Dachshunds are adorable and lovable animals, and they make great family pets. Nevertheless, when you see a list of some of the most aggressive canines, the dachshund is usually at the top. This is not because they are mean-spirited or unpleasant to be around; it usually just means that they have not been properly trained.
Because of the way they were bred, dachshund aggression was once a part of their personality, but that no longer has to be the case.
Simply put, dachshunds were bred to be aggressive. Why? Because more than 600 years ago when they were first bred in Germany, they were bred to hunt badgers. For this, they had to be strong, smart, and fearless, not to mention a little stubborn. They also had to hunt these badgers down, so even today, some pet dachshunds can display characteristics like stubbornness and fearlessness.
If you view the dachshund’s behavior, you’ll notice that they tend to be more aggressive and predatory around larger animals, not smaller ones. This is because they once had to hunt badgers, which are bigger than dachshunds. This also means that they are fiercely protective of the family they live with and the home in which they live. In most ways, this can be blamed on instincts from long ago.
If you’re wondering if you can do something about this aggression, the good news is that yes, you can! In fact, the smartest thing you can do when you own a dachshund is to start training it early while it is still young. In fact, socializing the dogs and training them while they’re still puppies are two of the best ways to reduce and maybe even eliminate any aggressive behavior in your dachshund.
The longer you wait to train a dachshund, the more likely it will be that its instinctive nature will become apparent and affect its personality. Even if you start training and socializing them at a young age, they can still occasionally show signs of aggression and stubbornness, but it will be to a much lesser degree.
Dachshund Behavior Problems
If left alone and not trained or socialized properly, dachshunds can indeed show negative traits. Some of these include the following:
- Digging, which is usually caused by boredom or even anxiety.
- Territorial behavior, which can lead to aggression towards other animals and even humans.
- Barking too much, which is caused by anxiety, boredom, or lack of training.
- Stubbornness or obstinance, which can cause problems or difficulties when training them.
- Chewing everything in sight, which can be caused by teething pain or even boredom.
- Very protective behavior, which is instinctive and can cause growling or barking when they feel threatened.
- Difficulty when house-training, which is due to their being very stubborn and independent.
Dachshunds can also show other peculiar behaviors, including excessive licking, which can become obsessive and cause problems for the dog, and shaking and tremors, which are usually due to intensified emotions but which need to be addressed so the animal isn’t experiencing a negative emotion. If either too much licking or frequent tremors are a problem, the owner needs to do something about it quickly.
How can you do something about these behaviors? The best suggestions include positive reinforcement while training, lots of exercise and socialization, and making sure you deal with their separation anxiety, which can be a strong trait in many animals. If all else fails, you should see your vet to discover if other solutions are available so that your dog can feel better physically and emotionally.
Why Dachshunds Are Aggressive?
Since dachshunds are hunters by nature, this is the cause of much of their aggression. They can also be aggressive because, at the end of the day, dachshunds see themselves as being much larger in size than they are. In many ways, dachshunds are more aggressive than other dogs that are much bigger in size. Dachshunds are sometimes aggressive with children because the kids haven’t been taught how to properly handle the dog.
If a dachshund senses that it cannot trust you, it can become aggressive. This lack of trust can be real or imagined, but they will react to it in the exact same way. Sometimes, dachshund puppies are neglected or treated poorly when they’re puppies, and this can affect their aggression level. If you get a dachshund when it is at the end of its puppyhood, this could be the reason for its aggression.
In addition to fear or anxiety, dachshunds can be aggressive because they’re in pain or bored. One tip to remember is that if any dog’s aggressive or negative traits are excessive or you’ve tried to remedy the situation but you weren’t successful, your dog may need professional help. Schedule a visit to the vet’s office for a complete checkup and enlist the vet’s help for further recommendations.
Between innate behavior, breeding, and learned behaviors, it isn’t surprising that a dachshund can indeed be quite aggressive at times. Early training and socialization can get rid of most of this aggression, but keep in mind that, in most cases, you likely won’t be able to get rid of aggressiveness entirely. Dachshunds can still show signs of it every now and then.
Dachshund Aggression Training
So what can you do about aggression in dachshunds? You now know that socialization and proper training at an early age are crucial, but there are tips you can follow that will increase the odds that these things will be successful. They include:
- Never Use Negative Reinforcement or Punishment
Let’s face it—you can’t blame this dog for having this aggression because it is part of a dachshund’s lineage.
Even if you’re tempted to scold or punish the dog for bad behavior, it’s always best not to do it. Why? Because they may resent the training and even start to do the opposite of what you wanted them to do. Punishments can even start to affect a dog’s mental health, and this is never a good thing.
- Always Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement includes giving them praise, a treat, or even a favorite toy each time they do something right.
Make sure you give them the treat within five to ten seconds of the positive behavior, and use treats that you only give them when training and at no other time. Positive reinforcement works, which is why pet parents use it so often.
- Never Rough-House or Play Too Rough with Your Puppy
Because a dachshund naturally has a leaning toward aggression, playing rough with it, even if it’s fun for the dog, can confuse it and cause its aggression to become worse. It can also cause your dog to believe that being aggressive towards you is what you want, which can cause numerous problems afterward.
To avoid potential problems and possibly make their aggression worse, rough-housing with your dachshund is discouraged.
Because dachshunds are natural hunters and are very fearless and stubborn, they can easily become aggressive. The best way to avoid this problem or at least make it tolerable is to start socializing them and training them while they’re still puppies. This may not eliminate every bit of aggression that they have, but it will definitely cause the aggression to be less extensive and a lot more manageable.