People often say that Dachshunds are a stubborn breed. However, the term “stubborn” isn’t the most accurate word to describe their behavior.
Stubborn is a human word for how something manifests, and it’s important to understand why Dachshunds behave the way they do.
Understanding that may help you better deal with training and behavioral issues.
Why Do People Say Dachshunds Are Stubborn?
Dachshund owners like to use the word “stubborn” when describing their dog’s resistance to doing what they’re asked.
For example, you started teaching your Dachshund to come when called. You spent a day on training but your Doxie just isn’t picking up the new skill. Your dog MUST be stubborn!
It’s a common misconception that Dachshunds are stubbon when, in fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are many reasons a Dachshund may be resistant or incaple of following the commands of their owner but simply being resistant to your commands because they don’t want to listen is rarely one of them.
Lack of training
The first reason your Dachshund may not do what you ask may simply be a lack of training.
Any dog needs consistent and repeaded training to teach them to react to certain words, hand signals, or requests by the owner.
Admittedly, Dachshunds aren’t the easiest dogs to train.
It takes incredible patience and time to properly train a Dachshund (yes, a Dachshund is trainable).
It’s unlikely that they will learn in five minutes and flawlessly practice that skill for the rest of their life.
Effective training requires constant repetition and reward-based training using high value treats.
These are some possible reasons why a Dachshund may be viewed as stubborn.
Another reason your Dahchsund may act like they are not listening may also be the way you are, or aren’t, communicating with them.
In this case, your Dachshund isn’t stubborn – they just don’t exactly understand what you’re trying to communicate.
But this comes off as a defiant and disobedient behavior in the eyes of humans.
Dogs need to clearly hear a distinct word (ideally, one or two max) that is associated with a desired behavior or action in order to connect the two in their mind.
Your Dachshund may just not understand you and isn’t being stubborn.
This needs to be repeated over time to enforce that connection.
Other reasons your Dachshund may not be listening to you
The two above reasons are related to communication. Your Dachshund may not understand what you are asking because they haven’t been trained to respond properly or you aren’t asking for what you want in a way they understand.
We’re not saying this to blame you but do suggest the first things you look at when your Dacshund is acting stubborn.
Those aren’t the only reasons that your Dachshund might not do what you ask though.
Other reasons your Dachshund may not listen do you include:
Overwhelmed or overstimulated by their environment
Your Dachshund could also be overwhelmed because of things like visitors, it’s dinner time and they are overwhelmed with anticipation, or maybe you just played a game or tug or fetch and they are all worked up about it.
They’re too distracted
Dachshunds were bred to be hunters so they could be more interested in the nearest rabbit, or interesting distraction, rather than a command you’re asking of them.
This is a natural instinct bred into a Dachshund and they can’t help it.
They are stressed or afraid
Often, when dogs are stressed or fearful, their brains shut off and all they can “hear” is what is stressing them.
They are simply unable to focus on anything than their emotions at the moment.
How Do You Deal With a Stubborn Dachshund?
Despite the explanation that “stubborn” is a term for a human emotions dogs just aren’t capable of, some Dahchshund owners still like to use that word to describe their Dachshund’s behavior.
Admittedly, it is somewhat semantics when what an owner’s goal is raising a more cooperative Dahcshund. So, we’ll just go with that term throughout the rest of this article.
So, how do you deal with your “stubborn” Dachshund?
The first thing to do is to be more patent and try to figure out why your Dachshund isn’t doing what you say.
If your Dachshund is too distracted, you may just need to recognize this as the cause and give them some grace and understanding because your dog’s natural insticts have kicked in.
If your Dachshund is overwhelmed or overstimulated, the first step is to remove them from the situation if you can until they calm down.
Perhaps they need to leave a situation or have some time out in a crate or pen away from what is overstimulating them.
If your Dachshund is stressed or afraid, they may need to be reassured, soothed, or to have the stressor removed.
If you have ruled out the above, the issue is likely communication related – lack of training or poor communication on your part, the solution is to improve on one of those things are both.
