How to Crate Train a Dachshund Puppy

How to Crate Train a Dachshund Puppy
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-6 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

Even a small dog like a Dachshund would have his own den out in the wild. A place for him to raise his family, get away from predators, get out of the weather, and to feel safe enough with to sleep in. Dachshunds tend to have separation anxiety and training them to see the crate as their den is a very good way to help curb this problem.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep everything about the training sessions positive. You should never use his crate as a form of punishment or he might come to view his crate in a negative way, making it all but impossible to train him successfully. Keep the pace slow and steady, but consistent if you want your pup to get used and then enjoy his new "den."

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Defining Tasks

You have a somewhat challenging task ahead of you. Your pup wants to spend as much time as he can with you, on your lap, on the couch next to you, even sleeping on the bed with you (if you let him). While in the wild his desire for a den might take precedence, in your home the desire to be with you is going to make crate training him that much harder.

Rather than think about this type of training as teaching your pup to stay in his crate, there is a better option. Why not make the whole exercise one in which you are training him to see his crate as his new den rather than the wire cage that keeps him from you? By approaching the training from this position, you will find it goes more smoothly and successfully. 

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Getting Started

Your Dachshund needs a crate that is big enough for him to move around in comfortably. Be sure you don’t buy one that is too big, or he may decide to use one end as his den and the other as his bathroom. Yet at the same time, you don't want one that is too small, or he won't be comfortable in it and will stay out.

To set up your pup's crate and turn it into a den, you need a nice soft piece of carpet that is easy to clean, a doggie bed, a hanging water bottle, and a few chew toys and soft toys for your pup to play with. You may also want to keep a blanket handy to cover the crate and give your pup a nice quiet place to get away from it all and nap. 

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The Treat Lure Method

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1

Place the treat

You can use a treat or a toy, but place it in the center of the crate. Tell your pup "Go crate" or "Go kennel." Let him go inside.

2

Close the door

Close the door to the crate and find somewhere to relax for a few minutes. Hang out quietly, wait for your pup to start fussing and then let him carry on till he finally settles down and relaxes.

3

Give him a treat

Once he settles down and before you let him out of his crate, praise him and give him a treat. Do this before you let him out, this lets him associate being in the crate with a positive reward

4

Release your pup

Release your pup and take him outside to go potty.

5

Repeat

Repeat this exercise several times a day, adding an extra five minutes to how long he stays in his crate until he can stay there when you need him to without fussing.

The Every Dog Needs a Den Method

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Find the perfect spot

Choose the perfect spot for your pup's crate. Dachshunds are very social creatures, so be sure you place the crate out of the flow of traffic, but where your pup will still be able to interact with the rest of his family. Go ahead and cover the crate with a blanket to give it a more "den-like" feel for your pup.

2

Introductions all round

Pick up your Doxy and place him in the middle of his crate, right next to the pile of toys. Go ahead and leave him there while you close the door. Allow him time to get used to being in his crate. Do this in five-minute sessions at first, you will be working your way up later.

3

Please release me, let me go……..

Your dog is going to do everything in his power both verbally and physically to convince you to let him out. That's fine, let him do his best. But, under NO circumstances should you let him out unless he is actually hurting himself.

4

When he finally stops

When your pup finally stops, and he will, give him a moment to settle down then give him a treat and praise him. When he is all done with it, open up and run him straight out to the yard so he can pee.

5

Oh, won't you stay just a little bit longer

Keep repeating this training, adding five minutes to the time between when he stops fussing and when you release him. With practice, your pup will learn to go into his kennel on command and stay there quietly until you release him.

The Treat Toss Method

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1

Locate his crate

Place your pup's crate in a central location where the whole family can interact with him. Either remove the door or tie it back.

2

Show your pup the treats

Show your pup the treats, let him get a good sniff, but do not give it to him.

3

Toss the treats

Sit back and toss a treat or two in the crate and give him the "Crate" or "Kennel" command. When he goes in, let him have the treat and give him a lot of praise. You can even give him another treat if you want to.

4

Give him room

Take a couple steps back and give your pup room to walk out of his crate. As he walks out, use a cue word like "Out" and praise him, but no treat. You want him to see going in the crate as the way he is rewarded with a treat, not coming out.

5

Keep working it

Continue repeating these training methods, adding more time in small increments until your pup has learned to remain quietly in his crate or den for up to several hours a day.

By PB Getz

Published: 02/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Dexter

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Dachshund

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9 Weeks

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Question

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My puppy is happy to be left in a closed crate whilst we are in the room and has (for the last two nights) been sleeping through without crying or barking. However, during the day, the second we step out of sight the crying and barking begins. I have tried stepping out of sight to reward him straight away but he starts crying before I have chance to reward. Any advice?

Aug. 11, 2021

Dexter's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emma, First, know that this is completely normal at this age, and pup is actually doing quite well if they aren't barking at night or when you are in the room. That is actually a lot better than most at this point. Check out the Surprise method from the article I have linked below. Skip to the section where the crate door is closed since pup is already at that point, and leave the room when practicing. You will then wait until you get a break in pup's crying, even just two seconds. When you first do this pup may cry for up to an hour - that can be normal the first three days. Wait until pup gets quiet for a second before returning, as long as you know they are safe and it's not time for a potty break yet. As soon as they get quiet, return and sprinkle treats in the crate. Either leave again after the treats and repeat what you just did, or open the crate door while pup is quiet if it's time for a potty break or pup cried a long time. The key here is for pup to gradually be able to make the connection that quietness and calmness equals good things, so they start to calm down more easily in the future. This also gives pup a chance to discover that nothing terrible happened to them while you were gone and that you always return after a while. Right now pup probably hasn't experienced all that much that when you leave, you always come back, so they need to see that and it needs to happen while pup is quiet so pup doesn't just think their barking brought you back. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Aug. 11, 2021

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Biscuit

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Dachshund

Dog age icon

9 Weeks

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Hello, my dog Biscuit will bark for hours in his crate, if I am not sitting right next to it. I've only had him for a few days- but am wondering if there's a way to remedy his barking early on or make him more comfortable. His crate has toys, a blanket, an old tshirt and a light and music is on. Thank you for your help.

July 24, 2019

Biscuit's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brittany, First, barking for while crate training the first two weeks is completely normal. He needs to be given time to learn to self-sooth and learn to self-entertain. Don't let him out while barking unless he needs to go potty, wait until he is quiet for 1-2 seconds so his freedom is associated with being quiet and you are not encouraging more barking. Second, check out the article linked below. You can practice all of the methods but pay special attention to the Surprise method. Do this method whenever you can. If you don't have time to ease him into crate training most puppies will still adjust in two weeks (many only take three days), but doing the surprise method whenever you can should speed things up. In that method it talks about giving a food-stuffed Kong, I highly suggest doing that to give him something to do while in the crate - you can even feed all of his meals that way and as treats at this age to keep him entertained. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

July 24, 2019


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