Dachshunds are fearless hunters, friendly companions, and curious explorers. They are extremely popular and appealing for a reason. However, many Dachshund owners find their furry friends to be more strong-minded or stubborn than they initially expected.
You’re not alone if your pup has serious personality quirks and even some behavioral issues. Dachshunds are a hound breed, and they’ve been trained and bred for centuries to ignore external stimuli, distractions, and even verbal commands when hunting.
They are stubborn because they act independently without outside interference while on the hunt or guarding. Dachshunds are designed to follow their instincts, and naturally, they prefer to be in charge.
While your Dachshund may be stubborn for various reasons, at the end of the day, Dachshunds are just like any other dog, and often their stubbornness is a result of the world around them and not just a behavioral issue.
Top 5 Reasons Your Dachshund is Stubborn
Pet owners like to use the word “stubborn” to describe their pets’ resistance or lack of obedience. Let’s look at some common causes of stubborn behavior in our canine companions.
1. Lack of Actual Training
Your Dachshund or any dog that isn’t listening to you probably did not have adequate training. No dog learns how to sit in a single five-minute training session. Training your dog requires dedication and consistency; sometimes, even after basic training, they need reminders. Your dog needs training for your trigger or command words, any hand signals, and what the desired outcome or reaction to those words or signals may be.
We understand Dachshunds may not be the easiest dogs to train but building a solid foundation of skills with your Dachshund is invaluable. It takes incredible patience, time, and dedication, and you might have to convince yourself to be more stubborn than your Dachshund to succeed.
2. Unclear Communication
If your Dachshund does not have a firm foundation in their training skills, they’re not being stubborn; they do not know what you are asking them to do. Communication is just as important for dogs as it is for us, and often behavioral stubbornness stems from a misunderstanding rather than malice. A misunderstanding or lack of communication can come off as defiance, and no one would blame you for thinking your dog is blatantly ignoring your call to heel. Dogs need a clear, distinct command directly associated with the desired behavior or outcome. Your dog requires repeated exposure to the command itself, desired outcome, and possible reward before they can even begin to understand what you are trying to do. Without the reinforced and repeated training, your Dachshund won’t know you are asking them to sit.
Ignoring a command should not be seen as defiance, disobedience, or stubbornness in dogs. If something isn’t working or your dog isn’t following your orders, approach the task in a new way. Maybe you need to take your dog back into basic training and teach them how to sit. Don’t get frustrated; get creative.
3. Overwhelmed or Overstimulated
If your Dachshund is not listening to you and it’s had adequate training, you might be dealing with a case of overstimulation. Your dog could be overwhelmed because of new visitors, a change in routine, dinner time excitement, or maybe you just played a game of fetch, and they are still worked up over it. As a breed standard for hunters, Dachshunds were bred to hyper-fixate on their prey—meaning it is their instinct to focus on the nearest target or distraction. It is their instinct, and they cannot help it. If you look around your home or wherever you are training your Dachshund, you will probably see external stimuli flooding the space, such as the television, stereo, or noisy roommates. These are all distractions that can take your Dachshund’s attention away from you.
Train your Dachshund in a quiet place where they can focus. The end goal is to train them but gradually increase the level of distraction and stimuli in the area. Work up slowly, adding more noise and distractions until your dog is completely obedient only to you.
4. There is No Incentive
It is a common misconception that dogs obey their owners simply out of a desire to please them, and that can’t be further from the truth. While it is true that some dogs may choose to sit out of sheer obedience and love for their humans, chances are that it all started in the same place: with hard work, dedication, and lots of treats.
Dogs are motivated by positive reinforcement and incentives. If your Dachshund is not obeying you, it might be because you are not offering them a reward. When you associate and introduce treats into your training and activities with your dog, your Dachshund will be more motivated to perform. Of course, it is entirely possible your dog won’t be interested in treats, so make sure to include other types of rewards or incentives as much as possible. Maybe your dog responds better to praise, petting, and being given their favorite toy than treats.
5. Your Authority Is Being Questioned
While this is most pet owners’ first assumption when your dog is not listening to you, this is the least likely cause out of the five. We don’t want to give you the “be the alpha” or “your dog needs to know who is boss” type speech, but it is true to an extent. Your Dachshund needs to see that you are the clear leader and can handle being in charge. Dachshunds are independent; they were bred to make their own decisions and be independent thinkers.
They will not follow you if they don’t think you can lead them. However, it is not as serious as it may sound. After several training sessions, you’ll notice your Dachshund gradually becoming more obedient and attentive.
Dachshunds are incredible family pets and playful, brilliant companions. While they might be described as stubborn or challenging to train, it is essential to understand that there are outside factors probably at play affecting your dog’s receptivity.
Dachshunds have an independent streak but can still be trained if you are consistent, patient, and determined. As with any training, positive reinforcement is vital. If you yell or punish your Dachshund, that is when they dig their heels in.