Pack your frustration away and resolve to improve on those things.
Maybe you have tried training and feel like your Dachshund should know what you want by now but please recognize that, although a Dachshund may pick up some commands right away, generally, the breed takes more dedication, patience and time to train than some others.
A Dachshund’s strong hunting insticts can make it more difficult to get them to ignore distracting or interesting thins and focus on you.
Once you accept that Dachshunds are brazen and born hunters, it’ll be easier to accept the challenge of training.
The ultimate goal is to teach your Dachshund that what you’re asking them to do is far more important and valuable than the nearest rabbit or squirrel.
Reward-based and positive reinforcement training will likely be the most effective means of training your Dachshund.
In regard to your verbal communication of commands, although it’s tempting to talk to your Dachshund in full sentences, do understand that when trying to get your Dahcshund to do what you want, they only clearly understand one or two word commands.
For example, instead of saying, “No, you know better, get off the couch” choose a word to use when you are commanding them to get off the couch like “off” or “down”.
On Using Punishment to Train Your Dachshund
Dachshund parents know how difficult it can be when you are desperately trying to train your dog but little progress is being made.
In the moment it may seem right to physically punish your Dachshund when they aren’t listening, but in the end it’ll do more harm than good.
Using items like spray bottles or rolled up newspaper in an attempt to correct your Dachshund’s stubborn behavior will create fear and distrust.
If your dog is afraid of you or is worried what will happen if you’re yelling at them to come to you, they will absolutely never learn to listen to you.
Fear-based training can have the opposite effect on your dog and will only scare them.
While some dog owners believe that using fear-based training is appropriate for certain situations, punishment can create anxiety, force them to learn new destructive behaviors, or simply teach them to be scared of you.
We do understand that there may be an emergency circumstance that requires the use of a bark collar or similar product, such as facing an eviction due to barking or potentially having to surrender your dog.
After quickly correcting the issue, seek out the help of a canine behaviorist who can get to the root of your stubborn Dachshund’s behavioral problem.
They can help you correct it using positive reinforcement.
In the end, treats, praise and play sessions used as rewards for productive training sessions and good behavior are going to be the best way to train your stubborn Dachshund.
When to Get Help With Your Stubborn Dachshund
Training any dog takes a lot of time and patience. Not everyone wants to do it, or is cut out for it, and that’s okay!
However, your Dachshund does deserve basic training at the very least.
Stay patient and you and your dog will be much happier.
You should get help with your stubborn Dachshund if your home or safety of yourself or others is at risk.
Maybe your Dachshund is tearing up your walls due to separation anxiety, or perhaps they’ve developed issues with aggression.
In these cases, it’s imperative to seek professional help.
First, talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to rule out medical concerns, then recommend an appropriate training specialist.
Dachshunds that exhibit a dramatic change in behavior may have an underlying health condition that is causing these new behavioral issues.
Once potential medical causes are ruled out, seek help from a professional dog trainer, or canine behaviorist, to help you communicate with your Dachshund and correct undesired or dangerous behaviors.
Final Thoughts About Stubborn Dachshunds
A Dachshund’s propensity for hunting prey, barking, and curiosity make them seem stubborn at times, but they are just as eager to learn as other breeds.
Stubborn is a term used to describe a human emotion that dogs simply are incapable of feeling.
A Dachshund may be precieved as stubborn if they haven’t been trained properly and consistently or there is an emotional response – overwhelm, stress, fear, overstimulation – that is “interfering with a Dachshund’s hearing”.
Once you understand that your Dachshunds is not being stubborn, you can start to see why they are being disobedient or acting out and set them up for success.
Remember to rule out medical concerns with a veterinarian if your Dachshund has a sudden change in behavior.
Don’t give up on your Dachshund before seeking professional assistance with training and behavior.
About the Author: Through her 17 years of owning and caring for Dachshunds, and almost 10 years researching and writing about them, JW has become a respected expert in the Dachshund community. Read more about her here.