Teaching Your Dachshund the House Rules

Love Dog

In This Chapter

  • Housebreaking your Dachsie
  • Nipping puppy biting and chewing in the bud
  • Dealing with that Dachshund bark, bark, bark
  • Teaching your puppy not to jump
  • Working with an old dog on new tricks

You’ve been worrying about training your new Dachshund, haven’t you? What new dog owner doesn’t? Bad behavior is a major cause of puppy and dog abandonment to animal shelters, and the saddest part is that the puppies and dogs aren’t even to blame. They pay the price for their owners’ lack of knowledge and commitment to preventing and dealing with behavior problems in the first place.

But that won’t happen to your Dachshund, because you’re fully prepared to teach him how to behave himself in a human world. Right? Good. In this chapter, I review all the training tips that you and your Dachshund can really sink your teeth into. Good luck, and may your Dachshund soon be the best-behaved dog on the block.

Housetraining 101

Admit it. Housetraining is your biggest worry. Nobody likes to mop up puppy pee and scoop up puppy poop. And maybe you’ve heard that Dachshunds are harder to train than some breeds. I’ll admit it, it’s true — they are. But they aren’t as hard as some breeds, either.
The Mini Dachshund can be the most challenging Dachsie to train, but all Dachshunds have a stubborn streak. You get to go to the bathroom inside the house. Why shouldn’t he? But even if you think he has a point with this Dachshund-centric argument, don’t give in to stained carpets and a stinky house. You can housetrain your Dachshund.
Wouldn’t it be great if your Dachshund never had a single accident in the house? It’s possible. Difficult, but possible. Most importantly, if you do slip up (notice I say if you slip up, not your pup), don’t give up hope. Clean up the mess, clean it well, and resolve to not let it happen again.
Few sights please a new dog owner like the sight of the little guy doing his duty in the proper location. Others may find this preoccupation slightly repulsive, but when your puppy squats or starts to poop in the right spot (outside, on the newspaper, or wherever you decide), don’t be surprised if you suddenly begin to cheer out loud. And you should! (Just don’t startle the puppy into stopping what he’s doing.) Each successful bathroom venture puts you one step closer to housetraining success, and when you’ve housetrained a Dachshund, you know you’ve accomplished something major.
For some puppies and even adult dogs, housetraining is a long, protracted battle between dog and human, sometimes lasting for months. No one should have to put up with that — human or dog. And who wants to? You can eliminate elimination battles with a little knowledge and two to four weeks of extreme vigilance (maybe a little longer with a Mini Dachshund). The following sections show you the way. When your Dachshund is sleeping through the night and asking politely to be let out during the day, you know you have it made.

Understanding the elimination process

Puppies don’t pee and poop at random. A very specific process happens inside them (and inside dogs and even humans of all ages) called the gastrocolic reflex, which is the internal mechanism that governs the elimination process. Eating triggers this reflex. The body makes room for new food by expelling the remains of old food in the colon. The result? Somewhere between 5 and 60 minutes after a puppy eats, he needs to poop. And after your puppy’s tiny bladder fills up enough from drinking water, he’ll need to pee also.
Every dog is different. Some puppies need to go out a lot, and others not so often. But the younger a puppy is, the more often he’ll need to go. As he gets older, he’ll learn to hold it longer. Your job is to know your dog’s timetable.
You can figure out your puppy’s timetable by taking him out every two hours during the first few weeks and watching him carefully. When you have it down, you’ve conquered a major housetraining hurdle. Take your puppy out on a regular schedule (see the next section), and always reward a successful bathroom effort with praise and the occasional treat; soon enough, your incorrigible little Dachshund will be fully housetrained — and sooner than you expected.

Your detailed guide to housetraining

Now that you have the basic principles down (after reading the previous section), you can discover how housetraining will work in your busy day. Take a look at these guidelines, or post them on your refrigerator (and for more reading, check out Housetraining For Dummies, by Susan McCullough [Wiley]).

Tip

If you decide to paper-train your Dachshund — or, like one senior owner I know, allow him to use the extra shower stall as his “litterbox” — the same guidelines apply, except that you whisk him off to his inside elimination station.

Before bringing your puppy inside the house for the very first time, take him to his elimination station while he’s still attached to his leash and stay there until he does his duty.

