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Are Dachshunds Aggressive? The Truth + 11 Helpful Tips

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While dachshunds are small, they still have a mouthful of sharp teeth and nails that can easily pierce a person’s skin. The last thing you want is an overly aggressive pup at home around friends and family. But are dachshunds typically aggressive dogs? 

Are Dachshunds Aggressive Dogs?

While all dogs have the potential to be aggressive, Dachshunds tend to be more aggressive by nature. Dachshunds usually become aggressive if they feel threatened, and are not properly socialized or trained. However, with proper care, training, and socialization they are unlikely to be aggressive.

No one wants to have an overly aggressive doggo on their hands. And while some dog breeds may be more likely to showcase aggressive behaviors, like a dachshund, any dog can be trained to be a fun loving companion.

In this post we dive deep on the potential triggers that could cause a dachshund to be aggressive as well as helpful tips to resolve the behavior.

Let’s jump right in.

11 Dachshund Triggers & Anti-Aggression Tips

1) Too Isolated At a Young Age

Dachshunds need to be socialized at an early age to ensure they’re playful rather than aggressive around other dogs and people they aren’t familiar with.

Ideally this would happen before they turn 1. Their experiences at this age largely shape how they will act for the rest of their lives.

Obviously bad habits can be altered with proper training. But the more you’re able to socialize them while younger than 1, the better they’ll behave when around other dogs and people.

Now, if you adopted your dachshund a little later in life, it’s completely out of your control what their experiences were as a young puppy.

Fortunately, you can change these behaviors over time with a little (or a lot of) patience and love.

There are plenty of resources available on youtube that can be helpful if you decide to take training upon yourself.

For example, this Cesar Millan video is a great start:

If you want some guidance as opposed to doing it all on your own, consulting with a dog behaviorist is a great option as well.

The most important thing is to stay positive. As long as you don’t give up, your dachshund will become better around new dogs and people sooner than you think.

Related Reading: 7 Simple Strategies To Help Quickly Calm A Reactive Dog

2) Previously Mistreated By Another Owner

Your dachshund might be acting aggressive because of a painful past.

If your dog was abused by their previous owner their guard will go up much quicker.

And when you or someone you know playfully approaches them, they might mistakenly feel threatened.

While this is one of the easiest triggers to understand, it doesn’t necessarily make it easy to solve.

Recovering from an abusive relationship takes a lot of time, love and patience to overcome.

It can be done, but understand your pup is dealing with deeply rooted emotional trauma.

And deep roots can take a while to get out.

Until your dog has become less aggressive Wikihow suggests avoiding common triggers in abused dogs such as;

  • Threatening body language/gestures
  • Touching sensitive areas where they’ve been hurt before
  • Using a deep or loud voice
  • Loud noises in general
  • Yelling 
  • Sudden, unpredictable movements 

Most of the time, consulting with a professional is the best option here to help with your dog’s aggression.

3) Your Dachshund Isn’t Getting Enough Exercise

Pent up energy can definitely be a reason for a dog to act out aggressively.

If your dachshund hasn’t gotten much exercise on a given day or it’s been a low exercise week, this could be why they’re acting out.

Fortunately for every dachshund owner, dachshunds don’t need too much exercise per day to remain healthy and without excessive pent up energy.

But if they don’t get any exercise for an extended period of time, this can cause them to act out aggressively.

Be sure to give your dachshund at least 2 half-mile walks per day along with some play time to keep their energy levels at bay.

Related Reading: Top 12 Best Harnesses For Dachshunds

4) Your Dachshund Is In Pain

Are Dachshunds Aggressive

If the pain is strong enough, your dachshund could be being aggressive in an attempt to warn you to leave them alone.

Since they’re unable to verbally tell you what’s hurting/bothering them, you might mistakenly touch or move something on their body that’s in pain.

And because they’re in pain they want you to stop which prompts them to react aggressively to get you to stop.

If their aggressive behavior isn’t normal for them, they might just be in pain and it’s nothing against you.

Do your best to inspect them with a calming tone of voice to let them know you’re going to be gentle and attempt to find what the issue is.

5) Improper Training (Unknowingly Rewarding Aggression)

A lot of the behavior you don’t like to see in your dog was actually trained by you!

You might be thinking, that’s crazy talk… 

But it’s actually quite common.

When a dog acts out and you give a big reaction, go to them, give them attention, or even give them a treat to calm them down, you’re inadvertently training them to continue the behavior.

For example, if each time your dachshund is aggressive, you give them a treat to calm them down, this is rewarding their aggressive behavior.

And just like sweeping dirt underneath the carpet, you’ve momentarily solved the problem but only made it worse for a later time.

The best thing you can do here is to change up your training methods.

If you’re thinking, “Oh no! I do that. I didn’t know that’s what I was actually doing!”

That’s great! Because the first step to fixing a problem is understanding what you’ve been doing to cause the problem.

Be sure to adopt some more preventative training techniques and your pup will surely become less aggressive.

6) Your Dachshund Doesn’t Feel Safe

Any animal that feels like their life is in danger will likely act out aggressively in an attempt to protect themselves.

If there truly isn’t anything for your dachshund to be afraid of, it could be because of something that’s happened in their past.

The best way to handle a dog that is fearful is to have submission body language and speak to them in a light, friendly tone of voice.

You want to go very slow when interacting with a dog that doesn’t feel safe.

Any sudden movements could cause them to react aggressively solely to protect themselves.

Once they’ve allowed you to be near them, give them lots of positive reinforcement to make the experience better for them.

