The typical Dachshund is a brave, cheerful, and friendly little dog. Dachshunds are always happy to see you and have a great time with everyone they meet, with a personality far surpassing their small size. For these reasons and more, Dachshunds make fantastic pets and companions. Plus, they’re one of the cutest dogs you’ll ever see. However, as wonderful as they can be, there’s one challenge more difficult with Dachshunds than most other dog breeds: potty training.
Dachshunds are among the top 20 breeds known to be difficult to potty train. Even worse, some Dachshunds can never be fully potty trained and might need to sleep in a crate when you’re away or at night to prevent accidents.
If you’re the proud pet parent of a Dachshund puppy or plan to adopt soon, we have 11 tips on how to potty train a Dachshund, which will be a genuine lifesaver in the coming weeks and keep your Dachshund’s potty accidents to a minimum.
The 11 Tips on Potty Training a Dachshund
1. Start Crate Training When Your Dachshund Is a Puppy
Although it might seem cruel, there are several excellent reasons to use a crate to help potty train your Dachshund. First, most dogs don’t go potty where they sleep, and a crate will help eliminate accidents. In time, your dog’s crate will become its safe space, where it will go when scared, tired, or wants some alone time (which isn’t often). As long as you don’t use a crate for punishment, crate training a Dachshund is recommended because they may have more accidents if you don’t.
2. Reward Your Dachshund When They Go Potty Outside Successfully
For most dogs, there’s no better training tool than a good, nutritious treat. Treat training, when done correctly, is a potent potty training tool you can use with your Dachshund. Giving your dog a treat, and some well-earned praise, when they go outside to do their business sets up a positive connection between urinating and defecating outside and getting something yummy. One caveat is to keep the treats small and, as your Dachshund becomes better trained and has fewer accidents, wean them off the treats entirely. This will help prevent any challenges your Dachshund might face with obesity.
3. Use a Word Cue
Dogs respond to spoken cues very well, especially the intelligent and intuitive Dachshund. You can use that to your advantage when potty training your canine kid to set up a connection between going outside and going potty.
4. Never Yell or Use Harsh Language When Potty Training Your Dachshund
It can be easy to lose patience with your Dachshund if they keep having accidents, but the last thing you should do is yell at them angrily. Like us, Dachshunds have feelings and emotions, and losing your cool can affect them negatively, cause anxiety problems, and make potty training even more difficult.
Yes, when training, be stern with your Dachshund pup, but remember that there’s a baby dog trying to learn something new under that fur and those big, adorable eyes. Yelling will only scare and confuse them, so be patient and persistent instead. The reward will be a well-trained Dachshund with few (if any) potty problems.
5. Get on a Potty Schedule
One of the top training tips for potty training a Dachshund is to set up a daily potty schedule and stick to it until they’re well-trained. A schedule makes it easier for your Dachshund to understand what’s going on every time you bring them outside. It also helps your pup realize that a potty break is coming soon if they have to go. When your Dachshund is a young puppy, it might need a bathroom break every 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Don’t Get a Large Crate for Your Dachshund
We talked earlier about how crating your Dachshund is recommended by pet experts because Dachshund pups tend to be difficult to potty train. One mistake many new Dachshund owners make is purchasing a crate that’s much bigger than their dog needs. When you do this with Dachshund puppies, they use one end of the crate for sleeping and the other as their potty.
As you might imagine, this is a situation you want to prevent at all costs. To do that, you should only purchase a crate large enough for your Dachshund to turn around in a circle but not much bigger.
7. Use a Timer to Keep Your Dachshund’s Potty Schedule
This is an easy tip that is made even easier today by smartphones. Since Dachshunds need to be taken outside frequently as puppies, setting a repeat timer on your smartphone will help you keep your pup’s potty schedule and, hopefully, reduce and prevent accidents.
You’ll need about 20 minutes between potty breaks when they’re very young. As they get older, you’ll be able to extend this more and more. Remember to get up and go outside with your Dachshund as soon as the timer goes off for the best results.
8. Spray Puppy Training Spray on a Spot in Your Yard
Several pet product manufacturers make sprays that mimic the smell dogs leave behind when they mark their territory. You can use it to mark a spot in your yard where your Dachshund can always do their business. Then, bring your puppy to this marked spot every time you take them outside to potty. In time, your pup will also mark the territory and select it as a preferred pooping place.
9. Adopt Your Dachshund in the Spring, Summer, or Early Fall
This might seem a bit silly at first, but don’t adopt your Dachshund in the winter when possible. Dachshunds are tiny dogs whose little paws will not do well in winter, especially if you live where it freezes. Sure, it’s possible to potty train a Dachshund in winter, but if you can schedule bringing home your new pet during a warmer time of year, potty training will be easier for your dog and you.
10. Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Puppy Pads
One big mistake some new Dachshund owners make is to rely on puppy pads rather than properly potty training their Dachshund. The problem if you rely on puppy pads too heavily is that it interferes with your pup’s potty training and, even worse, shows them that going in the house is OK, which it is not. Puppy pads are great for the first few days and can be helpful, but the sooner you get rid of them and train your Dachshund to go potty outside, the better.
11. Never Play With Your Dachshund During Potty Breaks
Today’s last tip will help prevent a problem many Dachshund owners create for themselves: a puppy that thinks potty time is play time instead. If your pup believes they’re going to play, getting them to go potty will be difficult, if not impossible. To prevent this situation, and the frustration it can cause, never play with your Dachshund when you take them outside to go potty.
We hope our 11 tips on potty training a dachshund have been helpful and enlightening. At the end of the day, a Dachshund that’s well trained to do its business outside will be a happier dog because you, their pet parent, will be happier also. Is potty training a Dachshund difficult? Many say that it is, but if you truly love your dog and want to have a great relationship with them, the time and effort it takes to potty train your delightful Dachshund will be well worth it. Best of luck training your Dachshund puppy!
Featured Image Credit: Anna_Bondarenko, Shutterstock