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As cute as they are, Dachshunds are notoriously hard to potty train. In fact, statistics show they are among the top 20 breeds considered to be the hardest to housebreak. While most Dachshund pups can be potty trained over time, some will never be completely housebroken, and you will need a crate for when you are asleep or not at home. Just keep this in mind as you work with your pup and be patient. Never punish him or scold him for accidents, instead use positive reinforcement techniques as they will be far more successful.
The task at hand is to train your Dachshund puppy that the only place it is acceptable for him to go potty is outside in his designated area. Just remember, Dachshund puppies are notoriously hard to potty train, so you must be patient and willing to work your pup on a regular schedule if you want your training efforts to be successful. Also, keep in mind, your pup has a small bladder that will need to be drained frequently in comparison to, say a Bull Mastiff or Doberman that has a much larger bladder.
To get started you need to make sure your pup has a collar and is used to wearing it. You will need this to attach his leash to in order to take him outside to his designated potty spot on the lawn. You must be prepared to provide your pup with constant supervision or have him in a crate when you can't. You also need a couple of additional supplies, including:
- Leash – To take
- Crate – For when
you can't watch him
- Treats – A good
way to let your pup know he is doing a good job
The last two things you will need to successfully potty train your pup are plenty of time to work with him and a large supply of patience, as this process is not going to be easy. You will be using standard training methods, but you will need to work just that little bit harder if you want to be successful.
The Signs & Signals Method
The first thing you need to learn is how to recognize the signs your pup needs to go potty. With Dachshunds, this could be as simple as your pup getting overly excited for no apparent reason or running around the house. Be prepared to run him outside at any of his signs.
Set a schedule
One of the best ways to potty train your pup is to put him on a set schedule. Take him to the same spot in your yard every 20 to 30 minutes at first. His bladder won't hold for much longer than this when he's very young, and having him outside when the urge strikes will set him up for success.
Each time you get ready to take your pup outside, be sure to use your chosen cue, such as "Potty break!" This will help him associate the cue with the action.
Keep an eye on your pup for signs and signals between scheduled potty trips. Make sure he gets outside as soon as possible!
Rewards for getting it right
Each time you take your pup outside and he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a nice treat.
In case of accidents
If you happen to catch your pup in the middle of going potty on your living room floor, tell him "NO!" in a commanding but not angry tone. This should stop him mid-track. Take him outside to let him finish what he started. Clean the mess up thoroughly and resume training, adding more time inside until your pup learns to let you know when he needs to go.
The Perfect Spot Method
Check your schedule
Before you decide to bring that adorable Dachshund puppy home, you need to check your schedule to make sure you have time to potty train him. The less time you have, the longer it will take and the harder it will be to succeed.
You need "the spray"
Hit your local pet supply store and pick up a bottle of "puppy potty training" spray. Yes, they do make it. This chemical imitates the smells dogs leave behind when marking their territory and will inspire your pooch to cover the scent with his own.
Go home and mark a spot in your yard that your pup will be able to use as his "private bathroom."
Add one Dachshund puppy
Hook your pup to his leash and take him out to the area you recently marked. Give him no more than 15 minutes to sniff around and go potty. If he won't go, take him inside and give him a few minutes before going out and trying again.
On with the show
Or on with the training. Keep working with your pup until he starts to let you know when he needs to go potty and once outside will head straight to his "bathroom". When you get to that point, you are done. Congratulations!
The Training Crate Method
You need a crate for your pup that is just big enough to give him room to move around, but no bigger. If you buy a bigger crate he may make his bed at one end and use the other for a potty. You do NOT want this.
Take your pup outside to relieve himself and then put him in his crate. Time starts now!
On time every time
While he is a little pup, set the timer for every 20 minutes. When it goes off, take your pup out to his spot on the lawn. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a puppy treat.
Add time in 20-minute increments to his time in the crate. Once you reach two hours, you can try leaving him out in the house, but be sure to keep a close eye on him.
Use the same method
Along with keeping a close eye on your pup, set a timer to remind you to take him out on schedule. You can't afford to set your pup's training back. The rest is all about working with your pup until you no longer have to worry about messes in the house.
Written by PB Getz
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 03/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021