Dachshunds are notorious for barking all the time.
I frequently see comments, and get messages from readers, asking what they can do to reduce or eliminate their barking Dachshund’s behavior.
In many cases, their Dachshund is constantly barking while they are gone, disrupting their neighbors, making the neighbors angry, and putting at them at risk for getting kicked out of their apartment.
UPDATED: Article originally published April 4, 2015 with the help of Andrew at shepped.com.
Sometimes the questions are about the mail being delivered.
Their Dachshund barks aggressively when the mail carrier approaches the door, scaring the person and interrupting the owner during an important work call.
Others complain about their Dachshund barking “at nothing” all of the time.
I knew of the Dachshund’s inclination to bark and have had some success dealing with it over the years.
I was able to teach my first first Dachshund Chester the “no bark” command when he was young.
Of course, I realized barking was natural to him, and I wasn’t going to be able to eliminate it completely (nor did I want to), but I was able to teach him that constantly barking at everything was not necessary.
When my second Dachshund came home – Gretel – Chester’s barking increased again.
I think the reason was a combination of rediscovering how fun barking was when we had a second dog to join in with him or he felt the need to be “tough” and protect her.
It was probably a combination of both.
My third Dachshund – Summit – loves to lay out in the yard and bark at nothing.
We have neighbors so this is disruptive to them.
Often, it also causes all of the other dogs in the neighborhood to join her.
After four years of discouraging this behavior, it’s better. But I never expect to eliminate it, just minimize it.
All of this is to say, I get how annoying and disruptive it can be when your Dachshund is constantly barking at everything.
But I also, I’ve been able to reduce the amount my Dachshunds bark so I have some proven tips to share with you in this article.
Why Do Dachshunds Bark?
Barking is an innate behavior in all dogs. It’s one of the primary ways they communicate.
But in the case of the Dachshund dog breed, it’s related to their origin as hunting dogs too.
Dachshunds were originally bred for hunting small game such as badgers and foxes.
A Dachshund would run through the woods ahead of the hunter, find an animal or their burrow, and bark to communicate their location to the hunter.
Even though many Dachshunds are now kept as companion animals, this instinctual behavior may still be strong in some dogs,
Why is My Pet Dachshund to Barking All the Time?
Although Dachshunds are still occasionally used for hunting, the chances are that your Dachshund is a companion and beloved family member (not that a hunting Dachshund can’t also be those things).
A bark every once in a while is completely normal, but excessive barking can become a problem for modern-day Dachshund owners.
There are a number of different reasons that your Dachshund might start barking, and it’s important to pay attention to the source of the issue.
Common causes of excessive barking include:
A dog that doesn’t get enough physical exercise, or mental stimulation, will become restless, frustrated, or simply because they have nothing better to do.
Your Dachshund may have seen something that stimulated their curiosity, or caused their hunting instinct to kick in, so they bark at it.
Alerting you to potential danger (as perceived by your Dachshund): This could be a guest, a stranger walking by the house, leaves blowing, or as one reader put it, a “squirrel farting down the road”.
- Separation Anxiety
If your Dachshund is not used to being left alone – separated from you – they may become anxious when you leave and bark excessively or howl.
A Dachshund that barks and lunges at other dogs and people when out for a walk or away from the house is said to be “reactive”. Although this behavior stems out of fear, others can perceive it as your Dachshund being aggressive.
- Attention Seeking
Dachshunds are very social creatures, and they need human interaction on a regular basis. Neglect can lead to excessive barking, which we tend to reinforce with attention.
Although there can be other reasons your Dachshund may bark, these are the most typical causes.
How to Stop Your Dachshund from Barking
The first step to reducing your Dachshund’s barking is to take note of when it’s happening and what they’re barking at.
You need to identify the root of the problem before you can decide how you want to proceed.
There are different techniques to deter barking depending on what is triggering your Dachshund.
Teach Them the Quiet Command
The number one key to getting your dog to stop barking, if you can do it, is teach them a “quiet” or “no bark” command.
As long as your Dachshund is mindful of you, it should be easy to teach your dog the quiet command.
Provide Your Dachshund with More Mental and Physical Exercise
Maybe your Dachshund is running around the house making a racket, or maybe they jump up and down while barking.
A dog with pent up energy needs to release it somehow, and barking is one way to do that.
If you notice that your Dachshund is barking excessively because they seem restless, then your dog probably needs more exercise.
Dachshunds require at least a twenty to thirty minute walk every single day as well as plenty of toys to play with at home.
Even though walks are a good way to bond and exercise, mental exercise, or stimulation, is also important.
If your Dachshund isn’t bored, and is a little tired, they are much less likely to bark for no reason.
Teach the Place Command
The place command teaches your Dachshund to sit in a specific place, usually on a mat or bed, and relax (I call it “go to your mat” with Summit).
