If you’ve mastered the basics of sit and stay, it’s time to add some new tricks to your doxie’s repertoire. There’s nothing better than showing off how talented your pup is, after all, and the mental stimulation of learning something new is great for your dachshund’s brain.
Dachshunds are notoriously stubborn and require a bit of extra patience to train, but if you keep some helpful training pointers in mind, you may be surprised by how many new tricks you and your pup can master. When you’re ready to level up, grab your doxie’s favorite treats and try teaching them these five tricks.
Learning to lie down (or “down”) is much easier once your dachshund has learned sit, so you’ll want to ensure they’ve mastered that before you move on to this one. Start by asking your pup to sit, and then, holding a treat in your hand, move your hand from in front of their nose to the ground. They should stretch out on the ground, eventually laying down, and as soon as their belly hits the floor, give them the treat! (Lots of praise comes in handy, too.) If your doxie stands up or tries to come towards you rather than lying down, that’s totally normal. You’ll just want to ask them to sit and start again. Once they’ve gotten the motion down with some consistency, add the command, saying down as you move the treat towards the ground. Repetition is key, so keep practicing until it’s effortless. You’ll notice over time that your pup will stay laying down for longer and longer, too.
Like down, mastering sit is essential to learning shake. When your dachshund is sitting, gently touch their shoulder until they lift their paw off the ground. As soon as they lift their paw, reward them with a treat! Once they’ve gotten used to lifting their paw, instead of touching their shoulder, hold out your hand. Even if they don’t fully rest their paw in your hand, reward them with a treat as soon as they paw at your hand. As they get more and more comfortable pawing at your open hand, hold onto their hand for longer periods of time, always rewarding them with a treat and praising them. This is also when you can introduce the command shake or paw (your preference, but be consistent!).
Bow is similar to down, except you’re only asking your dachshund to bring their front paws and head towards the ground. To start learning this trick, your doxie should be standing. Hold a treat to their nose, and slowly lower it towards the ground. They should follow the treat with their nose, and you’ll want to reward them as soon as they lower their front paws and nose to the ground. Once they start to get the movement down, you can introduce the command bow, continuing to reward them when they lower their front half to the ground. If your pup tries to down, try holding your forearm under their belly with one arm to prevent them from fully lying down.
In order to be able to successfully learn roll over, your dachshund should have already learned down. Start by asking your pup to down, and then grab a treat. Show them the treat, and then move it from one side of their head up and over to the other. Move slowly, enticing them to follow your hand with their nose — this should encourage them roll their body over to follow the treat! Reward them with a treat as soon as they rotate their little bodies. If they’re having trouble understanding the motion at first, it’s totally ok to use your hand to help roll them over, rewarding them with a treat so they start to pick up on what you’re asking. If they get startled when you roll them over, take the roll in small chunks, moving them slightly and rewarding them with praise and treats as you go. Continuing with the hand motion, repeat the trick until they’re consistently getting it, and then add the command roll over.
This trick comes with an added bonus — it can help reduce how much your dachshund barks. You’ll want to pay attention to what makes your pup start barking and use that to help with training. Whether it’s the doorbell, a particular toy, or seeing someone walk by the house through the window, recreate the scenario that frequently causes barking. Say the command speak and give them a treat when they bark. Then, when they stop barking, say thank you, and give them another treat. This will help them understand that you’re asking them to stop barking. When your doxie is regularly barking and then quieting down quickly following the speak command, you can try giving them the command in less bark-triggering environments. This one may require more repetition than some of the others, but with consistency, they’ll understand what you’re asking for. It’s a great party trick, and teaches your doxie that there’s a time and a place for barking.
Patience is your friend whenever training is involved, and remember to only focus on one trick at a time so that your dachshund can properly focus. Training sessions should be relatively short, too, so aim for 5–10 minutes once or twice a day. They’ll have a rolodex of tricks before you know it!