Are Dachshunds Aggressive? 4 Simple Ways to Stop the Aggression

Dachshunds, fondly called Dachsies, are a far cry from scary-looking dog breeds like Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and Dobermans. They are natural entertainers with charming and highly affectionate personalities under most circumstances. If you’ve spotted these cute-looking dogs getting goofy with their owners, you may wonder, “Are Dachshunds aggressive?”

Dachshunds are capable of extreme aggression towards strangers, other pets, and their owners. The top causes of this conduct include fear, dominance, and protective or territorial behavior. Solutions for Dachshund aggression include proper socialization and employing positive reinforcement training tactics.

Read on as we analyze why Dachshunds have above-average tendencies to show aggression. We will also share four tried and tested tips to stop aggressive behavior and increase your odds of owning a calm, friendly, and docile furry friend.

Why Are Dachshunds So Aggressive? 

Are dachshunds aggressive

Dachshunds are so aggressive because it is in their DNA. They are “badger hounds” originally bred to hunt and kill badgers. These tough and daring dogs can also show aggression because they’re loyal to their pack members and are highly protective of them.

The following are the main reasons Dachshunds are so aggressive:

They Are Hunting Dogs

Awkward as it may sound, the number one reason why Dachshunds are so aggressive is because they have high instinctive intelligence

Under canine intelligence standards, instinctive intelligence is a dog’s capacity to perform the “work” it was bred to do with maximum efficiency

The Dachshund breed is tough, daring, and aggressive, which are top qualities needed to fight and kill badgers.  

Badgers are fierce fighters with tough fur, powerful forelegs, and sharp foreclaws. It takes a tough and equally aggressive dog to take out a badger and protect a farmer’s crops from ruin.

Dachshunds are the only hunting dogs that excel at hunting above and below ground. These dogs can also hunt mice, woodchucks, and rabbits or trail bigger animals like a wounded wild boar. 

Hunting is an innate part of Dachshunds that makes them highly prone to showing aggressive tendencies.

Find Out: Why Is My Dachshund Whining? 9 Reasons and What to Do

Dachshunds Are Loyal to the Core

Dachshunds are pack dogs. They were initially bred to hunt in large packs and depend on each other to triumph over fierce badgers. As such, they’re highly affectionate with pack members and considers them crucial for survival.

Once a Dachshund bonds with you, you become its pack’s member. It becomes the dog’s life purpose to protect you from potential dangers, including strangers. 

They Are Highly Territorial

Dachshunds make good guard dogs because they’re highly protective of their territory. 

These dogs can easily convert anyone into a Dachsie addict because of their loyalty and urge to protect what belongs to their owner. 

Although small-bodied, Dachshunds are daring and can take on even larger dogs or animals that stray into their territories. 

They’re hunting dogs with sharp olfactory senses and can sniff out the unfamiliar in any setting. Unfortunately, this also makes them prone to attacking strangers if they get too close to pack members.

Dachshunds Are Headstrong and Very Independent

Dachshund dog on chair

At this point, you may forgive your Dachsie for showing aggression toward strangers and other dogs. But why would your dog be aggressive toward you?

The most common cause of Dachshund aggression toward their owners is the breed’s headstrong nature.  

These dogs are independent thinkers bred to go out on hunts and make decisions regarding the pursuit of badgers.  Although intelligent, they often assume a “know it all” attitude.  

Dachshunds are not the most obedient of dogs. They don’t always listen and respond appropriately to commands because they sometimes think they know best. 

You may witness your dog’s wrath if you prevent it from completing a task to the end or issue a command that it feels is unfair or unjustified.

Dachshunds Are Prone to Small Dog Syndrome

Small dog syndrome is a series of stereotypical behaviors commonly shown by small dogs when scared or upset.

It’s one of the reasons that make Chihuahuas so angry

Their small statures make them prone to injury if manhandled, so they do scary stuff like getting loud, growling, snapping, and biting to make themselves seem tougher.

