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Why Do Dachshunds Howl So Much? Is There a Way to Stop Them?

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

Old Wirehaired Dachshund howling

Dachshunds—also known as “Doxies” are known for many things—their cute, sausage-shaped bodies, feistiness, friendliness, and intelligence. A vocal breed, they’re also somewhat “opinionated” and won’t hesitate to let you know with barks and howls when something’s up. Dachshunds are especially vocal because of their background as hunters.

In this post, we’ll explore why Dachshunds are so vocal and what they might be trying to tell you with their barks and howls. We’ll also share some tips on desensitizing your Dachshund to sounds that may trigger excessive vocalizing.

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Why Are Dachshunds So Vocal?

Dachshunds were bred to hunt prey—and not just any prey. The word “Dachshund” means “badger dog” in German because these little dogs were used to hunt down larger animals than you may expect.

If you factor in that badgers can grow as long as 34 inches and a standard Dachshund only grows as long as around 16 inches, it’s no wonder the Dachshund has a reputation for fearlessness. When hunting badgers and other burrowing animals like rabbits, they would vocalize with barks or howls to alert their humans to what they had found and communicate with fellow hunting dogs.

This is why, if you’re ever out walking in the woods or a forest with your Dachshund and they find some kind of hidey-hole or burrow, you’re likely to hear them whining, howling, or barking as a way of saying “Hey! Look what I’ve found!”. They may also simply be excited or happy and want to make it known to all.

Big brown Dachshund howling in the field
Image Credit: Anilsharma26, Pixabay

Other Reasons Dachshunds Bark and Howl

As a vocal breed in general, it’s not uncommon to hear Dachshunds howling or barking at things not related to hunting or exploring.

They may vocalize for the following reasons:
  • To express excitement
  • To get your attention
  • To alert you to something
  • They’re performing watchdog duties
  • To communicate with other dogs
  • To greet you
  • To respond to noises like music or sirens

One of the most adorable Dachshund traits is that they’re never averse to a good old singsong. They’re also nosy and enjoy being involved in absolutely everything. This is why you may hear them howling along with you as you sing to music. They may also mistake the high-pitched sound of sirens for another dog trying to communicate with them and howl back in response.

In some cases, medical issues may cause your Dachshund to howl as a way of letting you know they’re in pain or discomfort. Separation anxiety is another possible cause of excessive howling. Dachshunds are known for being somewhat clingy due to their affectionate, people-loving temperaments. This makes them more prone to separation anxiety.

How Can I Stop My Dachshund Howling So Much?

Being noisy is just part and parcel of being a Dachshund, but if they’re vocalizing excessively, it may signal a medical or stress-related issue requiring veterinary treatment.

Sensitivity to certain sounds may cause your Dachshund to howl and bark excessively, and, if this is the case with your Dachshund, you might want to try desensitizing them to such triggers.

Desensitization won’t happen overnight, and you may need to do it over several weeks or months to see any effects. You’ll need to get onto Spotify or download sound effects that mimic the sounds which cause your Dachshund to start howling excessively and have a bag of your Dachshund’s favorite treats on standby.

Battersea in the U.K. recommends starting by playing the sound effect quietly for ten minutes three or four times daily, gradually increasing the volume until your dog starts to respond to the sound. When they stop responding to the sound effect, continue to increase the volume gradually.

You can do this over several weeks until your Dachshund doesn’t react to the sound anymore. If your dog shows signs of fear at any point, stop the sound effect and, when you do another session later on, start from a lower volume.

When your dog has become desensitized to the sounds they were once afraid of, you can start using treats to build a positive association with the sound. While making sure your dog can’t see you doing it, play the sound effect, and then give your dog a treat straight away.

a dachshund dog lying on its owner's lap_Leka Sergeeva_Shutterstock
Image By: Leka Sergeeva, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

To sum up, Dachshunds are noisy because they were bred to hunt, so their instincts tell them to howl and bark to alert you to something, get attention, or communicate with other dogs. It’s simply a breed trait! If, however, you’re concerned that anxiety or a medical issue might be causing your Dachshund’s excessive vocalizing, please consult your vet for advice.

Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

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