8-Week-Old Dachshund: Growing and Exploring Their Surroundings

In the United States, a breeder cannot rehome a puppy until that puppy is at least 8 weeks old, that is a federal law. If you find a breeder willing to rehome a puppy prior to 8 weeks old, please note that this is not an ethical or responsible breeder.  

Many reputable breeders wait a little longer and do not release a Dachshund puppy until they are 10-12 weeks old. But, if you are bringing your puppy home at 8 weeks of age, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most 8-week-old puppies have not been weaned from their mother for long and will be very immature.

But, if you do bring home a Doxie puppy that young, you will need to know what to expect including how much they should eat, sleep, exercise, and how housetraining should be started. Bad behaviors can easily be fostered without you even realizing what you are doing, learning how to apply appropriate play and training for the age is important.

What to Expect from an 8-Week-Old Dachshund Puppy?

8-Week-Old Dachshund
8-Week-Old Dachshund Puppy

The most important thing to remember is that a puppy this young is still in the infancy stage, think of bringing home a human infant, and will need a lot of special care to ensure they settle into their new environment seamlessly.

An 8-week-old Dachshund puppy will not have been away from their mom for long and will also mourn the loss of any siblings. Your new puppy will be trying to figure out why they have lost their mom and siblings as well as their caregivers and been plopped into a new family.

You may see the puppy act out and try to dominate or you may see them regress and become more withdrawn. It is important to set boundaries and structure for any puppy, do not hover and do not overly coddle your puppy. Doing so can give your Doxie puppy a sense that something is wrong and they should be fearful.

Set up an area for your new 8-week-old Dachshund puppy that is strictly theirs and where they can decompress and be safe. For years people believed that a crate was the best way to keep a puppy contained, but really an indoor exercise pen or a playpen with a lid for those climbers is ideal for your young puppy.

Puppies that are 8 weeks old will only have one vaccination. Most people do not understand that like a human infant, a puppy requires a series of vaccinations before they are fully vaccinated against common viruses and diseases. A puppy requires a series of 4 vaccines which are spaced about 3 weeks apart. A puppy should not go to a dog park, pet store, or visit friends until they are fully vaccinated.

What Does an 8-Week-Old Dachshund Look Like?

8 weeks old Miniature Dachshund Puppy
What does an 8-week-old Miniature Dachshund Puppy look like?

This is a loaded question for sure. An 8-week-old Doxie baby should look like a miniature version of an adult Dachshund. You should be able to look at the puppy and say for certain that your new puppy is a Dachshund. A Doxie puppy should be pudgy, long-eared, soft, and snuggly.

When it comes to the size of your new 8-week-old Dachshund puppy, that will strongly depend on whether or not your new puppy is a standard-size Dachshund or a miniature-size Dachshund, or somewhere in between.

A standard 8-week-old Doxie puppy can range in weight from 4 pounds to 6 pounds and can even be a little less or a little more depending on how chunky they are and how big their parents are. A miniature 8-week-old Dachshund puppy will generally be around 1 pound 8 ounces to 3 pounds, again this may be a little more or a little less.

Any puppy that is under 2 pounds really should not be released to their new owners until they are a little more mature and have reached 2 pounds. I have ever had a mini Dachshund puppy that is not 2 pounds at 10 weeks old and the puppy stays with me until I know they will transition well into their new homes.

Talk with your breeder and ask about their philosophy on releasing puppies at 8 weeks old. Most reputable breeders will not let a puppy go to its new home until 10 to 12 weeks of age. If you are set on bringing a puppy home at 8 weeks old, make sure you understand how to create a safe, healthy environment for that puppy.

How Much to Feed an 8-Week-Old Dachshund Puppy?

While many people feel that a puppy should be put on a feeding schedule and only be given a specific amount of food each day. As a breeder with over 26 years of experience with Dachshunds, I leave a bowl full of food down 24/7 for the puppies. Dachshund puppies do need a lot of calories to maintain proper body weight, therefore, leaving food accessible ensures that they eat enough throughout the day.

By feeding a young puppy on a schedule, you are teaching them to bolt down their food instead of grazing through the day as they feel hungry. Puppies that are recently weaned from their mother also can be susceptible to low blood sugar issues as they are used to nursing when they need to and then all of a sudden, they are only given food at certain times.

The smaller the puppy, the more susceptible it to blood sugar problems. Therefore, small miniature Dachshund puppies could experience episodes of low blood sugar if they are not offered food often or have food available all day.

