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He’s everything you hoped he would be. He’s playful, courageous, and undoubtedly clever. Also, his peculiar shape guarantees an ‘awww’ from passers by. However, it doesn’t excuse your Dachshund pup refusing to sit when you ask him to. It’s not so much that you desperately need him to be able to sit on command, it’s more that it lays the foundation for teaching him a range of other commands.
Training him to sit as a puppy will allow you to make him sit and wait patiently before you put down his food bowl. If you can get him to sit, fitting his leash to go out for walks will also be far easier. This simple command can also help instill discipline and reinforce your position as pack leader. In addition, obedience commands of this type are an effective way to channel his energy into something productive.
Training him to sit is relatively straightforward. The most challenging part comes in initially conveying to him what it is you want him to do. Once you have cleared that obstacle, you just need the right motivator. Dachshunds' weakness is often their rather long and large bellies. Find the right food and he will be willing to do just about anything. Cheese is often a wise choice.
Because he’s a puppy he should be receptive and eager to please. This means you could see results in just a couple of days. However, if he’s not such a great listener and not interested in learning, then you may need up to 10 days. Get this training right and you will have taken the first step towards a well trained and behaved Dachshund.
Before you start training, you will need to get your hands on a few bits. A generous supply of treats will be required or you can break his favorite food into small pieces. A much-loved toy will be needed. Plus, you will also need a clicker for one of the methods below.
Set aside just 5 to 10 minutes each day for training. You can practice in a quiet room in the house, away from distractions.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a proactive attitude, then work can begin!
The Treat Lure Method
Take your Dachshund to a quiet room and kneel in front of him. Then hold out a tasty treat above his head to get his attention. Try and remain quiet up until this point, you don’t want to get him so excited he can’t concentrate.
Issue a ‘sit’ command in a clear, but playful voice. You can use any word or phrase you like. However, give the instruction just once. You want him to react first time, every time.
As you give the command, rotate your treat hand back over his head. Do this slowly and he will be forced to sit down as his head follows the treat. You can gently guide his bottom down with your free hand the first couple of times.
As soon as he sits down, hand over a tasty treat. You can also give him some verbal praise. The happier he feels afterwards, the more eager he will be to repeat the behavior again.
Practice this for a few minutes each day. Once he’s got the hang of it, you can slowly cut out the treats. He now knows what is expected of him and a tasty incentive will no longer be required.
The Clicker Method
A clicker is fantastic way for your to communicate with your Dachshund. It will signal to him when he has performed a behavior correctly. So, give a click whenever he follows an instruction.
Capture his attention
Kneel in front of him and hold out a favorite toy above his head. Keep eye contact so he concentrates. He should be looking up slightly trying to follow the toy.
Give a ‘sit’ command in an animated voice. Dachshunds respond best when they are playing a game, so make it as fun as possible. You can use any word or phrase you like. Dachshunds can learn hundreds of different commands.
Click & reward
As soon as he sits down, click to let him know he has performed the behavior correctly. You can then spend a minute or so playing around with the toy. Just make sure he gets his reward within three seconds. Otherwise, he may not associate the action with the reward.
Never punish him
It is important you never punish him for getting it wrong. He’s just a puppy and he will quickly give up trying if he associates the behavior with negative consequences. So, remain calm and be as encouraging as possible, especially to start with.
The Leash Method
Secure him to a leash
If he is particularly energetic, as many Dachshund puppies are, you should train inside. Placing him on a leash will also increase your control and hopefully settle him somewhat.
Judge his mood
If he’s too worked up, it isn’t the time for training. Dachshund puppies have short attention spans, so choose a time when he seems relatively calm and receptive.
While you hold the leash with one hand, gently push his bottom down with the other. Do not be too forceful, you don’t want to scare him. It may take a little while the first few times, but be patient, he will soon catch on.
Just as his bottom is about to hit the floor, issue a ‘sit’ command. You can use any word or phrase you like, just ensure it is given in a playful tone. For a puppy, a game is the most effective way to teach him a new command.
Reward & practice
As soon as he hits the floor, hand over a tasty treat. Alternatively, you can play with a toy for a minute or so. The greater the reward, the more eager he will be to play again. Now practice this each day for around 5-10 minutes. However, if he loses interest, give him a break and return to it later.
By James Barra
Published: 01/31/2018, edited: 01/08/2021