How To Train A Dachshund

Chances are, if you own a dachshund, you're going to need to know how to train a dachshund not to dig! Bred for digging, this dog breed has a stubborn streak which, left unchanneled, will have your backyard looking like it was invaded by gophers. Learning how to work with the Dachshunds' personality effectively (and with positive reinforcement) will mean that you have a well adjusted, happy dog (and owner).

To train a dachshund, you will need:

  • A four foot leash.
  • A clicker training tool
  • Lots of high value treats. A 'high value' treat is a treat that your particular dog will go crazy over. It doesn't have to be food but, instead, can be a squeaky toy or a romp in the appropriate digging spot.
  • A sandbox with sand
  1. Training a dachshund will be easiest if attach a leash to the dog so you have full control. Dachshunds are small but they're fast so you'll need to be able to have control over the dog when you need it. Using a four foot leash instead of a six footer will give you more control.
  2. With a stubborn breed such as the dachshund, you'll do best training with positive reinforcement. This means clicker training. Load the clicker by placing ten very small pieces of food in your hand and clicking the clicker with the dog in front of you. Every time you click, pop a piece of food in the dog's mouth. The dog will soon anticipate a tasty treat when he hears a click. For the rest of his training, every time the dog offers you the behavior you are asking for, click and treat. This is the most humane, and most fun, way to teach obedience.
  3. Start with basic obedience commands, such as sit, down and come. With the positive training method, you actually wait for the dog to offer the behavior before treating. So, put your dog on lead and wait for him to sit. If he looks at you quizzically, hold a piece of food above and slightly behind his head. His butt should hit the ground at which time you should click, exclaim "Good sit!" and pop in a piece of food. Positive reinforcement training may take a bit longer in the beginning but, soon, you'll find your dog offering you all kinds of fun behavior in order to earn his click and treat.
  4. Dachshunds are diggers so train your dog to dig in the appropriate spot. Instead of digging all over the yard, you and your dog will be happiest if there is a designated spot where he can dig all day if desired. Lead your dog on leash to the sandbox and bury a favorite toy or a treat. Point to the area until he starts nosing around and starts digging. Reward with a click, "Good dig!" and a treat. Your dog will soon associate the sand box with digging instead of that fancy peony border you have going on.


Never every hit a dog for any reason. Positive reinforcement is the best training method out there. You and your dog will reap huge rewards by investing in a positive reinforcement training class at your local obedience school.

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