If they start to associate whatever initially has made them feel unsafe with love, attention, and treats.

It’s unlikely they’ll act out aggressively again in a similar situation.

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear

7) Your Dachshund Is Overly Excited

Are Dachshunds Aggressive

In puppies, this is commonly called the ‘zoomies’. Our dog named Enzo goes absolutely bonkers when they get the zoomies.

They’ll be outside playing and then all of a sudden he’ll will start running around crazily and jump at people.

Sometimes with his mouth open, sometimes not.

Any other time Enzo doesn’t showcase any aggressive behavior.

But when he gets overly excited and the zoomies kick in.

He gets a little aggressive.

Not out of anger or wanting to hurt her or anyone. But simply because he’s overly excited.

So if you’ve noticed that your dachshund really only acts aggressively after or during play, it could be because they’re overly excited.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons Why Dachshunds Get So Hyper + How To Reduce It

8) Your Dachshund Is Being Territorial (Possessive)

When a dachshund is territorial, it’s usually caused by them not being socialised, not having to share or not having enough at a young age.

Because of this, whenever they feel like something is theirs, anyone who attempts to touch it is a threat.

And obviously if they feel a person or dog is a threat, they’ll act aggressively toward them.

The best way to help your dog become less territorial is to use positive reinforcement to desensitize them.

Find an item or area that your dog is territorial of and have them sit and watch someone play or be in that space.

Slowly move them closer to the situation and watch how they react. If they start to act up, stop moving closer and calm them down by directing their attention to you as well as giving treats.

Continue to do this, moving closer and closer until they begin to be okay with other people or dogs around what they consider ‘their’ territory.

If you find nothing you do seems to improve your dog’s possessiveness it’s never a bad idea to consult with a professional.

9) Your Dachshund Thinks They’re The Alpha

If you cater to your dog too much and give in to their every demand, they might start to believe that they’re the alpha in your relationship.

And in a pack, the alpha is top dog and the other members of their pack should respect and obey them.

If you find yourself in this situation you only have two options.

1. Accept this role. Continue allowing your dog to be the alpha and don’t do things that they don’t like.

2. Train your dachshund to understand that you’re the alpha and the leader of this pack.

The aggression will only stop once they know their proper place in your pack. When you resume as the leader, they’ll be much more calm because they trust you to handle situations.

10) You’re Too Aggressive With Your Dachshund

Sometimes, usually men, can play a little too aggressively with a pup which makes them more aggressive as they age.

This kind of rough play gets your dog used to a more aggressive playstyle.

And while it’s cute when they’re just a puppy it can become problematic as they get older.

If you’re noticing that your dachshund becomes aggressive during play with other people outside of your family, it could be because of how they play with someone in your family.

If this sounds like it could be one of the reasons for the aggression, be sure to speak with the person who’s playing aggressively.

Have them tone down their playstyle so your dachshund knows how to be more gentle when playing with others.

11) Your Dachshund Is Sexually Frustrated

dachshund kissing another dog

It’s quite common for animals to become aggressive when it comes to reproduction. Sexual-related aggression can happen to both male and female dogs.

If your female dachshund is in heat, this is when they would showcase aggression for sexual reasons.

When it comes to a male, it would likely happen in later years if they were never neutered.

Dog’s aren’t void of sexual hormones which means they too can become agitated when over-stimulated.

You’ll typically see this aggressive behavior in instances of male-on-male (attempting to win the female), or female-on-male.

The best way to avoid this type of aggression is to either have your dachshund neutered or spayed, or to avoid other dogs during this phase.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Do Dachshunds Bite Their Owners?

Dachshunds are a popular breed known for being loyal and protective of their owners.

However, some people wonder if Dachshunds are prone to biting their owners.

The answer is that, like any other dog, Dachshunds may bite if they feel threatened or frightened.

However, proper training and socialization can help prevent bites. Dachshunds that are well-socialized are less likely to bite out of fear or aggression.

Furthermore, owners who train their Dachshunds using positive reinforcement techniques are more likely to have dogs that obey commands and behaves appropriately.

Therefore, while all dogs have the potential to bite their owners, Dachshunds that are properly trained and socialized are less likely to do so.

Are Dachshunds Friendly With Strangers?

Dachshunds are a loyal, loving breed of dog that bonds closely with their family.

They are typically very friendly with people that their family members know and trust.

However, they can be reserved around strangers. Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt small animals, so they have a strong prey drive.

This means that they may see strangers as a potential threat. Additionally, Dachshunds are notoriously independent and stubborn.

They often do not respond well to obedience training and may be difficult for first-time dog owners to handle.

For these reasons, it is important to socialize your Dachshund from an early age. This will help them learn to trust and feel comfortable around new people.

With patience and training, most Dachshunds will eventually warm up to strangers and make great companions.

Final Thoughts

Dachshunds are actually one of the most aggressive dogs when it comes to being around strangers. While they may not be super dangerous, they can bark excessively to scare off what they feel are threats.

Of course this doesn’t mean all dachshunds are aggressive. But without proper training and socialization at an early age, a dachshund will be more inclined to be unloving toward strangers.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Can Dachshunds Live & Sleep Outside? 6 Risks + 6 Tips

Do Dachshunds Like To Cuddle? 11 Things You Should Know

12 Best Dog Beds for Dachshunds



How to Train an Abused Dog

Sex-Related Aggression in Dogs

Territorial Aggression in Dogs: Why Does It Occur?