How Do You Teach a Dachshund to Recall?

Dachshund recall training

Do you have a new Dachshund puppy that you want to teach to recall? Are you wondering if Dachshunds can even be trained to come to call? Here’s everything you need to know about Dachshunds and recall training.

How Do You Teach a Dachshund to Recall?

  1. Put your Dachshund on a long line training leash
  2. Ask your Dachshund to ‘Sit!’ and then ‘Stay!’
  3. Hold your Dachshund’s leash loosely in your left hand
  4. Hold a treat in your left hand
  5. Walk slowly forwards for about 2 metres
  6. Make sure your Dachshund stays in the same spot
  7. Turn to face your Dachshund
  8. Call your Dachshund to ‘Come!’ to you
  9. Wait for your Dachshund to reach you
  10. Give your Dachshund big praise
  11. Gently hold your Dachshund’s harness and give him a treat

But, before you start shouting “Come!” at the top of your voice, there’s more you need to know. Read on to find out what age your Dachshund should start recall training, how to set yourself up for success, and what to do if you’re struggling.

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.


Is Your Dachshund Ready For Recall Training?

Before your Dachshund can start learning recall, he needs to know the ‘Sit!’ and ‘Stay!’ commands. You’ll need to use these commands within his recall training, so make sure he’s confident on those first. If he is, then you’re ready to move onto recall training!

What Age Should A Dachshund Start Recall Training?

Dachshunds should start recall training at 8-12 weeks old. It’s good to introduce the ‘Come!’ command inside the home during those first few weeks. Then progress to the garden and eventually to the park (after all jabs of course).

Dachshunds learn most new skills in the first 16 weeks of their lives. But you don’t want to overwhelm them with too many new commands all at once. So start with the basics of ‘Sit!’ and ‘Stay!’, and then move onto ‘Come!’.

What Dog Leash Is Best For Recall Training A Dachshund?

The best dog leash for recall training a Dachshund is a long line training leash attached to a dog harness. Don’t use a retractable leash or a dog collar as Dachshunds have fragile backs and any jolting or pulling could potentially injure them.

How Do You Teach a Dachshund to Recall? Dachshund coming to recall with a toy in his mouth
Dachshund coming to recall with a toy in his mouth

How To Train A Dachshund To Recall

If you’re in a safe, quiet space and your Dachshund is nice and calm, you can begin recall training! This is what you need to do:

Choose a dedicated recall command word

Decide on a short, snappy command word that you can use when you want your Dachshund to recall, like ‘Come!’ or ‘Here!’.

You might choose to use a whistle rather than a word. But whatever you pick, save it ONLY for recall.

If your Dachshund hears the command word in other contexts throughout the day, it’ll just become background noise and he won’t understand how (or if) he needs to respond.

That’s why it’s best not to just use your Dachshund’s name (although you could use his name plus the command word if you wanted to).

Have lots of treats to hand! 

As you already know, most Dachshunds are greedy little things! If you have some really tasty treats on you, your Dachshund is much more likely to respond to recall training.

You could have extra special treats that he only gets if he comes when called. This makes it very exciting for him to recall, which is exactly what you want!

If your Dachshund isn’t food motivated, carry a special toy or ball that he only gets after coming to call on walks.

Start recall training inside your home

It’s a good idea to get your Dachshund puppy familiar with the ‘Come!’ command inside the home, and to praise or reward him if he does walk towards you when you ask him to.

Progress recall training in the garden

While it’s really important your Dachshund learns to ignore distractions, it’s good to find a quiet space when you first start him on recall training outside. Ideally in a secure fenced garden or somewhere without other dogs and people around.

This boosts your Dachshund’s chances of conquering the command, rather than getting excited by distractions and confused with the training.

You don’t need to use a long line training leash or harness in a secure garden. The leash is only there to stop your Dachshund from running off and to keep him safe.

Get your Dachshund to chase you

Firs things first, you want your Dachshund to get used to following you. So run around the garden and let him chase you.

Then ask a friend to stay with him while you hide behind a tree and let your Dachshund run and find you. Make the act of him running towards you really fun and exciting.

Ask your Dachshund to ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’

Your Dachshund needs to know how to ‘Sit!’ and ‘Stay!’ on your left hand side, before doing anything else.

Getting your puppy to do what you want can be a challenge. That’s why it’s important for your Dachshund to master the basic commands before moving onto recall training.

Walk away from your Dachshund

Hold a treat in your left hand. Walk slowly forwards for about 2 metres and then stop and turn to face your Dachshund.

Hopefully your Dachshund will have stayed in the same spot. If he has moved, start again and focus on those basic ‘Sit!’ and ‘Stay!’ commands.

