Basic training tips

Training a dachshund requires a fair bit of patience, firmness and consistency. Here are some exercises that will show you how to teach your dog what it should know to share your home with and to survive.

How often?

Try to limit training to about 5 minutes per session. Ideally you should have 2 training sessions per day. 3 training sessions would be even better. With each session work on a different area at each session.

Basic dog obedience commands

The very basic dog obedience training begins with leash training and heeling. Heeling is when your dog can walk by your left side without running forward. Once these basic commands are learned you can move on to learn the following:

  • Walking on the leash

  • Sit and stay

  • Down and stay

  • Heel

  • Wait

  • Come

Training to use the leash

The first step in training is for your dachshund to learn the right way to be walked on a leash. Even if you never intend on taking your dog for a walk (I hope that's not the case) you will have to take your dog to the vet at the very least.

If you have a young dachshund, they will be reluctant to having their freedom of movement restricted by the leash. Instead of having the leash associated with this reduction in movement, teach your dog that the leash is a way of being with you and of going new places with you. In time the leash will come to mean a direct link to the master—an enjoyable event that your dog will become quite excited about whenever they hear the familiar jingle of the leash.

In the initial leash training sessions, always do them in familiar places in a playful way. Keep these initial sessions very brief. The following assumes that you have already introduced your dog to a well-fitted collar.

After hooking up the leash to the collar, let your dog lead you and don't pull on the leash or tug at it. If the leash tightens and your dog starts resisting, loosen up and speak in a soothing tone. Always remain calm, but firm, and in control of your own emotions.

Start walking forward, encourage your dog to follow. When they do, praise them and give them a quick stroke along their side or pat their side. Avoid tapping them on the head.

If your dog resists violently to the least despite all your coaxing, you'll have to gently pull the dog to you very carefully while saying good dog. When it finally comes, reward it with a little treat.*

Once you dog feels comfortable on the leash you can proceed to other basic training activities.

Leash walking

OBJECTIVE: When done correctly the proper position for walking on the leash is to have the dog walking on your left side, close to your left leg. The dog should not be allowed to run ahead nor lag behind or dart off no matter what distractions occur. Use a leash and slip collar.

Start with the slip collar and leash attached correctly. Hold the leash in your right hand. Stand next to your dog so you are both facing forward. Your dog will be on your left. Start walking forward slowly in a straight line leading off with your left leg. Always begin walking with your left leg as this will become a visual signal to your dog to move forward. You can also gently slap your left thigh with your left hand. As soon as your dog starts pulling on the leash, stop and pull the leash back towards you. Don't drag the dog back. Just stop. Wait until the dog stops, praise him and then continue walking. No command is necessary for now, you're just teaching some basic manners. Each time you start out again, always start with your left leg and slap your left thigh. As this exercise is mastered, add the verbal command "heel".

Continue with this in short 5 minute intervals, several times a day. In less than a week your dog will be walking at your side comfortably without bolting ahead.

TIMID, SUBMISSIVE or NERVOUS DOGS

  • Some dogs appear to be nervous or excessively submissive. They need some good old confidence building. You may have a submissive dog if he frequently rolls over on his back when you approach. These types of dogs may not look you directly in the eye. You have to be careful around submissive or nervous dogs. They have a tendency to strike out at the least provocation. Here are some basic tips to improve their confidence.

  • Food: have your dog eat at the same time as the rest of the family (not before and not after)

  • Greet your dog when you first come into the house after being away for a time. Don't approach him. Allow him to come to you.

  • Invite the dog to join you on the sofa if you happen to be sitting down.

  • If the dog rolls over, don't look at him in the eye. Get down to his own level and in a soothing, calm voice, talk to him. Don't reach out to touch him. After a few minutes of conversation, back away slowly. The goal is to get him to come to you. When he does give him a verbal praise and a light pat on the side. If he doesn't come forward without encouragement, repeat the process. Try this several times in a row. If he still doesn't come forward, discontinue the exercise and try again later. In time your timid dog will gain the confidence necessary to come to you without encouragement.