Have you got a new dachshund puppy? Do you have an older dog who can’t seem to get into a routine? Are you spending your days clearing up pee and poop around the house? You’re not alone. Potty training can be a challenge, especially for dachshunds, but we’re going to help you get this sorted.
How do you potty train a dachshund? Here’s how:
- Watch for signs your dachshund needs to go
- Take him out for regular breaks
- Go to the same spot
- Reward him for weeing and pooing outside
- Don’t punish him for accidents
- Stick to the same daily routine
- Use a crate at night
If your dachshund has yet to grasp the art of weeing and pooing outside, and you’re fed up of stains on your carpet and stinks around your house, read on to find out what to do and how to get your sausage pup into a new routine.
Table of Contents
- Are dachshunds hard to potty train?
- How do I know my dachshund needs the toilet?
- What if my dachshund keeps having accidents indoors?
- Should I shout at my dachshund for weeing indoors?
- Should I use a crate for potty training my dachshund?
- What do I do with my dachshund at night?
- Can you potty train an older dachshund?
- Should I use puppy pads to toilet train my dachshund?
- Should I get an indoor puppy pen for my dachshund?
- How do I stop my dachshund weeing when people visit?
- What things do I need to potty train my dachshund?
- How long will it take to potty train my dachshund?
- What if I can’t potty train my dachshund?
- Why won’t my dachshund go out in the rain?
- Does my dachshund need a coat?
- Does my dachshund have a urinary tract infection?
- What do I do next?
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet or qualified dog behaviourist.
IMPORTANT TO CHECK WITH YOUR VET BEFORE STARTING POTTY TRAINING: Before you begin this potty training, you MUST check with your Vet that it’s safe for your puppy to go outside into your garden or yard before vaccinations are complete. There are many reasons why it may NOT be possible. For example, you might not have a secure and private yard or garden to use, you may live in a climate that’s too cold (or hot) for a young puppy to be outside in, you may live in an area where your puppy is at risk of catching Canine Parvovirus (which can sadly be fatal), or you may have too many wild animals or unvaccinated dogs around your home which could put your puppy at risk of catching Canine Parvovirus. So MAKE SURE you call your Vet to check that with them BEFORE you begin to toilet train your puppy outside.
Are dachshunds hard to potty train?
Yes, dachshunds can be stubborn and hard to potty train. Set aside plenty of time so you can watch your dachshund and react quickly when he needs to go. Take him out regularly during the day and crate him (for short periods) when you’re not in the room and overnight.
Potty training is tricky with any dog breed so don’t worry too much. If you can, it’s best to spend a few weeks at home after you get him. The sooner you start, the less likely he is to get into a bad habit. Follow the 10-Step Toilet Training Boot Camp below to find out exactly what you need to do:
1 – Watch for signs
Watch for signs your dachshund needs to go (sniffing, circling, squatting, sitting by the door, etc.)
2 – Take your dachshund outside
As soon as your dachshund shows any signs, clip on his lead and take him outside
3 – Choose a spot
Choose a spot outside where you want your dachshund to go and stick to it. He needs to understand where he has to go.
4 – Give a verbal command
Give your dachshund the same verbal command each time. Say something like ‘wee-wee’. Use the same command for both ‘wee’ and ‘poo’ because it’s less confusing and he won’t know the difference
5 – Wait 10 minutes
Give your dachshund 10 minutes. If he goes to the toilet, give him a treat and a fuss. If he doesn’t, take him back inside and try again in 20 minutes.
6 – Don’t distract your dachshund
Don’t play with your dachshund or distract him until he goes to the toilet.
7 – Praise your dachshund
Be really positive when your dachshund goes to the toilet outside. We’re talking treats, fuss, childish voices – the works!
8 – Play with your dachshund
After your dachshund has done what he’s supposed to do, spend some time playing outdoors. You want him to associate going to the toilet with rewards and fun.
9 – Crate your dachshund
Crate your dachshund (for limited periods) when you’re not in the room and also overnight to prevent any indoor accidents.
10 – Stick to the routine
Stick to the routine with boot camp mentality! Your dachshund will find it so much easier to wee on schedule if he knows when he’s supposed to go.
Even if your dachshund isn’t showing signs of needing the toilet, you should still take him out at regular times throughout the day. To start with, you probably want to take him out about every 20 minutes or so. This seems like a lot, but the whole idea is to give him as many opportunities as possible to wee outside so you can reward him for doing the right thing.
