Welcome to the wonderful world of tiny sausage-shaped pooches. Miniature dachshunds, affectionately called “mini doxies” by their owners, are loyal, loving and scary-smart. Along with those floppy ears, short legs and pleading eyes, however, comes a touch of stubbornness. Training a mini doxie requires consistency, patience and the ability to ignore bad behavior. Keep a positive attitude and heap on the praise when your doxie gets it right, and you’ll have a loyal and loving friend for life.
Developing Social Skills
When it comes to teaching your little hot dog some social skills, the sooner he starts mingling with other dogs and humans, the better. Although he won’t weigh more than 11 pounds when he reaches adulthood, your mini doxie can turn into a tiny terror, chasing larger dogs, the neighbor’s cat and even the neighbor’s kid if he doesn’t learn early on to curb his natural tendencies. He comes from a long line of dogs bred to hunt badgers, but if you expose him daily to other pets and people, you can temper his behavior.
Scooping puppy poop gets old quickly. Mini doxie owners tell stories of mopping up accidents month after month, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your little leprechaun needs to potty within five minutes of waking up from a nap or finishing a meal. Time it so that you can take him to his potty spot at those times, in addition to taking him out every two hours during the rest of the day. Praise successes and ignore mistakes. As your mini doxie grows, his bladder grows, too, making it easier for him to wait. For the first few weeks, set your alarm so you can take him out at least every four hours. Consistency is the key to housebreaking this breed.
Enrolling your doxie in puppy kindergarten is the best way to start his formal obedience training. Not only will he interact with other puppies, he’ll learn under the watchful eye of an experienced trainer. Keep in mind that your little dog’s long skeletal structure isn't as strong as that of a more compact dog, so it’s essential that you do not push his hips down when teaching him to sit. Keep a pocketful of tasty treats to reward him when he performs a skill correctly.
Reducing Chewing Catastrophes
They might be smaller than most dogs, but they’re the kings of domestic demolition. Your mini doxie’s tiny teeth can wreak havoc on chair legs, house slippers and anything else left lying on the floor. Distraction is your best bet. Leave a number of his favorite chew toys where he can easily find them. Chew-deterrent sprays are available from pet supply stores but if he’s determined to make mincemeat out of your TV table, give him a quick squirt of water or fill an empty soda can with marbles and shake it when he starts chewing.
Tiny Body – Big Bark
Your dog comes by his big bark naturally. His ancestors cornered their prey and then barked loudly to alert the hunters. Eliminate the source of barking when possible. Bring your doxie inside if he’s barking at a cat across the street and draw the blinds if he’s inside barking at a squirrel he sees through the window. Tell him, “No bark,” and give him a toy or chew stick as a distraction.
- AKC: Dachshunds
- Dachshunds for Dummies, Second Edition; Eve Adamson
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