Are Dachshunds Hard to Train?

Known for their wiener-shaped bodies, intelligent eyes, and friendly disposition, dachshunds are one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world. These dogs are affectionate and playful but somewhat stubborn. If you’ve been considering getting a dachshund pup, you may be wondering: are dachshunds hard to train?


Dachshund temperament

Dachshunds may be small, but they’re big in personality. Curious, energetic, and devoted, these lovable pups make wonderful companions. However, dachshunds can also be quite challenging, especially if you don’t have much patience for training.

cute dachshunds

As hunting dogs, dachshunds are naturally determined and somewhat ferocious. They’ll go after balls, birds, and other small animals with single-minded focus. They can be aggressive towards other dogs, cats and other animals, and strangers.

When trying to train a dachshund, you may notice that your pup can be quite headstrong, refusing to obey. Despite this, dachshunds are known for their intelligence and for being hyper-alert—qualities that make them good watchdogs. 

Because of their short legs and long trunks, dachshunds aren’t suited to activities like long-distance running and intense swimming and similar activities. However, they’re also very energetic and love nothing more than to play games and romp with their owners. These hounds are burrowers and tend to burrow into blankets and other soft items when tired.

While dachshunds can be standoffish, obstinate, and hard to handle, their endearing nature and irresistible puppy-dog eyes will win you over every time. And if you do manage to train yours well, you’ll be rewarded with their unending devotion and loyalty.

Are dachshunds trainable?

Dachshunds have an independent streak. They have a willful nature and like to do things their way. These qualities can make them difficult to train. 

dachshund with a chew toy

They have bold personalities and can be hard to housebreak. Some dachshunds will bark or growl at unfamiliar people and animals. If they are not properly socialized, they can grow up to be fearful, aggressive, and destructive.

The key to peaceful coexistence with your dachshund is training. If you want to turn your dachshund into a good companion, you will need to be consistent with your training efforts. If you don’t have time and energy to devote to this endeavor, you’ll need to enroll your pup in training school.

According to the American Kennel Club, dachshunds respond best to rewards-based training. These dogs are highly affectionate and are, thus, sensitive to your mood and tone of voice. They will not respond well to punishment or harsh commands.

Dachshunds need loving owners who will understand their need for regular exercise, entertainment, and positive discipline. If you have just acquired a dachshund pup or are thinking of getting one, here are some important tips to keep in mind during training:

Tips for training your dachshund

dachshund on grass

  • Begin training your dachshund at 8 to 12 weeks. A puppy will usually be weaned at about 8 weeks of age. At this point, your pup is ready to explore the world around him and interact with you and your household.
  • Before you start house training your dachshund, make sure he’s comfortable with his new home. When you first bring him home, confine him to just one area, like a bedroom, before you let him roam around the rest of the house. When he has acclimated to his new surroundings, you can begin training.
  • One of the first things you need to do is establish a feeding and bathroom schedule. This will help prevent or reduce “accidents” inside the house. If you have a dachshund puppy, you may want to feed him 3 to 4 times a day and then bring him outside for a bathroom break when he finishes eating.
  • Don’t punish your pup for accidents. While having to clean up dog poo or pee can be frustrating, you need to avoid making a big deal out of every accident. Just quietly clean up the mess.
  • Dachshunds are sensitive creatures who will quickly learn to fear you if you’re always yelling at them. This is not the kind of relationship you want to have with your pup.
  • Expect house training to take at least a few weeks.
  • When you catch your dachshund chewing on something he shouldn’t be chewing on, say “no” in a firm but calm voice. Don’t say it if you caught him after the fact because this will just confuse him. Don’t punish, yell, or scold him as this will make him fearful and harder to train.
  • Redirect your dachshund’s chewing behavior by giving him chew toys and praising him when he uses them. This will teach him that there are certain things he can and cannot chew on.

Though they are willful and often too smart for their own good, dachshunds make excellent companions and family pets if they are trained well. But are dachshunds hard to train? Not if you have the patience, energy, and focus needed to keep these smart pups in line.

About the author

Sarah Andrews

Hi I'm Sarah, dog lover and blogger. I was born into a dog-loving family and have been a proud doggy mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my dog knowledge and love being an active part of the dog-loving community.