It is well known that there are some breeds of dog that are more difficult to train than others. There are many factors involved in answering this rather simple question as to how difficult it actually is to instruct them but mostly it comes down to how receptive the breed is in general and how they react when given new commands.
The Dachshund or ‘Sausage Dog’ (as it is sometimes known) isn’t known for its long attention span, but does this mean in this particular instance they are a harder dog to train?
Is a Dachshund hard to train? Yes, a dachshund can be quite hard to train as they are known to be considerably stubborn and are acknowledged as a breed that can become bored quickly!
Why Is It So Hard To Train A Dachshund?
It’s not just the dachshund so don’t think you’re the only one in this position! Many dogs are notoriously challenging to train. We have to generalize a little here as although there are usually distinct similarities between all dogs in a breed, as we all know – every dog is different. Over the course of your life, you may have several dachshund’s and each one will have those little things that they do differently to others. Each will have its own distinctive personality and these subtle differences between dogs can make some more receptive to training than others.
Generally speaking though, the sausage dog is indeed a difficult dog to train. For you, frustration levels may reach new, unprecedented heights and your patience will be pushed to levels you haven’t experienced since you last had a go at getting one of your kids to eat broccoli.
Why is it so hard though to train these little terrors? The problem is usually down to their rather low attention span. You see, the difficulty is – they get bored. They simply have better things to do than stand around outside and be shouted at for an hour. They would much rather be inside biting and hiding your slippers, for instance.
This isn’t the only problem you may face though. Not only does the dachshund have a low attention span but they are also well known for being particularly stubborn. If they don’t want to do something then, as you may well already know, you’re going to have your work cut out for you trying to get them to do it! This is hard enough if you start when they are a puppy – if you leave it until they are an adult it can sometimes be almost impossible. I say ‘almost’ as it’s always possible to achieve positive results, with perseverance – but more on this later.
What Makes The Dachshund Different From Other Breeds?
Sometimes I think that due to its small size they feel they have to compensate somehow. Because they can’t assert themselves in the same way that larger dogs can, they need to use other techniques.
I always thought that they were a particularly intelligent breed of dog but actually they are only considered as a dog with average intelligence (source). I really don’t know how these league tables are put together and how many dogs from each breed are measured. For instance, just because one dog in a breed is a bit slow to learn, doesn’t mean they all are. Anyway, I don’t care what this table might say – I know a lot of dog breeds and the dachshund doesn’t come over as stupid to me!
The dachshund seems to know what it wants and can get frustrated if it doesn’t get it. It also knows what it doesn’t want and therefore gets frustrated if it feels it’s being pushed into doing it. It is essentially these things that separate this breed from others. It can be stubborn and it can have a low attention span, which are two traits you don’t want in a dog breed if you want to train it!
What Happens If I Don’t Train My Dachshund?
Not usually anything good! Here though, we can group the dachshund with all other dog breeds as they should all be trained and socialized from the moment you get them into your home and it should continue throughout their life.
Simply put, if you don’t train your dachshund then all bets are off. You shouldn’t be surprised if it decides to ignore any commands you issue and you shouldn’t be surprised if it acts negatively to other people and other animals. This latter point is related to early socialization actually. For best results, the puppy should be introduced to as many different people (especially children) and as many different dogs and other animals (especially cats) as possible.
This will subsequently mean that whenever it encounters other animals or people later in life it won’t find them as unfamiliar as it would if this socialization hadn’t taken place. Because of this, their reaction will be more predictable.
Training is more important with a dachshund than many other dogs, because of its personality traits. Although you can certainly have more control over it with good training and there will be less chance of an aggressive response to strangers, there are no guarantees with this one. My advice would be to ensure you buy one that has been through training or if you’re buying a puppy be prepared to go through some tough times for a while as you put it through its paces!
What If I Buy an Older Dachshund That Hasn’t Been Trained?
The results of doing this are unpredictable. When you introduce a dachshund to someone it hasn’t met before it may appear aggressive and growl. On the other hand, it may not. The same can be said for its behavior around other animals.
So much depends on those first few weeks of its life so it’s impossible to know how it was dealt with during that time. Was the dachshund allowed to get away with anything or on the other hand, was it mistreated during this time? There are so many different things that can affect the personality of these dogs – you just have to go into the relationship knowing that you might have a tough time ahead of you.
This doesn’t mean that all is lost though. Whatever age of dog you find yourself with one of these, there will be something you can do to improve its behavior. It will take more time if it hasn’t gone through that initial process, for sure – but it is possible. What you’ll need to do is covered next.
Any Tips On Training The Dachshund?
Actually, from a high-level perspective, training a dachshund is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to be consistent, confident, authoritative and have lots of patience. It’s easy when you just need to write it down though, right? When it actually comes to it, it can be one of the most frustrating things you put yourself through and there will be multiple times that you just want to give up!
You have to remember though that the training isn’t just to improve your quality of life. Also, you should remember that there’s nothing wrong with the training. You don’t bring your kids up without telling them what’s right and wrong and occasionally you have to tell them off. It’s how they learn what the boundaries are. It’s exactly the same for a dog, any dog. You’re just teaching them the boundaries and what you’ll find, over time, is a much more pleasant, rounded canine that actually respects you more.
Dogs naturally assume they are the pack leader until told otherwise. You are the pack leader though – you just need to make sure they know this 🙂
Finally, look out for the signs from your dog that they are happy. You need to know when they are showing affection and when they are not. If you need help with this, check out my post here.
There is no doubt that the dachshund is a tricky dog to train. Many people give up and are just left to manage the difficult situations they find themselves in as best they can – but I think it is a shame to accept this. With a bit of perseverance and patience, anyone can see improvements in their dog’s behavior over a relatively short amount of time!