How to potty train a Dachshund

Your new dachshund puppy is a soft little bundle of joy. 

His gorgeous eyes, intelligent personality, playful spirit… you just can’t fault him.

Oh, except he keeps relieving himself on your floor!

Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to train!

Potty training is the first and most important thing to teach your dachshund if you want to maintain a clean household.

Unfortunately, potty training requires hard work from both parties, especially with a stubborn breed like dachshunds.

But don’t lose hope, your new carpet can still be saved! Follow these tips to start your potty training journey today!

Start training your Dachshund early and stick to the plan

To maximize results in the shortest time possible, begin training at around 12 weeks.

Certified applied animal behaviorist, Mary Burch, recommends crate training with plenty of walks and diet control. The walks provide a time to go to the toilet and diet control allows you to predict when your dachshund will need to go.

Whilst it is most hygienic and practical to train your dachshund to go to the bathroom outside, we understand that this is not always possible.

A benefit of a dachshund’s small size is that it is possible to train them inside if you have a busy schedule or no access to an outside area. 

Paper training is a method where you lay newspaper on the floor and keep rewarding use of it. 

Eventually, your dachshund should stick to one small area.

To find out more about outside and inside methods, check out Rebecca Setler’s Housebreaking Bible.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you are consistent and always provide positive reinforcement when your dachshund goes in the right place.

Reward, don’t punish

Dachshunds respond much better to positive reinforcement than negative. 

As much as possible, use high-value treats, praise, and physical affection as rewards when your dachshund goes to the toilet in the correct place.

If you catch your dachshund in the act, a firm “No” is enough for negative reinforcement. If you find the evidence later, there is no point telling your dachshund off because they will not know what they are in trouble for.

Make it worth their while

Not all rewards are made equal. High value treats such as cheese or hot dog pieces will motivate your dachshund much more than their usual puppy biscuits. If you use a stinky food that your dachshund loves, you are guaranteed faster results!

How much you feed your dachshund at mealtimes can also impact how they view the treats you use for training.

If you overfeed your dachshund, they might not be motivated by food as they will already be satiated.

To maintain your dachshund’s interest in their reward, save the best ‘til last! 

Use their favorite treat or praise only when you have finished training so that they keep working hard all session.

Be patient and persist

If you give up easily then so will your dachshund. Even worse, quitting might teach your dachshund that he doesn’t need to listen to you and can continue to use your house like the toilet!

For the first few weeks, you might need to watch your dachshund for signs that they need to use the bathroom. 

This may seem tedious but understanding your puppy’s signals will save you a lot of cleaning time and make training easier for both of you.

Potty training recap

Whether you choose to potty train your dachshund inside or out, consistency and collaboration are key. 

Use a combination of crate training, diet control, and exercise and maintain your dachshund’s routine.

Starting early will encourage your puppy’s toilet training to become habitual, and high-value treats will be the most motivational.

Lastly, for positively productive training experience, remember to use rewards, not corrections!

Let us know your dachshund potty training successes or failures in the comments!

References / Further Learning

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