How to Potty Train a Dachshund
Dachshunds are somewhat notorious for being difficult to potty train. They are intelligent, but they generally have their own mind. However, if you're persistent, you can generally convince your dachshund to use the bathroom where she's supposed to do so.
Beginning with a Crate
1. Pick a crate.
Keep it small but not too small. Your dachshund should be able to stand comfortably and turn around. However, you don't want a crate that is too big, as that leaves space for the dog to go to the bathroom.
- A crate is the best way to train your dachshund. Most dogs, including dachshunds, don't like going to the bathroom where they sleep. Therefore, if you keep your dachshund in a small space while you're training her, hopefully, she won't go in the same area.
- If you don't want to buy a special crate, you can block off a small space for your dog in a small room using baby gates.
2. Show her the crate.
That is, place it in an area where there is activity. Put something soft down inside, such as a blanket or pillow. You may even need to take off the door. Your dog may naturally go inside to sleep.
- Add a toy that your dachshund likes to encourage her to go inside.
3. Try treats if your dog needs more encouragement.
Lead her to the crate with treats, and then put some all the way inside, inviting her in.
4. Feed her in the crate.
Place her food bowl all the way in the back with her food. If she won't enter, move it closer to the front to acclimate her to the crate.
5. Close the door.
If your dog goes inside to eat, close the door gently behind her. Don't shove her in the crate. When she finishes her dinner, open the door again. Slowly increase the time you let her stay in the crate.
6. Provide a verbal cue.
Choose a verbal cue, such as "Go to bed." Say the cue, and throw a treat into the crate while your dachshund is watching. If she goes inside, give her verbal praise to let her know she did a good job. You can provide another treat if you wish. Let her know it's fine to come out again by saying "Come" or "Okay."
7. Continue to increase the length you leave your dachshund.
When you are first training her, don't leave the house when you crate her. At first, stay with her in the room. Next, go to another place in the house, and try not to make too much noise. Come back within 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Try leaving her in at night.
If your dog can stay in the crate for 30 minutes or so without you in the same room and without whining, try putting her in the crate at night. You can also leave the house for limited amounts of time after placing the dog in the crate.
9. Keep her in the crate.
When you are not home or you can't supervise your dachshund, keep her the crate. That way, she won't be tempted to urinate when you're not watching.
10. Don't leave her in the crate for more than 4 hours.
Your dog is still learning to keep his bathroom habits under control. You'll need to take her out at least every 4 hours.
- Very young dogs should not be kept in the crate for even 4 hours. For instance, dogs that are 2 months old and under should only be kept in a crate for up to an hour, while 2-3-month-old dogs can start moving up to 1 to 3 hours. By the time your puppy is about 4 months, she should be able to stay in the crate for up to 4 hours.
11. Avoid crating your dog if she's sick.
If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, you shouldn't crate your dog. She'll likely end up using the bathroom in the crate and have to stay in her own vomit or feces. You should take her to a vet if it persists.
Training Your Dachshund to Go Outside
1. Learn the signs.
Your dachshund will likely provide signals that she needs to use the bathroom, such as suddenly getting excited or racing around the house.
2. Take your dachshund outside regularly.
The best way to teach your dachshund to go outside is to provide the opportunity. Take her out a leash. Always take her to the same spot, so she associates it with going to the bathroom. Try to take your dog out every 1 to 2 hours.
- You will need to take very young puppies outside more often, maybe as regularly as 20 minutes.
3. Use a verbal cue.
Pick a phrase for bathroom time, such as "potty time." Use it when you are taking your dachshund outside, as well as when she goes to the bathroom so that she will associate the phrase with going outside to urinate or defecate.
4. Provide rewards.
When your dachshund does use the bathroom outside, praise her up and down. Also, provide a tangible reward--a treat. Feed her one when she's done using the bathroom.
5. Interrupt accidents.
If you catch your dachshund in the process of using the bathroom inside, startle her a bit with an "uh-oh" or slightly sharp noise. That should stop the process. Take her outside to her bathroom spot to finish. If she goes outside, provide a treat.
- Clean up the spot thoroughly. Use a cleaner specifically for pet messes, as they are designed to break down the smell. If your dachshund can smell it, she may return to the same spot.
6. Skip the punishment.
Punishments will likely just make the dachshund afraid of you, meaning she won't go around you but she may do so when you're not around. In addition, if you don't catch the dog in the act, she's not likely to associate your anger with going to the bathroom in the house.
7. Be patient.
Dachshunds in particular take a little longer to train than other dogs. Make sure you continue to train your dog so she can be as potty trained as possible.
- If you prefer, you can train your dog to use a puppy pad instead of going outside. You use the same method, just making the puppy pad the potty spot instead of an outdoor area.