How do I know my dachshund needs the toilet?
- Getting excited or rushing round the house
- Hanging around a spot where he’s done a wee before
- Siting by the door
- Crying or whining
- Barking or yapping for no reason
- Staring at you for no reason
What if my dachshund keeps having accidents indoors?
If your dachshund keeps having accidents indoors, this is what you need to do:
- Go back to basics
- Pick your dachshund up
- Smear poop outside
- Watch your dachshund like a hawk
- Learn the potty routine
- Use high value treats
- Don’t react
- Clean up
- Don’t stress
- Keep going
This is what you need to know:
Go back to basics
If your dachshund keeps pottying inside, he may be confused about where he’s supposed to go. Some dachshunds wee inside and poo outside, some poo inside and wee outside, and some wee and poo inside. The best thing you can do is start the routine again and go back to basics.
Pick your dachshund up
If you catch your dachshund mid-squat, don’t stress! Just say a firm ‘No’, pick him up immediately (even if it’s mid-wee) and take him outside. By picking him up, his bladder should contract and he should stop weeing. If he finishes his business outdoors, give him a treat.
Smear poop outside
As gross as it sounds. take one of your dachshund’s poos and smear it on an area of grass outside where you want him to go. This gives him a scent and encourages him to go outdoors. Go to that same area every single time. If he doesn’t go, it’d be better to crate him for a short time when you come back in and try again in 20 mins.
Watch your dachshund like a hawk
If your dachshund doesn’t go outside and isn’t in a crate, you need to watch him VERY closely when he comes back in. As soon as you see any signs he needs to potty, go straight back outside again. If you catch him getting into ‘the position’, just say ‘No’ (don’t shout, just be firm) and take him straight back outside. This is hard work, but it’s only until he’s trained.
Learn the potty routine
After a week or so, you’ll get to know the potty pattern. For example, in the morning once your dachshund has eaten, he’s going to need to go to the loo. Take him outside and wait 10 minutes. If he doesn’t go, bring him back in but watch him VERY closely (or crate him for 20 minutes) and then try again. Keep repeating this over and over because, eventually, he’s going to HAVE to go. It’s just a matter of time. You only have to do this until he figures out what he’s supposed to do. Any movement into ‘the position’ a quick ‘No’ and straight back outside.
Use high value treats
Most dachshunds are obsessed with food, but carrot chunks or shop bought training treats may not be motivating enough. Try a high value treat like some fresh chicken or a small cube of cheese. Obviously, you don’t want to feed cheese or fatty treats all the time, but they can work wonders with training!
If you notice a puddle on the floor but don’t catch your dachshund in the act, don’t react. This sends the wrong message and he just won’t understand. You can only correct the behaviour if you see him showing signs he needs to go or he’s actually weeing or pooing on the floor in front of you.
Scrub your floors clean after any accidents. You probably want to use a special pet cleaner (don’t use any cleaners that contain ammonia because this has the same scent as wee). The last thing you want is your dachshund smelling his own wee or poo and thinking it’s ok to go in the same spot again.
If you get stressed, anxious or angry about the situation, your dachshund may pick up on this and be scared or confused about what he’s supposed to do. Stay calm, take him out regularly and stick to the routine.
All puppies wee and poo on the floor to start with and, while your dachshund is still learning, there’ll probably be a few accidents. This is totally normal. You just need to stick to the bootcamp training and watch him like a hawk. Keep taking him out regularly throughout the day and be consistent with the routine. It can take a while for dachshunds to learn potty training so just keep going and don’t give up.
Should I shout at my dachshund for weeing indoors?
No! You should never shout at your dachshund for having an accident indoors. They’re not trying to be naughty – they just don’t know what they’re supposed to do yet. Your dachshund will just end up being scared of you and won’t understand why you’re shouting at him.
The last thing you want is for your dachshund to feel like he has to hide away to go to the toilet (because that means a nice big poop waiting for you behind the sofa!).
Should I use a crate for potty training my dachshund?
Yes, crates are excellent for potty training. Dachshunds like a snuggle-den – it’s like a safe space. And, because your dachshund sleeps there, he won’t pee or poop there, as dogs generally don’t mess where they eat and sleep.
