How to Train a Dachshund Puppy to Potty Outside

Hard
1-6 Months
General

Introduction

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. 

Defining Tasks

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. 

Getting Started

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 him outside
  • 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

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Step
1
You first
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
Potty break
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.
Step
4
Watch out
Keep an eye on your pup for signs and signals between scheduled potty trips. Make sure he gets outside as soon as possible!
Step
5
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.
Step
6
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.
Recommend training method?

The Training Crate Method

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Step
1
One crate
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.
Step
2
Relieve himself
Take your pup outside to relieve himself and then put him in his crate. Time starts now!
Step
3
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.
Step
4
Add time
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.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

The Perfect Spot Method

Effective
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Step
1
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
Go home
Go home and mark a spot in your yard that your pup will be able to use as his "private bathroom."
Step
4
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.
Step
5
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!
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Stormy
Dachshund
11 Weeks
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Question
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Stormy
Dachshund
11 Weeks

Stormy came my way at 4 weeks of age. She could not control her bladder. I put out washable pads and she learned to go there. I gradually eliminated pads. (She does potty on the carpet in her confusion. Trying to get her to go outside and husband hollered "no!" when she was on a pad.) I've shampooed the carpet 3 times. She goes out at times for a long time, comes back in and potties. She is VERY confused right now and I don't know how to correct our mistakes. She doesn't know what I want her to do and I feel really, really bad. How can I help us?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Beverly, I recommend starting over with Potty Training using the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below. https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+train+a+german+shepherd+puppy+to+poop+outside&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab A very strict crate schedule, that limits her freedom inside when her bladder is not completely empty, should force her to use the bathroom outside and prevent confusing accidents inside much better. Be sure to reward her with treats when she goes potty outside. Don't skip that step. Also she would probably benefit from using the potty encouraging spray mentioned in that article. If she refuses to use the bathroom in front of you because she was scolded inside, then use a twenty-foot leash to take her outside, so that she can go further away from you with some privacy. When she goes, then toss the treats over to her. After awhile she should get more comfortable going in your presence because of the rewards and you can gradually decrease the amount of distance between you and her by shortening the leash. Make sure that the cleaner you are using also contains enzymes and does not contain Ammonia. Only enzymes will break down the urine and poop enough to eliminate the smell to where your puppy cannot still smell it. Also, Ammonia smells like urine to a dog so it can actually encourage peeing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Marvel
Dachshund
13 Weeks
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Question
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Marvel
Dachshund
13 Weeks

My dog refuses to go to the bathroom outside at all. What should I do? What brand of spray do you recommend?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Courtney, Check out the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linking bellow. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside The "Crate Training" method or a combination of the "Crate Training" method and the "Tethering" method found in that article should be the most effective method or methods for your pup based on what you have told me so far. That particular crate training method only gives your puppy freedom in your home after he has eliminated outside. If you take him outside and he does not go, then he goes back into the crate for thirty minutes, and then when his bladder is a bit fuller he is taken outside again to try again. Eventually he will have to eliminate outside if he has not lost his natural instinct to hold his urine in the crate. When you take him outside quickly lead him outside on a leash so that he will not have an accident on the way. A slight jog is a good pace for that. Also, do not skip the treat rewards when he goes potty because those will help him overcome his inhibition to going outside, and will help in the long run. Lastly, you can still use a training spray and spray that on the area where you wish for him to eliminate on to speed up the process. If you are ordering online, then I recommend the following brand: PoochPads Potty Training Attractant Spray If you are purchasing in store, then one of these sprays may be easier to find and should also work well. Simple Solution Puppy Aid Training Spray Nature's Miracle Housebreaking Potty Training Spray Many training sprays smell similar to one another and are just as effective as one another, so if you cannot find one of those brands don't limit yourself to those options only. Do make sure that it is a potty encouraging spray and not a cleaner or a deterrent though. If you are still having issues with Marvel going, then the issue might be either distraction while outside or your presence near him outside. If he is becoming distracted, then make sure that you are taking him outside on a leash right now, even if you have a fenced in backyard and wish to simply let him outside without you later on. Help him focus on what he is supposed to be doing by getting his attention off of any distractions and reminding him to sniff around and "Go Potty" again by walking him around slowly until he starts sniffing in a spot and calmly telling him to "Go Potty". If he is refusing to go potty because of your presence, then you might need to take him outside on a long leash to give him more privacy but still be able to keep him on task. Make sure that the long leash has slack in it though and do not use a retractable leash for this unless it is in the lock position and not pulling on his neck. When he goes while on the long leash then toss him a treat after he goes, and overtime you can gradually decrease the length of the leash until you can use a normal length leash when you take him out. If you have punished him for having accidents in the past, then that can lead to him refusing to go in your presence. If that is the case, then stop punishing him also. Instead, if he starts to go potty inside, quickly interrupt him by saying something like "Let's go outside!!" and rushing him outside to finish there. If you find an accident after he has already gone, then clean it up and simply pay better attention to him next time. When it comes to potty training consistency, rewards for going in the correct location, and lots of supervision and management to prevent accidents inside work best. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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