There’s nothing better than being able to show off how well behaved your pup is at the dog park or when friends are around. After all, who can resist the cuteness of a doxie shaking their person’s hand? Dachshunds have a (well-deserved) reputation for being stubborn and hard to train, but they’re super smart, too. So while they may try their very best to train you to give in to their every wish, with a bit of patience and a lot of treats, they can learn everything from basic commands like “sit” to more advanced “roll over” or “shake.” These five tips will set you up for success when it comes to training your dachshund.
Choose a calm location
Distractions are not your friend when you’re trying to teach your dachshund tricks. You’re best off choosing a smaller, quiet room where it’s easy to hold your pup’s attention. The backyard, on the other hand, may have too many exciting smells or noises that will disrupt their focus. When you’ve decided on your training spot, returning to that space each time you want to work on tricks helps your pup know what you expect of them there.
Consistency is key
Unfortunately, teaching your doxie a new trick will take more than one training session (we’ll keep dreaming, though!). Dachshunds’ attention span will only last for so long, so regular, shorter training sessions are more effective than spending hours working on “shake.” Aim for a 5–10 minute training session, once or twice a day, and focus on one command at a time. Once your doxie is a pro at the trick you were working on, then you can move on to the next!
Stock up on treats
Dachshunds are highly food-motivated, so your best bet for keeping them interested in practicing their new trick is plenty of tasty treats. For training, it’s important to have lots of small treats, or something that’s easy to break into tiny pieces, like cheese. Since you’ll be repeating commands over and over, you won’t want to slow down for them to chew on something larger.
With each trick you teach your pup, you always want to start with the most basic element of what you’re asking them to do — the movement. Before you worry about voice commands or hand signals, getting your pup confident in the movement that you’re asking for is key. Whether it’s praising them every time their butt hits the ground when you’re working on “sit” or getting them comfortable with you holding their paw for “shake,” you’ll need to get these motions down first before you can focus on having them perform the trick on demand.
Depending on the trick, your doxie may catch on quickly, or it may take them a little while. Some training sessions may be more productive than others, too. By remaining calm and upbeat, you’re more likely to keep your pup interested in learning. If they’re having an off day, instead of resorting to frustrated harsh tones, call it a day and try again later.
It may not always be easy, but when your pup perfects “play dead,” you’ll be glad you put in the time.