Many owners find their Dachshund to be stubborn or strong-minded, so you’re not alone with this one! This article explains why Dachshunds act stubbornly and most importantly what you can do about it.
Stubborn behavior in Dachshunds is usually caused by having a lack of obedience when distractions are present. If something is more interesting to your Dachshund than you, they likely won’t listen.
Why Are Dachshunds Actually Stubborn?
Most owners will tell you that Dachshunds are “stubborn” or “strong-minded” due to their hunting history and their strong prey drive. Their independent nature and high work spirit make them naturally defiant and proud.
Although this is partly true and many working dogs DO have strong heads… It’s not the real reason, it’s only a small contributor to something bigger.
The real reason why Dachshunds are stubborn:
To begin with, it’s worth noting that the good manners we hold true as humans, just isn’t the same for dogs. They don’t know that jumping up at a guest, pulling on the lead, or refusing to come back inside when called is unacceptable… not at least until they are trained.
But it’s not just a matter of basic training… It’s a matter of training when distractions are present.
A Dachshund that hasn’t been properly trained to obey commands when in the presence of distractions is the main reason behind their “stubbornness”.
Why should she sit politely when she’s super excited to have new guests in the house? Sitting is for quiet days when nothing else is happening..? right? Why should she come back inside when it’s more fun outside…?
Sure, owners may have carried out basic commands like sit and come here when nothing else interesting is happening… But when there are interesting things or distractions happening, your Dachshund hasn’t had much experience actually listening.
Acknowledging you as the authority
I don’t want to give you the whole “be the alpha talk” but, it is partly true. Your Dachshund needs to see you as the CLEAR leader, by a mile. Her obedience literally depends on it.
Fortunately, the more active training and on-going positive reinforcement you provide, your authoritativeness in the eyes of your Dachshund naturally increases.
The more accustomed your Dachshund is to receiving commands and tasks, the stronger her ability to actually listen becomes. This is when having a working breed suddenly flips around and works in your favor, instead of against you.
I hope this has been clear…
So now, what can you do about it?
Psst, check out these trending Dachshund articles when you’re done!
Can Dachshunds Drink Milk? What Every Owner Should Know
The Importance Of Cleaning Your Dachshunds Teeth (and how to do it)
Training Your Dachshund In Ways That Reduce Stubbornness
Thankfully, you may only need to make some small adjustments and additions to training routines you might have already covered.
All it takes is to slowly expose your Dachshund to training that incorporates gradually increasing distractions.
The best part of this is that YOU set the parameters. So make it easy and fun! The best trainers will always set up their Dachshund to win, as this is what optimizes their learning potential.
Getting Your Dachshund To “Come Here” Without Fail
Let’s start with a classic command that often gets ignored. “come here”. And this training isn’t to be underestimated! The lessons and obedience learned from these exercises will flow over into all other aspects of daily life.
1. Practice normal “come here” training
Start in the living room with no distractions, remove toys, and other people. Have tiny morsel treats in your palm at the ready. Give your Dachshund a whiff of the treats to gain her attention. Ask her to sit, wait, and walk back from her, if she moves, start over. Allow 3-5 seconds of silence to pass, command her to “come here”. When she runs to you, offer her a treat. Repeat the training. Practice until perfect.
2. Add one distraction to the controlled environment
This time, have another person sit in the room while you perform the same routine. Ensure it’s someone she’s already familiar with as you don’t want to make the distraction too irresistible at this point. Remember she needs to progress with small wins. Practice until perfect.
3. Spontaneous “come here” training
This step involves randomizing your commands. The goal of this is to establish unanticipated obedience. The previous training is significantly easier, as she’s going through a flowing routine. Now the goal is to build up her immediate obedience in a moment she isn’t expecting.
As you can imagine this is very powerful. When you’re out the yard, in the living room, the kitchen or dining room… Give her an expected and firm “(name), come here”. As soon as she comes give her a good girl and a treat. Don’t repeat the test until she isn’t expecting it again. Practice this as much as you can!
4. Move training to a public place
After she’s mastered coming to you when she isn’t expecting it. It’s time to revert back to normal “come here” training but in a public space or park. But you must choose a time when there are still limited distractions… Simply being out in public will offer her enough distractions in the form of thousands of new smells. So find a quiet place where there are limited people and dogs.
Remember, it still needs to be achievable. In order to increase your chances of success, you should try this training after she has already chased her ball for 15 minutes. The moment you take her outside, she’s going to be hyped up, so tire her out a little before you carry out normal “come here” training.
5. Come here training when distractions are present
This could be seen as graduation training. For some of you, the previous 4 steps may take 1 or even 2 months. But please ensure each step is mastered before moving on to the next. This step will be hard, but achievable, as by now, your Dachshund should have a lot of experience with “come here” under different situations.
So, as you are on a walk, anticipate other walkers and dogs up ahead, and BEFORE they get right to you, call your Dachshund to “come here” reward her when she comes straight to you. Don’t move until she comes. When the dog approaches, let her sniff and play with the other dog… after all, it’s what they love to do right! But when it’s time to leave, give her a firm “(name,) come here”. By this stage, she should come to you whenever you call her.
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Training To Establish Your Overall Authority
The next training technique is one that focused on establishing you as the one in charge. It’s very simple but very effective.
Some training experts call this the red light, green light exercise.
This is training is based on walking with your Dachshund on the leash, but the lessons learned from it will impact all aspects of training and behavior.
1. Take a clicker and treats when going for a walk
When it’s time to go for a walk, the first challenge is the front door. Open the front door and walk out of it first. Once you are out, wait and don’t move until your Dachshund stops, turns around, and looks at you. When she does, give the clicker a click, and give her a treat. Only then should you continue. (the clicker is used as an association tool)
2. Walk a little further, stop and wait
Continue your walk for 30 seconds more, before stopping again, waiting for your Dachshund to stop, turn around and look at you. When she does, give her a click, a treat, and continue on with your walk.
3. Practice stopping and waiting every 30 seconds
You don’t have to do this for your entire walk, but ensure you go through phases of stopping, waiting, and praising before you continue onwards. When you are carrying out a phase, stop walking every 20-30 seconds.
So what’s the whole point of this training?
The red light green light training is an easy way to show your Dachshund that you are in charge. Dachshunds love their walks, and there’s only one way they want to go… forward! However, you are the boss, and your Dachshund only gets to continue on with her walk when you want to.
By stopping and waiting until she looks at you, you are gaining the power to make the decision to go ahead. And of course, no training is complete without a tasty treat, so that’s why she’s rewarded for her obedience.
And this training isn’t to be underestimated… The understanding gained from this training session will flow over into everything!
The clearer it is to your Dachshund that you’re in charge, the more she will listen to your commands when you give them… And that, along with distraction training, is how to beat a “stubborn” mind.
Reducing Stubborn Behavior Slowly
Practicing the two different training techniques above WILL work! But it won’t happen overnight.
Learning to obey your commands the moment you give them is a change that will take some time.
If your Dachshund has long been stubborn and defiant, it’s a matter of slowing “working” her out of that attitude. And the above training routines will certainly help with that.
And to clarify, even if your Dachshund doesn’t have a big issue with the command “come here” specifically, you should still follow that routine, because it’s the underlying lesson of obedience in the face of distraction that’s KEY.
Obedience is an overall mindset rather than a skill. Once you develop obedience (regardless of what training does that) it will naturally flow over into all aspects of daily life.
Thank you for reading!
Did this article help you? I put a lot of effort and care into the content I put on The Puppy Mag. If you think this article can be better, please let me know so I can make changes! All feedback is appreciated. For now, all the best, Harry!