If you can’t hear yourself think over the sound of your dachshund barking, you aren’t alone! Dachshunds may be small in stature, but they’re big in spirit and they’ll bark at everything and everyone. If your neighbours have started complaining or he’s literally driving you insane, it’s time to work out why your four-legged friend is making such a racket and what you can do about it.
Why do dachshunds bark all the time? If your dachshund is barking excessively, he’s either:
- Too energetic
- Anxious at being left alone
- Feeling territorial
- Trying to get your attention
- Wanting something
Don’t worry – there are things you can do about it!
There’s nothing worse than being driven crazy by your dachshund barking at everything that moves. It can be stressful at the best of times and embarrassing when you’re out and about. You think your sausage is happy, so what on earth is the problem? Why won’t your dachshund stop barking?
Table of Contents
- Why won’t my dachshund stop barking?
- Can dachshunds be trained not to bark?
- How do I stop my dachshund barking?
- Tips to stop your dachshund barking
- How do I stop my dachshund barking at other dogs on walks?
- Why do dachshunds bark at strangers?
- How loud can a dachshund bark?
- Should I shout at my dachshund when he barks?
- Are there any positives to a dachshund barking?
- How do you teach a dachshund to bark to go outside?
- Should I use an anti-bark collar to stop my dachshund barking?
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.
Why won’t my dachshund stop barking?
The dachshund was bred as a hunting dog, and would bark to alert the hunters when he found his prey (badgers). Barking is in his nature. Nowadays, domesticated dachshunds bark for so many different reasons. Here’s why:
Lack of exercise
Your dachshund may be small but he still needs daily exercise. Just like us, dogs need to release their pent-up energy, or they’ll get frustrated.
Dachshunds love having a job to do, whether that’s playing, solving a puzzle or learning a new command or trick. As well as keeping them busy, it tires them out so they don’t get bored.
Dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety. So being left alone can be scary, especially if they’re not used to it. They might not understand you’re coming back, so may bark, whine or cry until you do.
Dachshunds are territorial by nature and can be suspicious of new people and new dogs. They can feel stressed if someone comes to the door or passes them on the street or park.
When your dachshund barks, he’s not being deliberately naughty. Just like us, they can get over-excited at times. They might bark loudly because they’re happy to see you, or bark at other dogs because they’re eager to say hello.
Dachshunds are affectionate souls and love to be with you. As pack animals, they’re very sociable. So, if they feel neglected or like they’re missing out, they may bark for attention.
Dachshunds love getting vocal to tell you want they want or need. This could be a toy or food or to go outside. It’s just their way of communicating with you!
Can dachshunds be trained not to bark?
Yes, in most cases, dachshunds can be trained to stop barking excessively. This doesn’t mean they’ll never bark – all dogs bark sometimes – but, with the right training, you can get much more control over your dachshund’s barking habit, especially indoors. Here’s how:
How do I stop my dachshund barking?
The quickest and easiest way to stop your dachshund barking is to teach the ‘Speak’ command and then the ‘Quiet’ command (in that order). You want your dachshund to understand the difference between each command so you can take control of the situation.
This is what you need to do:
Teach your dachshund the ‘Speak’ command
- Get your dachshund’s attention
- Knock on a door in the house to make him bark
- Wait until he starts barking
- While he’s barking, hold up a treat and say the word ‘Speak’ in a firm but calm voice
- Immediately give him the treat
- Keep repeating this until he associates ‘barking’ with the ‘speak’ command
- Next, wait until there’s silence and then ask him to ‘Speak’
- Once he barks on command, he’s got it!
Teach your dachshund the ‘Quiet’ command
- Get your dachshund’s attention
- Give your dachshund the ‘Speak’ command
- Wait until he starts barking
- Hold a treat in front of him and say the ‘Quiet’ command in a firm but calm voice
- Wait until there’s complete silence
- Give him the treat and a big fuss!
