An important part of being a responsible dog owner is researching the breed you’re interested in to find out if it will be good fit for your family, home, and lifestyle.
Are you thinking of adopting a Dachshund? Keep reading to learn about the specific characteristics and temperament of the dog breed, what the training requirements are, and how well they get along with children. Understanding the unique personality traits of Dachshunds will allow you to make an informed decision about adding one to your family.
History of Dachshunds
Dachshunds were bred in Germany hundreds of years ago with the intent to hunt badgers. In fact, that’s where they get their name. In German, ‘dach’ means badger, and ‘hund’ means hound. They have strong, stout legs that allow them to dig out their prey and fit inside burrows. Larger Dachshunds were historically used to chase foxes and deer. Dachshunds are still used for hunting in Europe but are primarily family pets in the United States.
Dachshunds are bred in three varieties: smooth, wirehaired, and long-coated. Smooth Dachshunds have the earliest roots and were bred from Miniature French Pointers and Pinschers. They are bred in standard and miniature sizes with the standard being the original size.
Prominent Personality Traits
Despite their small size, Dachshunds are known for their daring nature and will sometimes take on dogs or other animals much larger than they are.
Additionally, some Dachshunds may exhibit aggressive behaviors towards strangers or other dogs. They’re known for being family dogs because they are notably good with children and make excellent watchdogs.
Dachshunds are intelligent creatures and very independent, which can lead to some stubbornness, especially during early training.
This can potentially lead a Dachshund to tear up furniture or go to the bathroom indoors if they are angry with their owners. Since Dachshunds were bred to be hunters, the modern breed likes to dig, bark, and sniff out the unfamiliar.
Smart & Independent
Dachshunds are known for being very smart creatures. Because of their intelligence, they will need to be almost constantly engaged with regular canine exercise, training sessions, and play time. Dachshunds are a great fit for people who don’t work long hours outside of the home and can provide their pet with the attention they require.
The independent traits of Dachshunds make them very resourceful without the need for much instruction. However, their independent minds can sometimes clash with their owners which will require patience and persistence when they are a puppy, especially during training sessions.
Dachshunds love being in charge which can result in canine aggression towards their owners. They will need to be thoroughly trained from a young age to prevent this from becoming a problem. However, once your Dachshund has accepted that you’re the boss, he will be an extremely loyal companion. The breed is known for “coming to the rescue” of their owners when strangers are present, and they will follow their loved ones around wherever they go.
As playful and extremely lively animals, Dachshunds like to make a game out of almost anything, even their owners sweeping the floor. They love to play fetch and will chase after a ball, but the breed is known for not always bringing it back to their owners.
In order to keep them busy, active, and entertained, Dachshunds should be taken on long walks on a regular basis. Behavioral problems in dogs are often associated with lack of exercise. Dachshunds are very active animals and can exhibit bad behavior if they’re inside for too long without the opportunity to move around and play.
Dachshunds are known for their stubborn temperament which can be very frustrating for owners when it comes time to train their pet. Since they were bred to hunt and make decisions on their own, the independent streak creates stubbornness, making them difficult to train.
Training a Dachshund
Training your dog takes lots of firmness, consistency, and patience. Dogs have the instinct to be in a pack with a leader. The most important part of training a Dachshund is for them to see you as their leader. If they don’t see you as being in charge, they may start to show aggressive characteristics.
House training is one of the most crucial parts of training a Dachshund. Crate training on a consistent basis will help owners effectively house train their dog.
One way to successfully potty train a dog is to praise them for going to the bathroom outside and ignore them going inside so that they seek out the reward. It’s important to be consistent with rewards and praise in order to effectively housebreak a Dachshund.
Dachshund owners often get frustrated when they try to teach their dog something that they have no interest in learning. Some of them have willful and even manipulative temperaments and must be shown consistently that their owners mean what they say. The key to training a Dachshund is consistency and a reward system.
As a reward, you may want to give them a treat or let them play with their favorite toy. Verbal praise also works for positive reinforcement while training a Dachshund puppy. While praise for good behavior is vital, it’s important to remember that when your dog behaves badly, you should correct him instead of punishing him.
Their hunting instinct makes Dachshunds constantly ready to confront something unknown. These instincts can trigger explosive barking and outbursts over even the slightest noise or movement in their territory. The good news is that thorough training of your Dachshund will teach him to quiet down at your command.
Families, Children, & Home Life
Dachshunds are not typically good with strangers and are known for barking at unfamiliar people or animals. However, since they like being in a pack, they get along with children and do well as family dogs. They will most certainly let their family know when something is approaching their home, whether it’s a person, animal, or car.
Although Dachshunds make good family pets, owners should be cautious having them around small children. Because of their unique body type, the breed may become accidentally injured by children who pick them up incorrectly, or by being tripped over which can lead to an aggressive response.
Furthermore, they don’t get along very well with large dogs and do best in a household as the only dog or with another Dachshund. They sometimes get snappy with other dogs or may try to dominate them.
Because of their strong drive for prey, Dachshunds should not be taken off leash unless they’re in a fenced yard. The breed is known for taking off suddenly if they see something that interests them and may not come back on command. Dachshunds will do best in homes with a fenced yard so that they aren’t dependent on their owners taking them for a walk to get some exercise.
Since Dachshunds were bred to burrow, the modern breed tends to like to dig which can lead to torn up grass in your backyard. Luckily, the digging behavior can be minimized if they aren’t left outside unsupervised for long periods of time. When no one is around to entertain them, their desire to dig spikes.
Is a Dachshund Right for You?
Because they’re such instinctive creatures, owners must be careful when training Dachshunds. If they think your actions are unfair, they may growl or snap at you. They were bred to hunt which makes them determined and independent animals.
The right owner will be consistent with training and use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior. Dachshunds love treats, so in order to train them quickly and effectively, a small food reward is best.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that training won’t happen overnight. Each dog will be different, and learning new habits can take weeks or even months.
Consider all the personality traits and training requirements of a Dachshund in order to decide whether it’s the right breed for you.
Although these traits are common for most Dachshunds, remember that no two dogs are the same, and yours will have his own unique temperament. If you decide to adopt one and are prepared to put in the work, a Dachshund will repay you with years of loyalty and companionship.
- “Dachshund – Temperament & Personality.” Petwave, 27 Oct. 2016, Accessed 15 Dec 2017. www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Dachshund/Personality.aspx.
- “Dachshund Dog Breed – Facts and Personality Traits” Hill’s Pet, Accessed 15 Dec 2017. www.hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/dachshund.
- “Dachshund Dog Breed Information.” Vetstreet, Accessed 15 Dec 2017. www.vetstreet.com/dogs/dachshund.
- Kriss, Randa. “Dachshund Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, Accessed 15 Dec 2017. www.akc.org/dog-breeds/dachshund/.
- “Dachshund Dog Breed.” Petwave, Accessed 15 Dec 2017. www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Dachshund.aspx.