"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Aggressive Dachshund

– Posted in: Columns

We adopted a male 4-year-old Dachshund. When we got home he ran up the stairs and greeted our other 2 rescued Dachshund normally. Day 1 he was good, day 2 he was good, day 3 he was good, day 4 he started being very aggressive and protective of the mutual toy box. Day 5 even more so and he nipped at me. Day 6, he has started to show me his teeth and nipped again. The little devil has a heck of a set of teeth.

I am very concerned about this aggressive streak that has developed. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do with an aggressive Dachshund? Being pretty much retired now, I can’t really afford to start taking him to a bunch of experts.

P.M.

Hi P.M.,

One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of rescue dogs in a new household is they’re a lot like a houseguest. If I were to come room and board at your place, you and your wife would be in no time commenting on what a considerate, jolly fellow I am but it wouldn’t be to long before you’d come home unexpectedly and find me raiding the fridge in my underwear getting a glimpse of what might be a reflection of my true nature.

It seems your dachshund was checking out the lay of the land, playing it safe until he decided who had the moves to lay down the law and he decided it was him. He may just set the bar higher then the other dogs you have as to who he’s willing to listen to and you may find you’re going to have develop a different set of handling skills for him then the others.

Dogs are like kids, some you don’t need that much discipline or supervision and others would end up in juvenile court without it. You have to get it right too. Over discipline a kid that doesn’t need it and while they won’t necessarily end up in juvenile court, they might need therapy for the rest of their lives. That’s part of what I mean when I so often refer to balanced dog training. It’s not about being all positive or all negative; it’s about finding the right balance for each individual dog.

If you’re not going to go to a training class here’s what I’d do. I’d rock this little Dachshund’s world. He’d drag a leash on in the house, 30’ of rope outside. I would never reach for the dog. I’d reach for the leash handle. He wouldn’t be allowed up or down stairs, in or outdoors, in the car or out of the car without doing something for me first, (like waiting for up to a minute). He’d have to stay on a mat whenever there was food in a room or I was in the kitchen. He wouldn’t be allowed on a stick of furniture without permission and again I’d make him work for it. He wouldn’t be allowed anywhere I couldn’t get to his leash and when I was busy he’d be a crate (ideally near me). This would go on for a full year. I’d also exercise his rear end off every day, especially before training sessions.

You’ll find any dog is smart enough to “get it” in 90 days but there’s a difference between “getting it” in 90 days and experiencing it for a year. The difference is that as they say, experience is the greatest teacher of all.

Pawsitively yours,

John Wade
*protected email*

21 Comments… add one
J.LeBel

I rescued a part dachshund and we are having aggression issues also. She is only aggressive towards other dogs. She is a very well behaved dog otherwise but it is impossible to take her anywhere (vets,parks,walks in the park) she freaks out when she sees another dog and turns into a tazmanian devil. The pound said she had “cage aggression” .How can I help this dog have a normal life – she is truly worth it.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

There may be other factors but the main reason these things get out of hand has less to do with the relationship the dogs have each other and more with the relationship they don’t have with their owner. Think of it in terms of human children. It these were two eight year old boys constantly scrapping, yes it’s possible one or the other has a screw loose but much more likely they don’t respect their parent(s) enough to abide by house rules. I would suggest you buy a copy of my book “The Beautiful Balance – Dog Training with Nature’s Template“. It’s downloadable and inexpensive. Either that or get a trainer in to help you.

Denise

Thank you, John, and thank you PM for asking this questions. I have adopted a 10 yr old daschund with aggression issues. He was to be euthanized, but I felt like he may be a little misunderstood. Sure enough, after day 4, he started showing his teeth and getting mad at me when I wouldn’t give him “human” food. After reading this advice, I put his harness and leash on him and let him walk around with it. Immediately, he began acting differently. Thank you for this timely, and much needed advice.

Carol-lynne

I have 2 brothers who are 7 months old and the younger one has started violently attacking his brother, especially when I shoe him attention. But he also pins him in a corner and watches over him so he can’t move and when he tries the little one attacks. Please help me stop this as I hate to see either one hurt or sad.

Elaine

Good Afternoon, I have a 3 yo winner. every time some big dog or people are around he wants to attack, also when anybody from my family comes close to me. If I’m sleeping and my husband come to our room Rufuss attack him, He already bite my husband and my daughter. I love him, he follows the order, but he is very aggressive. Can you help me to avoid problems again.
Pleaseeeeee!!!!!!

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Elaine,

I can only help indirectly. Finding a trainer to work with one on one preferably in the home would be the way to go. You will find a lot on my website http://www.askthedogguy.com that will give you some clues as to why your dog is doing this but in a nutshell he’s likely perceiving you as a resource to guard. He has no idea as to who is the teacher and who is the student. Your first step is to straighten this part out. Often they stop the behaviour but if not it’s easier for them to unlearn it once you’ve the relationship issues resolved.

John

Rosie murfin

Hi Mr John. I have a dachshund that we got when he was 4 weeks old. For the last year and a half, he has been getting more aggressive to all members of the family. We can no longer pick him up, nor at times, even touch him. He is not nuetered. He was normally a good Dog, he listened and followed commands from the start, but recently, he has been getting more aggressive and less loveable. Is there anything we can or should do? What advice can you give us.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Rosie,

Some dogs require a much more hands on approach to being reared then others, otherwise they get confused as to who is living in whose home and start asserting themselves when they hit young adulthood. With the right sort of training they can be turned around and be quite happy in a subordinate role (much less pressure). However, it takes some time and patience. Find a good trainer or read my book –

John

Rosie murifn

Thanks for the reply. We will try a trainer in the area and look at your books.

