How to Potty Train a Dachshund

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You can start potty training your dachshund puppy around 8 weeks of age.  Use newspapers or puppy pads at the beginning of your training just in case of accidents, but don’t promote your pup to use them exclusively.

6 Potty Training tips for Dachshund

Housebreaking your puppy requires you the owner to know when to take them outside and prevent them from having to resort to using the puppy pads in the house.

Help them to learn to go potty outside, not inside the house.  Enforce this rule early on.

Training Tip: Always make sure your puppy has been wormed and received his vaccines prior to house training.  If the puppy has worms or a parasite in his system, it may cause unpredictable accidents.  Don’t set them up for failure.

Dachshund Puppy Housetraining Tips

  • Puppy Clues

  • Designate House Area

  • Designate Yard Area

  • Watch carefully and move quickly

  • Praise and Reward

  • Hired Help

1. Puppy Housetraining Clues

Puppies have predictable elimination times.  Always take them out to go potty during the following events AND every 2-3 hours in between.

  • When they wake up
  • When they are finished eating
  • After exercise or play
  • Before they go to bed at night

If you spot your puppy doing any of the following, its time to let them outside.

  • Sniffing the ground
  • Turning around in circles
  • Looking nervous
  • Acting worried

2. Designate House Area

Keep your puppy in a section of the house that has easy to clean floors.  You can put down your newspaper or puppy pads just in case of an accident.  Cleaning up puppy messes on carpet is difficult.  They leave a scent behind that even the best odor cleaners can’t get to.  So, make it easier on your self and keep them in a mud room, kitchen, or any tiled or vinyl floor area of your house.  You can pick up a scrap of vinyl flooring at a hardware store and place an exercise pen or baby gates around the designated area.  This allows for quick and easy clean up.

3. Designate Yard Area

It is recommended that when you take your puppy outside, use a specific section of the yard that they will designate as they potty spot.  This is a big benefit to your yard and your shoes.  Doggie poo land mines are a pain to clean off your shoes and can be time consuming to pick up when the kids want to play in a poo free yard.

If you take your puppy outside to go potty and they don’t eliminate after a couple of minutes, take them back inside the house.  Don’t let them roam outside during the training process, this may cause confusion.  Make sure to continue to watch them carefully in case they decide to go.

4. Watch carefully and move quickly

Watch your puppy. If you notice your puppy showing any of the potty clues above, move that puppy outside quickly to the designated yard spot.  If you notice your dog starting to have an accident in the house, get them outside ASAP.  If they are still going when you pick them up, keep going.  Try not to get upset, just put the puppy outside in the potty spot and give him praise.   This will help them realize where they are Supposed to be going

If an accident happens in the house without you noticing, don’t get upset.  Puppies don’t understand why they can’t go potty in the house.  Try to be more attentive next time.  Your puppy loves you and is very capable of learning.  It is up to you to keep on top of them to make sure this training is successful.

Training Tip: Puppies aren’t fully in control of their bladder until about 6 months old. Understand that when they have an accident during this time. They aren’t able to hold their bladder for more than 1-2 hours, so, it really isn’t their fault. It is up to the owner to stay on top of the training and not rely on the puppy. Accidents are a part of the learning process, be patient and know it takes time.

Punishing during this Housetraining phase may prolong training time and make housetraining more difficult than it has to be.  Despite the old methods of sticking your puppy’s nose in his accident, don’t do it.  Stick to positive reinforcement.

Training Tip:  Puppies should be fed small portions 2-3 times per day on a consistent schedule.  It is preferred to feed their evening portion before 6pm.  This will help Reduce the number of times going potty outside or any overnight accidents.  Always let your pup outside after every meal.

5. Praise and Reward

When your puppy goes potty outside, Praise the dog with “Good” and give a small treat.  Then, take the dog immediately inside the house.  Your dachshund will begin to connect your designated potty yard spot with getting a positive reward and returning to the house.

               Training Tip:  If your puppy does have an accident in the house, clean up the spot as best you can.  Your pup will want to re-mark the same spot going forward if the smell remains.  Use a pet odor neutralizing spray from a pet store instead of a deodorizer.  It is recommended to use a cleaner with the “enzyme” in it.

6. Hired Help

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 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.

Whether you are in the midst of training your new puppy or leaving your trained dog at home while you are gone most of the day, getting someone to let them out will prevent accidents that you don’t have to clean up when you come home.  It will also help your dog have less anxiety and be comfortable while you are away.

4 Tips for Crate Training a Dachshund Puppy

These are the Best Tips for crate training a dachshund puppy that I could find.  Crate training is a good option for dachshund owners.  This allows you to limit your dog’s access to your home while you are away.

A medium to large size metal crate is a good choice for your dachshund (depending on their size as an adult dog).  You want to give them plenty of room to be comfortable but not too much room to feel they can have accidents.

Training Tip:  Never use your crate as a punishment.  Crates are designated as the dog’s safety zone.  You want them to love their crate and not feel anxious about being confined.

Crate Training Tips

1. Crate Placement

Place the Dachshund’s crate in the living room where he can see everyone.  You can give him a blanket or towel to lay on and feel comfortable

2. Entering the Crate

To entice your dog to enter the crate, use a small treat and place it in the crate.  Please be patient and never force the pup inside the crate.  It may take several tries over the next couple of days to get them to be comfortable with entering the crate. When he does enter the crate, give lots of verbal praise.

3. Food Bowl in Crate

Replace the treat with small bits of dog food in the crate.  Then, start to have their food bowl near the crate for feeding time.  Over the next few days, gradually start putting the food bowl in the crate towards the front of the crate.

The ultimate goal is to have the bowl move towards the back of the crate and having the dog comfortable eating inside the crate.  Once they are inside the back of the crate and eating without trying to escape, shut the door of the crate.  Stick around and watch him eat to make him feel safe.  Let your pup out when he is ready to come out.

4. Repeat

Repeat this training over the next several days leaving the door shut on the kennel for a little longer each time.

Finally, start leaving the room while they are in the kennel for a few minutes at a time.  Your training is complete when you are able to leave the room for about 30 minutes without your dog getting upset.  Set a timer so that you can keep track of time.

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 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.

When you perform your crate training, this allows the pup to feel safe in his crate and teaches him when you leave the room, you do eventually come back.

Tips for Treating Separation Anxiety:

1. 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.

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.

3. 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.

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.  Discover some more natural methods for separation anxiety in dogs.

Learn how to use Basic training commands on your Dachshund.  (Click the Command Training Button)

Dachshund Command Training

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.