You have probably heard that dachshunds are hard to potty train, and you might be wondering if it’s true. It certainly is; these dogs are not easy to train in many ways, and potty training can be a real challenge. Don’t be disheartened if you’re finding it hard to make any headway; you will get there!
Dachshunds are hard to potty train because they are easily distracted and want to be busy all the time. Your dachshund would rather be sniffing, exploring, investigating, or nibbling things than learning where to do its business. These dogs can also be pretty stubborn, despite being intelligent, which can make the process harder.
It isn’t just potty training, either. Dachshunds are not considered a good option for inexperienced dog owners because they can be a challenge to train in many ways, not just when it comes to toileting. Plenty of patience will be needed, but they are rewarding dogs if you put in the time and effort.
Why Are Dachshunds So Tricky To Potty Train?
Dachshunds are challenging because they are easily distracted, which means they are slow to take on board instructions and make connections about what you want them to do. You may have to repeat lessons a lot of times before they sink in.
Why is that? Well, dachshunds are hunting dogs, which means their instincts are very keen. Your dog may seem to be bumbling around happily, but it is constantly on the alert for something to chase. These instincts are present even in young puppies, and they often struggle to concentrate on the task at hand.
How Long Should Potty Training Take?
It depends very much on the dog, how early training starts, and how consistently you are able to train your dog. If you have to depend on puppy pads during the day because you are at work a lot, or if your dog is a particularly excitable or distracted little character, you may find that it takes longer than the estimates.
However, in general, most dachshunds are trained by the time they are six months old, so set this as your goal. Remember, though, that patience is the ultimate goal and you shouldn’t show frustration if your dog is taking longer than this to learn.
What Can I Do To Encourage My Dog To Focus?
One of the most effective training techniques involves getting your dog to associate a word with toileting. Choose any word that you feel works for you, but get them to connect the command with the action through consistent repetition, and give them plenty of rewards when they get it right.
Make sure they are listening and looking at you when you say the word, and point to the grass. This may help them to connect your word with the action they need to do.
Don’t play with your dachshund when you want it to go potty; this will distract it. Make “out” time clear with a word for leaving the house, and wait for them to do their business before you engage in any sort of play.
Praise them for correct behavior, offering treats and enthusiasm. When the dog has finished, take it back indoors, rather than turning the outside space into a playground at this stage. You want your dog to connect the process of being carried outside and given certain phrases with doing its business, and play will weaken this association.
Finally, make outings frequent. Puppies need to go a lot, and the more often their need to toilet coincides with a trip outside, the faster they will get the idea that outside is the appropriate place for such behavior.
How Often Do Dachshunds Need To Go Out?
This will depend a bit on the individual, but you can make some approximate generalizations based on the age of the dog. Bear in mind that young dogs simply can’t hold their bladders for very long, and don’t expect too much too soon! Remember, before six months old, most puppies aren’t fully in control, and accidents aren’t their fault.
An eight to eleven week old puppy will need to go out several times an hour, and you may find that you need to use puppy pads or old towels in conjunction with trips outdoors. This phase is hard work, but it will pass!
At twelve weeks to fourteen weeks, you should notice the bathroom trips getting slightly less frequent, and your puppy may manage with hourly outdoor trips. If practical, focus on getting them outside, rather than using the puppy pads at this stage, but you may still need pads or towels for them.
From fourteen to sixteen weeks, a trip outside once every two hours may be enough. If you notice your dog is struggling, however, increase the frequency of the bathroom breaks. It’s better to get them out regularly than to end up with accidents.
From sixteen to eighteen weeks, your puppy may manage on a bathroom break every three hours, with this going up to every four hours after that time. Four hours is often about the maximum amount of time you will achieve with most dachshunds.
Don’t worry if your puppy doesn’t quite fit in with these estimates, or if they seem to be progressing slowly. They will get there in the end, even if it takes a while! It doesn’t matter if they still need regular breaks at a few months old, as long as they are making gradual progress.
However, if you are concerned about their development, talk to your vet. They may be able to suggest techniques and can check that everything is okay with your dog.
You will need quite a lot of patience in order to train your dachshund puppy to let you know when it needs the toilet and wait to get outside, but with consistent effort, you will succeed. Dachshunds are perfectly capable of learning; they are just stubborn and easily distracted.
Use commands to get them to focus, and stay consistent so your dog doesn’t get confused.