Dachshunds were bred to be pack hunting dogs and as such typically are very easy to socialize with other canines. They often don’t seem to realize their small stature compared to the other larger breeds and will happily play with other small dogs but also with the large breeds. With this being said Dachshund aggression towards other dogs can and will occur under certain circumstances. Understanding the root of the aggressive behavior will then help you, as the owner, handle the problem and provide training and practice to lower the chance of any type of dog aggression.
Intact Males And Females
As with all dogs the urge to reproduce is very strong within both male and female members of the Dachshund breed. Males will fight to show dominance when any female dogs in the area are in heat. Unfortunately Dachshunds have a very acute sense of smell, developed for generations to make them an outstanding tracking dog. This means that they can detect the pheromones that the female in heat produces for distances of more than a half a mile even in city areas and greater distances in the suburbs and country. If you have intact males, which means they have not been neutered, expect aggression towards other intact male dogs to dramatically increase if females in heat are anywhere in the vicinity.
Intact females are also more aggressive specifically towards males giving them unwanted attention or towards other intact females. Some females don’t display any dog aggression unless they have a litter of puppies to protect. Just keep in mind that this type of aggression is natural towards other dogs and managing the female’s environment is often the best option.
Spaying and neutering both female and male Dachshunds that are not being used in selective, controlled and responsible breeding programs is often all that is needed to address this hormonally driven type of aggression.
Lack Of Socialization
The other major reason behind Dachshund aggression is lack of socialization. Owners often pick up their Dachshund or don’t let them play with other, bigger dogs for mistaken fears of injury. Over time the Dachshund begins to equate large dogs with fear, picking up on the owner’s distress whenever they come around. This can then lead to aggression with the dog barking, snapping at growling at the other dog from the safety of the owner’s arms.
The best option to prevent this issue is to have your Dachshund puppy attend a puppy obedience class and allow the puppy to learn to interact with other dogs. This needs to continue as the Dachshund matures. Find friends with calm large and small dogs and take the Dachshund to the park for some play time with these canine friends. You may also want to get involved in a Dachshund club or a small dog group at the local dog park area. It is essential that Dachshund aggression be prevented from happening to avoid having to correct and retrain.
If you know the adult Dachshund aggression is due to lack of socialization or isolation from other dogs, seek the help of a professional dog trainer. They can set up appropriate, calm dogs that won’t respond aggressively to the Dachshund behavior in very controlled training sessions, gradually allowing the dog to learn how to interact with dogs without fear.