I’ve seen a significant uptick of people posting in Dachshund Facebook groups about their dogs peeing on the rug, on the couch, on the bed, or some other place in the house.
These people are frustrated because they thought their Dachshunds were potty trained.
The owners are especially frustrated because, in a lot of cases, they just took their Dachshund outside, their dog went potty, but their Doxie still peed in the house as soon as they left.
These people posting in Dachshund forums are looking for potty training advice.
While this may indeed be a potty training issue, in over half of the cases I see it is most likely not.
In a many of these cases, the person’s Dachshund pees on the floor or furniture as soon as they leave a room or walk out the door.
If this describes what your Dachshund is doing, read on for a potential explanation of why it’s happening and solution.
This exact scenario happened to me with my first Dachshund Chester and it made me steaming mad.
I would take him outside before I left for work and he would both poop and pee.
When I got home, there would be a big pee spot by the door.
Naturally, I thought he had to pee and just couldn’t hold it anymore. Or he didn’t know he was supposed to – a result of incomplete potty training.
So I committed to increase my efforts.
I read several books (the internet wasn’t a good info source for dog potty training advice back then) and tried all the tricks to help.
My efforts to potty train my Dachshund weren’t working so I started to look for other possible reasons he was peeing on the rug.
But he continued to pee on the rug.
Then I started to notice it didn’t matter how long I was gone.
My apartment had a communal laundry room so I had to leave for a couple minutes to wash my clothes.
I would take him out to go potty right before I ran out the door for a minute in hopes of eliminating the natural need to go from the potential cause list.
I would still walk back in to find a pee spot right inside the door.
I kept reading more because all of the potty training in the world wasn’t preventing him from peeing on the floor.
I discovered this thing called separation anxiety.
What is Separation Anxiety in Dachshunds?
Separation anxiety is a type of anxiety that overcomes a dog when they are separated from their owners, the people they are attached to, even for a moment.
The trigger is the separation, not the length of time.
In other words, separation anxiety can occur even when you are gone for “just a minute”.
It can escalate the longer you are gone – your Dachshund gets more and more upset – but your dog may act out because of this anxiety the moment you leave the room.
Doxies with separation anxiety may try to tell you they are upset by:
- Barking and howling
- Chewing things they are not supposed to
- Digging, including trying to dig a hole in the carpet or under a door
- Ruining walls or furniture
- Peeing in the house
When I see people posting pleas for help because their Dachshund is peeing in the house, and the behavior is associated with the owner leaving the room or house, the separation anxiety red flag always goes off in my head.
While there are several different reasons and triggers that could be causing your Dachshund to pee in the house, if coupled with an owner’s absence, it’s almost always separation anxiety.
So what can a Dachshund owner do to treat this condition in their dog?
How to Fix Separation Anxiety in Your Dachshund
In order to minimize or eliminate separation anxiety in your Dachshund, and the disruptive or destructive behavior caused by it, you need to teach your Doxie that there is nothing to worry about when you are gone.
You want to teach him or her to enjoy, or at least tolerate, being left alone for both short and long periods.
This is accomplished through training exercises and teaching your Dachshund that good things can happen when you are gone or, at the very least, nothing terrible will happen.
While I have learned a lot about separation anxiety over the years, I am not a dog trainer so I won’t attempt to explain how to treat your dog for separation anxiety (please see the section below for that).
Even though I didn’t know a lot about dog training, I was able to find a partial solution to my Dachshund’s separation anxiety through trial and error.
I will say this though – the #1 thing that helped me prevent potty accidents and destruction due to separation anxiety was training my Dachshund to be comfortable in a dog crate.
My second Dachshund also had separation anxiety but it manifested in a different way than it did with Chester.
In Gretel’s case, I started from a place of putting her in a dog crate like Chester when I left the house since that was the solution for him and I didn’t think it was right to put him in “comfort cave” and let her roam free.
The problem was, even tough the rescue said she was crate trained, she destroyed 2, and hurt herself more than once, trying do dig her way out.
I had almost given up but then tried what I did with Chester – use a crate that is technically one size to big for her and use an open-wire crate so she could easily see her surroundings.
The other thing that really helped was giving the dogs a stuffed treat toy when I left the house.
They seemed so engrossed in getting the food out, they barely noticed me leaving the house at all.
Perhaps by the time they finished, they forgot that I left or were mentally tired to the point that it no loner upset them.
Recommended Resources for Resolving Separation Anxiety in Your Dog
The basics of separation anxiety involve desensitizing your Dachshund to your absence.
You do this by performing a series of exercises that range from walking to the door to stepping outside for a minute to being gone for longer and longer periods.
While this basic premise is the primary concept most dog trainers will teach you, they all have slightly different ways to go about it.
The foundation of separation anxiety is almost always desensitization, although the instructions for doing that can vary by dog trainer.
Here some separation anxiety advice I have used or reviewed and like.
This is a brief overview of separation anxiety training and recommendations for products that may help your dog right now, even before you start any training.
In this article, Tracy Krulik, CTC, CSAT, a Certified canine separation anxiety trainer, explains her recommended technique to cure separation anxiety in dogs.
You can find additional training resources, including detailed help with reading your dog’s body language to help solve behavior problems, on her website iSpeakDog.
Note: This is an affiliate link so I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase
This is a book I only recently discovered by it looks excellent and I plan to read it.
In Be Right Back!, certified dog trainer Julie Naismith outlines a series of training exercises that will help steer you and your four-legged friend toward independence.
Naismith uses a proven, evidence-based approach and outlines a step-by-step program that lets you gently move your dog from a place of fear to a brave new world of happy home alone confidence.
Dog separation training advice is easy to find online and there are many books out there written about the topic.
Naismith also runs a Facebook group and provides additional separation anxiety training tips there.
I know it can be frustrating when your Dachshund pees in the house or is destructive when you are not right there with them.
I mean, you have a life, right? You have to go to work, run errands, and visit friends and family, all which take you away from the house.
The first step in resolving any issues, and giving you freedom to leave the house again without worry, it to identify why your Dachshund is behaving this way.
Once I realized the issue with Chester was one of separation anxiety, not poor potty training, both of our lives became less stressful.
Honestly, proper separation anxiety training is not a quick process.
The number of training steps may feel overwhelming, it may be frustrating because the “fix” doesn’t happen overnight, or you may feel like you don’t possibly have the time.
But please don’t give up on your dog.
By peeing in the house, barking and howling, and being destructive, your Dachshund is trying to communicate they need help from you.
They’re not doing it to be bad. They are doing it because they are really upset and feel desperate.
Anything you can do to help ease their anxiety is a step in the right direction.
The good news is, it may not take as long to teach your Dachshund to be ok alone as you think.
Also, a lot of the training can be accomplished in just 10 minutes a day.
If your Dachshund is peeing in the house and it’s not associated with your absence, or the absence of a very important person to them, the issue may indeed be general potty training.
Here are my best tips for fully potty training a Dachshund.
If your Dachshund suddenly starts peeing in the house when they hadn’t been before, it could signal a medical condition like a urinary tract infection, incontinence, or cushing’s disease.
Please see your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes if peeing in the house is a new, sudden change.