- Keep repeating this but gradually increase the time between the ‘quiet’ command and giving the treat (you want to teach him to hold his silence for as long as possible)
- Use this command in as many varied situations as possible, especially before food
This training works best inside the home when your dachshund is hungry and has been exercised (so you have more of his attention). You also have to make the training fun and do it daily. It usually takes about a week for him to get the hang of it. But, once he’s figured it out, you may find he just sits and stares at you in silence before dinner. This is a huge success! He understands what ‘Quiet’ means and knows what he needs to do to get his food (sit quietly!). These two commands give you much more control over his barking behaviour.
Tips to stop your dachshund barking
You also need to try and understand the reasons behind your dachshund’s barking behaviour. Watch him over a day or two and make a note of what’s happening when he barks. If he barks when people walk past the house, you’ll know it’s a territorial thing. If he only barks when you go out (you might have to ask your neighbours about that one!), it’s likely separation anxiety.
Some issues might not be this clear-cut, and it may be a combination of things upsetting your little sausage dog, but you’ll soon start to spot patterns once you tune into it. This is what you need to do:
For bored dachshunds
If your dachshund needs mental and physical stimulation, this is what you need to do:
- Take your dachshund for more walks or ask a dog-walker to do this for you (miniature dachshunds need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and standards need 60 minutes or more).
- Switch up his walking routes or take him to his favourite spot
- Set aside dedicated time to play each day (dachshunds love obstacle courses, digging games, and hide and seek!)
- Make sure he has toys and puzzles to play with at home
- Arrange walks or playdates with other dachshunds or small dogs he’s comfortable with (check out your local dachshund Facebook Groups)
For dachshunds with separation anxiety
If your dachshund gets distressed or anxious when you leave the house, this is what you need to do:
- Don’t make a fuss when you come home or are about to leave
- Get him into a strict routine so he’s used to you leaving and coming back
- Leave the TV or radio on low so that the house isn’t completely silent
- Keep him away from the front door and windows that overlook the street, so he doesn’t feel stressed about strangers
- Arrange for a dog-walker or dog-sitter to check in on him (they’ll love having the day broken up with some exercise or interaction)
For territorial dachshunds
If your dachshund gets stressed around new people or dogs, this is what you need to do:
- Work on desensitising your dachshund by getting him to sit and make eye contact with you when a stranger comes past. If he’s good, he gets a treat.
- Keep him away from the front door and windows when at home. This’ll help him feel more relaxed and less agitated by people walking past
- Open the front door when people (like the postman or couriers) come to the house so he can greet them properly and understand they’re not a threat. Obviously, make sure the situation is SAFE first and you have him fully under control. You could start by holding him in your arms and standing well back away from the person until he’s got used to it.
For dachshunds who want more attention
If your dachshund barks for attention, this is what you need to do:
- Build one-to-one bonding time into the day – this could be for cuddles, playtime or training
- Hang out with him – if you’re working, reading or watching TV at home, just let him sleep nearby. He wants to be near you so just let him.
It does take time, patience and quite a bit of effort to train a dachshund to stop barking. But he’ll probably feel happier, more relaxed and secure as a result. You never want your dachshund to think there’s anything to worry about or anything to protect you from. You’re in control here!
How do I stop my dachshund barking at other dogs on walks?
The best way to stop your dachshund from barking at people and other dogs while out on walks is to teach the ‘Look At Me’ command. You need to start doing this at home before it’ll work outside with all those distractions around.
How to teach the ‘Look At Me’ command:
- Get a high value treat (something like cheese)
- Show the treat to your dachshund
- Hold the treat near your eyes
- When your dachshund looks up at you say the words ‘Look At Me’
- Then give your dachshund the treat and a fuss
- Keep repeating this over and over
It’s good to practice this daily. You should get to the point where your dachshund looks at you with or without the treat. If you say the command without a treat, make sure you still point to your eye. Once he’s nailed the command inside, move into the garden and do the same thing there. Once it works in the garden, try it in a quiet park away from home (with few distractions) and then gradually take him to busier locations until he really gets it. Being able to get his attention in this way can really help with barking while out on walks.
One thing though – don’t stare at your dachshund too long as he may think you’re cross with him. Just a few seconds is enough. Keep things positive and smile when he gets it right.
