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Training Triumphs: Teaching your Dachshund to live politely with other pets

A Dachshund puppy playing with a cat

Image by Ilona Ilyés from Pixabay


Accommodating all needs and personalities in a multi-pet household requires a proactive approach, especially when one of the pets is a Dachshund. Bred originally for hunting, Dachshunds possess a strong instinct to chase and dig, which can influence their interactions with other pets.


In addition, their determination and boldness, while admirable, can sometimes manifest as stubbornness. The ultimate goal is to create a harmonious environment where Dachshunds and their fellow pets can thrive together.


Consequently, this article will explore how to teach your Dachshund to live politely with other pets and the suitable training techniques to achieve that goal.

Training Techniques for Peaceful Coexistence

The training techniques and process will depend on the type of pet mingling with a Dachshund. For example, if your home has a cat or other dog, you may not use the same approach as when you have different species of Tetras in fish tanks.


For peaceful cohabitation, a Dachshund should master several essential commands. For example, “sit,” “stay,” “come” and “leave it” are foundational commands that can help you establish basic obedience and control.


Sit and stay commands are for managing your Dachshund during introductions, ensuring they remain calm and stationary. The "come" command can recall the pet from undesirable interactions or when it focuses on another pet. On the other hand, "leave it" is an invaluable command for preventing resource guarding and teaching your dog to ignore other pets’ belongings.


You can enhance the training process using a range of tools and aids. For example, clickers offer a clear, consistent signal of correct behaviour, speeding up the learning process by marking the exact moment of a desired action.


Additionally, harnesses and leashes are essential for maintaining control during initial meetings and ensuring the safety of all pets. Another strategy is using baby gates or playpens to manage the environment, allowing gradual visual and olfactory introductions before direct contact occurs.


The following are strategies that can make the training process productive:

Gradual introduction

A calm and controlled environment is crucial when introducing a Dachshund to other pets. It minimises stress and anxiety for all animals in the home and lays a solid foundation for positive interactions. Such an environment allows the Dachshund to process new experiences without feeling threatened, reducing the likelihood of defensive aggression. Controlled introductions should be gradual, with each pet securely restrained to prevent unforeseen reactions.


For example, when introducing a Dachshund to a cat, the Dachshund can be on a leash and the cat in a crate. This setup allows both animals to see and smell without physical contact, enabling a slow and safe adjustment.

Positive Reinforcement

It encourages desired behaviour by rewarding it on the principle that behaviours followed by positive outcomes are more likely to be repeated in the future. The reward can take many forms, including treats, praise, petting, or playtime, depending on what motivates your Dachshund animal most effectively.


Positive reinforcement differs from punishment-based training, which discourages undesirable behaviours, often leading to fear or anxiety. By contrast, positive reinforcement fosters trust and a willingness to learn. Additionally, this method promotes a more enjoyable learning experience for the dog and the owner, which can strengthen the bond between them.

Join Group Socialisation Classes

They expose your pet to diverse social situations in a controlled and safe manner, offering numerous benefits for their behaviour and temperament.


One of the primary advantages of group socialisation classes is the improvement of social skills. For example, Dachshunds can learn appropriate social cues and behaviours through interaction with dogs of varying sizes, breeds, and temperaments.


Additionally, regular exposure to new dogs and people can significantly reduce social anxiety, making Dachshunds more comfortable and confident in various settings.


Group classes also enhance trainability by incorporating basic obedience training alongside socialisation exercises. This approach improves manners in social settings and reinforces responsiveness to commands.


Moreover, these classes serve as an educational platform for owners, teaching them how to interpret their dogs' body language and signals.

Professional trainers supervise these sessions, ready to offer guidance and intervene if necessary. They provide personalised advice for managing specific behavioural issues.

Common Challenges of Teaching a Dachshund to Live with Other Pets

One common issue is their propensity for stubbornness. Consistency and patience are crucial to addressing this. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, can motivate a Dachshund to engage in desired behaviours during socialisation.


Another challenge is their strong prey drive that may cause them to chase smaller animals or act aggressively towards them. Early socialisation with various animals in controlled environments can help mitigate this instinct. Further, introducing them to different animals and rewarding calm behaviour can teach them to be more accepting and less reactive.


Dachshunds may also exhibit territorial behaviour, which can be problematic in multi-pet households. Establishing clear boundaries and a structured routine can help reduce this. In addition, providing individual attention and ensuring each pet has its own space and resources can minimise feelings of jealousy and competition.


Furthermore, their small stature sometimes leads to fearfulness or anxiety around larger dogs. As such, socialising Dachshunds with larger, calm dogs in a safe, controlled setting can help build confidence. Supervised play dates that allow them to interact with larger dogs at their own pace can be particularly beneficial.


Additionally, incorporating gradual exposure techniques and positive reinforcement during these sessions enhances their comfort and trust. For instance, starting with brief encounters at a distance and slowly closing the gap as the Dachshund shows signs of relaxation can make a significant difference. Regular, consistent interactions under these controlled conditions can significantly reduce their anxiety and improve their overall social skills with larger breeds.


Despite their small stature, Dachshunds are known for their bravery. They often show no hesitation in asserting themselves, even with larger animals. This fearlessness and a tendency towards jealousy and resource guarding underscore the importance of early and consistent training to foster peaceful coexistence in a multi-pet household.


Socialisation exercises, particularly in group settings, can equip Dachshunds with the necessary skills to navigate interactions with other pets. While doing this, incorporate positive reinforcement to encourage your pet to maintain the desirable behaviour. In addition, set clear boundaries to mitigate potential conflicts.


Guest Blogger: Alison Miller


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