potty training your dachshund

Potty Training Your Dachshund

Updated 07/09/2021 by Ava Jaine

Potty Training your Dachshund can be a big challenge and a real pain, but it is very necessary.

Your puppy will not be training themselves, they need your guidance every step of the way.  Learning the puppy potty clues, preparing your home, and using the correct steps to train your doxie will help ease the stress of puppy potty training.

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potty training your dachshund

Note:  If your dachshund puppy has worms or a parasite in their system, it may cause unpredictable accidents…which they can’t help. Get your puppy wormed and vaccinated at the vet first.  Then, you can start your puppy potty training.

When Should I Potty Train My Dachshund Puppy?

You can start potty training your dachshund puppy as early as 8 weeks old.  I  didn’t bring my new puppy, Eko, home until he was 10 weeks old, so that is when I started his training.

Avoid getting a new dachshund puppy during the cold winter months.  Dachshunds Hate Cold weather and that can delay their potty training quite a bit. 

The warm spring or summer seasons are the most ideal time for puppy potty training success…Trust Me!

Dachshund Puppy House Training Tips

Puppy Potty Clues

Puppies have predictable elimination times. Everyday, take them out to potty when:

  • They wake up
  • 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, it’s time to let them outside:

  • Stops current activity and sniffs the ground
  • Turning around in circles
  • Looking nervous
  • Acting worried
  • Whimpering
 

Designate House Area

Use puppy gates to close off any rooms you don’t want the puppy to visit. Keep your puppy in a section of the house that has easy to clean floors, like a mudroom or kitchen. A room with tiled or vinyl flooring is best.

Puppy Area:

I designated an area in the kitchen for my dachshund puppy, Eko. I picked up a piece of scrap vinyl flooring at the hardware store and placed a puppy playpen on top. 

Puppy playpens create the perfect designated play space for your doxie. I used this playpen (from Amazon) for my kids when they were little and now I use it for Eko.

This playpen area allows you to put your puppy in a safe space when it is time to take a nap or even a much needed “time out” when puppy teething and chewing gets out of control.

Potty Training your Dachshund

Hard To Gate Areas:

Any area your puppy loves to chew, hide, or pee in needs to be gated off.  Sometimes it is hard to cover all of your entrances, dangerous electric cords, etc… 

We like to use the large science fair project boards or thick project poster boards to cover those hard-to-gate areas.  It works, and it’s cheap.

Puppy Pads:

You can use old newspapers or puppy pads at the beginning of your puppy’s potty training, but they are not to be used exclusively.  As your puppy improves his potty training, start to gradually take the puppy pads away.

Designate Yard Area

Designate a special potty spot in the yard for your puppy to do their business. This is not only a big benefit to your yard but also your shoes!

Don’t let your doxie roam the entire yard during the potty training process.   This can cause confusion and delay the training process.

Your pup will start to understand what they need to do when you take them to that same spot every time for pees and poos. 

If your doxie is puppy pad trained:  You can take the pad to the designated potty area outside to help encourage your pup to start going potty outside instead of inside on the puppy pad.

Watch Carefully, Move Quickly

Watch your puppy closely! If you notice your puppy showing any of the potty clues above, take them outside fast. If you catch them mid pee or poo, pick them up and take them outside, even if they are still going. 

Try not to get upset, just put the puppy outside in the potty spot and give them praise.

This will help them realize where they are supposed to go potty.  Trust me, this method does work if you keep at it.

When 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. 

Take your puppy outside for frequent potty breaks, every 1-2 hours under 12 weeks old.

If you aren’t able to watch your puppy, keep them in their designated area: playpen or crate. 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.

Puppy potty training can feel tedious, but if you put in the time and effort now, it will help your puppy be a more obedient dog in the future.

