more seconds as you give him the “Stay” command.
4. Training Command: Come
When teaching the “Come” Command, have them in the sit and stay position. Take a step or two away from your dog (still facing him) and say “Come”. If the dog comes to you, verbally praise the dog and give a small treat.
It is recommended to do this a couple of times per day for about 2-3 minutes per session. Over time, increase the distance between you and your dog little by little.
Dachshund Separation Anxiety Advice
5. Training: Separation Anxiety
It is important to Understand Separation Anxiety in your Dachshund. It can be a challenge for your puppy to feel 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 mass destruction in the house while you are away. Remember, dogs are pack animals, they love to be around the ones they love and don’t really care to be left alone.
Dachshunds who have separation anxiety will act out in the house because of their instinct, not because of behavioral issues. Punishing them for this act may not do any good.
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:
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. Be strong and don’t give in.
2. 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.
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Natural Antidotes
Use natural methods to calm anxiety. 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.
Check out my article on Puppy Housetraining Tips.
APA Cited References ( bibliography):
Schweitzer, Karen. 2010. Our Best Friends the Dachshund. Pittsburg, PA: Eldorado Ink.
Pinney, Chris. 2010, 2000. Dachshunds: A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.