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My mini dachshund is driving my husband crazy

January 12th, 2009, 02:28 PM
We got a mini dachshund about 3 months ago to accompany our 18 month old rat terrier. I knew going into it that dachshunds can be difficult to train, but since I am a stay at home mom, I have lots of time to devote to housebreaking.

We started with the crate method, which is how I have housebroken all my previous dogs. But he ended up whining and howling whenever crated and at one point tried to chew through the metal bar which resulted in a trip to the vet. The vet then suggested that the crate method was probably not a good idea.

I now take him out every 2 hours. He is almost 6 months old now, so every two hours should be plenty. Problem is, he won't go to the bathroom when we go out. My rat terrier goes immediately and I stand there with the dachshund for 15-20 minutes and nothing, but as soon as we come into the house, he finds a place and does his business. We even tried putting the pads down and all he does is chew those up and won't use them.

Our brand new carpet is basically now ruined and he decided to chew a hole in the carpet one night when my husband and I were in the kitchen (in the span of about 10 mins). We have gated off almost the whole house so the dogs only have access to the living room and kitchen. I spend all day in the living room with the dogs and my son.

I really don't know what to do at this point. I've never had a dog at 6 months that isn't housebroken and it seems like he may never be trained. He is slowly destroying my house which is frustrating both my husband and myself.

I really need some advice.


January 12th, 2009, 02:52 PM
Sorry you're having trouble with your little one...

a few suggestions.

1. put the pads away, you don't want to send mixed messages.

2. do you use a command for going to the bathroom? like "go potty" or "go pee"? It can help establish a routine.

3. When/if the pup "goes" outside are you making it a crazy party of joy? :crazy::party: Praise, praise, praise like crazy, and praise some more.

4. Umbellical technique: tie the pup's leash to you while you're home, and let him follow you as you go about your day. He'll quickly learn not to get underfoot. This will help establish your relationship as the leader in the house, and also keep him closeby so you can watch for telltale signs of accidents in the making so you can scoop him up and put him outside.

5. Instead of a crate, have you tried a laundry room/bathroom etc. with a baby gate?

How are you currently dealing with accidents in the house?

January 12th, 2009, 02:56 PM
Sorry the crate didn't work out - they can be such a great training tool for all sorts of issues.

However this shouldn't be too tough to cure. Simply keep him on the leash attached to you in the house. Here are the benefits...
1) It keeps him from wandering off to soil in a remote corner somewhere.
2) It keeps you attentive for changes in his behavior
3) It allows you to stop the thought of soiling when he starts to get aggitated, sniff or circle.
4) It gives you the opportinity to correct him for trying to soil in your territory and then get him outside so you can reward him for soiling outside.

The problem is that we take the dog out - he fails to soil - we bring him in and give him free run of the house again - he soils - we get mad & toss him outside - we clean up the spot and stomp around because we are so frustrated. It is a vicious circle which teaches nothing.

What we need to do is TEACH him where he can and cannot soil. By taking him out every 2 hours you are not making him think at all about the places he can and cannot go - you are rescuing him not teaching him.

Part of teaching means that he needs to be caught in the act of trying to soil - you need to startle him with a clap of your hands or a firm 'no' - but not scare him. You are claiming your territory by telling him he has chosen the wrong place to soil. He should look up at you when you correct him - do not continue to be angry, simply scoop him up and take him to the door you will notice when he learns to ask to go out. Ask him in a friendly voice "want to go out" and be very happy as you go out with him. Then you have to be patient. Wait for however long it takes for him to soil again. Give him tons of warm, soft praise when he does well - have a potty party!

However - you are not done yet. Puppies need to pee or poo more than once. So if you think you are both ready to go inside then take him in but KEEP HIM ON THE LEASH ATTACHED TO YOU! He has not earned the right to be off leash in the house yet if he can't be trusted not to soil. Let 15 mintues go by and take him out again. Repeat, repeat, repeat - until he starts to have his 'ah-ha' moment and you will begin to see some changes.

Be sure you clean the old spots very well. Because he remembers when he soiled there by the smell and if he smells it again he will be reminded to soil there again.

Remember if your dog soils in the house it is not his fault. It is because you stopped paying attention and didn't take the opportunity to teach.

Good luck,

January 13th, 2009, 10:03 AM
I am very experienced with mini Dachshunds. Your profile does not indicate where you live. If you are in the snow belt you will have a problem because since the mini Dachshunds are so low to the ground their private parts get very cold and they do not want to go. Also, Dachshunds are extremely difficult to train. We did have one Dachshund who absolutely was terrified to "go" outside and would come in and wet - no matter what we did he absolutely would not go outside - and this went on for years. To test the waters, I had him spend a weekend with the lady who rescued him and for the 3 days he was there he did absolutely the same thing. Finally, her husband - who is handy - made a large metal tray and he would race in and go in that - winter or summer didn't matter. You also didn't mention the temperament of your Dachshund - if Alpha, will be even harder to train. I love these guys. If you are in Canada I would strongly suggest VetInsurance - if they still cover Dachshund disc disease as no matter if the breeder said that absolutely none of her dogs have ever experienced Dachshund disc disease, well it will not be true. We went through the horrors of surgery twice - and the cost is now about $8,000. We had full body disc disease - neck and back - some Dachshunds have problems only with one or two discs which to me is a blessing. Something to think about.