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Training a Dachshund

Updated on March 4, 2012

Housebreaking Your Puppy

As soon as you get your puppy you can begin to housebreak him but remember that you can't expect too much of him until he is five months old or so. A baby puppy just cannot control himself, so it is best to give him an opportunity to relieve himself before the need arises.

Don't let the puppy wander through the whole house; keep him in one or two rooms under your watchful eye. If he sleeps in the house and has been brought up on newspapers, keep a couple of pages handy on the floor.

When he starts to whimper, puts his nose to the ground or runs around looking restless, take him to the paper before an "accident" occurs. After he has behaved, praise him and let him roam again. It is much better to teach him the right way than to punish him for misbehaving. Puppies are naturally clean and can be housebroken easily, given the chance. If a mistake should occur, and mistakes are bound to happen, wash it immediately with tepid water, followed by another rinse with water to which a few drops of vinegar have been added. A dog will return to the same place if there is any odor left, so it is important to remove all traces.

If your puppy sleeps outside, housebreaking will be even easier. Remember that the puppy has to relieve himself after meals and whenever he wakes up, as well as sometimes in between. So take him outside as soon as he shows signs of restlessness indoors, and stay with him until he has performed. Then praise and pat him, and bring him back inside as a reward. Since he is used to taking care of himself outdoors, he will not want to misbehave in the house, and will soon let you know when he wants to go out.

You can combine indoor paper training and outdoor housebreaking by taking the puppy out when convenient and keeping newspaper available and within reach at other times; at night if he sleeps indoors while he is a puppy. As he grows older he should be able to control himself for longer periods. If he starts to misbehave, scold him and take him out or to his paper. Punishment after the fact will not accomplish as much as catching the puppy in the act.

The older puppy or grown dog should be able to remain overnight in the house without needing to go out, unless he is ill. If your dog barks or acts restless, take him out once, but unless he relieves himself right away, take him back indoors and shut him in his quarters. No dog will soil his bed if he can avoid it, and your pet will learn to control himself overnight if he has to.

How to Train Your Dachshund

The Dachshund is a breed easily trained. However, it will take some effort on your part. You cannot expect a dog to be perfectly behaved by instinct any more than you would expect children to be. Most badly behaved dogs are the fault of lack of attention and discipline on the part of their owners; it is up to YOU to make your dog a pleasure to own and not a nuisance to the neighborhood.

You can easily train your dog to become a well-behaved member of your family. Training should begin the day you get him. Although a puppy under six months is too young to expect much in the way of obedience, you should teach him to respect your authority. Be consistent. Don't allow the pup to jump all over you when you are wearing old clothes, because you can't expect him to know the difference when you are dressed for a party.

Don't encourage the dog to climb into your lap or onto your bed, then punish him for leaving hair on furniture when you aren't around. Although six months to a year is the best time to begin serious training, a dog of any age can learn if taught with consideration and patience. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

You cannot expect perfection from a puppy, or even an older dog, particularly if he is not used to living in a house. Going into a strange place, a dog is likely to be ill at ease and make a mistake for that reason. Remember that once it has happened, the only way to prevent further accidents is to avoid the opportunity and to be sure to remove traces which would remind the dog of previous errors.

After rinsing with warm water, pour a little diluted vinegar on the spot.

This will help to remove any trace of odor attracting your dog or others in the future.

Once you have taught your puppy to be clean indoors, and then to use one place outside, you may have some difficulty teaching him to relieve himself when you wish and not just in the accustomed place. Take him out as usual when he needs to go, but take him to different places. "Curb your dog" is the law in most cities, and for the sake of others you should train your dog to obey it. It is a convenience when traveling to be able to take your dog on leash to relieve himself, so take the time to teach him before you start off.

Collar and Leash

Your puppy should become used to a leash and collar at an early age. A leather collar will be outgrown several times before he is full-grown, so buy one for use, not a fancy one for looks. In any case, buy a lightweight collar which will annoy the puppy no more than necessary, and a leather leash with a strong swivel clip on the end. A choke collar made of chrome links or leather is used for training, but never leave it on the dog when he is loose, as it could catch on something, and choke him.

Let the puppy wear his collar around until he is used to its feel and weight. After several short periods he will not be distracted by the strangeness and you can attach the leash. Let him pull it around and then try to lead him a bit. He will probably resist, bucking and balking, or simply sit down and refuse to budge. Fight him for a few minutes, dragging him along if necessary, but then let him relax for the day, with plenty of affection and praise. He won't be lead-broken until he learns that he must obey the pull under any circumstance, but don't try to do it in one lesson. Ten minutes a day is long enough for any training. The dog's period of concentration is short and, like a child, he will become bored if you carry it on too long.

