Why Are Dachshunds So Stubborn?

Alongside their short, stubby legs and long bodies, dachshunds are also known for their stubbornness. It’s difficult to imagine such a small dog being so strong-willed, but make no mistake, these tiny pooches won’t do anything they don’t want to!

But why are dachshunds so stubborn? The breed was originally bred to track small animals such as badgers and rabbits, making them extremely prey-driven and independent. These two traits are among one of the main reasons why dachshunds have a stubborn streak.

If you’re not sure how to reduce your dachshund’s mischievousness, we’ll be going over some ways to help you decrease your dog’s stubbornness and disobedience.

How Stubborn Are Dachshunds?

three dachshund dogs

Dachshunds can be extremely stubborn and strong-minded, which stems back from their hunting origins and high prey drive.

As a result, these dogs are highly independent and willful, with a desire to make their own decisions and actions.

Stubbornness in dachshunds manifests in various forms, from refusing to go outside in cold or wet weather to flat-out ignoring commands.

While this stubborn streak can certainly make dachshunds a little challenging to train, especially compared to more affable breeds, a lot of it comes down to your dog’s personality and unique traits.

Some dachshunds are more headstrong and independent than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to train or become obedient.

With patience and persistence, dachshunds can be as well-manned and behaved as any other dog.

7 Reasons Why Dachshunds Are So Stubborn

There are a few reasons why dachshunds tend to be so stubborn, including a lack of training, excess energy, confusion, fear, a lack of motivation, and simply because of their hunting origins.

a stubborn wire-haired dachshunds

1. Natural Instincts

Dachshunds are scent hounds that were initially bred to hunt small animals like badgers, rabbits, and foxes.

Although all dogs have a prey drive to some degree, it’s significantly higher in dachshunds due to their origins.

The breed’s natural desire to hunt, independence, and intelligence make them more likely to make their own choices than listen to orders from someone else.

2. Lack of Training

Dachshunds who have not undergone training to obey basic commands, especially when in an environment rife with distractions, can refuse to listen to their owner.

For instance, if your dog is at the park investigating new smells, sights, and sounds, they probably won’t want to come back when called.

However, a well-trained dog will return when prompted as they know you’re in charge. A dachshund who hasn’t been taught recall or other simple commands will most likely refuse to come back to you.

3. Lack of an Authoritative Figure

Like with any dog, it’s crucial that you, the owner, are always the alpha of the “pack”. A dog who doesn’t view you as an authoritative figure or the leader will act out and be disobedient.

The more you train your dachshund with positive reinforcement, the more they will perceive you as the person in charge.

Giving your dog orders and commands will help them become accustomed to listening to you.

4. Excess Energy

dachshund waiting to go for a walk

If your dachshund is constantly bouncing off the walls and ignoring what you say, they may not be getting enough exercise or stimulation.

You may need to increase your dog’s walks or playtime sessions to help them blow off steam.

In fact, most dogs that display hyperactive behavior are doing so due to an inadequate exercise routine.

Standard adult dachshunds need at least 60 minutes of exercise each day, whereas miniature adult dachshunds need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

5. Confusion

If other people in your household are using different methods to train your dachshund, your dog won’t know what commands to obey and the appropriate response.

For example, if you’re discouraging your dog from jumping onto furniture but another household member is encouraging them or letting it slide from time to time, your dachshund will be confused as to who to listen to.

You need to be consistent with rules, so make sure everyone you live with is on the same page to prevent any confusion or mixed signals.

6. Fear

dachshund fear

Positive reinforcement is key when training dogs as they are more likely to repeat an action if they’re rewarded for it.

Punishing your dog and yelling at them for bad behavior or slipping up commands can make them begin to fear you, which can ultimately lead to aggression.

Instead of scolding your dog when they make a mistake, praise them for when they do something good!

For instance, if your dog pees inside the house, take them immediately outside and if they do their business outside, give them a scratch behind the ear or a tasty reward.

Each time your dog relieves themselves in the correct area, praise them and offer a reward. Doing so will help your dachshund start to associate peeing outside with a positive outcome and they will be more likely to do it again.

Shouting at your dog for having a toilet accident inside is counterproductive as they may start to pee out of fear or urinate in a more discreet area next time. Some dogs may even attempt to hide the evidence.

