February 03 2020

Yes, the Dachshund can be aggressive due to their breeding for hunting badgers.  The good news is that with proper training and socializing this tendency can be minimized or eliminated.

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Aggression in Dachshunds?

Aggression is a physical response that shows hostility and violence towards someone or something else.  Regardless of breed background, every dog has the potential to show aggression sometime or another.  Often misunderstood, aggression can include snarling, lunging, biting, growling, snapping and extreme barking.

Aggression has triggers, which are as unique as the individual dog.  The best way to manage or eliminate aggression is to understand why it happens for each dog and what is needed to stop the behavior.  Below are some types of aggression seen in dachshunds.

Types of Aggression

  • Pain aggression
  • Aggression from emotions
  • Aggression on a leash
  • Aggression that is learned
  • Predatory aggression
  • Aggression to protect

A dog’s physical, emotional and mental state can all factor into whether they are aggressive.  The environment they live in, how they are being treated and how they are trained and socialized are important components in preventing aggression.

If a dachshund lives in a happy, positive environment, and are loved and treated with respect.  If they are taught good behaviors and socialized properly the likelihood of aggression is greatly reduced.

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What Creates Aggressive Behavior in Dachshunds?

A combination of many factors can create aggressive behavior as noted above.  While breeding does play a role in how aggressive a dog is or becomes, it is often their environment that creates aggression.  The Dachshund has a breed background can is known for its aggressive and relentless behavior.  This stubborn and fearless mentality is what helped with hunting success.

If handled correctly when they are a pup this aggressive, dominant and slightly untrusting temperament can be minimized.

The Dachshund must begin training as early as six weeks old since their aggressive breed tendencies begin to awaken.  As pups, it may appear to be cute playfulness as they act out during playtime, but it should be handled quickly to minimize it from developing further.

Early on, the Dachshund must understand clearly who the pack leader is.  As hunters of badgers, they traveled in packs with an established leader so they will understand this hierarchy and more easily accept rules from their leader, that would be you.

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Gender Aggression in Dogs

Every dog tends to show aggression to dogs of the same gender, regardless of breed.  They are pack animals historically that are known for dominance fighting to establish their position in the hierarchy of the dog pack.   Dachshunds will be no different in this regard to same-gender dogs who visit or live in their home.

Aggression to the same gender or any other dog can also be triggered by emotions as listed above, related to toys, food, attention, and even hormones.

This type of aggression can be lessened with spaying and neutering.

Ways to Prevent Aggression in Dachshunds

These tips can help prevent or minimize aggression in a Dachshund or any other dog.

  • Establish yourself as pack leader and set rules
  • Continual training and socializing
  • Using a leash
  • Understanding and noting their body language
  • Ensuring their needs are met
  • Making a list of their triggers
  • Don’t play chase games unless they chase a toy
  • Stopping aggression as soon as it starts

Dachshunds Getting Along with Others

The Dachshund is small but has a strong personality.  They don't take kindly to strangers in their home, and at times can be very snappish for no reason at all.  They can have trouble accepting others, whether it is a new dog, a cat, a child or an adult.

Dachshunds have also been known to become snappish or bite their owner or others if not properly handled.  These behaviors can be seen in their home environment as well as when outside the home, for example at the dog park or maybe a restaurant.

All aggressive behaviors in the Dachshund should be remedied immediately.  Whether the behavior is simply growling and showing their teeth from a distance or all-out lunging at a house guest, it is best to send the message who is in charge and what is acceptable.

Even though they have a stubborn personality, with time and patience, they will come to understand what is acceptable and who leads the pack.

Rescued, Adopted and Older Dachshunds

For those who decide to rescue or adopt a Dachshund that has an unknown background, or if they are older more time will likely be needed.   Unknown backgrounds or behaviors that have become a part of who a dog is, can be harder to remedy.  This doesn’t mean impossible, it will involve more training and socializing, more patience, understanding, persistence and of course more time.

Final Thoughts

While the Dachshund can have some aggressive tendencies, they are a very lovable and playful dog.  With proper training and management, they can learn to behave at their best.

Fearless, they can make an exceptional little watchdog.  With the correct instruction and the right household, they can develop that softer side and forget about all that badger hunting their ancestors did.

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