Help! My Dachshund Won’t Come When Called!

Dachshunds are natural-born hunters. They are more inclined to chase something they believe to be prey rather than listen when you attempt to call them back.

Dachshund Running Through Grass

It is possible to improve a Dachshund’s reliability with recall.

Teaching them to come when called will help ensure safety, and allow you to walk with them off-leash in certain situations.

A Dachshund’s hunting instincts are strong, and it can be challenging to break through that barrier when teaching them a solid recall.

This article will assist you in the training process.

Why Does My Dog Not Come When Called?

The simple answer may not be what you want to hear. But this is the truth – your Dachshund doesn’t come when called because they believe whatever they are chasing after is much more valuable than you.

If your Dachshund runs off, it means the prey they spotted is more valuable than you at the moment.

This is the harsh reality. Your Dachshund will come when called despite immense distractions only when they feel you out-value their prey.

For this reason, your dog will never learn a good recall if they run away then get scolded by you when they return.

Why would a dog want to return to an owner who is going to punish them?

This is why positive reinforcement training is crucial when teaching your Dachshund a recall.

Why It’s Important to Teach Your Dachshund to Come When Called

Disaster could strike at any minute if your Dachshund isn’t trained to “come.”

Imagine you’re sitting in the front yard with your Doxie when all of a sudden they see a rabbit across the street.

Accidents can happen when your Doxie runs off without responding to you.

Before you can even look up, your Dachshund is sprinting across the street when a car comes barreling down the road and hits your dog.

It’s a nightmare, and an accident waiting to happen if your off-leash Doxie doesn’t come when called.

Accidents happen, but tragedy can occur in an instant. These situations are more likely to be avoided if your Dachshund is trained, and you keep up with the training to solidify their skills.

Dachshund in Front Yard

You should only allow off-leash adventures if your Dachshund reliably comes when called.

A good recall can make beach days, hikes, and camping much more enjoyable when you trust your dog to listen to your requests. 

How to Teach Your Dachshund to Come Back Every Time You Call Them

When beginning the recall training, don’t forget that Dachshunds were bred to hunt!

Their instincts to run off are completely natural, and it may be near impossible to turn off the desire to chase prey.

While Dachshunds have a natural instinct to hunt, they can be trained to stop the chase.

Here are some tips for training your Dachshund to come back to you every time you call them

Use high value treats

If you’re interested in having your Dachshund off-leash for hikes and outdoor adventures, they absolutely need to have a trustworthy recall.

It only takes one critter, dog, or interesting stranger to pique your dog’s interest, causing them to run off.

A “high value” treat is something like cheese or chicken – a food that your Dachshund loves but doesn’t get to eat often.

Training using mouth-watering foods like these makes learning so much more exciting. 

Try giving them a treat they don’t often have when they respond positively to you.

Regular dog treats can be boring, especially if you use the same ones over and over again.

Other high value treats can be carrots, blueberries, hotdog or your Doxie’s favorite meat.

Start small

The worst thing you could do in the initial stages of recall training is to head out to your backyard with some treats and your Dachshund, let them run after something, then attempt to train them in the process.

It’s best to start with small steps. Otherwise both you and your dog will get frustrated.

If you are training outdoors, keep your Dachshund on a short leash, and slowly work up to being off leash as you continue making progress.

It’s best to use a standard leash or long line, rather than a retractable one or long line, when you start recall training.

Dachshund Off Leash in the Woods

Begin With Zero Distractions

You’ll want your first training sessions to take place in your home, in a distraction-free environment. Starting basic will set you up for success. 

Even though it may feel like the recall training process will take a while, it’s better to make slow steady progress.

If you push the training faster than your Dachshund is able to confidently learn it, you will only set yourself back. 

Ideally, you don’t want to put your Dachshund in a situation where you are not sure that they will come back to you. This is called “setting them up for success”.

Once your pup is doing well with recall in their familiar environment indoors, you can slowly add other distractions and even take the training outside to the back yard or quiet public spaces.

Start training them when there are no other distractions and then slowly add add to the challenge.

As with all Dachshund training, patience and repetition is key.

Also, keep training sessions under 10 minutes long. Your Doxie will not be able to focus and maintain full attention and excitement for much longer. 

Try recall games

There are some fun recall games that your Dachshund may love.

One is hide-and-seek.

Grab some high value treats and have someone in your home hold your Dachshund while you go hide. (Or have your Weenie “stay” while you hide if they are trained to do so).

