Training A Dachshund
The numbers are in and they do not look good for Dachshunds. In 2008 the University of Pennsylvania, (that’s right, the one in the Ivy League), shocked the world by identifying the Dachshund as the most aggressive dog breed. The study revealed that the members of this breed are the most likely to attack other dogs and snap at and/or bite their owners. Ten years later, in 2018, they fell to second place as the most aggressive breed worldwide. Ranking just below the Chihuahua is nothing to brag about, but we love our Doxies anyway!
We, as Dachshund lovers, know the ups and downs of having this crazy breed as a part of our lives and we would not trade the crazy for anything in the world. There are pros and cons, but like marriage, you take the good with the bad. There are some things that you can do to lessen the chances of an attack or bite, but with any dog, or spouse, caution and a realistic view of the food chain are best. Here are 10 tips for keeping it real with your own short stack *Cujo:
1- NEVER hit your dog. Like it is with children, you show physical aggression, you get physical aggression. A small creature feels helpless and terrified during a physical attack and will respond in fear the next time an attack seems imminent to them.
2- Take pack leader position from day one. No jumping on furniture, no taking toys from children, no sitting under your feet as you dine. You get the picture.
3- Start potty training immediately. Dachshunds are apparently the most dangerous dogs in the world, but they are also the smartest. They will learn to go outside quickly, however, if you go away for a few days, don’t be surprised by your punishment when you return; they have urine and they know to use it as a weapon. DO NOT PUNISH THEM FOR ACCIDENTS. This will only serve to make them more nervous and likely to have more accidents.
4- This one makes people very uncomfortable; always crate train your Dachshund. Dachshunds, like any other breed, are comfortable in a den. They feel safe and protected in their space. Just make sure your dog can stand up and turn around in the crate. A second to smallest size is best for a miniature and a third/fourth size up is best for a standard. Always keep a water source in the crate. A DOG CRATE SHOULD NEVER BE USED A SOURCE OF PUNISHMENT NOR SHOULD IT BE USED IN PLACE OF DOG CARE AND TRAINING. YOUR DOG, REGARDLESS OF BREED, SHOULD NEVER SPEND MORE THAN A COUPLE OF HOURS AT A TIME EACH DAY IN A CRATE. If you do not have time to spend with your dog all day, then do not get a dog. (You can use a smaller crate for car travel.)
5- Dachshunds are very food and reward-driven dogs. They love to be praised and they love food. Like the Great White Shark of terra firma, they will eat just about anything and on their terms. Demanding a treat and aggression go hand-in-hand. This leads us to our next tip…..
6- Dachshunds will chew anything. Literally ANYTHING! Just assume they can’t be trusted around any items from shoes to sponges.
7- Do not feed Dachshunds human food on a regular basis. Do not feed them from your hand while sitting at the table. Feed only human food that is safe and appropriately sized.
8- Do not expect your Dachshund to love everyone you love. They are extremely loyal and have the brains of a German Shepherd. The people known and unknown to your Dachshund will not get an easy pass into your house. Protect your dog and guests accordingly. If you have to, crate your dog for his or her comfort and the safety of your guests. It makes the visit far less stressful for all.
9- Dachshunds are hunters by nature. It is in their DNA and you can’t cuddle it out of them. Any dog may acclimate when introduced at a young age to another household pet, but the Dachshund was bred to hunt badgers and they will chase anything on legs, with wings, and have even been known to jump into fish tanks.
10- Patience, patience, patience. If you are prone to outbursts of anger and need a dog that bends to your will all time, keep the line moving and go on to a stuffed toy dog.
This is a breed that offers different coats and hair colors and eye colors and the sweetest little faces, ever! But do not be fooled, they are as wise as owls, fierce like lions, and sneaky like burglars. You have to be on your toes at all times and willing to love a menace with complete calm and inner fortitude.
*CUJO is the property of Stephen King, and surely, if trained properly, things would have ended differently for him. And the humans he met.