If he won’t eliminate, take him inside, put him in his den, close the door, and tell him in a gentle voice that you’ll be back. Return in 15 minutes and try again. Don’t take him anywhere else in the house until he has eliminated in his special spot.

Every two hours during the day for the first week, take him out to his special spot.

If he doesn’t go, bring him in and put him in his den (nicely — don’t get mad or none of this will work). Return every 20 to 30 minutes and try again until he goes. (Note: Your puppy may have a stronger bladder, and you may find that you can take him out every three or four hours rather than every two. But start with two-hour intervals until you know your Dachshund’s tendencies.)

Tip

If you have to work all day and nobody will be home, have someone come by every few hours to let out your puppy. If you can’t find a willing friend or family member, consider hiring a pet sitter. These professionals spend much of their days walking and playing with puppies and adult dogs for people who can’t get home from work for long periods of time.

Within 30 minutes of a meal, take him outside until he goes.

After you learn your puppy’s e-time (see the section “Timing is everything”), you can alter this step to fit your puppy’s needs.

For the first week, take your puppy out every four hours during the night.

Set your alarm if you have to, but your Dachshund will probably wake you up. (If he’s sleeping soundly, you can wait it out, but don’t miss the opportunity when he wakes up.)

Always take your puppy out first thing in the morning, at the same time each morning, and immediately before bedtime, at the same time each evening.

Sorry, that means on weekends, too! Continue this habit throughout your Dachshund’s life. (You can always go back to bed after the bathroom break.)

Never, ever miss the sniff-and-circle routine.

If you or someone else can’t watch him, let your puppy rest in his crate where he’ll be much less likely to have an accident.

For the first couple of weeks, be extra vigilant. It could happen any time, even when an elimination session isn’t scheduled. After your Dachshund is housetrained, keep the concept in the back of your mind. Everyone forgets about letting the dog out every now and then. And note that after an extra-big meal, your Dachshund may need more outside time than usual.

For the first couple weeks, keep your Dachshund in uncarpeted areas whenever he’s out of his den.

Cleanup will be much easier, and the scent won’t last like it will in carpet. (Purchase a reliable odor remover specifically designed for pet odors; see Chapter Purchasing Your Dachshund Essentials.)

If your Dachshund makes a mistake, remember that it’s your fault, not your Dachshund’s.

Don’t get mad. You can behave with urgency when whisking your Dachshund outside if you catch him in the act. You can say “No!” sternly and even sharply, which may interrupt him mid-accident so you can get him outside before he finishes. But don’t yell at him (even if you’re extremely irritated, which you very well may be), and for your dog’s sake, don’t hit him or rub his nose in his transgression (or, I should say, your transgression). He won’t get it. He really won’t. It will just make things worse, and he’ll learn to fear you.

Dachshunds are fastidious, clean animals, and they lack the typical hound-dog odor. They don’t want to eliminate in a manner that displeases you, and they don’t want to mess up their living environments. They need only a little guidance from you to do what makes everyone happy. Be a patient, consistent, and loving housetrainer.

Tip

To help you keep track of when to take your Dachshund outside in the first week, make a copy of Table 13-1 (or make your own version) and circle the appropriate time of each successful elimination. The chart lists times in two-hour intervals throughout the day and fourhour intervals throughout the night, assuming that your Dachshund gets up at 7 a.m. and goes to bed at 11 p.m. Times are approximate. Modify them for your own schedule. 

Table 13-1                                              Daily Elimination Schedule
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
9 a.m.
9 a.m.
9 a.m.
9 a.m.
9 a.m.
9 a.m.
9 a.m.
11 a.m.
11 a.m.
11 a.m.
11 a.m.
11 a.m.
11 a.m.
11 a.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
3 p.m.
3 p.m.
3 p.m.
3 p.m.
3 p.m.
3 p.m.
3 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
9 p.m.
9 p.m.
9 p.m.
9 p.m.
9 p.m.
9 p.m.
9 p.m.
11 p.m.
11 p.m.
11 p.m.
11 p.m.
11 p.m.
11 p.m.
11 p.m.
3 a.m.
3 a.m.
3 a.m.
3 a.m.
3 a.m.
3 a.m.
3 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.
7 a.m.

Common housetraining errors

Don’t fall prey to these common housetraining mistakes and you’ll have a big-boy puppy in no time:

– Missing your puppy’s sniff-and-circle routine

– Leaving your puppy unattended before he’s fully trained

– Not taking your puppy to the same place for elimination each and every time on his leash

– Allowing your puppy to eat or drink water after about 7 p.m.