Once you’re ready, call your Dachshund to come to you! When they find your hiding spot, justly reward them. 

Hide-and-seek associates coming to you with fun and a delicious reward. 

Dachshund Off Leash Running on Beach

Another fun game you can try is the chase game.

Have your Dachshund sit and stay. Begin running away from them and call them to come. 

Allow your dog to chase you for a bit as you call their name, then let them catch you and offer a reward. 

Recall games are a great way to make training fun for both you and your dog.

Games like this positively reinforce the value of you as an owner. 

Keep Your Dachshund Engaged

When you are out on a nightly walk with your Dachshund, randomly say their name. If they instantly look up at you, treat and praise them.

By keeping your Dachshund engaged during routine activities, it’s adding value to you as an owner, and your bond.

The more your dog trusts you, the more likely they are to come to you when called.

What to Do If Your Dachshund is Running From You

It’s every dog parent’s nightmare – your pup running away from you without any signs of slowing down. All the while you’re screaming their name in an attempt to regain control of the situation. 

The problem is, if you are running after your dog and “barking” their name, they may think you are joining them in the fun and run with even more vigor.

If you happen to have treats on you. and your Dachshund sees you running behind them, try to throw the treats in front of your dog.

The treats landing on the ground can be a helpful distraction, and your Dachshund may stop to chow down, giving you a few seconds to catch up to them.

Dachshund Running Through Front Yard Grass

Sometimes dogs who are running away from their owners randomly stop at a distance.

If this occurs, don’t run after your dog. Stop and crouch down, then try calling them with your cutest baby voice.

You look less intimidating if you get on their level. 

We also tent to crouch or bend down when giving a small dog treats or attention. This posture can make them think you have something really good for them they should run back to.

Avoid running after your dog if they won’t listen to you. They may think you are joining in the fun and run from you even faster.

You can also try running the opposite way of your dog and excitedly calling their name to see if they will turn around and chase you.

Turning the scary (for you – remember, this is fun for them) moment into a fun game could help reunite you with your fearless furry friend.

Final Thoughts

Teaching your Dachshund to come when called isn’t just about training a new skill – it comes down to safety.

Having a good recall could actually save your Dachshund’s life. 

Throughout your Dachshund’s life, you will continuously have to brush up on their recall skills.

It’d be a shame to teach your puppy a reliable recall, only for them to lose the skill because they lost out on practice.

Repetition, patience, and irresistible treats are the keys to successfully training your Dachshund to come when called.

Does your Dachshund run away when they're off leash? Here is how to get them to come back every time you call them.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.

8 Comments

  1. Very helpful advice thanks. I have Italian Greyhounds who are brilliant at recall. Doris is my first dachshund. I adore her but she is hopeless at recall. Or rather I am hopeless trying to train her ?

      1. Hi I have just fou d you! I need advice. We have 2 mini dacphshunds. Wife is in hospital recovering from covid-19. I come mome home from from work a d pee and poo is eeverywhsre. They have always gone out but now it is inside. What can I do?

        1. Hello. I can’t say exactly why they are doing that. I would suggest you talk to your vet about it if you haven’t already. It could be caused by a medical condition. My guess though is that it’s related to anxiety because things have changed significantly with your wife totally out of the house and you gone a lot more. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. If they are comfortable in a dog crate, I would crate them while you’re gone. The chance they will soil in their “den” is slim and, if they do, it’s easier to clean up. You can also talk to your vet about temporarily using anti-anxiety medication or try CBD or VetriScience composure to help calm their nerves. For a longer-term solution, you’ll find some tips in this article: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/stop-dog-separation-anxiety/

  2. My rescue “Doxle” has a fair amount of anxiety as well as being protective of me. He doesn’t do well in groups of other dogs either, but this is ok. Do you have anything to share about the protectiveness and anxiety as it can lead to him nipping or biting.

    1. Hi Joan. What you describe is a complicated issue with many different potential causes and solutions. So, while I touch of various aspects of this behavior, unfortunately, I don’t have one article focused on it. Things to look into for help are socialization, desensitization, and impulse control training. If you are worried about him biting, you can also consider muzzle training. Believe it or not, some dogs find the muzzle comforting, or as a signal they can relax, so it can help curb their reactivity. You may also want to check out this article I wrote for another blog about reactivity and aggressive behavior on a leash. https://formydachshund.com/why-does-my-dachshund-bark-and-lunge-at-other-dogs-on-walks/

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