socialize your dachshund puppy

How To Socialize Your Dachshund Puppy

Updated 09/08/2021 by Ava Jaine

Socializing your Dachshund helps them get used to new people, places, sounds, and animals at an early age so they are less likely to have behavior problems later in life.

Learning how to socialize your Dachshund puppy is essential for proper development.  

 

When Should I Socialize My Dachshund?

The best time to start socializing your Dachshund puppy is around 10-12 weeks old.

But Wait!  Your puppy needs to be wormed and have their first vaccines before socializing with other animals and visiting new places.  Safeguard your pup from other dogs who are not vaccinated to protect them from dangerous diseases.

After reading through this post, keep this in mind: the ultimate goal is to try to get your Dachshund’s socialization training established before they are 6 months old.  Socialization doesn’t stop after they are 6 months old, it should continue into their adult years.

Why Socialize Your Puppy?

So many Dachshund parents ask me why their adult doxie doesn’t like other dogs, barks at other people, or panics when an alarm goes off.

Socializing your Dachshund puppy will help them become familiar with new sounds, smells, and sights in a positive way. 

Correctly socializing your pup will prevent them from becoming frightened or timid towards new people or experiences.  Dogs who are not socialized at the correct age often become fearful and aggressive later in life.

Fact:  One of the top reasons dogs (especially Dachshunds) are surrendered to a shelter is because of behavior problems.

 

My Experience

Confession Time! Our dog, Bastian, wasn’t socialized as a young puppy.  From the start, Bastian had his den mates… our Dachshund, Reno, and our German Shepherd, Artemus, to play with.

We didn’t reach out and meet other people with dogs because they were so good with each other at home. 

We didn’t realize how crucial it really was for us to take him out and meet other dogs that didn’t live with us.

So, when we introduced our new Dachshund puppy, Eko, we made sure to socialize him as soon as we could.

socialize your dachshund puppy

Easy Ways To Socialize Your Dachshund Puppy

Once your dog has been wormed and received their initial vaccines, it’s a good time to start gradually introducing some new friends and experiences.  Gently introducing your Dachshund to a variety of people, places, and sounds will make a huge impact on their temperament as an adult dog.

Here are some great tips to help socialize your Dachshund.

 

Introduce New Friends

Introduce new people and animals gradually.  Too many new faces all at once can make things scary for your Dachshund.  Try your best to expose your doxie to the following:

People:

  • Young Toddlers /Babies
  • Older Kids
  • Men / Women
  • Adults / Seniors
  • Neighbors
  • Different Ethnicities

Animals:

  • Other Dogs (different sizes)
  • Cats
  • Farm Animals

Get Down To Their Level:

When people are introducing themselves to your doxie, ask them to get down to the dog’s eye level and let the dog approach them slowly.  This allows your dog to make the decision if they want to give a sniff or receive a pat on the back.

Make sure young children have help petting your Dachshund. Being gentle to animals doesn’t always come naturally to kids. Help them show kindness to keep it safe and positive for both the child and your dog.

socialize your dachshund puppy
 

Car Rides

Dogs love car rides. Even if it is just a brief ride to the park or to grandma’s house, allow your Dachshund to tag along. 

New Places To Explore:

  • Park
  • Vacation
  • Dog Friendly Stores
  • Veterinarian
  • Friend’s House

Motion Sickness: If your dog is prone to getting car sick, try shorter trips in the car and be prepared with some cleanup gear just in case.  Read more about how to prevent motion sickness in dogs.

Ride Safe: Make sure your dog is safe and secure in the car for the ride. You can have them in their small travel crate, sit them on a passenger’s lap, or you can even buckle them up with a dog seatbelt.

Post You May Like: Best Car Seatbelts For Dachshunds

Leash Walks

When you hook up your new Dachshund puppy to a leash, they probably won’t have a clue what to do with it. Don’t plan on a normal stroll down the street.  This will be a slow, sniff walk. 

Keep your leash walk short and sweet.  Gradually work up to a longer walk as your pup gets used to the leash.  Be gentle and patient, call to your pup to get their attention, never pull too hard on the leash.

Hold on Tight:  Always secure the leash around your wrist. When your Dachshund sees another animal, they may try to bolt.

