Dachshunds are of average intelligence regarding dog breeds, but it depends on what you are measuring. These dogs are stubborn, which means it can take longer for them to learn new commands, but they are also hunters meaning they have incredible instincts.
Keep reading to learn where dachshunds fall on the intelligence scale compared to other dog breeds, what you can do to combat a particularly stubborn pup, and some of the unique skills dachshunds have.
What Is Measured?
If you want to figure out how clever a dachshund is, you need to decide what characteristics contribute to their intelligence. Most people think of canine intelligence as to how obedient and easy to train they are. The less time it takes for a dog to learn a new command, the more clever we will think it is.
Therefore, the real question is how many times will you need to repeat a command before a dachshund learns it, and how often are they to obey that command once it is understood.
How Obedient Are Dachshunds?
A study by Stanley Coren found that dachshunds need to be given a command 25 to 40 times before they learn it. However, this will depend on how complex the command is and over what length of time you are trying to train them. Repeating it a few times a day might take longer for them to thoroughly learn the command than devoting an afternoon to the task.
Coren’s study also found that dachshunds could obey these new commands about half of the times their owners gave the orders. An impressive number but one that still puts them at average intelligence compared to other dog breeds.
Comparing Dachshunds to “Smart Breeds”
Dog breeds that rank as most competent tend to have a less stubborn nature, such as Corgis and Pomeranians. Such breeds, on average, were able to learn new commands after hearing them 5 to 15 times and were likely to obey those commands around 85% of the time after they learned the command.
If you’re looking for the easiest and most obedience dog, then you’d be better off with a Border Collie, which was able to learn new commands after hearing them less than five times and would obey the command almost 100% of the time.
In comparison, it might seem like dachshunds aren’t the sharpest of dogs, but they’re more free thinkers. Your dachshund may try first to find a way to get away with not putting in the work before it complies with your wishes.
Tips for a Stubborn Dachshund
If you have your heart set on getting a dachshund or you already have one, then avoid wasting your breath trying to train a stubborn dog and try some of these tricks:
- Love them unconditionally. Not only will this make it easier to forgive your dachshund when it is stubborn, but a dog that feels loved is more likely to listen to you.
- Patience is key. Remember that it will repetition for your dachshund even to learn a command, let alone respond and obey that command. And make sure you are rewarding your dog whenever they do!
- Maintain a stable lifestyle. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but stability is key to keeping your dog relaxed and getting into a positive routine for training.
- Not all dogs are alike. Look out for things that your dachshund responds well to, and keep those in mind next time your want to ask something of them.
Keep in mind that your dachshund will learn something new eventually and will be more likely to cooperate with you the better they know you. All dogs are trainable given enough time and with the proper training techniques.
There are also some areas of training that dachshunds tend to need more time and dedication to master:
- greeting other dogs
Your dachshund may do better at learning these than others but if you want more specific tips on training your dachshund, then check out these articles from For My Dachshund.
Dachshunds’ Special Intelligence
Where a dachshund’s intelligence shines is in its instincts. They can usually tell what their owners are feeling and what they want. However, intuition is a bit difficult to measure, and while it’s nice to think your dog understands you intuitively, it’s hard actually to prove. Not to mention we all want to believe that our dog is the smartest.
Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers and were so good at it that it took little to no training for them to track down badgers in their burrows. This intuitive ability to learn things on their own is what makes them unique. They can learn from mistakes and try new things when faced with a problem.
Dachshunds are known to understand a wide range of words and use that knowledge to understand what their owners want and get what they want. Ask them if they want food, a walk, or even to play, and you’ll learn to read from their reactions to the words what it is they’re after.
Your dachshund may even learn that if they bring a specific object to you or stand near a door or water bowl, they can get you to react a certain way or give them what they want. They might even try to get that treat without putting in any work first.
While dachshunds are seen as having average intelligence and may give you some issues when training, there’s something to be said for how they can learn for themselves. Whether they’re just trying to get an extra treat or understand when you are feeling down, dachshunds have their kind of smarts.
In the end, how much and how well you train them will ultimately decide how smart your dachshund will become. It will take time and persistence, but in the end, you will have a furry friend who can show off their tricks next time your out for a walk.