There is no better way to learn about raising a Dachshund puppy than to ask other Dachshund owners for advice.
A few months ago, I asked our Facebook fans for their best tips and advice for getting through the crazy puppy stage.
Over 100 people commented with their best puppy-raising advice. I compiled this answers into this article.
I tried my best to arrange the comments by topic but many of them cover offer multiple different tips so definitely read them all.
Also, these are largely unedited, except for a few instances where I needed to add clarification, so please excuse any spelling and grammar errors.
On Potty Training a Dachshund Puppy
“Be prepared for lots of time outside. The only real way to potty train a doxie is to out stubborn them. Put on your jacket (with treats in pocket), attach the leash. Puppy does not get to play or go back inside until they potty. If it’s really awful outside, go inside to warm up, but hold your pup. No playing, no praise, then go back outside and try again. Do this every time in all weather conditions and in a few weeks life will be peachy.”
“Patience ! Patience ! Patience!”
“After 40 years of rescue weiners; we ended up with a 4 month old…… I had forgotten how much work and patience is required with a new puppy. The glorious part? Our new one was already housebroken (a true miracle with this breed). However; the trials of retraining this old brain with new puppy ways were aggravating at the very least. Chewed up books; remotes; clothes; furniture, you name it, he chewed it. Puppy proof anything within reach. And train….. train….. Train…..”
“A bell was so helpful! He learned great on the main floor where he could indicate at the door in a week or two, but not being able to do stairs as a pup he had lots of accidents on other floors. Added a bell by the stairs, helped him ring it before we went out, problem solved in 2-3 days.
Except then we eventually had to confiscate the bell because he would ring it incessantly to just go play outside.”
“Try a bell. I think it naturally appeals to their bossy personalities and is especially helpful if you live in an apartment or somewhere that they can’t connect this door =going potty.”
“[My puppy] took longer to potty train than my other Dachshunds. When I got home I let her out immediately but she wanted to play instead of potty and would come back in to do her jobs. So, I started putting her out for 15 min and if she did not potty back into the crate she went. I left her there for 10 min then back out. I kept doing this routine until she went potty. It took 2 different days of doing this when she realized she needed to potty before play. I also taught my Dachshunds to ring a potty bell.”
“This method was so key for training ours to go in the rain: He actually was housetrained within a few weeks, but magically forgot his manners when it was raining…no house play time until you pee outside in the rain and then crazy puppy party when you do it right.”
On the Importance of Training and Consistency for a Dachshund Puppy
“My baby wiener learned so much from the other dog… She was his trainer and my savior.”
“Enroll in a positive training program in a group situation teaches the dog how to function among others and it trains the master! I definitely needed the training…it’s easy to cave to Dachshund ways.”
“Train as much as possible, I have not found anything more effective than 2 min time outs.”
“Consistency, love, exercise and positive reinforcement.”
“Consistency, you have to make them listen to you, follow thru on everything you say to them.”
“For nipping problems, I found the technique where you scream and then ignore them for a few minutes to be super effective. But you really have to sell the scream to startle them or they don’t believe you. Awkward but effective.”
“Just generally beware of how spongey and fast learning they are. Ours learned all sorts of unintended thing like how he keeps a mental list of things the cat is not allowed to do because Mom and Dad yell at her (drink water from glasses, scratch furniture, etc). Now he feels the need to police her directly when she “steps out of line” or frantic alert bark so we come intervene. She does not appreciate it. Ha, ha.”
“I think somebody already said it…Consistency!! They are too smart & stubborn to allow us to be lackadaisical with the training. Those big soulful eyes can make you do things you wouldn’t normally allow (yes guilty!).”
“Take your pup to dog training classes. It socializes them and is good for both you and the dog. Also, take any opportunity to keep up the training at home. Since my dog always follows me into the bathroom, I keep dog treats there and when I am sitting, we do sit, down, etc. Finding time to work with them really is good.”
“Consistency. In the Dachshund world, if you do something twice, it becomes the rule of law. It’s great for training but if you let something slide one time, they’ll try it 1,000 more. This goes hand in hand with establishing routines. Dachshunds love routines. It’s so much easier to get them to do something they think is their idea. Routines will help you with things that would otherwise be challenges like leaving the house, bathing, getting nails done, etc.”
“TRAIN DAILY. This includes grooming, especially nails! My wire Dachshund puppy just lays there while I trim his feet and nails, but I had to be consistent an do it multiple times a week (with lots of rewards!) to keep him comfortable with it, even though my breeder was amazing and started him very young. Short nails are super important for Dachshunds especially.
We also work on behaviors he knows or learn new things every day. It is also very important to get them out in the world and socialize with all sorts of people and other dogs, especially larger breeds.”
Check Out How to Choose the Best Training Treats for Dachshunds
On Exercising and Tiring a Dachshund Puppy Out
“A tired dog is a good dog. Don’t be lazy with your pet. I take my puppies outside to go potty after they wake up from night or naps, after eating or drinking, and every 20m in between. I always joke that if you potty train puppies this way and keep them exercised at the same time a person should lose 20lbs. It’s a rough first 6-8 months but it sets the pup up for life.”
“I would say two things….one give them exercise and walks and two use food for training and I always train ‘down’ right away…because they really don’t like to do down and the sooner you make it fun and they do it, (all training should be fun and positive) or you will get ‘tude. “I did agilty with one on mine and they enjoyed that too….I think pleasing me and the treats!”
“Activity every day. Ball, chew toys. Keep them active.”
