I love chatting about our miniature dachshund, Herbie, both here and on social media (and in real life!), so it’s not surprise that people who are thinking of getting a dachshund get in touch from time to time asking questions about them. I am always more than happy to help, and I have written a fair few posts here about Herbie and our puppy days together. Today I want to address the 3 questions that I get asked the most about owning miniature dachshunds….
Are miniature dachshunds good with kids?
Headline answer, yes.
There are a few caveats to this that I would add.
Some miniature dachshunds do not enjoy being around children, the key here is to socialise them whilst they are puppies. If you’ve an older dog, perhaps a rescue, you’ll need to work on building them up slowly to get used to kids.
Herbie of course came home as a puppy to two children in our house. For the first 6 months of his life he came everywhere with me, and that included the school run every day.
As you can imagine, he was an attraction for many children on the school run! He was in a bag and got used to lots of kids from a safe space. I ensured he was approached and touched appropriately, and he would retreat inside his bag if he wasn’t feeling sociable!
Children can be tricky for dogs as they don’t make the same noises as adults, their movements can be more sudden and energetic and they are much more unpredictable than grown ups.
In order to ensure your puppy is comfortable with kids, ensure they are exposed to lots of them from an early age.
After that, ensure you teach your own children to treat the dog with respect.
For example, always leave them be when they are asleep, don’t take food or toys from them and be gentle with them. In the case of miniature dachshunds they also need to be shown how to pick them up properly, or told not to do so at all in the case of younger children, to protect their backs.
I mean, this goes for adults too, but it’s up to you to make sure your kids understand how to behave with your dog.
Of course you will train and get to know your own dog over time and you will know his/her boundaries.
What I will say is that as long as you dog is comfortable with children, he will become the very best of friends with your kids.
These dogs are loyal companions and our Herbie loves greeting Boo and Little Man when they get home every day, he likes to play with them and he can often be found snuggling up with one of them. He adores them!
He also loves it when their friends come over, and he tends to veer towards any kids we walk past when out and about – I think he assumes that all children will want to greet and play with him!
Is it hard to toilet train miniature dachshunds?
Oh, this one comes up so often!
These dogs have definitely got a reputation for being difficult to toilet train and I can understand why this might concern potential owners.
OK, I’d say go into this bearing in mind that they can be tricky. And then you will find all will be OK!
In my experience, they can take a little bit longer than some other breeds, but I am talking a couple of weeks more, that’s all.
Consistency is absolutely key, so you do need to be on the ball with this and do your best to minimise the amount of accidents. They love praise so use all positive reinforcement methods to train them and don’t use the puppy pads, it’ll just delay them getting the hang of it.
Go out with them regularly, including the middle of the night initially, and they will soon get the hang of it.
Miniature dachshunds can be notorious for not wanting to go outside when it’s raining. Not all, of course, but it does seem to be quite common with this breed! When toilet training, ensure you get them used to toileting in rainy weather too and don’t give in and let them toilet inside. Do it once and these clever little sausages will cotton on!
So yes, there will be times when you are stood out there in the pouring rain trying to encourage them to toilet so you can both go back inside. Stick with it, it’ll be worth it!
Herbie has no accidents indoors, whatever the weather!
Do they bark all of the time?
These little dogs do have a reputation for being noisy!
OK, do miniature dachshunds bark all the time? No, no they don’t, but I will say that they are often vocal.
Herbie loves nothing more than to bark at random dogs and people that walk by our house, guarding us and keeping us safe. He has a vantage point to do this, and if it’s a bit much, I simply block his access to his view. It can be managed in this way it they are barking at things for this reason. And they will. Plastic bags wafting in the wind can drive them crazy!
He then barks when he’s excited or if he wants attention. The latter can be reduced or solved by ignoring him when he is barking and then lavishing attention on him when he’s quiet. They are smart dogs, they will work this out. They just don’t like being ignored! They are chatty dogs and if you’ve socialised them well and they are confident, they will be happy to ‘chat’ to you.
They can also be barky when they’re anxious and alone. This is an entirely different issue as this will stem from separation anxiety and it will also manifest itself in other ways. You will need to work with them when they first arrive home to prevent this becoming an issue as it’s easier to prevent than solve, or get a behaviourist involved if separation anxiety does emerge.
Bottom line, I wouldn’t be without Herbie, none of us would. I haven’t found him to be particularly hard work, no more than most puppies.
He is very well behaved, he’s no trouble whenever we leave him, he’s never taken or chewed things that aren’t his and he is good at occupying himself when we are busy. He is smart, affectionate, playful, intuitive and a big personality in a small body! And I am a complete miniature dachshund convert, I cannot imagine having a different breed.
If you’re thinking about getting a miniature dachshund, I shared more in my post Is a Miniature Dachshund for you?
And do feel free to drop me a message if you’ve any questions, I love chatting about dogs!