Keep the lead slack
Pulling on the lead while you’re out walking is only going to make any barking or defensive behaviour worse. If you set out feeling anxious and are holding the lead like your life depends on it, your dachshund will pick up on this. It’s better to keep a relaxed hold on the lead as much as possible. If you do need to make any small corrections while walking, make sure you release any lead tension straight away. Some people find harnesses easier for walking and less restrictive. Just make sure the harness is fitted correctly by a pet store.
Praise good behaviour on walks
And remember, you must praise good behaviour. So, if your dachshund is walking nicely and not barking at other people and dogs that walk past, you must reward him for this too. And, if you’re concerned about the amount of treats you’re giving him, swap out shop bought treats for crunchy veg like small chunks of carrot. Dachshunds love raw veggies and they’re cheaper and healthier too!
Why do dachshunds bark at strangers?
Dachshunds are notoriously suspicious of strangers and protective of their turf. Like most of their traits, this probably stems from their hunting-dog instincts. They might also be protective of you as part of their pack.
So, when your dachshund sees a stranger, he may feel threatened. By barking at them, he’s telling them to ‘stay back!’ or ‘go away!’. This could happen when you’re out for a walk and see a passer-by, or when you’re at home and he spots someone walking past. He’ll probably bark at anyone who comes near the house whether that’s a delivery driver, the postman or friends and family he doesn’t know or isn’t used to yet.
Socialisation can really help with this and starting him young is a must. Get your dachshund used to spending time with new people and dogs in new places, so he stops feeling stressed when faced with people he doesn’t know.
How loud can a dachshund bark?
A dachshund’s bark is approximately 80-90 dB (decibels are a measure of sound intensity). It’s a very loud and sharp bark that’s comparable to the sound of an average food blender! This level of noise over a prolonged period could potentially damage your hearing.
Should I shout at my dachshund when he barks?
No! Don’t ever shout at your dachshund when he’s barking. This only adds to his excitement, making him bark even more. Your dachshund is craving attention and, when you shout at him, you’re actually giving him exactly what he wants.
Staying calm is much better for your sanity and for your little sausage dog too. Dachshunds can sometimes test your patience but they’re smart dogs too. Positive and consistent training, especially when they’re young, will get you the best results. In time, your dachshund learn when to speak up and when to be quiet – well, for the most part anyway!
Are there any positives to a dachshund barking?
Yes, absolutely! Dachshunds are brilliant watch dogs and will bark if a security light comes on or if anyone comes near your house at any point. If there’s anything that looks different around the house or garden, they’ll be very vocal and let you know right way.
You can also train them to bark (or speak) for lots of different things:
- When they want to go outside for the toilet
- When they want to come back inside from the garden
- When they need a door opened
- If they want a toy to play with
- If they‘re hungry (or you forget to feed them on time!)
- If they’ve hurt themselves and need you
They’re intelligent little dogs who are willing to learn and, if you give them the right training when they’re young, it really can work in your favour.
How do you teach a dachshund to bark to go outside?
This is how you teach a dachshund to bark to go outside:
- Teach him the ‘Speak’ command
- When you go to take him outside, stand by the door
- Before opening the door, ask him to ‘Sit‘ and then ‘Speak’
- When he barks, say ‘good boy’ and open the door
- Keep repeating
It won’t be long before long he understands sitting by the door and barking will get him let out into the garden (or in from the garden). And, the more times you teach him when he CAN bark and when he CAN’T, the more control you’ll have over his general barking behaviour.
Should I use an anti-bark collar to stop my dachshund barking?
No! Things like anti-bark collars that claim to stop your dog from barking are not a good idea and will only ever work for a short period of time. Some can potentially hurt your dachshund or make the problem worse in the long run. Do not use.
These types of gadgets focus on punishment techniques rather than positive reinforcement training. If you’re really struggling or worried about how much your dachshund is barking, it’s best to talk to your vet for expert advice rather than trying these potentially dangerous products.
Although it’s not easy to tackle a barking problem, don’t stress or give up hope. Your dachshund is probably just bored, attention-seeking, anxious about being left alone, feeling territorial or full of energy. Whatever the cause, by giving enough exercise, taking a committed approach and reinforcing new commands, it’s possible to reduce his noise level quite a lot. It’ll be a big relief to your ears – and those of your neighbours too! Good luck!