If he’s really thirsty, let him drink water but be sure to take him out again before bedtime.

– Not taking your puppy out immediately before you put him in his kennel for the night

– Letting your puppy sleep outside his crate for the first week

Biting, Gnawing, Chewing — Nixing All Toothy Indiscretions

Puppies bite, and if you didn’t know it before you brought your Dachshund home, you surely know it by now (see Figure 13-1 for an example of a Dachsie that may be just waiting to gnaw on something!). Sometimes called mouthing, puppy biting is really just oral exploration. Great for puppies. Not so great for new shoes, chair legs, wall moldings, and the human fingers that are often the subjects of their inquiry.
Figure 13-1: Without training, he’ll chew on you and everything you hold dear! (Photo courtesy of Gail Painter.)
Some people think that puppy mouthing is cute and like to excuse it because it’s a puppy’s way of exploring the world. But you won’t think the behavior is so cute when your puppy becomes an adult dog and is still shredding your possessions and nipping at people whenever they annoy him or he wants their attention. To a Dachshund, even a “Hey, cut that out!” is better than being ignored. The following sections inform you of all the necessary biting info and help you nip the nipping in the bud.

Don’t let him chew on just anything!

Puppy teeth are sharp as needles. That’s just one reason to discourage the mouthing of human flesh and other objects, but there are other reasons:

– Letting your puppy chew on your fingers teaches him that chewing is okay. You aren’t doing your puppy any favors. Others won’t be as indulgent as you, but your puppy won’t know that. He’ll only know that chewing fingers must be fine because you let him do it.

The first important measure you must take to nip indiscriminate mouthing in the bud is to never allow your puppy to chew on your fingers. If he tries, don’t let him. Keep your hands away from his mouth. If he accidentally gets a mouth full of fingers, quickly remove them and say “No!” If he never gets a chance to chew on you, he’ll be less likely to give it a thought.

Tip

If your puppy bites at your fingers, you can try placing your thumb under his tongue, holding his lower jaw gently but firmly, and saying “No teeth” for 10 to 20 seconds. This usually stops finger biting completely within one week.

– Because puppies love to chew everything, you must make it very clear which things are okay to chew and which are not. Your puppy must learn that a few select objects are chewable — and nothing else. This rule sets the stage for good oral behavior for the rest of your puppy’s life. Never vary it.

Objects your puppy shouldn’t chew include furniture, shoes, toilet paper, string, as well as anything he could choke on, destroy, or that could injure him. Use your common sense. Prevention is best.

However, you can’t store your sofa away for the first year of your puppy’s life. Same goes for the dining room chair, tables, and any other large piece of furniture your Dachshund takes a fancy to. If your dog insists on chewing these things, liberally apply some Bitter Apple or other chew-deterrent spray according to the instructions.

You can also give your puppy a quick, harmless squirt from a water bottle or shake a soda can with pennies in it to grab his attention. You can even employ the ultrasonic sound from an electronic device called Pet Agree. This gets a puppy’s attention painlessly but effectively so you can redirect him from what he’s doing. That’s when you employ your secret weapon: a well-placed chew toy (see the following section).

Warning!

If your Dachshund has never been a big chewer but suddenly becomes destructive or chews obsessively (including selfchewing), he may have a medical problem. Visit your vet and have him checked out. Skin problems, allergies, epilepsy, separation anxiety, or any number of other disorders may be the cause. Some dogs suffer from a condition, similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans, that causes them to chew obsessively. Many conditions can be effectively treated by a veterinarian.

Whatever method you use to nip biting in the bud, you’ll be developing something called bite inhibition in your young puppy’s brain. He’ll learn that he’s not supposed to bite. If you never teach him, he’ll never know this important bit of information about living with humans — and adult Dachshunds have strong jaws and big teeth.

Harnessing the power of a well-placed chew toy

Some Dachshunds chew on things more than others, and some Dachshunds aren’t interested in any toy but their favorite. For the exuberant chewers, you can make use of a well-placed chew toy at every opportunity. Store safe, sturdy chew toys all over the house so that whenever your Dachshund gets too interested in chewing your fingers, toes, shoes, or furniture, you can immediately remove him with a firm “No” and then hand him an acceptable option. When he chews the toy instead, heap on the praise. “What a good dog!”

