Dachshund Sitting Up: The Complete Guide and 5 Reasons

We often picture a sitting dog as one resting on its hind limbs with its front legs firmly planted on the ground. So, a dachshund sitting up with its front paws off the ground is quite comical. If you’ve caught your doxie sitting on its hind legs, you may be curious about what made them do it. 

Dachshunds can sit up for several reasons, including to get attention and a better view of their environment. While this funny pose might induce a chuckle, it can also strain their lower back, resulting in back problems. It is, therefore, best to prevent your doxie from sitting upright often.

In this article, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about a dachshund sitting up. I’ll explain the reasons for sitting upright, the proper sitting posture for dogs, how to prevent them from sitting on their hind legs, and much more. Read on!

Dachshund Sitting Up: 5 Reasons

The truth is, it’s yet to be established why dachshunds sit upright. There’s no concrete reason for them to do it. 

However, a few theories have been put forward to help explain this quirky behavior. They include the following:

  1. Curiosity: Doxies are naturally curious, and because they’re small dogs, sitting upright might give them a higher vantage point to absorb more of their environment. 
  2. Playful Behavior: Dachshunds are playful creatures and can sit upright when playing with their human friends or other dogs. They can also do it to mimic their human owners. 
  3. Attention-seeking Behavior: Doxies are sociable animals and love to be given all the attention. Sitting upright is an attention-grabbing posture that can earn them what they need – toys, treats, food, pets, etc. 
  4. Exercise: Some people believe sitting up is a dachshund’s form of exercise. It strengthens the hind legs and core muscles, enhancing overall balance and body posture.
  5. Trained and Reinforced Behavior: Some dachshunds simply sit upright because their owners taught them the behavior through positive reinforcement.

Sitting upright may come naturally to dachshunds and is generally not harmful if they do it voluntarily and for short periods. Just ensure they don’t habitually stay in this posture for too long. This can put unnecessary pressure on their back, resulting in health problems. 

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How Are Dachshunds Supposed to Sit?

Dachshund sitting up

Dachshunds are supposed to sit with their legs right beneath the hips like other dogs. This is regarded as a dog’s typical sit posture. 

However, because of their elongated bodies, it can be difficult for dachshunds to sit this way. It’s popular among dachshund owners that these dogs sit with their hind legs to the side (the “puppy,” “sloppy,” or “lazy” sit). Sometimes, they can sit on their hind legs.

These improper sitting postures can affect their hips and spine in the long haul. Unfortunately, hip and back problems are prevalent in dachshunds. 

Statistics show that 25%, that is, one in every four dachshunds, suffers from back issues at some point in their lives

Dachshunds are ten times more prone to back injury than other breeds. And although these problems are majorly attributed to genetics, physical factors like improper sitting postures increases the risk significantly.

It is, therefore, best for your doxie to adopt a proper sitting pose to diminish health risks. 

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Teaching Your Dachshund to Sit Properly

Because of their conformation, sitting isn’t the most natural position for dachshunds. As mentioned, they generally feel more comfortable in a “sloppy sit” position. So, teaching them how to sit correctly may not be as straightforward as you think. 

You’ll want to use the “capturing” mode of training. This involves waiting for your dachshund to perform the desired behavior, then you mark it (using a click or verbally with a “yes”) and reward. 

This training method is effective on intelligent dogs like dachshunds as it makes them use their brains to determine what their owners want. 

Moreover, teaching through capturing results in much stronger behaviors than other training methods.

To capture your dachshund performing a proper sit, have a clicker (if you use one) and reward in hand. Consider putting your dog on a leash to prevent them from wandering, then stand still and wait for them to sit. Most canines will eventually sit when ignored for a while.

Say “Sit” as they begin moving into a sitting position. This command will help them associate the word with the action. Next, mark the action with a click or “yes” as soon as their bottom hits the ground and immediately reward them with a toy or treat. 

You’ll want to hurl the reward away to make your doxie rise and get it – thus repositioning them for the next sit. 

Repeat this a few more times, then give your dachshund a break to avoid straining their back. 

If your dog doesn’t adopt the proper sitting position even after repeated training sessions, that’s okay. You can use the same method to teach them to lie down, which is a more comfortable and safer position for your doxie. 

This way, lying down will be their version of sitting, reducing the risk of back issues. 