 

Unnecessary Punishment:

Punishment during the House Training phase may prolong your dog’s training time and make it more difficult than it has to be.   The old methods of sticking your puppy’s nose in his accident are gone.  Use positive reinforcement instead.

potty training your dachshund

Praise And Reward

When your puppy does go potty outside, verbally praise them with “Good” and give them a small dog treat. Then, take the dog immediately inside the house. 

Your Dachshund will begin to connect going potty in the designated yard spot with getting a positive reward and returning to the house.

This doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time.  Be consistent even if it doesn’t feel like they are getting the hang of it…keep going!

Hire Help

Your Dachshund should not have to “hold it” for more than 4 hours at a time, at any age. That’s right!  Even as an adult Dachshund, they will need to be let outside every 4 hours to maintain good potty training skills. 

If you work full time or are unable to let your dog out during the day, get some help. You can search online for local dog walkers in your area or check out some phone apps like Rover or Wag.

Daily walks and potty breaks during the day will help your dog remain calm while you are away. 

Making your Dachshund hold it all day or allowing them to have an accident in the house because you are gone too long will undo their potty training and cause serious separation anxiety.

I know that I can’t hold it for 8-9 hours without using the bathroom…a dog shouldn’t be expected to hold it that long either.

 

Puppies aren’t fully in control of their bladder until about 6 months old. When they have an accident prior to this age, it isn’t their fault.

When Accidents Happen:

When your dachshund puppy has an accident in the house, thoroughly clean up the spot right away. Your pup will want to re-mark that same spot going forward if the smell remains.

Use a pet odor neutralizing spray from Amazon instead of a “deodorizer”.  It is recommended to use a pet mess cleaner with the “enzyme” in it to get rid of any traces of strong smelling urine.

Accidents are a part of the learning process. 

The puppy doesn’t understand.  Be patient and ask yourself, how can I prevent this next time?

Using A House Line:

When potty training is going well and you feel like your doxie is ready to do a little more roaming, have your puppy on a house line or lead.  You can use a regular leash that can be attached to the belt loop of your pants or free to drag behind them. 

It is helpful to have a house line to grab onto in case your puppy grabs something they shouldn’t have…like a pill or your socks.  You can use the house lead to redirect them to a toy that they are allowed to chew.

Never yank or pull hard on your doxie’s house line.  Dachshunds are prone to IVDD and need to be treated gently.

Bonus Potty Training Tip:

To avoid indoor potty accidents, take your doxie on a 20-minute walk BEFORE you leave for the day.

Your dog will usually empty themselves on the walk and last longer in the house without an accident.   Also, consider hiring a dog walker to give your dog a much needed potty break and a relaxing walk during the day.

Apartment Potty Training:

Potty Training a new puppy in an apartment is a whole different ball game.  Check out our post on Apartment Dachshunds for some helpful tips.

Puppy Potty Training Step by Step

  • When your puppy wakes up in the morning, put the puppy’s leash on and carry them outside immediately.  I like to say the word “Out” as I exit the door.

  • Place your puppy in the designated potty area outside and try not to walk around too much.  Let your pup circle around you to find the perfect potty place. 

    Don’t play or socialize with your dog, this is potty time only.

  • Say “Go Pee Pee” or “Poo Poo” and point to the grass.  Make sure they are listening and focused on your words. 
    Do not repeat those words 100’s of times, this will only confuse them or will be ignored.

  • Let your dog sniff around for 5-10 minutes max. If your pup doesn’t go potty, pick them up and put them back into their crate or playpen. 

    Take them back outside if they show potty signs or just try again in about 20 minutes.
    Do not let them loose in the house, they didn’t do their job.

  • If your puppy does go potty outside, praise them with “Good” and give them a small treat and go back inside.  Don’t stay and play.

  • Be consistent, take your puppy out every 1-2 hours between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks old. After 12 weeks of age, they can go a little longer, every 3-4 hours.

  • This is KEY!  If you don’t have eyes on your puppy, they need to be in their designated puppy place: playpen or crate. 

    Don’t allow them to wander around the house.  This will entice them to find potty places all over your home.