Your detailed guide to bite prevention

Ah, just what you’ve been waiting for. Here are the detailed guidelines to follow with your new dog in order to say good-bye to painful puppy bites and destructive chewing:

From the first moment you meet your new puppy, never, ever let him chew on you or anyone else.

Pull your fingers away and say “No!” and then give him a chew toy. Praise him when he chews it.

From the first moment you meet your new puppy, never, ever let him chew on anything you don’t want him to chew on when he becomes an adult.

Apply some chew-deterrent spray according to the instructions and distribute chew toys around the house.

Keep chew toys in every room in which your puppy is allowed — plus one in his den and one in the car if he travels with you.

Whenever he even thinks about chewing something forbidden, pop a chew toy in his mouth. He’ll soon associate the chewing urge with a chew toy.

And if you catch him in the act, pull the old switcheroo: Remove him from the bad object and replace the void with the good chew toy.

Not sure how to anticipate when your puppy feels like chewing? Watch him.

Some puppies start to chomp their jaws or lick their lips and look around.

Never fly off the handle because your puppy has chewed something forbidden.

You either left an object out when you shouldn’t have or weren’t supervising his play. Guide him toward good behavior and don’t reinforce bad behavior by making a big fuss.

Dachsie Moxie

Help! Dachsie’s a demolition machine!
Some people complain that their Dachshunds destroy things when left alone. If you have a destructive chewer and must leave him alone, you need to keep him safely confined when you’re away. Destructive dogs don’t just wreck your stuff, they risk injuring themselves by choking, mouth and throat lacerations, intestinal obstruction, and even poisoning. Your Dachshund won’t mind naps in his den, as long as you don’t keep him in there for more than four or five hours without a break.

That’s it. The tricky part is to be eternally consistent. Always enforce the rules. If you miss an enforcement opportunity, move on. Certainly don’t punish your Dachshund; resolve never again to let him chew anything he shouldn’t chew. I know, you’re only human. But do your best — the more consistent you are, the faster your Dachsie will learn.

Convincing Your Little Barker to Quiet Down

If you have a Dachshund, you have a barker. Dachshunds bark for many reasons — some of them reasonable and some of them unreasonable. It isn’t fair to get annoyed or angry at your Dachshund for occasional barking. He’s been bred to bark for good reasons. But obsessive or unnecessary barking is something you can address and, in most cases, resolve. But how do you do it? The first step is to understand why your Dachsie is barking. The following sections take you there and beyond.

Warning!

Barking too much can be harmful for your Dachshund’s health. If he barks obsessively, he puts himself under a lot of physical stress. Obsessive barking can also be a sign of a health problem or a sign that your Dachshund is particularly insecure or fearful (or just mind-numbingly bored). Barking also is harmful for you. At best, you’ll find yourself continually irritated with your Dachshund. At worst, your neighbors won’t be happy with you, and if you live in an apartment, you could be asked to leave or even be evicted if the noise becomes too bothersome.

Understanding why Dachshunds bark

Dachshunds bark more than some breeds because barking was part of the original Dachshund plan. When used in hunting, a Dachshund would corner its prey and then bark loudly and sharply to alert the hunter or farmer to come and finish the job. Sometimes, the Dachshund’s bark had to be heard across great distances, or even from underground.
So, even if you don’t hunt with your Dachshund, you’ll still reap the, ahem, “benefits” of centuries of breeding. It isn’t his fault, but it is something you should be prepared for.
Today, your Dachshund will bark for many reasons:

– Someone is invading his territory (his house, yard, human).

– Something resembles a threat, and he thinks you should be alerted.

– Something resembles prey (a squirrel, a cat, a piece of trash blowing down the street), and he wants to get it.

– He wants to get out of wherever you’ve put him (a pen, a den, a room with a gate or closed door, a yard with a fence).

– He wants your attention or wants you to return after you’ve left.

– He’s really excited.

– He’s suspicious or fearful of someone or something, such as a visitor or a noise (for example, a ringing phone or doorbell).

– He’s bored or wants you to stop ignoring him right now.

Some of these reasons are justifiable — even desirable. If a stranger is invading your property, you want to know about it, and your Dachshund is just the guy to tell you. In such a case, you can determine who the invader is, and then you can show your Dachshund that the person is okay by letting in the visitor, or you can call the police. Praising your Dachshund for alerting you to the presence of trespassers (good or bad ones) is perfectly acceptable. “Thank you, good boy! Now you can be quiet.” However, your Dachshund also needs to know when to stop.

