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How to potty train a miniature dachshund

You were so excited when you picked out your miniature dachshund puppy. But now, after finding an "unpleasant surprise" for the umpteenth time, your happiness is wearing thin. Miniature dachshunds are known for their cleverness, playfulness, loyalty and devotion. Unfortunately, this lovable breed is also known to have a natural stubborn streak that can make potty training difficult. But with appropriate instruction and a little patience, your little doxie will stop using the dining room table leg as a fire hydrant in no time.

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  1. Choose an appropriate sleeping spot. Whether you purchase a comfortable crate or use a small room or a large closet with a puppy bed, a doxie will not make a mess where he sleeps. If you can't watch your little guy for an hour or two, locking him in his crate or room is a great way will keep him from relieving himself on the floor. But don't leave him there for too long. Locking him up for an extended period of time is not only cruel, it's a sure-fire way to force your pup to have an accident in his bed. If this happens on several occasions, your pup may get used to wallowing in his filth and will view this behaviour as "acceptable," which can make potty training more difficult.

  2. Choose a spot for your dog to relieve himself. Miniature dachshunds are small enough to use a dog litter box, so teaching them to go indoors can be a good option, especially if you work full time. But whether you decide to train your puppy to go inside or outside, the spot should remain consistent.

  3. To train your dachshund to go inside, place the litter box in the puppy's room opposite his bed or crate. It is natural for mini doxies to relieve themselves opposite their sleeping area and your puppy will likely be drawn to the correct spot. To train your dachshund to go outside, begin by putting a puppy training pad opposite his crate. Once he begins to get the idea, move the pad closer and closer to the door.

  4. Puppy potty training requires you to create a feeding schedule. Most little doxies will feel the urge to eliminate right after eating and should be taken outside or to the littler box following each meal. Knowing when your puppy has to go will prevent many accidents and ensure successful potty training.

  5. When house training a dog watch your puppy closely and learn his "potty signals." Every miniature dachshund begins to form his own routine such as sniffing in circles, sticking his tail in the air or sitting hunched over with his back legs crossed. If you see your puppy performing his routine, immediately take him to his elimination spot.

  6. If you catch your doxie in the middle of an accident, startle him and he should stop. Try gently swatting his behind, clapping loudly or shaking a soda can full of pennies. Scold your pup in a low, commanding voice, take him to the proper spot and immediately praise him. It may take a little time before he finishes, so watch him until he does to ensure success and cut down on clean-up.

  7. Use association words. Every time your dachshund eliminates, use the same phrase such as "Go potty!" Dachshunds are clever and your pup will eventually begin to link this phrase with relieving himself and will do it on command. Using association words can prevent waiting for your curious pup to sniff every square inch of the backyard or litter box.

  8. Praise your doxie for even the smallest success. Ultimately, your pup desires your approval. Help him associate your happiness with eliminating in the right spot by treating him like a million dollars every time he gets it right. Praise him and show your excitement even if he goes half on the pad and half on the floor.

  9. Be patient. Potty training takes time and it may be several weeks before you break through your doxie's stubborn streak. Stay consistent and soon your hard work will pay off.

  10. Expect accidents. Even with the best prevention methods and your careful guardianship, your doxie will still have several accidents on the floor. Arm yourself with paper towels, antibacterial spray or wipes and stain remover. Odour-neutralising spray will disguise your doxie's scent and keep him from returning to that spot to eliminate.

  11. "Puppy proof" your house. Put up baby gates or barriers to keep your pup away from carpeted areas until he consistently eliminates in the right place. Keep your pup off the furniture and pick up clothes, bags and important papers from the floor so that he doesn't mistake them for training pads.

  12. Tip

    If your dachshund is more interested in using the puppy pad as a chew toy, purchase pads with adhesive edges or secure the corners with painter's tape. If you catch your puppy in the act, give him a gentle swat and tell him no. Put the pad back in its proper place and place him on it. Then praise him for using the pad the right way. If you work full time, it is best to train your miniature dachshund to go indoors because a pup can't be expected to "hold it" all day. Choose a small room in your house with hard, easy-to-clean floors such as a laundry room or small bathroom. Put your doxie's bed and food at one end and his litter at the other end.


    Sometimes a gentle swat on the behind and a firm "no" are necessary to startle your doxie and communicate your displeasure, but never use pain as a punishment. This will not only hurt your little guy and cause him to fear you, it will teach him to associate pain with eliminating. Your miniature doxie may think that eliminating is a bad thing and will hold it until the last possible second. Then he will usually let loose in "hidden" locations such as behind the couch. Though potty training may be frustrating, never yell at your puppy. Use a stern, low-pitched "no" or "bad puppy" to communicate displeasure. Screaming can frighten your puppy and cause him to cower in your presence.

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Things You'll Need

  • Puppy training pads or a dog litter
  • Large crate or a small room
  • Soft blanket or puppy bed
  • Anti-bacterial spray or wipes
  • Paper towel

About the Author

Mia Blocher

Mia Blocher is based in Northeast Indiana and has worked in journalism since 2006. Currently a politics and education reporter for her hometown newspaper, her articles have also appeared on the webzine Boundless.org. Blocher received her Bachelor of Arts in mass communication and journalism from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana in 2007.

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