You will have good days and many bad days.  It is part of the learning process. Be patient, this stage doesn’t last forever if you do it right.  If you give up too easily, the training will never stick.

 
potty training your dachshund

Crate Training A Dachshund Puppy

Note: Never use your dog’s 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.

1. Crate Size And Placement

Choose a crate that gives your pup plenty of room to move around, but not too much room to allow potty accidents.

Place your Dachshund puppy’s crate near the most active room in your home. Your pup wants to see you and your family. 

Put a safe chew toy in the crate with your pup to help them stay entertained and calm.  Avoid putting any towels or blankets in the crate with your pup, they will get peed on.

You can give them a blanket or towel to lay on when potty training comes to an end or just for bed time at night.

2. Entering The Crate

To entice your dog to enter the crate, place a small dog treat in the front of the crate.  Don’t shut the door, leave it open. 

Gradually move the treat towards the back of the crate and allow them to exit after they eat it.  It may take several tries over the next couple of days to get them to be comfortable with entering the crate.

When they do enter the crate, give lots of verbal praise.  Be patient and never force your puppy inside the crate.

3. Food Bowl In Crate

Place your dog’s food bowl near the front of the crate.  Sit with your pup while they eat.  This helps your pup feel more comfortable during mealtime in the crate. 

Keep the crate door open during this phase.

The ultimate goal is to have the bowl move towards the back of the crate gradually and having the dog feel comfortable eating inside the crate.

Once they are inside the back of the crate and eating without trying to escape, gently 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 while you are nearby.  

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.  Depending on your puppy’s age, keep track of how often they need to go outside to potty.

Remember: Puppies under 12 weeks old need to go potty every 1-2 hours.

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

potty training your dachshund

Issues With Crate Training:

If your puppy continues to have accidents or panic attacks in the crate, STOP using the Crate.

Crate training is a good option for some Dachshunds, but not all.

My Dachshund puppy, Eko, didn’t like his crate.  He was petrified to go near it, even with yummy treats inside.  I never forced him in, I just looked for an alternative.

The puppy playpen was our perfect solution for Eko! It is open on top and can be resized…which in my opinion, is better than a kennel or dog crate.  You don’t have to purchase multiple kennels as your dachshund grows.

I kept my puppy’s playpen large so I could sit inside with him.  This really helped him feel calm while in the playpen.  Here is a picture of Eko in his playpen (from above).

 

Separation Anxiety Advice

If you believe that your Dachshund has symptoms of Separation Anxiety, it is important to understand the cause of this behavior in order to find a solution.

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.

Learn More About Dachshund Separation Anxiety, Behavior Problems and Solutions.

potty training your dachshund

Why Is My Dachshund Still Peeing Inside?

Still having issues with potty accidents in the house?  Your new doxie pup needs to be watched the whole time he is wandering around your home.   If you are not able to watch the puppy, then he needs to be in a kennel or a play pen area so he doesn’t have an accident.

Let your pup outside to go potty often and keep visiting the same potty area in the yard to stay consistent.  Reward your doxie, keep things positive, and stay as patient as you possibly can.

Check out the Helpful Potty Training Links below for some video guides that may help.

Bonus Tip:

If you are truly struggling to get your doxie to do their business outside, you can try using a puppy potty attractant spray (From Amazon).  This works for some, not all, but it is worth trying!  The attractant spray helps to entice your pup to go potty where the scent is.

Why Is Potty Training A Dachshund Challenging?

If you have tried the steps above and still are not seeing any progress, it is not uncommon.  All dog breeds have their unique “quirks”… well, prolonged potty training is the Dachshund’s.

Dachshunds are hunting dogs.  There are lots of distracting sights, sounds, and smells outside. 

Your doxie would much rather take the time to sniff everything instead of concentrating on going potty…which makes potty training time a little longer than other dog breeds.

We want to hear from you!  What methods do you use to potty train your Dachshund puppy?  Let us know in the comments.

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References:

  • 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.