Removing the cause of unwanted barking

Centuries of breeding aside, you shouldn’t have to listen to unreasonable barking all day. You can stop barking by removing the cause. Doing so involves determining the cause first, of course (see the previous section).
But after you determine the cause of your dog’s unreasonable barking, you don’t want to encourage it. Heed the following tips:

– If your Dachshund barks at everything that moves outside the front window, you need only to keep him from looking out the front window. Draw the blinds or close the curtains, or keep your Dachshund in another room.

– If a squirrel is teasing your Dachshund in the backyard, bring your Dachshund inside.

– If the neighborhood kids are teasing your Dachshund through the fence, shame on them. Call their parents.

– If your Dachshund barks frantically whenever you leave him alone, begin keeping him in his den when you’re away. Also practice keeping him in his den when you’re home so that he knows his den is a safe place and doesn’t always indicate your absence. Don’t talk to your dog when he’s in the den, though.

Tip

This increases the likelihood of anxiety problems. Talk to your vet or a trainer about strategies to address severe separation anxiety if this is a problem. Separation anxiety can be effectively treated by a professional, especially if caught early.

– If your Dachshund is really excited and barking up a storm, calm him down. A few happy barks uttered out of sheer joy when you and your Dachshund are playing together won’t hurt anything, however.

– If your Dachshund is bored, give him something to do. Sometimes a five-minute, rousing game of fetch or a few favorite toys and a Kong stuffed with a couple of biscuits is all it takes (see Chapter Putting Your Dachshund through Basic Training for more on the importance of play).

Tip

If your Dachshund is suspicious or fearful of particular noises, you can desensitize him to these sounds by exposing him to them over and over while keeping him safe and giving him treats. You want him to associate the sounds with rewards rather than fear. Desensitization turns a negative into a positive. Ask a behaviorist or trainer for tips on how to do this — especially if you’re unsure about it or if your Dachshund seems severely traumatized by harmless sounds or objects. You don’t want to make the problem worse.

After you eliminate all the causes you can and help your Dachshund resolve any irrational fears, your next step is to train your dog not to bark (see the following section).

Warning!

Generally, I would never recommend having your dog debarked — a surgical procedure that alters your dog’s vocal cords to lessen the volume of barking — unless the only alternative is to abandon the pet or face legal action. In fact, many vets now refuse to do this surgery because they believe it’s cruel.

Also, shock collars and citrus spray collars are designed to discourage barking, but they punish a dog for behaving according to instinct. However, in severe cases of obsessive barking, these kinds of collars may be helpful, distracting the dog from his barking and giving you a chance to intervene and calm him down or redirect him. This is certainly preferable to debarking. Talk to your vet for more information if you have a severe case, but don’t be too quick to use any of these solutions. Give training a fair chance first.

Manipulating your Dachshund’s instincts

Training your dog not to bark requires an effort contrary to your human instinct. First, when he barks, you must show no emotion whatsoever except, perhaps, for a quiet disdain. Yelling and making a big fuss only reinforces his behavior, because he thinks you’re barking along with him.

Remember

Basically, there are two major keys to training your Dachshund not to bark unreasonably:

– Remember that some barking is justified and desirable.

– Never, ever react to unreasonable or undesirable barking in any way except to dispassionately remove your Dachshund from the source of the barking when possible.

That isn’t so hard to remember, is it?

Jumping: Not Joyous for Everyone

Dachshunds get so excited. They want so desperately to capture their humans’ attention. They want to see what’s going on, and that’s hard to do when they live so close to the ground. You can almost hear them thinking: “How can I help but jump up? It’s a fascinating, stimulating, and exhilarating world up there above my head!”
Don’t buy it for a minute. Your Dachshund doesn’t have to jump up on you or anybody else — ever. He can see just fine, and you, as his tall friend, have the responsibility of getting down to his level every so often. It’s only fair if you don’t want him to try to ascend to your level.
Fortunately, Dachshunds aren’t very big, so they won’t knock you down if they jump on you. Jumping is, nonetheless, bad manners, and your friends and neighbors may not think it’s as cute as you do. Plus, jumping can put an unnecessary strain on your Dachshund’Technical Stuff back. If you train your puppy not to jump from day one, everyone will be impressed with how well-mannered and restrained your little Dachshund is. Hop on to the following sections to find out how.

