Dachshund Standing Up: 4 Reasons and How to Prevent It

You’ve probably witnessed firsthand your dachshund standing up and thought how strange but cute it is—you’re not alone! Standing on hind legs is one of this breed’s peculiarities that has puzzled pet lovers for years. But are there reasons behind this behavior?

Dachshunds stand up because they have a natural intuition to do it. They may also do it when seeking attention, showing affection, or if you (unconsciously) reinforced the habit before. It’s best to discourage this behavior as it can pose health issues to your dog

Keep reading this article as I explore the dachshund standing up behavior. I’ll discuss in depth why you shouldn’t encourage the behavior and offer tips for preventing it. 

Dachshund Standing Up: The 4 Main Reasons

1. It’s an Instinctual Behavior

Domestication has modified many of the dachshund’s behavior traits. However, these dogs still hold on to some of their wild instincts. 

Dachshunds were bred to hunt. They ran through the forest in the past and helped hunters to locate animals. 

Due to their size, they naturally stood on their hind legs to achieve a higher vantage point and absorb more of their surroundings. This position would also enable them to perceive possible threats and predators in the wild. 

So your dachshund stands up because it’s natural for them.

Also Read: Dachshund Sitting Up: The Complete Guide and 5 Reasons

2. It Is an Attention-Seeking Behavior

Dachshund standing up

Dogs use various body postures to communicate their needs, and standing upright is one of them. It could mean they’re begging for a walk, treat, cuddle, to be picked up, or anything else they desire. 

Dachshunds, in particular, are intelligent dogs and can quickly determine that certain behaviors lead to the attention they yearn for. 

Besides barking, nothing more will attract your attention than your furry friend on two legs looking cute and endearing.

3. They’re Anxious, Excited, or Affectionate

An anxious dachshund may stand upright in an attempt to release tension. And if they’re hyperactive, they may do it out of sheer excitement. You’ll typically observe this when you come home from work or play catch, and your doxie is anticipating a ball throw. 

Your dachshund may also stand on their hind limbs to show affection. However, this often occurs between dogs and can seem like they’re fighting or dancing with one another. 

4. It’s a Reinforced Behavior

Dogs tend to repeat reinforced behavior. Therefore, if you or your family laugh or cheer your canine each time it stands up, they’ll be more inclined to repeat it. 

Similarly, attending to your dachshund’s needs while they’re upright encourages the behavior. They’ll likely communicate their needs in the same way in the future. 

You can also reinforce this behavior through training. Your dog can stand upright on command when you use positive rewards like praises, petting, and treats. 

However, experts do not recommend training your dog to stand upright, as explained in the next section.

Find Out: Yellow Balls in Dog Poop: 4 Causes and Solutions

Is It Okay for Dachshunds to Stand on Hind Legs?

While it is normal for dachshunds to stand on their hind legs, doing this for extended periods is not okay. Dogs are not structurally equipped to stand on twos and could injure themselves. 

Unlike humans, dogs are designed to stand or walk on four legs. And although it can seem cute and entertaining, standing on twos has associated health risks for Dachshunds.

Did you know that dogs carry most (⅔) of their weight on their front legs and only a third on their hind legs? Their hind limbs and hips are designed to push them forward, while the forelimbs and chest deal with braking and body weight support.

Standing on their hind legs will spread all the weight between two paws and can result in injury because of excessive pressure. So, what are the risks?

Risks of Dachshunds Standing on Their Hind Legs

Dachshund standing up

First, your dog might suffer from knee problems. When an additional two-thirds of the weight sits on your dachshund’s hind limbs, the ligaments and tendons holding the knees can easily rip, leaving them lame.

Also, too much pressure on the joints can cause fractures, patella luxation, and hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia and patella luxation are often hereditary, and dachshunds are more predisposed to them because of their unique body structure. 

Straining their hind legs can make these conditions more likely to develop.

Plus, any vertical stance in dogs can cause a slipped disc or an even more severe spine injury. Dachshunds, in particular, are more likely to suffer from Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and Disc Herniation because of their elongated bodies. 

Standing up for extended periods can aggravate these underlying issues. 

It’s worth noting that these risks often appertain to forced behavior. It should be okay if your doxie stands up voluntarily and for short bouts. After all, most dogs know how to limit themselves and will naturally stop when they become uncomfortable. 

However, you’ll want to guarantee your dog’s health and safety by ensuring they are not overdoing it. Therefore, it is good to discourage this behavior as it can cause issues in the long haul. 

How to Prevent Dachshund From Standing Up

The following are the easy ways to prevent your Dachshund from standing up:

Withhold Attention When They Stand Up

The first step to limiting this behavior is to withhold your attention. Avoid eye contact, petting, or praising your dachshund when standing on their hind limbs. You’ll also want to avoid scolding or punishing them, as negative attention is attention, too. 

Instead, ignore your dog and only attend to them when they’re standing normally. 

Consider using negative body language when withholding attention so your dog learns quickly. 

For instance, cross your arms and turn your back immediately your Dachshund stands up. If they come around and stand again, turn the other way and wait until they stand on all fours to give in to their needs. 

Another way is to remove yourself from the situation. If your dachshund stands on two legs when you walk into a room, turn around and walk out. Wait for a while, then step back inside. 

By showing negative body language, your dog will soon learn that standing on two legs will not get them the attention they need and will cease doing.

Reward Positive Behavior

When working to prevent your dachshund from standing up, reinforcing good behavior will greatly help. Have some treats near, and toss them once your canine stops standing on two legs and is on all four paws. Pet and praise them as well. 

You can begin by teaching your dog what you require of them instead of standing on their hind limbs. Consider creating situations to practice with them and offer a reward each time they react positively. 

Commands also come in handy during these practice sessions. Give your dog a “sit” command when they stand, and offer a treat when they follow it. Repeat this over several sessions, and your dog will learn to sit calmly whenever they need your attention. 

Give Them a Job and Plenty of Physical Exercises

Excess energy or boredom triggers a dog to do quirky things, including standing upright. You’ll, therefore, want to ensure your dachshund gets enough exercise and mental stimulation. 

Physical exercise will also help strengthen the dachshund’s core muscles, lowering the risk of injury when they stand on their hind limbs. 

Full-grown standard dachshunds require at least an hour of physical activity daily, while their miniature counterparts need about 30 minutes. Their exercise regime should combine free playing or running and on-leash walking.

On the other hand, enrichment games and obedience training will help stimulate your dog’s brain. 

Wrapping Up

Dachshunds standing up on their hind legs is undoubtedly one of their charming quirks. It may look weird to us, but it’s perfectly normal for them. 

Standing upright is not bad for a dachshund, provided they do it voluntarily and momentarily. Also, you’ll want to ensure they don’t stay in this position for a lengthy period as it can strain their backs and limbs, resulting in health issues over time. 

If you observe discomfort signs after your dog has stood upright, such as limping, consult a vet and consider discouraging the behavior using the strategies discussed in this article.

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