This can help with barking at the Mailman and Other “Intruders”.
Dachshunds are territorial creatures, and some will start barking when they see a stranger or another animal in their yard.
When this happens, resist the urge to yell at them to shut up and instead give them the place command.
If your Dachshund truly understands the command means to stay here and relax, redirecting them to their place can be distracting enough to stop them from barking.
Plus, you will reward them for following your command and it’s hard to eat treats and bark at the same time.
You can also train your dog to sit and stay quiet as strangers such as the mailman approach the front door.
It helps to use treats as bribes, but only give your dachshund a treat if she refrains from barking entirely.
Use the Look at That Exercise
The look at that exercise, in short, involves pointing to a trigger – something that usually causes your Dachshund to bark – and then asking them to look back at you.
The goal is to get your dog to take note of the “threat” and look back at you without reacting to it or barking.
This way your dog starts to learn that 1) it’s nothing to be afraid of and 2) you get a reward if you ignore it.
Your dog won’t become desensitized to passing strangers immediately, but over time you can train him or her to associate a passerby with a belly full of treats instead of feeling threatened.
Take the Fun Away
My miniature Dachshund Summit has a barking problem. She’s always on high alert.
She loves to lay in the yard and bark into the wind, she sometimes barks at things on tv, and she is very alert and often barks at any tiny noise in the house.
I remove the trigger, or take the fun away, in hopes of curbing the behavior.
If she is barking outside, I make her come inside, thus taking away the fun of hanging out in the yard (something she loves).
If she barks at something on TV, I calmly tell her no, or give her the leave it command, a couple times.
If she still barks, the TV goes off or I change the channel.
This removes the trigger that is causing her to bark and shows that she doesn’t get to watch TV (something else she loves) if she can’t sit quietly.
Address the Separation Anxiety
Keep in mind that that Dachshund are prone to separation anxiety, so that is likely the cause of your dogs barking when you are not home.
Most of us have jobs to get to, but not a lot of us can bring our dogs with us, so you will have to find a way to address the separation anxiety if you suspect your Dachshund has it.
One way to help your dog overcome her separation anxiety is to set up a rigid schedule for the two of you. \Wake up at the same time, do feedings and walks at the same time, and come home from work at the same time each day.
Your Dachshund will learn when she can expect to see you, which can be a big load off their mind.
If your work has you out at all hours of the day and night, then a dog sitting service or a doggie daycare would be ideal for your Dachshund.
That way your dog can socialize with people and other dogs instead of sitting alone in an empty house.
For more on this, check out my article about separation anxiety training.
Use a Dachshund Bark Collar
A dog bark collar is a device that is specifically designed to discourage a dog from barking excessively.
It typically works by emitting a loud noise or a mild electric shock when the dog barks, although some have a vibration mode or spray a deterrent like citronella, when a dog barks.
If you are not aware, using a bark collar on a dog is a very controversial topic.
Explaining the reason or argument would take a long time but, suffice it to say, if used improperly (which, my their nature, it’s almost impossible to use a bark collar “properly”) this type of punishment device can cause injury or make your dog fearful, thus increasing behavior issues.
With that being said, I’ve used one before on my first Dachshund. That’s what someone who knew more than me at the time told me to do.
Did it work? Yes. Would I use one again? Not if I can help it.
BUT, in situations where one might get evicted or have to surrender their Dachshund do the shelter due to barking if they can’t find a solution fast, I think trying a bark collar is ok as a last resort.
I would rather see an owner, and a Dachshund, stay in the home than be put in dire circumstances because bark collars are frowned upon by many.
It’s always best to start with the less aggressive technique, like a buzz or very low shock, before progressing to something harsher to see if that works first.
The Dachshund breed is known for their propensity to bark.
If you don’t want a dog that barks a lot, a Dachshund might not be the dog for you.
But even those of us that love the heck out of them, still need to keep them quiet at times.
A Dachshund that barks excessively can cause issues for owners ranging from annoyance to facing the risk of getting evicted or having to surrender their Dachshund to a rescue.
But the good news is, although it will be impossible to eliminate your Dachshunds barking (it shouldn’t be anyway because that is naturally how they communicate) there are some techniques you can try to reduce it.
Take note of when your Dachshund is barking, what they’re barking at, and try to identify the root cause.
Then try one, or several, of the techniques listed in this article based on the suspected cause or desired behavior.
One thing I have learned over the years is that yelling at my Dachshund to stop barking is not the proper way to address the issue or effective.
According to several dog trainers, when your dog barks and you yell at them, they think you are barking with them.
They think it is fun and keep on doing it.
Dachshunds can be enthusiastic barkers, and excessive barking can be difficult to put a stop to sometimes.
If you just can’t seem to get your dog to quiet down, you may want to consider seeing an obedience trainer or a dog behaviorist.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.