Constant Barking

Oh, these dachshunds can be barkers. It's in their genetic makeup. Barking serves many purposes for the dachshund. When they are hunting, they use different types of barks to communicate with the hunters. Therefore, dachshund puppies who are going to partake in hunting or Earthdog activities are generally not discouraged from barking at game or when displaying other hunting instincts.

Dachshunds who are not hunting (or even hunters) may also have good reasons for barking. Before you attempt to limit your dachshund's barking, first determine what her reasons are. Barking to alert you that someone is approaching the front door should be rewarded. This is a good dachshund. Barking to let you know that someone is walking by your back yard is also justified. However, if in either of these situations the dachshund continues to bark after you've recognized that she did a good job, you need to teach her to “hush.”

If your puppy does not stop barking when someone is at the door, begin by putting her in a down. Dogs do not (usually) bark while in a down. As soon as your pup is in a down and not barking, reward her with a treat. Then, give the command “Hush,” along with a hand signal of your choice. (Many owners use the single index finger across their lips or extended toward the dog.) Reward your dog immediately again, and release her from the down with an “Okay!”

Repetition is key, as is catching your pup doing the right thing. Your puppy needs to learn that she is not only rewarded for sounding the alert, but also for hushing when you ask her to be quiet.

Barking to Get Attention

Is your bold little dachsie puppy barking to get your attention? This can be very, very annoying, and unchecked, the behavior will only escalate as the puppy grows into an adult. Nip it in the bud now. Do not attempt to quiet your dog by shouting at her or attempting to correct her physically; these are both big no-nos in training. Rather, ignore the barking. If the barking does not get your dachshund what she wants, she will eventually stop.

If doing nothing about your dog's barking drives you a bit crazy, give your dog a command (like “Hush”) and reward her. You've stopped the barking, you're reinforcing good behavior, and you are also giving your dachsie what she needs — more attention.

Self-Rewarding Activity

The unattended dachshund can very quickly develop the bad habit of barking at literally everything. This can happen if the puppy perceives the response he gets when he barks as being rewarding. For example, let's say your puppy is loose in your home, and someone comes to the front door. Your puppy barks, and eventually the person leaves and walks away. In the puppy's mind, his barking is what made the stranger go away. That's pretty cool stuff for a puppy.

The same is true of the puppy who is left alone in the back yard. Whenever he barks at passing strangers, dogs, squirrels, cars, or buses, they all eventually go away. Your puppy will be delighted that he has so much control over all these people, dogs, and things!

The solution is not to leave your puppy unattended. When you're home, make sure you're with your pup, and you can reward him for alerting and for responding to the “Hush” command. At all other times, the puppy should be safely contained in his crate, or if he is allowed more freedom in the home, not allowed access to the front door.

Isn't there anything I can use to quiet this dog?!

There are such things as anti-barking collars, which can emit a citronella spray, a high-pitched tone, or a low electronic shock every time the dog barks. These collars aren't recommended for dachshunds. Barking is so ingrained into the dachshund that this breed is likely to suffer any painful consequences it has to in order to bark. It is much kinder and simpler to remove the stimulus (the cause of the dog's barking) or remove the dog — in short, keep the dachsie in her crate when you can't supervise.

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