How you inadvertently encourage jumping

If your Dachshund jumps, he does it because you encourage it. Yes, you do. Encouraging jumping is all too easy. All it takes is a look, a smile, or any other sign of pleasure or attention that very first time your Dachshund applies his front paws to your lower legs.
Here’s a scenario for you: You get home after a long afternoon. You can’t wait to see your new puppy (it’s been since lunch, after all — or longer if you have a dog walker or pet sitter). You open the door to his den, and he comes bounding joyfully toward you. Your face lights up as your puppy leaps up against your legs. How cute! You smile and say, “Good dog!” And you scoop your puppy into your arms. You’re both in heaven.
You’ve just “told” your puppy that he gets a great big reward if he jumps up on you. Now he’ll do it again and again and try it on others, and he’ll keep doing it until he’s full grown. If you suddenly get mad at him when he does it, he won’t understand why. He’ll think you’re unpredictable and maybe a little bit scary. But he won’t think, “Oh, I guess now I shouldn’t jump up anymore.”

Re-training your jumper

If you’ve already reacted with positive reinforcement to your jumping puppy, don’t despair. It isn’t too late to reteach your Dachshund that jumping isn’t allowed. Even jumping adult Dachshunds can learn not to jump. Getting mad isn’t the way to teach, however.

Remember

Every single time you come home or even into a room and your puppy runs to you and jumps up, you need to do something very difficult: Completely ignore him. Don’t talk to him and don’t look at him. Pretend he isn’t even there. Wait it out. He’ll be confused at first. He’ll probably try to jump with even greater fervor. Eventually, though, he’ll give up. Don’t give up before he does.

When your puppy stops jumping on you, turn toward him and really pile on the praise. Get way down low so he can see your face. That’s what he was trying to do, anyway. “Helloooo, puppy! Whatta good doggy! I missed you soooo much!” Pet him, offer him a treat — whatever will make him happy. You’ve just rewarded him for not jumping!
If, in the process of your praises, he jumps on you again, completely turn it off. Ignore him again. Don’t look at him and don’t speak. When he stops jumping on you again, praise him again, giving him all your attention.
Your puppy may not get it immediately, but after a few times, he’ll get the gist. Dachshunds are smart puppies! After that point, never, ever reward him or pay any attention to him when he jumps on you.

Tip

As soon as he stops, however, immediately turn your full attention on him with all the praise and petting you can muster. You also can meet jumping with a blank expression and the word “Sit.” When your dog sits, you can kneel down and praise him lavishly as he welcomes you home. (For more on training your Dachshund how to “Sit,” see Chapter Putting Your Dachshund through Basic Training.)

If your puppy jumps on other people when they come to visit, have them do the same thing. Instruct visitors before they come inside about the plan. When your puppy quits jumping, a visitor can meet, greet, and pet him.

Teaching an Older Dog New Tricks

If you’ve adopted an adult Dachshund (see Chapter Rescue Me! Adopting a Dachshund), he may already be housetrained, he may never bite or chew inappropriate things, he may not bark inappropriately, and he may know never to jump up on people. Or, more likely, he may need a little work on any or all of these areas.

Remember

Teaching an adult Dachshund is essentially the same as teaching a puppy. All the steps and methods that work for puppies work for adults, too. Some adults take longer to learn because they’re changing old habits. Others learn much faster because they’re more mature and have more life experience with humans than a pup. Maybe your adult dog used to be housetrained, got out of the habit, but will remember it quickly. Or maybe he’s very eager to please you, so he tries extra hard to learn the rules.

In any case, don’t assume that your adult Dachshund is untrainable. You know that line about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks? Forget it. Old dogs are perfectly capable of learning good house manners.

Tip

If your adult Dachshund seems to be having severe problems with behavior, first call your vet to rule out a medical problem. Then consider hiring a professional trainer and/or an animal behaviorist or canine behavioral consultant. Your adult Dachshund may have experienced abuse or neglect in the past, or perhaps he’s never been trained in any way. A professional can help you address his issues and resolve them in the Dachshund’s best interests. Do everything you can to help your adult dog adjust happily to his new home so you can live together in peace. (See Chapters Determining Your Trainer Profile and Putting Your Dachshund through Basic Training for more on this topic.)

by Eve Adamson

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