Training Your Dog to Walk Properly

Once the puppy has learned his first two lessons, to obey the leash and the word "NO," half your training has been accomplished- you are the master. "Heeling" is a necessity for a well-behaved dog, so teach him to walk beside you, head alongside your leg at the knee. Nothing looks more foolish than a twenty-pound Dachshund pulling his helpless owner along, and it can be annoying to passers-by and other dog owners to have such a dog, however friendly, bear down on them and entangle dogs, people and packages.

Start off walking briskly, with the dog at your left side, giving the command "Heel!" in a firm voice. Pull back with a sharp jerk if he lunges ahead, and if he lags repeat the command and tug the leash, not allowing him to hang back behind you.

Reward

With all your training give the dog plenty of praise when he obeys; reward is even more important than punishment. A pat on the head and kind word will mean more than tangible rewards to your dog. Do not bribe him with dog candy or treats, as these would come to be more important to the puppy than the command, if repeated. The time to train is important, too.

A quiet time during the day is ideal, but you can work indoors during the evening, if that is the only time available. At first it is particularly desirable to eliminate all other distractions that might take the puppy's attention off the business at hand. Later on you will wish to accustom him to strange noises and to behaving in an unfamiliar place.

Teaching Your Dog To Come

After the dog has learned to heel at all speeds on the leash, you can remove the leash and practice heeling free, but have it ready to snap on again as soon as he begins to lag or wander. Don't take him off leash to show off in strange places where something might frighten him. Obedience without a lead is desirable in case you need it in an emergency.

When the dog understands the pull of the leash he should learn to come. Never call him to you for punishment, or he will be quick to disobey. (Always go to him if he has been disobedient.) To teach him to come, let him reach the end of a long lead, then give the command, pulling him toward you at the same time. As soon as he associates the word "Come" with the action, pull only when he does not respond immediately. As he starts to come, back up to make him learn that he must come from a distance as well as when he is close to you. Soon you can practice without a leash, but if he is slow to come or actively disobedient, go to him and pull him toward you, repeating the command. More practice with leash on is needed.

Teaching Your Dog To Sit and Stay

"Sit," "Down," and "Stay" are among the most useful commands and will make it easier for you to control your dog on many occasions- when grooming him, when he needs veterinary care, out walking if you meet a strange dog, or in the car, to mention a few. Teaching him to sit is the first step. With collar and leash on have him stand in the "Heel" position. Give the command, "Sit," at the same time pulling up on the leash in your right hand and pressing down on his hindquarters with your left. As soon as he sits, release the pressure and praise him.

To teach your dog to stay, bring your hand close to his face with a direct motion, at the same time as you give the order. Ask him to remain only a few seconds at first, but gradually the time can be increased and you can leave him at a distance. If he should move, return immediately and make him sit and stay again, after scolding him.

To teach your dog to lie down, have him sit facing you. Pull down on the leash by putting your foot on it and pulling at the same time as you say "Down." Gesture toward the ground with a sweep of your arm. When he begins to understand what is wanted, do it without the leash and alternate voice and hand signals. Teach him to lie down from standing as well as sitting position, and begin to do it from a distance. Hand signals are particularly useful when your dog can see you but is too far away to hear, and they may be used in teaching all commands.

If you are consistent and curb your puppy every time he misbehaves, he is not likely to acquire bad habits. Every pup goes through teething, but if he has a bone or toy he is less likely to chew the furniture . Teach him to stay off furniture and not to jump up, so he won't do it later. If you call him back or jerk on his leash when he wants to chase a car or bicycle, he'll soon learn it is not permitted.

With a dog which has bad habits already, sterner measures are needed.

Chasing cars can be cured with a sharpshooter's water pistol, or a whole bucket of water dumped from behind when he doesn't expect it. Prevention is the easiest method.

Tricks

Most dogs develop their own little tricks which you can show off to your friends. Dachshunds are naturals at sitting up, with their build, so can easily be coaxed up from a sit ting position. Hold the pup up at the same time as you repeat "Up" or "Beg," and then praise and release him. You can teach him to shake hands by repeatedly taking hold of his paw and saying "Give me your paw," "Shake hands," or whatever you wish him to respond too. Remember that all commands must be the same each time if you want your dog to obey; he has a limited vocabulary and will be confused if you give one command one day and a different one the next. You can teach your dog to roll over by making him go through the motions from a lying-down position, to fetch, and to perform many other tricks. Always remember to give commands in the simplest way, and to praise him when he obeys.

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