Dachshunds, with their sausage-shaped bodies and short legs, were bred to chase badgers in burrows. The temperament and demeanor of the breed has developed from this hunting background, and from the juxtaposition of a huge personality and a small body.
Demeanor toward Friends and Strangers
Sausage dogs are typically very loyal and protective toward their owners. Your dachsie will likely want to know everything you are doing around the home, especially if food is involved. These little hounds are very protective of the humans in their lives, and may bark at strangers coming to the home. The dachshund's bark sounds as if it belongs to a much larger dog, making this breed a good choice as a guard dog—the wiener's gruff bark will alert you to people at the door long before you hear or see them for yourself. Dachshunds are natural barkers, and will typically bark to warn others away from their territory, or to express anxiety.
As a breed, dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety. If you go somewhere and leave your dachsie at home, the dog may become distressed and anxious until you return. In severe cases of separation anxiety, dachshunds may chew or destroy items in the home, or have toileting accidents despite being housebroken. If you have to leave your dachshund home alone for significant periods, consider a companion for your hound. Sausage dogs do well in pairs or small groups. Try to establish a reliable schedule for your dog, so he knows you will always return after an absence.
The desire to chase after burrow-living prey is bred into dachshunds, and hunting instincts remain strong in most dachsies kept as pets. Squirrels and chipmunks in the backyard had better watch out when a dachshund's about. Cats and other dogs may also be chased by this inquisitive hunting breed. Dachshunds also like to dig. You can dissuade your dog from digging by spraying him with a water pistol every time he starts to dig a hole.
Mood and Training
Dachshunds often experience a pretty full range of emotions—these empathetic dogs often seem to mirror the moods of their owners. Many dachsies feel unsettled by conflict or shouting, and may appear depressed if they are bored or in physical pain. The wiener dog's loyalty to his owner—and eagerness to please, earning praise—means that the breed is very trainable. Dachsies have a tendency to jump up on humans to get closer to the fun and action. Dissuade all jumping behaviors, as these can hurt the dog's fragile, long back. Get down to your dog's level if you want to play together, and don't allow your dachshund to jump from furniture or steps.
- Dachshund Dog Training: Dachsund Barking
- Dachshunds For Dummies; Eve Adamson
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.