Our Experience with Dachshund Training
Ever since we got Mia (well, actually even before we got her) we have been told that dachshunds are a tricky breed to train. Though some dachshunds may be exceptions to this, our girl Mia definitely is not.
When we first got Mia, our focus started with crate training. Mia would cry and cry during the day, and at night she would beg to sleep in our bed. About a month in, her crying and whining was not getting any better so we ended up caving in and letting her sleep in our bed (like most other dachshund owners we know)! Funnily enough, now that she is a little bit older, she will sleep with us for a bit, then go to sleep in her own crate at night, then come back to our bed in the morning. She ended up crate training herself for the nighttime!
During the day though, the crate is now being used more like a "jail" for when she does something bad (such as stealing human food or peeing on the floor!). She never steps foot into her crate by herself during the day.
This brings us to our next topic, potty training! When Mia was a little puppy, we couldn't find any properly sized puppy harnesses so we would take her out using a small collar. She would pull and pull and we would really get worried about her neck. We managed to switch to using cat harnesses, and finally, extra small harnesses for potty time. We find that with Mia, because she has so much energy, harnesses are better for her in case she pulls.
Now that Mia is almost ten months old, she fully knows that when we go outside, she has to do her doggy business. And she is good at it. But still, we have to keep a pee pad inside because we don't have a balcony in our condo. I'm not sure if it's all dachshunds, or just Mia, but she is still peeing five or six times a day, and most days, this is just too many times to take her out! We would love any tips you may have on potty training too. Unfortunately for us, taking away the pee pad just means that Mia will pee where the pee pad once was, and it means extra cleaning for us. For us, it's okay that Mia is a little slower at potty training! We love her just the same!
Here are our takeaways and tips, based on our own experiences:
- Don't be lazy. When your doxie is a puppy and going to the bathroom 10 times a day, take them out. We made the mistake of letting Mia go inside because we live in a condo and don't have the quickest access to go outside, and we are still paying the price of her wanting to pee inside.
- Crate train. Mia's cute puppy dog eyes meant not too much forced crate training from the beginning. Even though she doesn't have many accidents anymore, she never learned to hold her pee. She's peeing up to six times a day which means more trips outside for us.
- (A little controversial but) don't be afraid to be stern and loudly say "no" or "bad girl" after accidents. We started with only the "positive reinforcements" we read about on the internet, such as praise when she would pee outside. She would be so happy and always get treats, but we found that she was still peeing inside. It was only when we started telling her no and ignoring her when she had accidents, that she learned not to pee inside.