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How to Train a Dachshund Puppy to Not Bite

How to Train a Dachshund Puppy to Not Bite
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon2-5 Days
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

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.

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Defining Tasks

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!

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Getting Started

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.

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The Extinguish Method

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1

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.

2

Simulate sibling

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.

3

Cease play

When your puppy releases your arm or hand, turn away and temporarily stop playing.

4

Be consistent

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.

5

Continue play

Resume play after a few minutes, so your puppy learns that play can continue when he is not biting.

The Redirect Method

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1

Play

Play with your Dachshund puppy.

2

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.

3

Redirect

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.

4

Play with toy

Allow your puppy to grab and chew on the toy. Play with the toy, including tug of war or fetch.

5

Practice

Never let your Dachshund continue biting your hand, always redirect to an appropriate toy.

The Deter Biting Method

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1

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.

2

Reprimand biting

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.

3

Add command

When your startled Dachshund gets a mouth full of yucky taste and an unpleasant reprimand, add the command “no” or “leave it”.

4

Be consistent

Repeat over several days making sure everyone in the household is consistent.

5

Use command

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

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Buddy

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miniature dachshund

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15 Weeks

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Question

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Our 15 week old puppy is nipping at our hands, feet and ankles for attention or when he doesn't agree with an action. An example would be if he is lying on my 12 year old daughter's knee and she goes to try and move him, he nips. Another example would be if anyone walks into the room he goes to nip their ankles. He has growled before biting. We have tried distraction techniques and ignoring him if he bites. This works to a point, but not always. Do you have any suggestions about other techniques we could try? Kind regards, Barbara Crisp

July 6, 2020

Buddy's Owner

Expert avatar

Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like you have a mixture of normal puppy nipping, and some early displays of what could be a mild form of aggression. You mentioned ignoring and distracting. Both are good solutions to this. I am covering both, and more in my tips below. Continue with ignoring and distracting, as well as my other suggestions. These types of behaviors do take some time to correct. So try to be as patient as possible right now and give it a few weeks to dissipate. Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

July 15, 2020

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phoenix

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poodle/ daschund

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3 Months

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Hello ! We are having some trouble trying to train our puppy not to bite. She isn't affected by us making a loud noise, she just thinks it's even more play time. We then try to stop playing at those times and she continues to try to bite once we pick her back up. Is there anything else we can do?

Dec. 12, 2018

phoenix's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, Check out the article that I have linked below and the "Leave It" method. Once Phoenix has learned that and can leave it with treats and clothing articles and objects, then you can use the "Pressure" method also found in that article to discipline disobedience to "Leave It". Teach leave it before using the pressure method though or she will likely just get more excited and wound-up when you discipline because she will not understand what you want her to do and will think you are rough-housing or may react defensively with more mouthiness. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, be patient. Most puppies will do some degree of mouthing for the first five-to-six months. The goal is to teach them to stop before five months of age because that is when adult jaws develop. Mouthing will not stop immediately. It will be a gradual process- but she does need you to help her learn. Puppies learn how to control the pressure of their mouths through practice, they learn about things around them, they deal with boredom, they self-soothe, and communicate with their mouths. The key is to be patient, work on teaching what to do and not do with their mouths, give them plenty of things they can chew on, and help them learn bite-inhibition by playing with other young puppies off-leash with supervision. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 12, 2018


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