Standard Dachshunds weigh between 16 and 32 pounds (7.26 and 14.52 kg) and are eight to nine inches (20.32 to 22.86 cm) tall. They are vertically challenged dogs and can display aggression or reluctance to obey commands to compensate for their small stature

Fortunately, small dog syndrome is not an actual temperament but a learned behavior. Understanding the cause of this nasty conduct is paramount to addressing aggressive tendencies and fostering a harmonious relationship with your pet. 

Any of the following concerns can fuel small dog syndrome.

  • A fear-based response caused by poor socialization
  • The lack of firm and consistent instructions during training
  • A Dachshunds owner’s inability to effectively deal with behavioral problems
  • The use of punitive measures to address behavioral problems

How to Stop Dachshund Aggression

Are dachshunds aggressive

According to a 2008 study by the University of Pennsylvania, Dachshunds are among the top most aggressive dog breeds

The study unveiled that one in five dogs of the breed has shown aggression toward strangers, and at least one in twelve has impulsively snapped at its owner. 

Moreover, out of the 32 breeds involved in the study, Dachshunds were likelier to show aggression toward other dogs.

If your Dachshund shows aggressive tendencies, here are practical ways to stop or manage the behavior.

1. Be the Pack Leader

Dachshunds are working dogs with strong, independent, and willful personalities. 

Generally, they’re not suitable pets for first-time parents because they can test your patience to the max during training. Fortunately, these dogs are not mean or unpredictable, just headstrong and independent.

If you want a well-mannered dog that listens to commands and responds appropriately, you must be comfortable showing your pet you are the pack leader. You can do this through firm and consistent instructions. Once your dog respects you as its “alpha,” it’s less likely to ignore commands or indulge in actions that may upset you.

Generally, Dachshunds are easy to train once they know their place in the pack hierarchy. 

Unless you resign from the alpha position and let behavioral issues slide, your dog will gladly maintain a submissive predisposition.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement Training Tactics

Dachshunds are independent dogs, and this temperament makes them veer toward dominance. 

Your dog may continually seek opportunities to assume the mantle even if you’re the pack leader. Positive reinforcement training tactics offer the easiest way to deter this behavior.

Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding your dog for desired behavior, like obeying commands. It’s a powerful tool that can help your furry friend know that good things come to calm, well-behaved dogs. 

Although Dachshunds love praise and petting, you’ll be amazed at how well-mannered they can be with the promise of earning a yummy treat.

Here are a few tricks to help you maximize positive reinforcement training.

  • Choose irresistible treats like chunks of cheese or liver (everyday kibbles will not do)
  • Only offer a pea-sized treat and leave your dog begging for more
  • Constantly change your treats and keep your dog eager to earn a reward
  • When you offer a treat, follow through with a verbal cue like “good dog”

3. Provide Plenty of Socialization Opportunities

Dachshunds are very social and outgoing. 

When socialized early and exposed to different people, pets, and settings, they tend to show less aggression or over-excitement. 

If your dog shows aggression toward other pets, play dates and regular engagement with other similar-sized pets can help it develop appropriate social skills. 

On the other hand, exposure to different people can lower the risk of attacking or barking aggressively at strangers.

4. Seek Professional Help

If nothing works, consider consulting a qualified animal behaviorist or professional dog trainer

These experts can offer personalized help or tailor a training plan designed to address behavioral issues related to canine aggression.

Moreover, they can teach you effective training techniques you can implement to foster positive behaviors in your pet. 

Most Dachshunds overcome aggression with training, socialization, positive reinforcement, and patience and thrive as happy and well-behaved furry companions.

Final Thoughts

The question, “Are Dachshunds aggressive?” often sparks curiosity and concern among dog owners.

Dachshunds are hunting dogs built to survive hunts. They’re impulsive and headstrong creatures that can growl, snap and bite with or without provocation.

Fortunately, you can nip aggressive tendencies through training and proper socialization.

Turning your snappy Dachsie into a calm and well-behaved pet is not a one-day job and may take weeks or months.

However, your dog will repay your efforts with years of loyalty and pleasant companionship.

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