Mary

We just came home yesterday with a 3 year old dachshund mix that hasn’t been neutered. He was abused by his former owners (hit and starved) and is food aggressive plus we of course can’t make sudden movements. Last night he was licking my hand and when he stopped I went to pull my hand away and he went berserk and bit me good on two of my fingers. It drew blood. Now I am leery and know that it’s not good to show fear but I am out of my element here. I guess I could try the leash trick you mentioned but I don’t want a dog that could bite me or my husband but more importantly my grandbabies. Please help us. We love dogs and can’t afford a trainer.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Mary,

Did this dog come from a rescue?

John

Sasha Munoz

HI John,
I have a two year old dachshund mix that I adopted about a year ago. When I got him, the shelter told me he had behavior problems and I was willing to give him a chance. Being that I’ve had him for over a year, some of his behaviors have changed. Others, not so much. He runs out the door, barks agrresively at guests and their children like he wants to attack them, he will nip at somebody if they try to hug or play with me, he pulls the leash when walking outside, he barks at dogs when we walk, and he has ruined multiple clothing pieces by ripping holes in them. I know this is a lot, but what are some of your suggestions? I would love the help!

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Sasha,

I’m glad you’ve made some progress. You may want to start working with a trainer if you can find a good one. Otherwise there are lots of good tips in my book that will help with the sorts of things you’re describing.

Melissa

A few years ago we took in a Dachshund we found roaming our neighborhood. We did everything to find his owner but were unable. We had him neutered and kept him. He can sometimes be aggressive. He goes nuts at our fence line barking at our neighbor and has bit her. Luckily she is forgiving. He usually only shows this aggression to people near our fence or visitors when he is in his crate. He has growled at others while on leash and he did bite our toddler once but she was being too rough and we have established improved behavior with her but we have a 5 month old now too so…We also can not pick him up without him growling. Is this behavior that can be changed with a trainer? Or am I always going to be nervous that he may snap on guests? Do daily walks help to tone this behavior down? We have all grown very attached to him but I hate the constant worry he is going to bite, especially with our newest addition.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

It isn’t that this sort of behaviour can’t be turned around – on paper, there’s the risk of doing so to people while you’re doing so. As big a responsibility it is to care for a dog, it does not or perhaps I should say shouldn’t be a bigger responsibility then the one we have towards keeping our children, neighbours, guests etc. safe.

Daily walks won’t have much more impact then increasing the aggression if he’s doing the same when someone approaches him. Exercise however, (walks aren’t exercise) is one of the things that make turning him around easier but in itself, no it won’t help.

If you’re interested in trying to turn this dog around I’d suggest reading my e-book – The Beautiful Balance – Dog Training with Nature’s Template and/or booking a telephone consult with me. (http://store.askthedogguy.com/ask-the-dog-guy-telephone-consult/)

maureen adams

I have a little boy he is dashhound/BORDER COLLIE mix and his sister..bandit gets so agressive at other dogs and people that he bites me or anything around him even his sister dog..he will be 1 yr old in may..i have had him since he was 5 wks old..he has just stared this agression the last 2 months. I worry he might bite one of my grandchildren one day out of excitement of something else..what can i do to break him from biting

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Maureen,

If you’re calling your dog a “little boy” instead of a young dog I suspect part of the problem is that someone has confused you as to the nature of what it is to be a dog. If you’re treating him like a child, rather then a dog I suspect his aggression is a byproduct and a message to you that he’s in fact a dog. Do a search on this website for dog to dog aggression living in the same home. I’ve written about it several times. Some good tips there. Search ‘all positive’ dog training as well as it’s a big contributor to this sort of behaviour.

John

Vicky

I have a 4 year old Dachshund and a 2 year old Dachshund. The older one has started becoming agreesive towards stranger dogs and we dont know why, often unprovoked. He is very protective over the younger dog. How do we stop this?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Vicky,

Thanks for writing to me about your dog. It might be a while for me to get back to you as there are just far too many emails coming in, from around the world, for one person to handle any more. Sometimes I don’t get to some of them at all. 

If you haven’t already, I’d suggest doing a search on my website to see if I’ve written about anything similar that may be of some help.

For what it’s worth, I give emails that include video of the dog issue much higher priority as I feel with that element it will help more people reading the column. I’ll give you a heads up should I post a reply so you don’t miss it should it be highly delayed.

I also do telephone or Skype consultations if you think that would help. I can send you the details regarding what’s involved and on how to go about booking if you wish.

Regards,

John

Arely Uriza

My Doxie Athena was not aggressive as a puppy. She was sweet and loving. Now she growls at me and barks at me and tries to bite my face. She’s 1 year and 5 months. What do I do?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

It might be a while for me to get back to you as the number of emails I receive every day from around the world has grown to the point I can’t always keep up. Here are 3 suggestions.

1. I give emails that include video of the dog issue much higher priority as I feel with that element it will help more people reading the column so if you can send some video involving the behaviour you are concerned about I’ll give your inquiry priority. Small files sent as attachments are usually fine. If it’s a larger file instructions on how to send it for free are below my signature line.

2. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest doing a search on my website to see if I’ve written about anything similar that may be of some help.

3. I also do telephone or Skype consultations if you think that would help. I can send you the details regarding what’s involved and on how to go about booking if you wish.

Regards,

John Wade

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply