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Your cute little Dachshund puppy makes you smile every time he walks into the room. All you need to do is look at him and his tail starts wagging. He gets a gasp and an ‘awww’ every time a guest meets him for the first time. You also like showing your pup off by getting him to perform the odd trick or two. He’s mastered rolling over and the high five, but you’d like to entertain guests with some more advanced tricks.
Training him to do some advanced tricks does more than just entertain guests though. This type of training is brilliant for increasing your control and improving his obedience. Furthermore, it’s a great way to channel his energy into something productive. Because your Dachshund is so small, training will also be good exercise. Lastly, training makes for a great bit of bonding time with your canine pal.
Despite your Dachshund’s little size, he is probably remarkably bright. This means teaching him to perform advanced tricks will be challenging, but definitely achievable. Training will consist of firstly finding the right motivator, usually food or toys. Once you have that, you can show him what it is you want him to do. As soon as he understands that, you just need to hammer home training with consistent practice.
If he’s an eager-to-please pooch, he could respond to training in just a week or so. However, if your little buddy is stubborn with a short attention span then you may need a while longer. It could be three weeks before he gets the hang of it. Succeed and you’ll soon have the perfect stunt dog to bring out when family and friends are round. Not to mention you’ll be able to make him work hard for his dinner.
Before you get to work, you will need to collect a few things. Firstly, stock up on some tasty treats. Toys and a clicker will also be needed. Peanut butter will also be needed for one of the tricks.
You will need a quiet space to practice. Preferably in your yard or in a local park. You don’t want to risk breaking a TV or window. Try and set aside 10 or so minutes each day. The more frequently you train, the sooner you will see results.
The other main requirements are enthusiasm and patience. Once you have all those things, training can begin!
The ‘Kiss’ Method
Apply a small amount of peanut butter to your face. You’re going to train Marlo to give you kisses on command. He may already shower you in kisses, but now you will be able to get a controlled kiss on request.
Once you have applied the peanut butter, get down low so he can reach you and then give a ‘kiss’ command in an up-beat, playful voice. Dachshunds learn best when they think they’re playing a game. Note you can use any word or phrase you like for the instruction.
Now point to your cheek and encourage him to lick off the peanut butter. Give him verbal praise and another tasty treat as soon as he does. It’s important he gets the treat and praise as soon as he starts licking.
Now you have the fun and slightly messy task of practicing. Play this game a few times each day. Be careful not to overdo it though, as Dachshunds are small and you don’t want him piling on too much weight.
Lose the rewards
After several days of training, Marlo should associate the ‘kiss’ command with the kiss action. At this point you can slowly phase out the treats and the peanut butter lure.
The ‘Hug’ Method
If you can instruct your Dachshund to hug, it’s guaranteed to get people giggling. So get down on your knees with some treats in your pocket and instruct him to ‘sit’. If you use a clicker for training you will need to have that with you too.
Lift his paws
Now gently lift his paws onto your shoulders or lap. The trick is to move him slowly, you don’t want to scare him. Also hold eye contact, this will encourage him to concentrate.
As you move his paws onto you, issue a ‘hug’ command. Keep it high-pitched and playful. Just only give the instruction once, you want him to get into a habit of following your lead every time.
Once you have given the command and his paws are on you, you can then hand over a tasty treat. You can also click to signal that he has performed the trick correctly. The happier he feels afterwards, the more keen he will be to repeat the action again.
Make it harder
You now just need to practice this several times each day. However, also start to leave him hugging you for longer before you give him a reward. You want him to be able to give you a decent, long hug. Once he’s got the hang of it you can then gradually cut out the treats.
The Play Dead Method
This trick is a great crowd pleaser. He will go from jumping up and down to lying next to you playing dead. All you then need to do is kneel down next to him and instruct him to lie ‘down’.
Roll him over
Once your pup is lying down, roll him gently over onto his side. Make sure he is comfortable and then give him some verbal praise. It may take a little while before he calms down, so be patient.
Now you need to get him to stay in this position. So give the ‘sleep-stay’ command in an up-beat but calm voice. If he does lift his head up, gently place it back down and give a ‘stay’ instruction.
If he does stay still you can now give a ‘play dead’ command. Leave him there for a few seconds and then stand up and call his name in a playful voice to let him know he can get up. You can then give him a treat and some verbal praise.
Extend the time
Now follow exactly the same steps, but increase the length of time you leave him lying there for before you call his name to release him. The trick is to go slow and build it up gradually. Once you can leave him there for a minute you can then start cutting out the treats too.
By James Barra
Published: 03/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021