Call your Dachshund to ‘Come!’ to you

You need to sound enthusiastic and excited when you say the word ‘Come!’. Make it look like you’re having so much fun and get excited when your Dachshund runs towards you!

If your Dachshund ignores you, shorten the distance between you or hold a treat under his nose and walk backwards so he starts following you.

Keep repeating this until he understands that coming towards you equals treats and praise!

Finish the recall command

What do you want your Dachshund to do when he comes to you? Should he sit at your feet? Or should he lay down?

Be clear on instructions. Let your Dachshund know how you’d like him to complete the command and be consistent with it.

Give huge praise

If your Dachshunds gets his recall command right, give him huge praise and a tasty treat. Go overboard with the baby voices, enthusiasm and fuss!

Repeat the recall routine

Keep repeating this routine every day until your Dachshund responds consistently to recall.

Increase the distance between you

Once your Dachshund has cracked it, you can then start increasing the distance between you. You need him to get used to responding to you from further away.

This’ll give you both confidence that your Dachshund knows what to do when you call, even if you’re not right in front of him.

How Do You Teach a Dachshund to Recall? Dachshund practicing recall training with his owner
Dachshund practicing recall training with his owner

Progress recall at the local park

Once you’ve mastered recall in your garden, progress to the local park. If you can, it’s best to go to a secure park or fenced in dog area at an off peak time when no one is around.

It’ll be easier if you have a friend or family member there to help you with recall training. They can stay quietly beside your Dachshund while you move further away.

Put your Dachshund on a long line training leash

Put your Dachshund on a long line training leash and a harness. A harness is better than a collar because you don’t want to put any pressure on your Dachshund’s back.

Your Dachshund should stay on a long line leash until he’s trained at recall and you’re 100% confident he’ll come back.

Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially in areas like parks that aren’t secure.

This could take weeks or even months of consistent, patient training. Some Dachshunds may never get to that point because their hunting instinct is just too strong.

Most importantly, your Dachshund needs you to keep him safe. So it’s best to keep him on the long leash until you’re 100% sure he’s ready.

Ask your Dachshund to ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’

As before, ask your Dachshund to ‘Sit!’ and then ‘Stay!’. But this time, ask a fiend to stand quietly beside him so you know he’s safe when you’re a few metres away.

Walk away from your Dachshund

Hold the long line training leash loosely in you left hand along with a dog treat. Walk slowly forwards for about 2 metres and then stop and turn to face your Dachshund.

Hopefully your Dachshund will have stayed in the same spot. If he has moved, start again and focus on those basic commands.

Call your Dachshund to ‘Come!’ to you

You need to sound enthusiastic and excited when you say the word ‘Come!’. Make it look like you’re having so much fun and get excited when your Dachshund runs towards you!

If your Dachshund ignores you or starts walking in the opposite direction, try again, but shorten the distance between you.

You could also hold a treat under his nose and then start walking backwards so he follows you. But don’t give him the treat until he’s followed you for a good few metres.

If your Dachshund responds to your call but doesn’t quite get it right. Like he stops too far away from you or something. You can take a step back and show your Dachshund the treat in your hand. He should then respond and start moving towards you.

You might have to do this several times until he works it out on his own.

But NEVER use force and start pulling on his leash – this could hurt your Dachshund’s fragile back and will only discourage him, making your job of training much harder.

Lightly hold your Dachshunds leash or harness

When your Dachshund reaches you, ask him to ‘Sit!’ (or ‘Lay!’). It’s also important to calmly and gently hold onto your Dachshund’s harness or leash at this point so he learns not to run off.

Go crazy on praise

Once he’s completed the recall command, give loads of verbal praise and a treat so he feels really good about what he’s done.

Dachshunds LOVE enthusiastic, happy praise! So go overboard with the baby voices and fuss when he gets it right!

Just remember to gently hold his harness while giving him his treat so he learns not to run off.

Repeat the recall routine

Keep repeating this routine regularly until your Dachshund responds consistently to recall.

Increase the distance between you

Once your Dachshund has cracked it, you can then start increasing the distance between you so he gets used to responding to you from further away.

Don’t let him off the long leash yet though. He needs to be fully recall trained before being allowed off the leash in any place that isn’t secure.

Introduce distractions

Recall training may go well in quiet places, but what happens when there’s other distractions around?

You need to compete for your Dachshund’s attention with other dogs, people, squirrels and all sorts of exciting things and smells.

So, if he starts to veer off course, lure him back with the treats in your hand. Move closer to him and get his attention re-focussed on YOU and those tasty treats. Hold them right under his nose and start walking backwards to get him to follow you.

You need to work hard at making yourself look like the most fun option! And remember to always give your Dachshund a huge fuss and lots of encouragement when he walks towards you and gets recall right.

