For many dogs, jumping off or on the couch isn’t an issue, but for Dachshunds, the risk of injury is surprisingly high when jumping. This article explains everything Dachshund owners must know about this important topic.
Three main ways to stop your Dachshund from jumping off (or on) the couch:
- Use pet stairs or pet ramp
- Train your dachshund to wait for you before jumping
- Temporarily block your couch
Why Your Dachshund Shouldn’t Jump!
It’s easy for us to assume dogs are fairly athletic, even the small breeds! And jumping off or on the couch isn’t that much of a big deal, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for dachshunds. Let’s explain.
Jumping up and down causes excess stress and pressure on the spine, and with Dachshunds being at high risk of developing Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) jumping should be prevented whenever possible.
Out of all breeds we know of, Dachshunds are at the top of the list for Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
How bad is IVDD?
Intervertebral Disc Disease is a condition where the cushioning discs in between the vertebrae in the spinal column either bulge or burst, then making contact with surrounding nerves running through the spinal cord. In many cases, IVDD is very painful, can cause nerve damage or even paralysis (in the worst cases). Source PetMD
So jumping causes IVDD?
There are other causes, but yes, excessive jumping and hard landings can be the cause, or it may cause existing IVDD to suddenly get worse or flare-up.
Should you stop your Dachshund from jumping?
Yes, you should stop or at least limit your Dachshund from jumping. This will be an effective way to reduce the chances of developing Intervertebral Disc Disease.
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How To Prevent Dachshund From Jumping Off The Couch
Whether we’re talking about jumping OFF or ON your couch, furniture, or bed. It should all be limited to prevent the chance of IVDD from happening with your Dachshund. So let’s get into it!
1. Use Pet Stairs or a Pet Ramp
One of the best and quickest ways to prevent him from jumping is to purchase a set of pet stairs or a pet ramp.
You can get different shapes and sizes to match your couch, the most recommended pet stairs are “soft” pet stairs and are made out of foam.
These provide extra cushioning and are easy on your Dachshund’s joints.
Our favorite pick is from Best Pet Supplies Inc. They have three different height selections and 14 different color themes. The stairs are made out of certified foam, made all from within the USA. Plus the reviews are excellent! Check these stairs out here
2. Train Your Dachshund To Wait For Assistance
Another way to stop your Dachshund from jumping onto your couch or bed is to train him to wait for you to pick him up (which could also be seen as waiting for permission).
By training your Dachshund he needs to wait for you, not only are you limiting the risk of injury, but he’ll become more obedient in other aspects of life too. Training him to sit and wait for you to pick him up, is clearly advantageous.
How to train your Dachshund to wait before jumping:
1. Before starting, block off access to the other part of the couch or put some boxes where you are not going to sit. This leaves just enough space for you to sit on the couch preventing him from jumping up
2. Grab a few tasty treats
3. Sit on your couch and call your Dachshund
4. He’s going to be confused and eager to get up, but due to the blockage, he shouldn’t be able to
5. Be firm and instruct him to sit down by your feet
6. Once he sits and stays seated for a few seconds, pick him up on to your lap and reward him with the treat and praise
7. Repeat a few times per day, every day. When you think he understands the new rule, remove the physical barrier to the other side of the couch, and continue lessons.
Does this work?
Yes, it does, but you’ll need to be consistent with the rules and only allow him to come up, once he sits down by your feet first. That’s the new rule he needs to learn. And with enough practice and treats, this will slowly become the only way he tries to get up on the couch.
How many times per day should you do this exercise?
There isn’t a specific number, but 3-5 times is a good start and will be enough for him to understand that this is a new rule.
How long will this training take?
This will depend heavily on his existing obedience. If your Dachshund is already capable of sitting and staying when you tell him to, this training should be easy. 1-3 weeks will usually be enough time for your Dachshund to learn the new rule.
3. Temporarily Block Your Couch
If the jumping problem is quite severe, then the best thing you can do is to temporarily block your couch, bed, and any other furniture your Dachshund usually tries to jump on.
Ideally, blocking your couch should be done first while you either get your Doxie some pet stairs or start training him.
You can block your couch either with some baby gates, puppy gates, or some cushions or boxes.
This option isn’t ideal and is a temporary measure while you solve the issue through training or by getting a set of pet stairs.
This is original content produced and published by The Puppy Mag | www.thepuppymag.com
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Teaching Your Dachshund to Use Pet Stairs
Some brave dogs will use the new stairs from day one, but most will be apprehensive, worried, and just won’t know they are! So you’ll need to show your Dachshund what to do.
Always remember that it’s critical to avoid bad experiences when training your Dachshund something new. So this means taking it slowly and never forcing him to go up the stairs if he’s clearly uncomfortable.
● Start by taking a couple of his tastiest treats and putting them on the first step. He won’t actually need to step up to take the treats, and that’s ok. This is a quick-win to build a positive association between the step and your Dachshund. Reward him with praise, encouragement, and a reassuring tone of voice.
●Shortly after, put a couple of the treats on the next step up, and tap your finger on the step to encourage him to make the first step up. If he doesn’t want to go in the beginning, don’t force him, just leave him for a few moments and try again.
● The moment he takes his first step to get the treat, reward him with your praise and if it looks like he’s got some momentum, carry on going! Put a couple more treats on the next step and encourage him to take them.
● Pet stairs are not that high and may only have 3-5 steps so as soon as he’s gone up 1 or 2 steps, he’ll practically feel like he’s already at the top.
● Always take it slow, don’t force him, and use plenty of super tasty treats.
● Carry out the training for a day or two, and your Dachshund should have the gist of it very quickly.
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All breeds have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. With Dachshunds, they are very susceptible to spinal problems like Intervertebral Disc Disease, so it’s crucial to stop them from jumping, as this can cause these issues.
As a responsible owner of this adorable breed, it’s important to take action and either train your Dachshund to wait for you to pick him up, or purchase pet stairs for your couch and bed area. Whatever you prefer, start today.