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How to teach your dachshund to use a ramp

How to teach your dachshund to use a ramp
If you follow any dachshunds on Instagram or TikTok, chances are you’ve seen them using a ramp to get on couches or beds. Maybe you’ve looked on with envy — after all, it’s pretty important for dachshunds to avoid jumping on or off elevated furniture (more on that later), but it can be pretty hard to train a stubborn dachshund.

Why your dachshund should use a ramp

Every dachshund owner knows that their pup’s back is sensitive — IVDD is one major concern that you’re likely familiar with — and preventative care is important. There are a few everyday ways you can preemptively protect your dachshunds back (like using a harness instead of a collar on walks). A ramp onto elevated surfaces serves a similar purpose: while jumping on and off a couch or bed a few times likely won’t hurt your dachshund, the prolonged compression of their spine could eventually cause issues. By teaching your dachshund to use a ramp, you can rest easy knowing that their spine is aligned when they’re going on or off these elevated surfaces and your pup is safely finding a way to snuggle up to your side.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Set up your ramp. It’s important that you maintain consistency, so choose the location thoughtfully so that you don’t have to move it down the road and potentially confuse your doxie. You may want to start with just one ramp in one location (for example, as a way on the couch) and introduce additional ramps after they’ve mastered one.
  2. From there, you’ll want to start training right away. As soon as the ramp is introduced in its spot, start getting your dachshund used to the idea that this is a tool just for them.
  3. Get high value treats. (And we mean, really high value treats.)
  4. Start at the base of the ramp and hold a treat right in front of your dachshund’s nose. Using the treat, guide your dachshund up the ramp. Reward them as soon as they get onto the piece of furniture that the ramp leads to.
  5. Repeat this process on the way down, rewarding your dachshund as soon as all four paws are back on the floor.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 several times. If possible, break this up into a few different 10-15 minute “training sessions” over the course of the day.
  7. There’s one major barrier to this training: if your dachshund already knows how to jump on the furniture, they might have a hard time adjusting to a ramp-only world. In order to make the transition easier, dissuade them from jumping by moving them to the floor immediately after they do jump. From there, lead them up the ramp and reward them heavily once they reach the piece of furniture via ramp.
  8. Don’t give up! We all know that dachshunds can be stubborn, but once you make it through this training you can rest easy knowing you’re actively preventing back problems for your dachshund for years to come.

It’s probably pretty obvious that it’s easiest to teach your dachshund how to use a ramp when they’re a puppy, before they’ve even learned how to jump on surfaces on their own. While this is true, there’s also a chance that trying to train them to use the ramp as a puppy just doesn’t work. Christina — a Witzig founder! — first tried to train her wiener dog, Monster, to use a ramp when he was a puppy. Monster almost exclusively chewed on the ramp at that point in life, so Christina put it away and simply dissuaded Monster from learning how to jump on our off the bed and couch. She reintroduced the ramp when Monster was an older, wiser one and a half year old, and he learned how to use it in just one session.

Products Featured
Secure Mesh Harness
Comfortable and easy to put on, this step-in harness is made from a durable, breathable mesh fabric. Unlike collars — which can strain a dachshund’s back and throat — harnesses like this are fitted to protect sensitive areas. Plus, the one-piece design will stay matter how wriggly your doxie is!

Dachshund harness

Adjustable Ramp
Worry no further about your doxie jumping on and off of elevated surfaces! This pup-ramp is the ultimate must-have to keep your baby safely snuggled by your side. With 6 adjustable heights and angles and an easy non-slip carpet, your dachshund will be waltzing up to join you on any couch or bed with the greatest of ease. Bonus points that it’s super easy for storage and travel.

Dachshund ramp


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