Are Dachshunds Friendly?

Friendly dachshund being cuddled by a woman

Are you thinking of getting a dachshund? Do you have young children and want to know more about the breed? Are you wondering if he’ll be friendly around friends and family? We’re going to answer all your questions about the temperament of dachshunds.

Are dachshunds friendly? Yes. Most dachshunds are friendly once they get to know you. Dachshunds are sweet and gentle dogs as long as they’re properly socialised, well trained and introduced correctly to strangers. If your dachshund is wary of new people, work with him to help him feel more comfortable.

Read on to find out if dachshunds are ever aggressive, whether they bite, how to deal with any bad behaviours, and how to make sure they’re calm and happy around friends, family and new people.

What temperament do dachshunds have?

Dachshunds are incredibly friendly once they get to know you. They’re gentle and sweet towards people and kids as long as they’re properly socialised and trained. Untrained or unsocialised dachshunds may bark or growl if they’re scared or anxious.

Are Dachshunds Friendly? Young child sat on the floor being kissed by a dachshund dog
A sweet dachshund giving a little girl a kiss

Dachshunds usually have one person they buddy up with and develop a really close bond with. This person will be showered with affection and fiercely protected by their lovable little sausage dog. Even if you’re not the chosen one, as long as you’re part of the pack, he’ll look out for you and happily play and snuggle with you too. In general, dachshunds are loyal and protective of their family and good around children, as long as they’re treated kindly.

By nature, dachshunds are feisty and independent dogs and like being in control. If your dachshund becomes aggressive or grouchy towards other members of your family, it’s normally because he’s jealous of anyone getting your attention. You’re his favourite person and, as far as he’s concerned, he owns you and no one else is allowed near. If you see any signs of aggressive or possessive behaviour, you need to train him to understand you’re the boss and he’s not in charge of you or anyone else in the household.

Dachshunds are also territorial and known to be wary of strangers. They’ll bark at pretty much anything that moves. Socialise your noisy little sausage dog from a young age so he gets used to being around different people and dogs. This’ll make him feel much calmer in new situations.

Can dachshunds be aggressive?

Yes dachshunds can show signs of aggression but, if properly trained and socialised, they shouldn’t be aggressive. Make sure he knows you’re in charge and help him feel comfortable around strangers so he doesn’t feel scared or anxious when meeting new people.

Are Dachshunds Friendly? Two dachshunds barking aggressively when out on a walk
A territorial dachshund barking at strangers while on a walk

Dachshunds can be more wary of strangers than other dog breeds, but this doesn’t automatically mean he’ll bark or snarl at every new person he meets. If you’ve trained him, he should walk nicely past people in the park and be perfectly happy when friends and family visit your home.

Just to be safe, it’s always worth introducing any new people to your dachshund properly so he doesn’t feel anxious about them being around. Sit your guests down on the floor and let him come to them in his own time. If he’s relaxed, get your guest to give him a gentle rub on his back or tummy. After that, he really should be fine and will probably just want to play.

Are Dachshunds Friendly? Dachshund being stroked on the head while out on a walk
A dachshund being introduced to a new person

If he does bark or snarl at people, you should work on his socialisation skills. Do you have any friends who’d be willing to come over and meet him? Getting him used to being around people is the only way to combat his fear of strangers. Once he’s met a few new people, you could try taking him out on walks and distracting him when someone walks past. If he gives you his attention and doesn’t bark at the stranger, give him a treat or a fuss. Eventually, he should learn to ignore everyone around him and just walk nicely beside you.

Do dachshunds bite?

Yes, as with all dogs, dachshunds can bite. But it all comes down to the dog’s training and socialisation. While some research suggested dachshunds’ bite more than other dog breeds, the majority of owners disagree and say their dachshunds have never bitten or snapped at anyone.

Dachshunds are generally very lovable and gentle, and will only growl, snarl, nip or snap on very rare occasions when they feel scared, anxious or territorial. There’s often a very clear reason behind this behaviour, so it’s something you can work on with training.

Close up of dachshund staring forwards
An anxious and scared looking dachshund

If your dachshund seems overly aggressive, he may have had a bad experience that’s made him extra wary. In this case, speak to your vet. You may need to take precautions and work with a dog behaviourist until he’s properly trained.

Dachshund puppies will nip or play bite while figuring out what they’re allowed to do. They often do this when teething because they don’t realise how much their sharp little teeth hurt. Even though your dachshund is just playing and doesn’t mean any harm, you need to let him know it’s not ok. Otherwise he might keep doing it as an adult. Try not to make a huge deal of it. Your sausage pup might think you’re playing and won’t understand what he’s done wrong.

Just ignore him (no more playing or fussing) or say ‘Ow!’ and then ignore him. He’ll soon learn the fun stops when the biting starts. You should also teach him the ‘gently’ command as early as possible so he learns to play nicely and take food gently.

Are dachshunds good family pets?

Yes, dachshunds are great family pets. They’re pack dogs and love being around people. They’re good with children as long as the children play carefully around them. They’re funny, clever, loyal and affectionate – the perfect doggy companions!

Are Dachshunds Friendly? Young child running with a dachshund when out on a walk
A dachshund running in the woods with a little girl

How do you discipline a dachshund?

Never shout at, stare at or hit your dachshund when he does anything wrong. If he nips, say ‘Ow!’ loudly and ignore him so he realises he’s hurt you, or calmly remove him from the situation and pop him in his crate for up to 30 seconds at a time.

Lots of bad behaviour comes from dachshunds thinking they’re in charge of you. If your dachshund nips because he doesn’t want to do something, or snaps at your partner because he’s jealous you’re giving someone else attention, he probably thinks he’s the boss.

If he does nip, you need to say ‘Ow!’ loudly and then ignore him until he’s calmed down. And then you need to train him to understand the pecking order in the household – he’s not in charge of you, your partner or any of your family members.

One way to do this is to get everyone in the family to help train him. Ignore bad behaviour by not giving it any attention and praise good behaviour with treats and fuss when he does the right thing. He’ll soon learn what he needs to do to get what he wants!

What do I do if my dachshund bites?

If your dachshund bites or does anything more than playful nipping, separate him from your children and speak to a vet or dog behaviourist to work on the root cause of his aggression. Act quickly and begin training to get the situation under control.

Dachshund visiting the vet
A dachshund visiting the vet

So there you have it. Dachshunds are generally friendly, affectionate and gentle once they get to know you. The majority of sausage dogs fit really well into a family home. They can show signs of aggression if they haven’t been trained properly, and can be possessive if too attached to one person. Nip that in the bud right away with regular training and socialisation and you’ll end up with an adorable, loving sausage dog that’ll be the perfect addition to your family.

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