Do you have a Dachshund that’s started to to growl or get aggressive? Are you wondering how to stop your Dachshund becoming aggressive? Here’s everything you need to know about Dachshunds and aggression.
Are Dachshunds Aggressive? Dachshunds can be aggressive when they’re feeling territorial, scared, protective, unwell, if they’re resource guarding or think they’re pack leader and in charge. If Dachshunds are socialised and trained properly as puppies, they shouldn’t exhibit aggression.
But wait – there’s more you need to know! Read on for more info on why Dachshunds are aggressive, if they’re aggressive towards children, people and other dogs, and how to stop your Dachshund being aggressive.
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This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.
Why are Dachshunds aggressive?
Like any dog breed, some Dachshunds exhibit aggressive behaviour at times.
This doesn’t mean that Dachshunds are naturally aggressive. It’s more to do with the individual dog and how well they’ve been trained and socialised.
They were originally bred to hunt badgers, so they’re super stubborn, independent and feisty.
That’s what makes them such funny, loving pets, but it’s also why they can develop aggressive tendencies without proper training.
If your Dachshund is being aggressive, it could be because:
Your Dachshund is being territorial
Some Dachshunds are very territorial, either towards their home and garden or yard, or towards what they see as their property (food, toys and even people!).
If your Dachshund feels like someone or something is intruding on his territory, he may behave aggressively to warn them off.
Your Dachshund is scared
If your Dachshund has had an experience that was traumatic for him, he may feel very scared in certain situations, and this could cause him to behave aggressively to try and protect himself.
Dachshunds can develop fear aggression towards objects, people, dogs and scenarios, and it’s really important to work on this with your Dachshund as scared dogs can sometimes end up biting or attacking.
Your Dachshund feels protective of you
Dachshunds are immensely loyal dogs, and if you have a close bond with your Dachshund then he’ll probably feel protective of you.
It’s also his natural instinct to protect his pack, and you’re one of his pack now, so he wants to keep you safe!
Your Dachshund is jealous
Dachshunds tend to pick a special person in the family that they cling to like glue. They’re so loyal and affectionate, but that can sometimes spill over into jealousy.
If you’re “the chosen one” and you give another dog or person you attention, your Dachshund may get a case of the green eyed monster and become aggressive towards that person or dog.
Your Dachshund is resource guarding
Some Dachshunds feel the need to guard their food, toys, bed or other ‘possessions’ and can act aggressively if a person or another dog comes near them.
This is largely instinct, but can also be because of bad experiences in the past.
Your Dachshund thinks they’re the alpha
Dachshunds were originally pack dogs, where one dog is the alpha that leads the pack. They are also incredibly feisty little things, with strong, independent spirits.
If your Dachshund doesn’t understand that you’re the pack leader (which you absolutely are!), then he may have claimed the position for himself. So he could show signs of aggression because he feels like he’s in charge.
Your Dachshund is asserting their dominance
Some Dachshunds can behave aggressively towards other dogs because they want to show that they’re the most dominant.
There’s been a big change in your Dachshund‘s life
If your Dachshund is suddenly behaving aggressively, this could be due to a change in his surroundings or routine.
Has anything changed in your Dachshund’s life recently? Perhaps someone new has moved into your house? Maybe you’ve moved? Have you had a baby? Has his routine changed at all? These can all cause your Dachshund to act up.
Your Dachshund is sick
Some Dachshunds can become aggressive when they’re in pain or unwell.
So, if you really can’t pinpoint anything that’s causing your Dachshund to suddenly behave aggressively, you may want to take him to the vet to rule out any health issues.
Can Dachshunds Be Aggressive Towards Children?
Dachshund’s aren’t generally aggressive towards children, as long as they’re properly socialised and the kids play nicely with him! Most Dachshunds make lovely family dogs and are great around children.
Saying that, it’s your responsibility to know your Dachshund and, if you have any doubts about how he’ll behave around children, take it slow.
If you rescued your Dachshund you may never know his full history. So be extra cautious when he’s around children or babies and never leave him unattended.
Always make sure you introduce your Dachshund properly to each child, and make sure the kids know the ‘sausage dog rules’ – no picking him up, squeezing him, disturbing him when he’s eating or sleeping, petting him when he seems stressed, or playing boisterously around him.
Can Dachshunds Be Aggressive Towards People?
Dachshunds that aren’t trained or socialised as puppies can sometimes be aggressive towards people.
So get your Dachshund used to being around different people from a young age, so he doesn’t feel threatened by strangers and instead sees them as fun new friends!
Always introduce new people properly to him by sitting the them down on the ground (so that they’re at his level) and letting him come up to them when he’s ready.