If you want to know:
- How best to use a crate
- Why you should use a crate
- What precautions you need to take
- What size crate to buy
- How to set up the crate
- Where to set up the crate
- What to put inside the crate
- How to introduce your dachshund to the crate
- What to do if your dachshund cries in the crate
- What to do if you dachshund wees or poos in the crate
- How long your dachshund can be left in the crate
- What to expect for the first few nights
- If crate training is cruel
- How hard crate training is
- If you can crate train an older dachshund
- How long crate training takes
What do I do with my dachshund at night?
For the first month or so, you need to get up during the night at regular times to take your little pup outside. Dachshund bladders don’t fully develop until they’re about 4 months old so, just like a baby, they need you to care for them until they can comfortably sleep right through.
This is what you need to do:
Get up during the night and take your dachshund outside
It’s normal for a new puppy to wee and poo indoors overnight. Their little bladders won’t last anywhere near that long to start with. If you’re crate training, you must bear this in mind because he’s going to need you to take him out during the night.
Don’t engage with your dachshund during the night
When you take your dachshund out, don’t engage with him. Just pick him up, take him outside, put him on the grass and say ‘wee wee’. If he starts to get playful, just ignore it. If you talk to him, start fussing over him or make it fun, he’ll turn it into a game and have you up at all hours!
Work out why your dachshund is crying
Your dachshund will probably cry at night to start with too. That’s totally normal. But, you need to figure out whether he’s scared, wants your attention or actually needs to go. If you set your alarm and get into a routine early on, you’ll know when his bladder is empty and when you’re good for a few hours sleep.
Put the crate beside your bed
It’s best to have the crate beside your bed to start with so you can reassure him through the night. As time goes on, you can gradually move the crate further away if you want to. It just depends where you want your dachshund to sleep. It’s good to give him his own space early on. He won’t always be in a crate and will eventually want to make his own way to bed.
This night-time routine may feel tough to start with. And yes, you’re probably going to lose out on sleep. But the rewards are SO worth it. Routine is everything in those early stages. And remember, teaching a pup when they’re young is so much easier than teaching an old dog new tricks!
Can you potty train an older dachshund?
Potty training an older dachshund can be hard work. Dachshunds are stubborn and tend to be set in their ways. Take him out regularly and crate him (for short periods) when you’re not in the room. Be patient and consistent and give him time to learn.
You also need to think about any changes that have happened recently. When stressed, some dachshunds do what’s called ‘marking’ where they wee on furniture or areas around the home. They might start doing this after you move house, get another dog or have a baby. Get him back into boot camp and start following the routine again.
If he keeps having accidents during the night, maybe he’s going to bed with too much in his bladder. Try taking him out just before he goes to bed. And make sure he eats at least 5 hours before bedtime. If you think it’s a nervous thing, you could get him to sleep in a crate. This may make him feel safer and should stop any accidents.
It’s best to take precautions with older dogs and speak to a vet to rule out any serious problems. If all is ok and it’s just an age thing, you could try some dachshund diapers.
Should I use puppy pads to toilet train my dachshund?
No. Puppy pads might seem like the easy option, but they’ll become a habit that’s very hard to break. It may give you a few more hours sleep in the early days, but it’s very confusing for a dachshund and will make potty training much harder in the long run.
Should I get an indoor puppy pen for my dachshund?
Yes. A puppy pen is useful because it confines your puppy to a specific area in the home. It’s a much bigger space where your puppy can run around and play. Puppy pens are a good idea but you still need to watch your dachshund and take him out regularly.
Puppy pens or playpens are different to crates. A crate is a confined space used for short periods of time and overnight (with regular trips outside). A puppy pen is good because it’s bigger and can be used for longer. But, there’s a downside. Because the space is no longer confined, the puppy will wee and poo there. And it’s going to take double effort for your dachshund to get the hang of toilet training if you leave him for hours on end. Puppy pens work best alongside the 10-Step Toilet Training Boot Camp.
How do I stop my dachshund weeing when people visit?
The best thing you can do is train your friends and family. It’s much easier than trying to contain a giddy dachshund pup! Tell them he’s potty training and they need to be calm and ignore him when they first arrive – just for a short while until he settles down. The less fuss at the door, the less wee at the door!
If you’re expecting visitors, make sure you take him out just before they arrive. This’ll help to control his over-excitement so he doesn’t wee on the floor, tread in it, jump around and get it over everyone and everything!
