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Despite their somewhat entertaining appearance, Dachshunds are switched on little dogs. They are highly intelligent with plenty of energy and eager to please. Yours is probably no different. He spends his days trying to interact with everyone. However, you want to channel his energy into something a bit more productive. You regularly have guests over and while they all love him and say how cute he is, you also want him to be able to perform a few tricks for them.
Training him to do easy tricks is relatively quick and hassle-free. It’s also a fantastic way to bond with your Dachshund. Not to mention this type of training will lay the groundwork for teaching him more advanced tricks later on. Finally, teaching him a few easy tricks is a guaranteed way to get friends and family giggling when they come over.
Teaching your Dachshund easy tricks is pretty straightforward. The hardest part will be initially conveying to him what it is you want him to do. However, once you have done that, you just need to use positive reinforcement and practice until he fully gets the hang of it. All three tricks will require an effective motivator. Like most dogs, Dachshunds will do pretty much anything for food. So finding the right mouthwatering incentive will be important.
If he’s a puppy he should be a quick learner and keen to please. As a result, you could have success after just a few days. However, if he’s older and not so interested in learning anymore, then you need a while longer. Training could take a couple of weeks. Succeed and you’ll have a great way to pass the time with your little canine friend.
Before you start training, you will need to collect a few things. Tasty treats or small chunks of his favorite food will play an essential role. You will also need a clicker for one of the methods below.
Set aside 10 minutes each day for training. You will need to find a quiet room for training where there is a minimal risk of anything getting broken.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a proactive attitude, then training can start!
The Roll Over Method
Take him to a room and capture his attention by holding out a treat. You will then need to instruct him to lie down. This will make training him to ‘roll over’ much easier.
Give a ‘roll over’ command in an up-beat playful voice. You can use any word or phrase you like for the command, Dachshunds can learn hundreds of different commands. The trick is to make training feel like a big game.
As you give the command, slowly rotate a treat over his head. This should naturally force him to roll over as he tries to follow the tasty incentive dangling above his nose. You may want to use your spare hand to gently help roll him over the first few times.
As soon as he does indeed roll over, give him his tasty reward. You can also give him verbal praise. Just make sure he gets it within a few seconds of completing the trick, otherwise he may not associate the reward with the action.
Lose the treats
Practice this for several minutes each day. Once he’s got the hang of it, you can slowly phase out the treats. By this point the verbal command alone will be enough to get him rolling over.
The Jump Method
Take your Dachshund to a quiet room and then kneel in front of him. You’re going to train him to jump on command. You will need either some treats or a favorite toy to get him to start leaping.
Issue a ‘jump’ command in a playful voice. Be animated and high-pitched. Dachshunds learn best when they think they are playing a big game. Also, you can use any word or phrase you like for the command.
Dangle the treat
As you give the command, dangle the treat or toy above his head. Hold it so it is low enough that he has a chance of jumping up to get it. Hold it too far away and he may give up before he’s even started trying.
As soon as he jumps, hand over a tasty reward or play with his toy for a minute or so. If you use a clicker in training you may also want to click. Don’t worry if he doesn’t jump very high to start with, you want to encourage any promising signs at the beginning.
Cut out the treats
Spend a few minutes each day practicing this. He will soon start to associate jumping with your verbal command. Once he’s got the hang of it and you can get him to jump in a number of scenarios, you can begin to phase out the treats.
The Figure Eight Method
Be treat ready
You are going to teach your Dachshund to run around your feet in a figure of eight. However, to do that, you will need to make sure you are in a room with plenty of space. You do not want to risk anything getting broken.
Now lean down to one foot and hold a treat there to get his attention. Once you have it, slowly rotate your treat hand around the back of your foot and then weave it in front of the other. Do this slowly and he should run around trying to follow the treat.
Once he has gone round once, give him the tasty reward he wants. If you don’t want to give him food, you can spend a minute or so playing with a favorite toy. Just make sure he knows you are happy with him.
Make it harder
You can now start to make him run in a figure of eight around your legs before you hand over the reward. In fact, you can continue making it harder so he has to run around a number of times before he gets any reward.
Reduce the lead
Spend 5 to 10 minutes practicing each day. As he gets the hang of it you can then start to reduce how much you lead him around. Instead you can just point or spin your hands around. This will be easier for you and should still be a clear signal to him.
By James Barra
Published: 02/21/2018, edited: 01/08/2021