“My biggest lifesaver was that I have a dog daycare/training/etc place nearby that has a great service: puppy playtime. A couple of days a week they offer a 45 minute session of supervised play, with the humans present. They have it divided into two age groups: under 12 weeks, and 12 weeks to 8-10 months (or older, they loved my puppy so much that he got to go up until a year old.) They learn so much there playing with other puppies their age, it’s safer than a dog park, and the dogs are just limp balls of fur for the rest of the day!”
“Walks walks walks. Focused activity such as playing ball.”
“Puzzle toys! Hiking when they are over 6 months! My wire hair Pepper was/is the craziest dachshund puppy I have had! She’s over a year and still acts like she did when we adopted her at 4 months haha.”
On Dachshund Puppy Teething
“They will find items that you haven’t seen in years….then tear it up.
“A strong chew toy that aids teething.”
“A chew toy the puppy cannot destroy and occupy their time. It took two months, but we have found this bone stands up to the assault given out by “our bundle of joy”. He has destroyed at least 10 tennis balls and multiple stuffed toys.”
“During the early weeks, those little teeth are soooooo sharp even chew proof toys are not safe. I used a frozen piece of cloth knotted, the cool helps sooth pain and the knots help loosen baby teeth. As with any baby, only use when supervised, take away if they start shredding it so they don’t swallow strings.”
“Lots of appropriate chew toys, and hide any wires/cords that may look tasty. Come up with a good way for them to let you know they need to potty. And of course, socialization and training!!”
“All the chew toys and constant redirecting to them. It took a while to find the types of textures that appeal to him but definitely a lifesaver for stuff. Ours still chews a rawhide for 20-30 minutes before falling asleep each night. It seems to be some sort of meditative sleep hygiene thing for him.”
“Keep an eye on your woodwork!”
On the Joy of Raising a Dachshund Puppy and Patience
“Patience, patience, patience, and lots of treats to re-enforce good behavior, hopefully the puppy has an older, wiser, seasoned doxie to mimic, I believe they learn a lot by just watching and doing what the other one does.”.
“Learn to ignore them when they want your attention. It’s harder than anything but works wonders!!”
“Mine is annoyingly clever and smart. Like, understands how to trick me in my ignoring-game. Adorably stubborn – can only love them more haha!”
“Enjoy the antics no matter how frustrating. Take videos too. I miss the days of my unmentionables shimming across the living room.”
General Dachshund Puppy Tips
“It was challenging having two who were siblings from same litter 10 wks old – different personalities and needs but here we are 11 yrs later! at 11 1/2 they are still coming up with fun personality quirks – as of late brother voice his displeasure at not getting treats from the dinner table with these funny groan type noises. Consistency and Dental care!!”
“Patience and consistency and portable fencing in the house. Our puppy is a poop eater and the only way to prevent it, we’ve found is to pick it up immediately, not always possible though.”
“Their goal in life is to unstuff everything, take squeakers out of the toys then they don’t want it anymore. They are very spiteful too. If you say NO wait a few minutes they will try it again! They get very protective of their family!”
“My tip: Our 7 month old doxie has a weakness for shoes. She doesn’t chew anything else (besides her own toys). She would sneak into my closet and come flying out with a shoe as if she thought we won’t see her if she runs fast enough. Then I set mouse traps. The cheap wooden ones. I placed them in a couple of shoes upside down so she wouldn’t get hurt. The SNAP scared her and now she stays out of my closet. Instant fix.”
“Don’t leave the toilet tissue out where they can reach it, my doxie thought it was a treat.”
“It’s tempting to let it go (because watching them launch is sooooo cute!) but train them not to jump off furniture, couches, beds, etc. Their spines will thank you in the long run.”
On the Lighter Side of Raising a Dachshund Puppy
“God help you.(but it’s worth it!)”
“Look under all blankets before you sit.”
“Drink adult beverages after she falls asleep , rest and get prepared for another fun filled day. Repeat for about 18 months. Enjoy every single day with her. It is such a joy to see their personalities bloom.”
“Let them be crazy and enjoy the high energy they have as babies. It won’t last forever.”
“Have patience and take lots of puppy pictures.”
To Learn More About a Dachshund’s Funny Quirks, Read My Article 11 Funny Things About Dachshunds Only Owners Will Understand
I think this list of tips is a must-read for anyone who is thinking of getting a Dachshund puppy or has just brought one home.
Some of the common themes here, and ones I would agree with based on experience, are:
Consistency and patience are THE two skills you need to raise a Dachshund puppy.
Dachshunds can be difficult to potty train.
Yes, generally, Dachshunds are more difficult to potty train than some other dog breeds.
However, it’s totally achievable with consistency and routine. With Dachshunds, you may need to give them an annual refresher when the wet and cold season begins.
A lot of people chimed in saying potty bells helped prevent accidents in the house. I know with 2 of my 3 Dachshunds, the signs they needed to go potty were VERY subtle. Bells are one way your puppy can clearly let you know they need to go out.
Dachshunds can be trained.
Dachshunds are whip-smart. They are capable of quickly picking up tricks and commands.
Their intelligence can also mean they think they know better than you.
This can come across as stubborn but they are easy to train with a little consistent effort every day.
With Dachshunds though, I always joke that they are so smart that they can quickly learn when they can pull one over on you too. Let something slide once and they will never forget that they didn’t always have to do it “the right way.”
Dachshunds need, and are capable of, regular exercise (but it should be short bursts of gentle exercise until they are old enough).
Raising a Dachshund puppy can be a challenge but the joys are worth it.
Do you have any tips for raising a Dachshund puppy? Or any questions?