Ask First: If you encounter another dog walker on your path, wait for the other dog owner to confirm if their dog is ok for a meet and greet.

Don’t Push It: If your dog seems scared, don’t force them to meet with the other dog.  Just move them away from each other and walk on.

Introduce New Sounds

Introduce some new sounds to your Dachshund. Turn on the radio at a reasonable volume while you are home and when you are away.

Gradually introduce the sound of the vacuum cleaner.  Allow your doxie to lay in a comfortable spot a safe distance away from the loud sound. Don’t chase them with it, it isn’t funny, it is terrifying to them.

While playing outside or on walks, listen for the fire engines or a distant passing train.  Allow your Dachshund to listen, stay calm and let them know they are OK.

Here are some noises you should introduce to your Dachshund:

Inside Noises:

  • Fire Alarm
  • Microwave Beep
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Hair Dryer
  • Door Bell

Outside Noises:

  • Garbage Trucks
  • Fire Truck Siren
  • Cars
  • Thunder
 

Gentle Behavior

Always treat your Dachshund with kindness.  They depend on you, their loving owner, to love and protect them.

Keep young children away from your doxie if they get too loud and crazy.  Allow your dog to escape the room when they feel uncomfortable.

Now, don’t coddle your Dachshund too much.  They are allowed to have their own unique experiences, just keep watch and keep them safe.

Keep It Positive

Whether it is a quick introduction with your neighbor or attending a puppy play date, make sure things stay safe and positive.

If there is ever a situation when your dog acts scared towards another animal, person, or place, don’t force them.

Forcing your Dachshund into a frightening situation will cause them to become defensive.  When a dog feels threatened, they will defend themselves.

Reward A Good Experience

Attend a puppy class or playdate with your Dachshund.  If your doxie gets along with the other dogs, give them a treat afterwards.

Just as a child is rewarded for good behavior, your Dachshund should be rewarded too.  A verbal “Good” or a yummy dog treat will reinforce that good behavior going forward.

Take Your Time

Now, don’t go out and fill your days with social events and loud noises, please take it slow. 

Fitting in a couple of these socialization experiences each week will get your Dachshund where they need to be.  Overwhelming them with too much all at once will just set them back.

It’s ok if your Dachshund isn’t the neighborhood socialite. Your dog may not want to greet every dog or person around, and that’s totally fine.  Having them get used to a handful of new faces occasionally will help them be comfortable around others.

socialize your dachshund puppy
 

Fact: It can cost thousands of dollars in vet and behaviorist fees to fix the problems caused by a lack of socialization.

Dachshund Traits

Dachshunds have a unique disposition and a bold attitude.  Here are some common traits to keep in mind when socializing your Dachshund.

  • Roaming:

    Always keep your Dachshund in a fenced in yard or tied to a lead to prevent them from wandering off.  They are scent hounds, they follow their nose wherever it may lead.

    _

  • Ruling the Roost:

    Dachshunds are brave and feisty dogs.  When raising a dachshund, you will learn that they follow some of your rules and maintain a few of their own.

    Understand that some dachshunds believe they dominate over other dogs, no matter their size.

    _

  • Digging:

    These dogs just love to dig. They will dig in the dirt, dig their blankets to make a comfy nest – Dig, Dig, Dig!

    Put down a blanket on their spot of the couch or chair to help prevent any rips in the furniture.

    _

  • Barking:

    The Dachshund dog breed was created to hunt. Chasing, digging, and barking are all part of that special heritage.  They will bark when they are excited, irritated, or just want more attention.

    _

socialize your dachshund puppy
 

What About Older Dogs?

If you have an older Dachshund who isn’t socialized. Don’t lose hope. Socializing as an adult Dachshund will take some extra work, but it still can be done.

Gradually introducing your doxie to new experiences, while keeping things positive and safe can help your dog adjust over time.  If your adult Dachshund struggles severely with fear or aggression, seek help from your dog’s vet.

What is your biggest struggle with socializing your Dachshund?  Let us know below.

Please Share

Bored Dachshund
dachshund allergies
best slow feeder dog bowls

References:

  • Lunis, Natalie. 2009. Dachshund the Hot Dogger. New York, NY: Bearport Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Schweitzer, Karen. 2010. Our Best Friends the Dachshund. Pittsburg, PA: Eldorado Ink.