That’s because yelling at a dog for urinating inside causes them to think you’re angry with the action, not because you’re unhappy with the area they chose to pee in.

7. Lack of Motivation

Another reason behind your dachshund’s stubbornness could be a lack of motivation. The reward you’re using during training sessions or for praising good behavior may not be tempting enough.

If you’re using regular dry food during training, the reward may be too uninteresting or unexciting. Use a different treat that your dog only receives for obeying commands and appropriate behavior.

Alternatively, if your dachshund doesn’t show much interest in food, try rewarding them with a non-food treat like their favorite toy, a game of fetch, a belly rub, or some verbal praise.

Ways To Reduce Your Dachshund’s Stubbornness

Struggling to deal with a particularly willful or disobedient pup? Below are a few ways to help you reduce your dachshund’s stubbornness.

Happy dachshund running

Practice Recall Training

To help your dachshund learn to listen to you and understand that you’re the leader of their “pack”, you’ll need to practice their recall (i.e. coming back when called).

Begin in an enclosed area such as your living room and remove all distractions, including toys, household members, and other pets.

Grab a treat and allow your dog to sniff it to gain their attention. Ask your dachshund to sit and wait, then move away from them.

If your dachshund gets up or follows you, start again until they sit still. Wait a few seconds and ask your dog to “come here”. When your dachshund moves over to you, praise them and offer the treat.

Repeat the prior steps until your dachshund has perfected the training.

Add a Distraction

Once your dachshund is consistently coming over to you when called, it’s time to add a distraction, such as a familiar person or dog.

Continue performing the previous steps until your dachshund is returning to you when prompted with a distraction.

Random Recall Training

Next, you’ll need to be spontaneous with your dachshund’s recall training to increase their obedience and ability to listen to you in an unexpected moment.

When you’re in a different room such as the kitchen or garden, ask your dachshund to “come here”, making sure to offer praise and a treat upon successful completion.

Be sure to repeat the test when your dog is least expecting it.

Don’t worry if your dachshund doesn’t obey you as they may need a bit more time to finetune the previous steps first.

Practice Recall Training in a Public Area

After your dachshund has perfected coming back to you when prompted at random times, you can begin to practice their training in a public area like a park.

Choose a time of day when the space is less busy with few distractions as just being in a different environment will be exciting enough!

Tire your dachshund a little first, either by playing with them or waiting around 15 minutes into their walk.

Practice their normal recall training until they’re returning to you when called like a pro.

Practice Public Recall Training With Distractions

Lastly, practice your dachshund’s recall training in a public space with distractions. Bear in mind it could take several months for your dachshund to get to this stage.

Some dogs will instantly “click” with recall training, but others may need a bit more time to figure things out.

Take your dog to a public space or park at the busiest time of day when other dogs and walkers will be present.

Before other people and canines walk past you, ask your dachshund to “come here” and reward them immediately for doing so.

Allow your dachshund time to investigate, sniff, and play with other dogs and walkers, but when it’s time to go, ask your dog to “come here”.

Again, reward them for returning so your dog knows they can still expect something pleasant or tasty once the fun is over.

Hopefully, at this point, your dachshund’s stubbornness will be greatly reduced and they will have mastered their recall training.

Are Dachshunds Hard to Train?

Dachshunds can be hard to train due to their short attention span and stubbornness, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with consistency and repetition.

Housebreaking dachshunds is also notoriously difficult, especially as they don’t enjoy going out in cold and wet weather.

The breed is extremely intelligent, so their comprehension of commands isn’t because they aren’t smart, it’s mostly because of their headstrong and picky nature.

As long as you put in the time to train your dachshund, there’s no reason why they can’t become obedient and loyal companions.

Final Thoughts

Despite their small stature and charming appearance, dachshunds aren’t afraid to show a rebellious side.

Their stubborn and headstrong personalities can make them hard to train, especially if you don’t make a point to let them know who’s boss.

While dachshunds are mostly strong-minded and independent because of their hunting instincts, other things that can often contribute to their willfulness are a lack of training, motivation, exercise, as well as fearful or confusing training methods.

Fortunately, reducing your dachshund’s stubbornness can be reduced with extensive recall training or by eliminating the aforementioned factors in your dog’s life.

Even once your dachshund is seemingly well-manned and obedient, it’s important to continue training sessions to ensure they don’t slip back into old habits.