How Do You Teach a Dachshund to Recall? Dachshund off leash and coming to call on a walk
Dachshund off leash and coming to call on a walk

Let go of the long line training leash

Once you’re happy with your Dachshund’s recall training progress, you can then let go of the long line leash and leave it trailing on the ground behind him.

That way you (or your friend) can easily grab the leash or stand on it if things don’t go to plan.

Again, never let go or remove the long line leash until you’re 100% sure your Dachshund is ready.

Remove the long line leash

When you’re 100% confident your Dachshund will come to call (even if a squirrel scurries past!) you can then consider removing the long line training leash.

If you do decide to do this, make sure you’re in a safe area and you’re positive it’s what you want to do.

Please remember, Dachshunds have a strong prey drive that can override their ability to listen to you. Unfortunately, that means some Dachshunds never get to the stage of being let off leash.

However, the ‘Come!’ command is still useful for every Dachshund to learn!

What If Your Dachshund Won’t Come To Call?

We all know what this is like! You’ve trained your Dachshund on recall and he’s been doing brilliantly, but all of a sudden, he starts ignoring you on walks. Argh! 

Stay calm

If you’re out on a walk and your Dachshund ignores you when you call, stay calm. Your dog isn’t going to come back if you’re shouting at him or getting stressed.

Don’t keep calling

If you don’t think your Dachshund is going to come back, resist the urge to call him again (this’ll make him think it’s OK not to respond).

Try to put the leash on

If you’re able to calmly walk over to him and put the leash on, do so.

Run in the opposite direction

If your Dachshund runs off, don’t run after him. Dachshunds love being chased and he’ll probably run even faster.

Instead, try running in the other direction or hiding (just like you did in the earlier garden training) so that he thinks it’s a game and chases you instead. 

Revisit recall training

If your Dachshund stops responding to you, it’s time to revisit recall training again! Remember, he’s not trying to be naughty! He just needs a refresher.

Take your Dachshund back to basics and be super clear and consistent with your instructions, making sure he understands what you’re asking him to do.

And remember to have fun with it! The more fun you make recall training, the more likely your Dachshund will be to respond.

Don’t always end a walk with recall

Don’t let your Dachshund associate recall with the end of a walk. He may be reluctant to come when called if he thinks you’re going to take him home.

To avoid your Dachshund making this connection, you could pop him on his leash a little before your walk finishes, so the fun continues even on the leash.

You could also call your Dachshund back sporadically during your walk – although be careful not to overdo this, as it might lessen the excitement of recall for him.

Always follow through on the recall command

Every time you call your Dachshund to come, make sure you’re consistent. If you start calling him all the time and aren’t consistent with the routine, he may stop responding to you.

The only way to keep your Dachshund coming back happily and predictably is to follow the same steps every time. That way he knows exactly what he needs to do.

Remember, Dachshunds are stubborn little souls, so it’s important to be patient! Once he gets it, you’ll have so much more fun out on walks and playing together.

Can All Dachshunds Be Recall Trained?

No, not all Dachshunds will be good at recall. Some will get too distracted by other animals, noises, people or dogs nearby.

Letting a Dachshund off leash does carry a risk. So never let him off leash near a road, and don’t take any chances if you’re not 100% sure.

Dachshunds are hunting dogs by nature with a strong prey drive. So they could get a scent or stop listening to you when that natural instinct takes over.

Dachshunds are stubborn too. So some may be harder to recall train than others. It really does depend on the individual dog, and isn’t always down to the dog trainer.

So, if you feel your Dachshund has selective hearing or a strong urge to chase, be extra cautious about letting him off leash.

It may be safer to just accept you can only use the ‘Come’ command at home or in a secure garden. Recall still has so many benefits so is definitely worth teaching regardless.

Before deciding what to do, read my article which explains why some Dachshunds should stay on a leash at all times.

Can Older Dachshunds Be Trained To Recall?

It is possible to teach an older Dachshund to recall, but it’ll be much harder than training a puppy. Dachshunds are stubborn and can be set in their ways, so changing their behaviour will take commitment, patience and repetition.

Success with training will depend on the personality of the individual dog and the time and effort you put into it.

How Long Does It Take To Teach A Dachshund To Recall?

On average, it takes between 6-12 months to teach a Dachshund to recall. However, you should never let a Dachshund off their leash until you’re 100% confident they’ll come when called, even if distracted by other animals or people nearby.


So, there you have it! Some Dachshunds can learn to recall with consistent and patient training, but some can’t. It’s best to start teaching the command while your Dachshund is still a puppy. Load yourself up with amazing treats and give lots of fuss when he gets it right. And remember, you must NEVER let your Dachshund off the long training leash unless it’s in a secure space or you’re 100% confident he’ll always come back – even if he sees a squirrel scurry past!

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How do you teach a Dachshund to recall?
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