The Dachshund is small, so many make the mistake to assume that this breed could not be aggressive. Actually, the Dachshund does have some aggressive tendencies. The two most common reasons to cause aggression are fear and dominance, although there can be others, such as trauma and genetics. It is important that Dachshund aggression is addressed as soon as it becomes evident.
Your Dachshund puppy should stay with his mother until he reaches 8 weeks of age if you want him to be less prone to aggression. In that time he will learn a lot from his mother about dominance and pack order and he will get many valuable lessons.
Dachshund aggression can be visible at a very young age. This is why it is so important that the puppy is socialized through the first 4-5 months of his life. It is during this socialization period that the Dachshund learns about biting and dominance, in the real world.
There are a number of things that can cause your Dachshund to become aggressive. The Dachshund is bread to hunt and therefore that hostility can be passed on through the generations, even though today’s Dachshund does very little hunting.
Still, the most important factor that causes aggression is your dog’s environment. Dachshunds are much more likely to become aggressive if they
- are not socialized properly
- live around hostile people
- are treated roughly
- are not properly trained
- have poor living conditions
A common mistake with small dogs is to be too rough when playing or handling them. This can also lead to aggression.
Another cause of aggression in Dachshunds is related to pack leader status. Your Dachshund is going to test to see who the actual pack leader is. This is even more evident in families with more than one dog. There you may see behavior such as nipping, biting, challenging and body language that says they are looking to be the alpha dog. You must stop this from happening.
The same behavior can be exhibited between your Dachshund and you. If you fail to set things straight regarding pack leader status, you could face aggression that is difficult to get rid of.
If your Dachshund has never been aggressive but at some point in his adult life starts to show aggression you should consider a number of reasons such as
- a change in his diet
- a change in his daily routine
- a recent move
- lack of exercise
- an injury you are not aware of (i.e. back injury, which is quite common in the Dachshund but can go undetected)
You will need to play detective to find out what has happened to cause this change in behavior.
Anytime your Dachshund starts to show signs of aggression, it is important that you immediately address this situation through training. If you are unsure of how to go about this task on your own, it is always a good idea to get the help of a professional trainer, who will help you deal with your Dachshund’s aggression before anyone gets hurt.