Are Dachshunds hard to train?

Anne Moore (Secretary of the Dachshund Club) and I were asked to write a few words for Dogs Today about the trainability of Dachshunds.  Here are the two questions we were asked and our answers:

Do you believe that Dachshunds are harder to train and require special attention?

If you want a dog that’s going to be easy to train, buy a gundog, or border collie, not a Dachshund. Dachshunds are not noted for their obedience but, with patience and persistence by the owner, they can be trained to basic levels of obedience. However, they are Hounds and when they are off the lead, if they get a scent, they can “go deaf” when it suits them. They do have very strong characters and need to know who the boss is, otherwise they can definitely rule the house. They are loyal companions and generally make good family pets.

In the UK there is an active “working community” of people such as deer-stalkers who use “Teckels” as they call them, to track fallen deer. These are some of the most highly trained and obedient Dachshunds you will see anywhere. They will sit quietly, for hours, waiting for a command to follow a blood trail and then they will lead their owner directly to the fallen animal. Their obedience easily matches the best of any border collie. These are truly exceptional Dachshunds though and most owners would not be able to achieve such control.

Are there some things that you think a Dachshund can never be trained reliably to do?

You’re probably never going to train a Dachshund to be a Guide Dog or Drug Sniffer Dog! Generally, they do obedience up to the point that suits them! For some, that’s a pretty low level; but for working Teckels, it’s quite remarkable.

Overall, these are amazingly fit, healthy and rewarding dogs to own; full of character and trainable enough to be fun.

Ian Seath & Anne Moore, Dachshund Breed Council.

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