When a Dachshund is confident, they will seem relatively unfazed by other dogs, people, and distractions.
On the other hand, a Dachshund that isn’t confident may be fearful and untrusting of unfamiliar things, causing them to react negatively by barking excessively, lunging, trying to run away, or being aggressive and trying to bite.
This behavior could get them in trouble because they could slip their collar and get lost, their behavior could make another dog really uncomfortable and it could lash out at your dog in defense, or they may be unwelcome in some public places.
It’s important to raise a confident Dachshund to correct and avoid reactive and aggressive behavior to prevent these consequences. Also, your Dachshund will be calmer and happier overall.
Here we’ll discuss more specifically how to raise your Dachshund to be the confident pup you know they can be.
How Do I Know My Dachshund Lacks Confidence?
When dogs lack confidence due to past trauma, no or improper socialization, or a variety of other reasons, they can exhibit one or more undesired behaviors.
Those behaviors can include:
- Excessive chewing or destructive behavior
- Negative body language in a variety of circumstances (most notably, fear)
- Inappropriate urination
- Reactive toward people, dogs or objects
A confident Dachshund is less likely to feel the need to engage in such behaviors.
Dachshunds who aren’t confident often act out.
Keep in mind that not all Dachshunds lack confidence in all situations.
I often hear things like, “My Dachshund is find around my friend’s dogs but barks and lunges at dogs at the dog park.”
Another common thing I hear is, “My Dachshund confident around dogs of all breeds and sizes, but gets scared at the park and stands behind me the whole time.
It’s up to you to observe your Dachshund to determine whether they lack confidence in general or only in specific situations and work to correct that.
How to Raise a Confident Dachshund
So you agree that a confident Dachshund is a happy, well-behaved Dachshund.
So how do you turn a Dachshund who lacks confidence into one that doesn’t?
It’s simple: Dedication and training.
Training can take care of many problems.
Here are a variety of “tools” you can use to help your Dachshund gain confidence.
Safely socializing your Dachshund with other dogs of varying breeds and sizes will immensely help with your dog’s confidence.
If your dog can behave well around their canine counterparts, they are likely to gain confidence in other areas of life.
Dachshunds also need to socialize with humans! Not all dogs love humans, and strangers can often be the cause of distress.
You can help your Dachshund become more comfortable around humans with slow introductions and reward-based training.
Should your Doxie have an intense fear of strangers, do not put them in a room with 10 humans and force them to learn. Take things slowly with one house guest or stranger introduction at a time.
Any time you force your dog into a situation, you are taking a step backwards on any confidence training you’ve made progress on.
Often times if a dog is confident around both humans and fellow pups, they are more likely to build confidence more quickly under other circumstances.
Dachshunds that have some sense of independence are likely to be confident and less likely to be needy or struggle with separation anxiety.
It’s important to crate train your Dachshund as a puppy, or as soon as possible, so you can use this as a tool for helping your Dachshund learn to be alone and do what’s called “self sooth”.
If you start to leave your Dachshund in their crate while you leave the room for a few minutes, they will learn to be ok without you and settle themselves. Then you can slowly extend the time they are left alone.
One important note though:
You coming back in the room is a reward so make sure your Dachshund is calm before you do so.
Teaching a Dachshund to be independent improves their confidence.
If you run into comfort them when they are barking or whining, they will learn that is what they should do to get your attention.
Instead, you want to teach them that being calm is the best way to get your attention.
A trained dog is a happy, confident dog. Training your Dachshund will greatly boost their confidence.
When a dog does a trick or listens, it makes the owner happy. When the owner is happy, that energy transfers to the dog.
No matter what you are training, the act of doing so teaches your dog to look for you for queues, builds a bond, and teaches your dog to trust you in all situations.
Alternatively, training your Dachshund with tools such as shock collars can negatively affect their confidence, and even cause further fear. Fear is often mis-labeled as disobedience in the pet parent community, and it’s crucial to not confuse the two.
The bottom line is this; a trained Dachshund is much more likely to be confident in other areas of life.
Dog sports are a terrific way to increase the bond, trust, and relationship between you and your dog.
Dogs sports are a fun way to teach them new skills while releasing feel-good endorphins through exercise.
Training in dog sports offers an incredibly healthy outlet to get out hyper energy and build a relationship with your dog, all while boosting your Dachshund’s confidence.
Popular dog sports for Dachshunds include obedience, field trials, Earthdog, nosework, and hiking.
Competing in dog sports is another way to socialize your Dachshund with other humans and dogs too, while having the support of a coach. It’s a win-win situation!
Dedicated One-on-One Time
Headed to the drive-thru for a quick bite to eat? Allow your Dachshund to ride along with you. Relaxing on the couch? Get on the floor, put down the phone and play with your pup for 10 minutes.
Spending focused time with your Dachshund will increase their confidence because they are learning to value you and your relationship. The more your Dachshund values you and the bond you two have, the more likely they will be to trust you.
With trust comes the ability to better understand your Dachshund’s needs and be your dog’s advocate so they don’t have to feel like they constantly need to protect themselves.
A dog’s success is setup by us, the pet parents. Dachshunds and other breeds will only become confident when we give them the training and tools they need to do so. Using fear and punishment tactics will only cease or derail the path toward confidence.
If your dog knows you are looking out for their best interest, and protecting them, they won’t always feel like they have to defend themselves from the scary world.
Dogs always to please their owners, so when the two of you can work together on solutions to fear, training and anxiety, it will naturally increase your Dachshund’s morale and overall confidence.
Training your dog and dedicating time to boosting your Dachshund’s confidence can solve many behavioral issues.
If your Dachshund is low on confidence when it comes to a particular situation, you will want to focus additional energy on those scenarios.
As your Dachshund gains confidence, you will notice less of those anxiety-driven behaviors. But remember that the training process to get there takes time and patience.
As you work through confidence-building exercises, you will likely notice a change in their overall personality. If you feel like you are not making progress though, it may be time to consult with a professional – a dog trainer or behaviorist.
Remember to only use positive reinforcement methods of training, as harmful tools such as shock collars can set back confidence building.
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.