Talk with your breeder and discuss appropriate nutrition for your new puppy. You want to feed a high-quality puppy food that gives your puppy all the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. I always recommend Fromm Family Gold puppy food for all my Dachshund puppies.

How Much Does a Dachshund Puppy Sleep?

A puppy, no matter the breed, needs a lot of sleep to keep healthy. I always suggest that you put your Dachshund puppy on a set schedule that includes plenty of downtime for naps. You can expect your 8-week-old Dachshund puppy to sleep about 16 to 18 hours each day. That is a lot of sleep so don’t be alarmed if you notice your new puppy taking several naps throughout the day.

Ask your breeder to provide the schedule that your new puppy is currently used to, then modify that schedule to fit your schedule but do so in small increments. If your new puppy is used to waking up at 5:30 a.m. but you do not get up until 6:00 a.m. over the first few days modify their wake-up time in 15-minute increments until they are waking up at the same time as you.

How Much Exercise Does Your 8-Week-Old Dachshund Puppy Need?

Many people are under the misconception that a Doxie puppy needs a lot of exercises, but a small 8-week-old puppy does not need a rigorous exercise routine. Simple playtime is more than enough exercise for your growing puppy.

Letting your puppy romp around your fenced-in yard or do a few zoomies through your house several times a day will give them enough time to stretch their muscles. Young puppies that have too much exercise can have inflammation begin in their joints and cause them pain.

Also, young puppies do not have an automatic “off switch” and will not understand if they overdo it and cause harm to their little bodies. You have to be the one to monitor their playtimes and make sure they do not overdo it.

How to Train an 8-Week-Old Dachshund puppy

8-Week-Old Dachshund Training

Training a puppy with the attention span of a gnat can be rather challenging. The main thing to remember when you start training your Doxie puppy is to always use positive reinforcement and always end on a positive note.

Keep training sessions short, only 5-10 minutes long, and repetitive and consistent commands are key. Pick one word for each command you want to teach your Dachshund puppy, such as sit, come, outside, bed, etc. Have a special treat that you only use when training your puppy.

When potty training, an 8-week-old Doxie puppy should be given potty breaks outside every 2-3 hours during the day. I use potty pads near the door that the puppy will be going out to go to their potty area when I am not able to get the puppy outside in time. I also never allow the puppy to roam freely through my home until they are fully trained, keeping them contained makes it easier to train them.

When you take them outside to potty, take them to the exact same spot so a scent is laid down and they get the idea that this is where they potty. Do not play with your puppy until after they have gone potty and have a treat ready for them along with lots of praise.

Keep your impatience in check, your puppy will sense that you are impatient and they will not want to work for you. Always keep things upbeat and happy so your puppy does not feel pressured and is willing to work for you. And again, always end on a positive note with a lot of praise.

How to Deal with Bad Behaviors of 8-Week-Old Dachshund

Dachshund puppies, actually, all puppies, learn so much from their mom and their siblings. When they leave their breeder too early, they do not get to learn those social interactions that they would have otherwise gotten. An 8-week-old Dachshund puppy can easily develop bad behaviors if you do not create a structured environment and give them the pack order and discipline they need.

Start their basic manners training sessions but keep them fun and upbeat. Never play tug-of-war with your puppy, this is teaching them to resist your authority. Do not allow your puppy to ever put their mouth on you, even in play. As they grow, they will assume it is okay to nip or bite at you to get their way because they were allowed to nip at your hand as a puppy. Always be consistent, do not allow bad behavior one time, and then scold them the next time. Just like with children, puppies have to have consistency to learn and understand their boundaries.

Final Thoughts

If at all possible, you should leave your 8-week-old Dachshund puppy with their siblings for a few more weeks. Your puppy will learn so much from their siblings including what is expected of them in the hierarchy of a pack. When you do bring your puppy home, keep them on a structured schedule so they know what to expect.

Do expect to lose plenty of sleep when you bring a puppy home, especially a very young puppy. I have always found the use of a playpen is the best way to keep a puppy contained at night so they have their cuddle bed, potty pad, food, and water. Soft music and a nightlight may also help at night.

You will need a lot of patience when you bring home your new puppy. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, put your puppy in their playpen and leave for a cup of coffee or take a walk to destress. Then go back home and work with your puppy again. And always ask your breeder if you are not sure of how to handle a certain behavior, your breeder should always be your number one resource.

If you’ve missed our other posts about the development of Dachshund puppies, you can check them out here:

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