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Believe it or not, the little Dachshund is one of the likeliest dogs to bite as they get older. Because they were bred to hunt small critters and work independently, to be their own version of the pest patrol, Dachshunds can behave in a dominant and even aggressive way,. If not trained early as puppies that nipping and biting, even in play, is not acceptable, they are more likely to display dominant and aggressive biting later in life.
While it is easy to think your pin-sized Dachshund puppy is cute as a button while he is playing and gnawing on your hand, he won’t be cute at all when as an adult, he bites at your hand when you remove his food dish or snaps at someone else see when they reach towards you while you are holding him. Your best bet is to teach him early that biting is not OK.
Daschunds are independent hunters that are prone to dominance and prey driven behavior. What is play as a puppy can quickly become aggression as an adult. Sensitive, intelligent Dachshunds do not respond well to being hit, so this is not an effective deterrent for puppy biting. Instead, deter them with a withdrawal of attention and play, make chewing you unpleasant, and provide alternative, appropriate chewing items. Be consistent with your method of preventing biting and teach your Dachshund puppy that chewing is for toys and bones, not hands, furniture, feet or the cat!
You can use commercial chewing deterrents on your hand or clothes to discourage your Dachshund puppy from chewing on you. You will also need everyone in the household to be consistent by not rewarding chewing and biting or allowing your puppy to continue playing if he bites. Provide appropriate chew toys, like rawhide bones or hard rubber toys, that your puppy can work out his need for chewing with, instead of your limbs.
The Extinguish Method
Play tug of war
Play with your Dachshund puppy using a chew toy or rag. Let him play tug or war, a Dachshund's favorite game.
When your puppy, accidentally or intentionally, grabs onto your hand or arm with his mouth, make a loud noise to startle him. This simulates what a puppy sibling would do, which is to yelp when bitten too hard. Let your arm go limp, do not pull it away, which inadvertently reinforces your puppy by continuing the tug of war game.
When your puppy releases your arm or hand, turn away and temporarily stop playing.
Continue to withdraw play if your Dachshund bites or nips. Have everyone in the household be consistent with this. If your puppy bites, startle him and cease play, affection and attention.
Resume play after a few minutes, so your puppy learns that play can continue when he is not biting.
The Redirect Method
Play with your Dachshund puppy.
Tap on side
When your puppy bites, nips or mouths your hand or sleeve, tap him on the side with a chew toy to redirect him. Your puppy will turn to look at what is tapping him on the side, and release your hand.
When your puppy turns his head, wave the chew toy to get his attention focused on it rather than the hand he was trying to chew.
Play with toy
Allow your puppy to grab and chew on the toy. Play with the toy, including tug of war or fetch.
Never let your Dachshund continue biting your hand, always redirect to an appropriate toy.
The Deter Biting Method
Use bitter spray
Purchase a safe bitter spray from a pet supply store. Put it on the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt and your hand. Initiate play with your Dachshund puppy.
When your Dachshund puppy grabs your arm, do not pull your arm out of his mouth. Instead, make a loud noise and grab with your other hand on his flank. Do not grab hard, but rather make a motion similar to what another, older dominant dog would do to reprimand a wayward puppy.
When your startled Dachshund gets a mouth full of yucky taste and an unpleasant reprimand, add the command “no” or “leave it”.
Repeat over several days making sure everyone in the household is consistent.
Gradually start providing the command “leave it” or “no” as soon as your puppy starts mouthing your arm or hand. Your Dachshund should start to respond to the command as he learns that biting has unpleasant consequences.
Written by Laurie Haggart
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 02/22/2018, edited: 01/08/2021