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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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1

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.

Written by PB Getz

Veterinary reviewed by:

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

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Poppy

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Dachshund

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Three Months

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Question

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Hello. We’re finding night times tricky. She’s been with us 2 weeks now and we started with the crate from day 1. During the day she will happily snooze or play in her crate in my office. Whilst awake, I close the door and get no fussing or issues from her, even if I leave the room for a while. But bedtime is tricky. She goes toilet before her 3rd meal (10pm) and we play with her for at least 30mins-1hr after eating to calm her down. As soon as she’s in the crate, she howls. After 30mins she settles, but wakes at 4am to pee. But she refuses to settle going back into the crate afterwards.

Nov. 21, 2022

Poppy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would start by checking with your vet to see if she is ready to go down to two meals a day, or at least move the third meal back a few hours so she has at least three hours between that third meal and bedtime. I would take her potty again after eating and playing, right before crating her. Continue ignoring any crying when you first put her into the crate. I suspect her schedule is causing part of the issue now that she is a bit older. She might be ready for a change there. Puppies bladders will sort of go to sleep while pup is asleep, and that allows them to hold their pee for longer, but by feeding and playing with pup after the last potty trip that bladder is being activated and pup is going to sleep with it already a bit full. The meal without a potty trip after likely will also make pup need to poop in the early morning. There is a delay in eating (which gets the digestive system moving and leads to the need to poop) and pooping - usually up to 45 minutes, but sometimes a couple of hours, so ideally, pup would have enough time between meals and bed for things to move through her system and things to be empty before bed. I would ask your vet if you can switch to feeding pup at 6-7pm (8 at the very latest). Removing all food and water by 8pm. Taking pup potty right before crating her at 10pm, ignoring crying when you crate her then. Make sure she isn't sleeping for longer than an hour at a time in the evening before 10pm, so she won't count that as night sleep and wake early. Make sure her crate is set up somewhere where early morning noises or lights won't wake her up. After a couple of days to adjust to the new schedule, hopefully she will stop waking early, but at this age she may still need an early morning potty trip for another month certain days. When she wakes after at least 4-6 hours since her last potty trip, I suggest taking pup potty on leash when they wake. Keep the trip calm and boring - no play or treats, take pup potty on leash to keep her focused on going potty and not playing, then right back to the crate after they go. When you return them to the crate, you have two options. You can either ignore pup barking until 7am - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until 7am (or the time you want her to earn to sleep until), and she gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that 4am potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. With the schedule changes I mentioned above, her body should start to get into a routine where she is more tired then and her bladder less full. The other option is to stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks, until they are old enough to not need to 4am potty trip, then you will need to ignore or correct the crying later, once pup is older and can be expected to sleep through. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. If she is still waking once she is 4.5-5 months old, you can use a correction to address any barking that continues after you have taken her potty and returned her to the crate. Typically a pet convincer, preceded by teaching the "Quiet" command during the day, telling pup "Quiet" when you return her to the crate, then using the pet convincer to blow a brief puff of unscented air at her side through the crate wires to interrupt barking each time she protests the crate. Make sure you are also waiting until its her regular breakfast time (the time you chose for her to eat breakfast) before feeding her each morning, even if she wakes early asking for it. If she is being fed early because she woke up early then her internal clock will actually wake her early due to hunger because that's when her body expects to be fed. Work on working that time back later again gradually by holding her off a bit longer each morning if that's happened, to reset that internal clock. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 23, 2022

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Tucker

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Dachshund terrier

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Seven Months

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Question

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We just adopted our boy 3 days ago and was told he was Crate trained already . We knew being in a new environment he might not be as comfortable with his crate . He did good on the 2nd day and stayed in the crate with no accidents for 2 hours . Then the 3rd day, we only left him for 20 mins one time, and 30 mins the next time, and both times he pooped and rolled all in it . We are now worried to crate him anymore due to coming home to a horrible mess and feeling bad for him rolling around in poop . What approaches should we take?

Oct. 24, 2022

Tucker's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, I would make sure your crate is the correct size to encourage him to hold it. It should be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down, but not so big he can poop in one end and then stand in the other end. Just big enough to stand, lie down, and turn until fully potty trained. Also, make sure you aren't putting anything absorbent into the crate with him, including a soft bed or towel. Instead, I recommend using a non-absorbent bed, such as primopads.com or k9ballistics non-absorbent crate mats. When you are home, I would practice the Surprise method from the article I have linked below, to help him adjust to being alone in your home, in case the accidents are due to anxiety with adjusting to a new place. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Take a look at his potty schedule also. Often a puppy will pee but not have to poop yet or will pee but then get too distracted to poop also, holding it until things get quiet - which usually coincides with crate time. In the mornings take pup to pee first thing before feeding, feed pup breakfast, but then expect a 15-45 minute delay in pup needing to poop once the food hits his stomach and gets his digestive system moving again. Make sure you are leaving time to take pup potty again to poop after breakfast before crating. Puppies also tend to need to poop after moving a lot - like a game of fetch or chase or a walk, if pup didn't empty his bowels recently already, and sometimes even if they already did. When you take pup outside to poop, since puppies tend to get distracted and hold poop more often, walk pup slowly around on leash (off leash they tend to play until they learn); tell pup to "Go Potty" and give one treat if they pee. After they pee, walk them around AGAIN for 10-15 minutes while telling pup to "Go Potty" again, then reward with five to seven small treats, one at a time to make them really tempting, if pup poops. This process helps pup learn to focus on pooping, go faster when they hear the Go Potty cue, and the movement walking them around slowly on leash encourages the urge to go, as well as sniffing, which also encourages that urge. If pup is still struggling to go, you can also purchase a potty encouraging spray to spray on the area you will be taking pup to, before you take them out, each time you are going to take them potty and know they haven't pooped recently and may need to, temporarily until they are better at going for you. Finally, sometimes puppies will have something medical going on that the stress of moving brings to the surface or previous owners simply didn't catch, like an infection or parasite. If you haven't already taken pup to the vet to rule out something medical, it could be helpful to visit you vet and make sure the accidents aren't related to pup's digestive system struggling in some way. I am not a vet so consult your vet for anything that may be medical. Pay attention to how often pup tends to poop in general in 24hours and how solid their poop looks. More than 3 times can be unusual and if the poop looks runny, I would especially consult with your vet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Oct. 25, 2022


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