Why Do Dachshunds Sit on Hind Legs?

Dachshunds are famous for their weird behaviors, and sitting upright is one of them. There’s no definitive answer to why they do it – no one knows for sure! 

Some people believe sitting upright gives dachshunds a better view of their surroundings, while others think they simply enjoy sitting this way. This posture could indicate their need for the owner’s attention, notably if the move previously garnered a response. 

Due to their intelligence, it’s also highly likely that dachshunds sit upright to imitate humans

Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t encourage this posture for fear of straining their back.

How Do I Prevent My Dachshund From Sitting on Hind Legs?

Dachshund dog sitting up

You can prevent your dachshund from sitting on hind legs by training and exercising it. You should train the dog on what you require from them instead of sitting on their hind legs.

As discussed, you can teach them to sit correctly or lie down using the “capturing” training method. 

This way, you’ll achieve the desired behavior by commanding them whenever you catch them sitting upright.

Preventing bad behavior goes hand in hand with reinforcing good behavior. Dachshunds are smart dogs—they learn quickly through positive reinforcement. 

Consider rewarding your doxie with treats, toys, pets, or praises every time they obey the “sit” or “lie down” command. 

Additionally, randomly reward them whenever you catch them sitting correctly. This way, they’ll associate the behavior with a reward and often show it. 

It is also best to ignore your dachshund if you establish that they sit up whenever they need your attention. Only attend to them when they’re not in that posture. 

Your doxie will soon determine that sitting upright will not earn them the attention they crave, and they’ll stop doing it.

You’ll want to avoid any form of attention, be it eye contact, petting, praising, scolding, or punishing them. 

Instead, use negative body language when withholding your attention. This can be crossing your arms, turning your back on them, or walking out of the room whenever they sit upright.

Lastly, ensure your doxie gets enough physical and mental exercise daily. This is because a hyperactive or bored dog will tend to do weird things, including sitting upright. 

At least an hour of on-lead walking and free play will do the trick. Furthermore, obedience training and enrichment games will help mentally stimulate your dog. 

Why Does My Dachshund Sit Sideways?

Your dachshund sits sideways due to its body structure, but that shouldn’t be the case. As mentioned, all dogs should sit with hips tucked beneath the body, not sideways. 

You should, however, note that it’s perfectly normal for puppies to adopt a sloppy sit because they’re flexible. Their bones, joints, and ligaments strengthen as they grow to support the increasing weight. So, ordinarily, your dachshund should outgrow the lazy sit as they mature.

The lazy sitting in an adult dachshund is something you shouldn’t ignore. It can be a recipe for future problems or a warning sign of an underlying health issue. It could mean they’re in pain and that sitting posture is their way of alleviating the discomfort. 

Some possible causes of your dachshund sitting sideways include the following:

  • Knee problems: Your doxie could be having a knee fracture, sprain, or a luxating patella, a hereditary condition common in dachshunds. Bending their knees to sit could be painful, thus adopting the sloppy sit.
  • Hip problems: Issues such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and even temporary inflammatory reactions can play a role in your dachshunds sitting sideways.
  • Spinal problems: Like humans, a dog with back issues finds sitting difficult. Dachshunds, in particular, are likely to develop Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) or a herniated disk and may have trouble sitting correctly.
  • Anal gland problems: Dachshunds are also prone to anal gland issues due to their small stature. Sitting on their bottom could hurt due to a swollen or impacted anal sac, hence, the lazy sit position.
  • Painful tail: Your doxie could be suffering from limber tail syndrome, which can swell and hurt upon palpation. A sore tail can also be due to a fracture, trauma, or even tail cancer. 

As you’ve seen, there are several reasons for your dachshund to sit sideways that you shouldn’t overlook. 

It is, therefore, best to get your dog checked by a vet to rule out any potential health issues. The earlier you do, the easier it will be on your pocket. You’ll also save your dachshund a lot of pain. 

And if your doxie checks out fine at the vet, consider training them to sit correctly to avoid future issues.

Final Words

A petty issue like a dachshund sitting up can bring numerous other problems. 

Dachshunds have an interesting manner in which they sit. They even have a more puzzling one when they sit upright on their hind legs. 

And while it’s cute and charming, it can impede their health. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent these problems.

Use tactics like capturing training and exercises to reinforce appropriate sitting posture in your dachshund.

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