I didn’t train my first miniature Dachshund at all. Not formally anyway.
There are several reasons why I didn’t but the biggest one was probably that, like a lot of people, I believed the myth Dachshunds were hard or impossible to train.
You’ve probably heard people say that Dachshunds are too stubborn to be trained.
Or they will always do what they want instead of what you ask them to do.
But I think this does them a huge disservice.
I’ve put the most effort into training with my third Dachshund and found it to be a fairly easy experience.
I also LOVE the rewards – a Dachshund that does what I ask (most of the time anyway), is not embarassing to take out in public, and who doesn’t cause me stress.
In this article, I will explain a little more about the misconception about the trainability of a Dachshund.
Can You Train a Dachshund?
Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt small game such as badgers, fox, rabbits, and wild boar.
All of these animals can be mean and will fight back.
Dachshund often ran ahead of the hunters, or burrowed underground, to locate prey so they were on their own when confronted.
Because of this, Dachshunds developed tenacity, the willingness to perservere, and the ability to think independently.
While these traits made Dachshunds highly intelligent, it also made them relentless problem solvers.
I always tell people that a Dachshund will use their smarts and ingenuity to find an easier way around what you are asking them to do in order to get the reward.
In other words, they may be inclined to try to convince you to give them the treat without actually doing what you ask (like sit all the way).
These traits can also make them seem stubborn or hard to train.
But are they?
Dachshunds are whip smart and eager to learn.
The sterotype is that Dachshund are strubborn and can’t be trained but that’s simply not true.
With consistency and patience, the Dachshund can be as easy to train as any other breed.
So, to the question, “Can a Dachshund be trained?” the answer is absolutely!
Why Do Dachshunds Have a Reputation for Being Hard to Train?
If Dachshunds are not hard to train, where did this stereotype come from then?
Successful training really comes down to an owner communicating clearly what they want their dog to do, repetition, and consistency.
This is true for any dog breed.
However, I will say in my expeirence, Dachshunds may require more of these things than some other dogs.
Remember above when I said that a Dachshund is a problem solver that is always trying to find a shortcut to what they want?
This means that a Dachshund may need more consistency.
The ONE time you let your Dachsund get away with something you have taught them not to do, they may conclude that just because you ask them to do something doesn’t mean they always have to do it.
I like to say it’s not difficult to train a Dachshund but it is easy to untrain one.
But if you do these things, you will be able to train your Dachshund.
- Learn to teach them in a way they can understand (watch online videos or consult with a trainer if needed)
- Make your expectations clear and consistent
- Start in a low distraction environment and move onto more difficult settings
- Don’t give up
- Continue to reinforce the learned behaviors throughout your Dachshund’s life
If your Dachshund isn’t doing what you ask, consider that you are not clearly communicating what you want.
If you’re looking for a dog breed that is easily trained, the Dachshund probably falls in the middle of the spectrum.
Dachshunds are super smart and not hard to train. They can be taught almost anything you want them to learn.
The difference between a Dachsund and some other breeds is they may be more interested in getting what they want rather than doing what you want.
When using an irresistable reward, those two goals will likely align.
However, what they learn must be constantly practiced and reinforced through consistent expectations.
I always say that a Dachshund can unlearn something as quick as they learned it.
If you start being lax with enforcing learned training, or let them get away with something you normally don’t, they will remember that ONE TIME they didn’t have to do what you asked.
For a more enjoyable and peaceful life with your Dachshund, use proper Dachsund training techniques and give your dog opportunities to practice their training, or learn new skills, throughout their lifetime.