What things do I need to potty train my dachshund?
This is what you need to potty train your dachshund:
- Collar and lead
- Puppy pen
- Time and patience
This is what you need to know:
Collar and lead
This is so you can take him to the same spot outdoors.
Dachshunds love raw food, and carrots or mango are healthy, tasty options.
Just make sure the crate is the right size and big enough for your dachshund to sit and stand easily.
This is useful if you want to confine your puppy to one area of the house to start with.
Time and patience
Be consistent, it can take a while for dachshunds to pick up toilet training.
How long will it take to potty train my dachshund?
It generally takes between 3 weeks and 3 months to potty train a dachshund. It depends how quickly your dachshund learns and how consistent your training is. Dachshunds are stubborn, so you need to be patient and willing to put in the time it takes.
What will set you back is if you only do a bit of training here and there, or change your approach or routine. Time, dedication and consistency make for a well-trained sausage pup!
What if I can’t potty train my dachshund?
If your dachshund can’t get the hang of potty training, here’s what you need to do:
- Stick to the routine
- Track toilet habits
- Check you’re not overfeeding
- Control when your dachshund goes outside
- Do some general puppy training
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
- Speak to a vet
This is what you need to know:
Stick to the routine
Sometimes things don’t go to plan and there can be so many different reasons why. Double-down on your routine. Puppies generally need to wee as soon as they wake and poo within about 15-20 minutes of eating. So, you need to get up and out at the crack of dawn. No excuses!
Track toilet habits
Watch and write down all the times your puppy goes in one week. You should start to see patterns and can then work your potty training schedule around his toilet habits. Most puppies need to wee every 1-2 hours throughout the day. If you leave your dachshund alone too long, he wont be able to hold it. And that’s not his fault. The more you take him out, the more chances you’re giving him to learn what he’s supposed to do.
Check you’re not overfeeding
Look at the food you’re feeding him and how much. You could be overfeeding or not feeding at the right time of day. Make sure you’re not feeding him human food too. Apart from being bad for his health, anything too salty will make him drink more – and wee more!
Control when your dachshund goes outside
Until he‘s toilet trained, don’t let your sausage pup roam freely in and out of the garden. This won’t work. He won’t understand where his toilet spot is and what he’s supposed to do and when. He needs structure and routine until he’s got the hang of things.
Do some general puppy training
Spend more time on general puppy training or take him to puppy training classes. He needs to understand you’re the ‘alpha’ and in charge. If he’s ruling the roost at home and getting away with it, he’s not going to listen to anything you say, or do anything you want him to do!
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Some people never manage to fully potty train their dachshund, so you’re definitely not alone. Dachshunds can be very obstinate and stubborn when they want to be. It’s in their nature and that’s NOT your fault!
Speak to a vet
If your dachshund has diarrhea or you’re at all concerned, speak to a vet to rule out any serious health issues, especially if you bought him online from an unregistered breeder.
Why won’t my dachshund go out in the rain?
Dachshunds hate the cold and rain. Their tummies are low to the ground so they get cold quickly. Given the choice of weeing indoors or outside in damp grass, your smart and stubborn dachshund would much rather piddle by the door.
Nip that in the bud right away. Get your wellies on and go outside with him. This should make it much more fun (for him, not you!). Failing that, pick him up, plonk him gently on the grass and wait – he’ll get the message eventually!
Does my dachshund need a coat?
No, your dachshund doesn’t need a coat but they’re useful when it’s wet and cold. You could get a mac to keep him dry when it’s raining, and a warm fleece for winter walks. Fleeces are very popular with dachshund owners and dachshunds seem to love them.
Does my dachshund have a urinary tract infection?
If your dachshund wees in the house, it’s usually because he’s still learning. But, it can also be because of a medical condition, like a urinary tract infection (UTI). If your dachshund seems to be weeing constantly and uncontrollably, you should take him to the vet. UTIs are generally easy enough to clear up, so don’t worry too much. Just make an appointment to see your vet ASAP.
So, now you know what to do, it’s time to get your dachshund into ‘Toilet Training Boot Camp’! If he doesn’t pick it up right away, don’t give up. He’s just trying to work out what you want him to do. It’s going to take time and effort on both sides. So, give him the guidance he needs and show him you’ve got his paw!
What do I do next?
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