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Suzanne Clothier’s terrific article on dog behavior. A must read for all dog owners. (Requires the free Adobe Reader )

I’m having trouble housebreaking my Dachshund.


Housebreaking is a subject that arises whenever a group of dachshund owners congregate. The dachshund is notoriously difficult to housebreak although there are some exceptions. A housebroken dachshund requires the diligent perseverance of the dog’s owner or else you are doomed to failure. The first thing that we would recommend is that you limit the access, at first, that the dog has to a small area that does not include carpeting. Once urine odors are saturated in carpeting, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to remove that odor in such a way that the dog does not keep returning to that spot to mark it. A kitchen with a baby gate, a utility room, something like this is an ideal setup.

Additionally, you don’t want the dog isolated from the rest of the family – you want him to be a part of the family, a family member. But, unless you can monitor the dog’s movement when you are there it is important that the dog’s access to the entire house be restricted until the dog has proven that it is housebroken. One of the very first things they will learn is to be sneaky. Instead of learning NOT to go to the bathroom in the house, they will decide going off and pottying in a bedroom, a dining room or a corner unobserved is the correct thing to do and we would rather not have this behavior get started. So to prevent that from happening that is one of the reasons that we recommend that you restrict their access to the entire house.

Something else that is very good in assisting with housebreaking a dog, especially an adult, is that you fasten a leash to the dog and you fasten the other end to your belt and the dog lives with you 24 hours a day with this umbilical cord. You soon will learn the dog’s body language to realize when the dog needs to go outside and you can give a slight tug on the leash and a ‘Let’s go outside’ or ‘Let’s go potty’ command, run outside with the dog, release him from the umbilical cord and when the dog goes to the bathroom, then you vigorously praise the dog. Then bring the dog back in, fasten him back to the umbilical cord and have the dog continue living with you. This way you can praise the dog for doing the right thing instead of always having to punish the dog for doing the wrong thing.

Just like some children require a firm hand, dogs also require correction. Some require very little correction while others may have to have the level of correction increased until the dog understands the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Consistency is the key to any training. If you are inconsistent the dog will pick up on that and it will take much longer to achieve the desired result.

Many dachshunds can be distracted when they go outside to potty. Don’t let the dog back inside the house until you have verified that the dog has finished going to the bathroom. If you let them back inside without being certain that they have finished, then you can be assured that the dog will come back into the house and finish on the carpet.

Every dachshund owner can describe to you the classic dachshund response “But it’s raining…I’m not going outside to potty” This response consists of one front leg up in the air and blinking it’s poor pathetic little eyes while it insists it cannot go potty in the rain. Don’t fall for this. We know they won’t melt in the rain. Insist that they stay outside until they go to the bathroom. If you have had the dog outside rain or shine for a considerable amount of time and the dog has not pottied, do not bring the dog back in to the house and give it free rein of the house. No learning is going to take place if you continue to have this type of activity occur.

If you see that the dog has not gone to the bathroom in an appropriate amount of time, bring it back inside and put it back in it’s crate. Give it 15-30 minutes time to think about it, then take it out of the crate and go back outside. Stand outside with the dog and see whether or not the dog goes to the bathroom. You may have to become rather invisible, as you may also be a deterrent. Stand quietly and observe the dog. If the dog goes to the bathroom outside, go crazy praising the dog. Let the dog know that he is the most wonderful dog on the face of the earth. However, if the dog has still not gone to the bathroom, take the dog back inside and put it back into it’s crate. Continue doing this until the dog gives up and potties outside. If you happen to have a Dachshund that potties in their crate in spite of frequent trips outside, you’ve got your work cut out for you! Be SURE the dog is getting ample opportunity to potty outside.

Don’t expect a Dachshund puppy to be housebroken in just a few days They’re slow to catch on. Make life easier for yourself by only allowing the puppy access to easily cleaned surfaces. Be patient and consistent. Eventually, the dog WILL be housebroken. But, if they see you weakening, they’ll increase their efforts to “win”.

My Dachshund Has Started Urinating In The House


My formerly housebroken Dachshund has started urinating in the house. Now what do I do?


Get to the veterinarian immediately. Dachshunds are prone to bladder stones. If a previously housebroken dog begins urinating in the house, you MUST rule out any medical trouble first. If there is no sign of bladder infection or bladder stones, then revert to “puppy training 101″ and pretend the dog was never housebroken. Some Dachshunds will soil the house out of spite. Sometimes we don’t know what they’re mad about. It really doesn’t matter; it’s not appropriate behavior and you need to take immediate steps to reassert yourself as the one making the rules. And…not soiling the house is one of those rules

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