If someone new moves in with you or comes round regularly, one thing you can do to get your Dachshund used to them is to give them all the fun jobs like feeding him, playing with him and giving him treats.
This’ll create a bond between them and help your Dachshund learn to accept the new person into the home.
Can Dachshunds Be Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?
With proper training and socialisation, Dachshunds should behave well around other dogs.
Some Dachshunds may be aggressive towards other dogs if they feel threatened. They could also growl or bark if they’re being possessive or protective of you, or trying to assert their dominance.
You can work on these behaviours with training and, once you feel that it’s safe to do so, you could start socialising your Dachshund with other dogs.
It’s a good idea to start with a friend’s dog (preferably a well trained one!) that your Dachshund feels more comfortable around.
If you know your Dachshund is aggressive around other dogs, keep him on a leash so as not to put other dogs at risk when on walks!
How Do I Stop My Dachshund Being Aggressive?
Here are some tips to stop your Dachshund being aggressive:
Work out why your Dachshund is being aggressive
The first step in stopping your Dachshund from behaving aggressively is to understand why he’s doing it.
Try to pay attention to what’s happening when your Dachshund is being aggressive, and see if you can work out what the triggers are.
Once you know why your Dachshund is being aggressive, you can start working with him to correct it.
If you got him from a rescue shelter, you probably won’t know much about his past, so working out the cause of his aggression may be harder.
You could always work with a dog behaviourist if you’d like the support of an expert.
Socialise your Dachshund from a young age
If your Dachshund is a puppy, you can start training and socialising him from about eight weeks old. This helps to stop any aggressive tendencies developing as he gets older.
If your Dachshund knows you’re the alpha and understands what you expect of him, he should grow up to be a loving, loyal, adorable companion that behaves well around other dogs, people and children.
Introduce your Dachshund to new people properly
Your Dachshund may feel threatened by new people in his environment or around his pack, so take the time to introduce any newcomers properly.
Don’t rush things. Always let your Dachshund go to investigate new people in his own time.
Make sure they stay still and calm and don’t make any sudden movements.
Exercise your Dachshund more
There are very few behavioural issues that can’t be helped by a bit more exercise! A tired Dachshund is a happy Dachshund! Basically, if he doesn’t have as much pent-up energy, it won’t come out as aggressive behaviours.
You could add an extra walk or make your walks a bit longer. Or maybe add another playtime session into your day. Just make sure you don’t overdo the exercise with young pups under 12 months old.
Socialise your Dachshund safely
It’s best to start socialising your Dachshund from a young age. It’ll get him used to how to behave around other dogs so that he hopefully doesn’t develop any inter-dog aggression issues.
If your Dachshund is older, don’t just throw him into socialising. Take it slow and watch out for any signs of stress or aggression.
Become the alpha
Training is a brilliant way to show your Dachshund that you’re in charge. It teaches him to take the lead from you, rather than boss you around.
Another way to show you’re the alpha is to never let your Dachshund push in front of you on walks or when walking out the door. Just calmly correct him so that he’s always following you – the leader!
It’s tough to break bad habits with Dachshunds because they’re so stubborn, but if you’re clear about what’s acceptable and you follow through every time he does something wrong, he’ll soon learn that you’re the boss.
Keep things calm
When you play with your Dachshund, don’t play aggressive or boisterous games that involve things like pulling, tugging or chase.
Dachshunds are hunting dogs by nature so this could trigger aggressive tendencies.
It’s better to throw a soft ball and ask your Dachshund to fetch it. Then teach him how to drop things and to wait for toys to be thrown.
Doing this type of game combines play with learning and doesn’t encourage feisty behaviour.
Reward good behaviour
Always train your Dachshund using positive reinforcement – ignore bad behaviour and reward good behaviour with lots of praise, treats and fuss.
Don’t ever shout at or punish your Dachshund. Don’t spray him with water, use loud noise or shock collars. This is negative and could make your Dachshund fearful and scared, potentially leading to aggressive behaviours.
Neuter your Dachshund
Neutering or spaying a Dachshund can sometimes help to calm them down and make them less feisty..
However, research suggests that neutering or spaying too young can increase a Dachshunds risk of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). Read up on the study and speak to your vet for advice.
Speak to your Vet
If your Dachshund becomes aggressive and starts to growl, bite or nip at people or other animals, it’s best to speak with your vet.
Ask them to recommend a local dog behaviourist that can work with your Dachshund to resolve the behavioural issues. The sooner you get started, the better – so don’t delay!
So there you have it! Dachshunds can become aggressive when they feel scared, protective, territorial or unwell, if they’re guarding resources like food, or if they think they’re in charge of you. If Dachshunds are properly trained and socialised as puppies, most are friendly and shouldn’t become aggressive. Any sudden onset of aggression should be referred to a vet.
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