5 Tips to prevent your dachshund from pulling on a leash

For many of us, walking our Dachshund is one of the perks of pup parenthood. It gets us out, we meet new people, and it’s enjoyable…unless your dog pulls on the leash. Then it’s just a frustrating chore that no one in the family wants to do. A bit of training can change that, and make the walk enjoyable again. The following easy training tips will help make sure that your Doxie doesn’t pull on the leash.


#1 – Start Young

As soon as you bring home your Dachshund, start leash training. This includes just an eight-week old pup. The sooner you instill those good leash manners, the better. It’s easy for people to think that because they are a small dog, Doxies don’t need to be leash trained early. But just like big dogs, the sooner you instill good manners the better. So instead of picking up your dog, pick up the leash.

#2 – Practice Attention

Dachshunds are a strong willed hunter that often does what he wants when he wants to – this includes when you are trying to walk him. You may find your Doxie is constantly trying to follow his nose or just doesn’t want to go the way you want. A key to stopping these behaviors is to keep your Doxie focused on you during a walk. Working on looking at you when you say her name, offering eye contact without a cue, “leave it” and “drop” are important to leash training.

#3 – Follow Me!

A problem that Dachshund owners often run into is that the Doxie doesn’t want to walk. They may have been carried a lot as a puppy, or just don’t enjoy walking. First, make sure he doesn’t have a medical reason for not wanting to walk. If that checks out, it’s time to teach your Doxie it’s fun to stay with you! You can do this by rewarding your Doxie any time he chooses to walk on-leash towards you. The more you reward, the more your dog will be willing to walk on that leash. Be mindful of your speed- if you are walking fast, it may be a lot for those little legs to keep up with. Slow down and your Doxie may be more willing to come along.

Image Source: Raffi Asdourian via Flickr
Image Source: Raffi Asdourian via Flickr

#4 – Reward Correct Positioning

Now that your Doxie is walking on-leash, you want to get him into that nice position at your side. Whenever your Dachshund is in heel position – walking nicely by your side with a loose leash – be sure you are rewarding him. Rewards can be anything he likes, including treats, praise, toys, etc. As long as your Doxie likes it, it’s a reward. Dogs repeat behaviors that are reinforced, so the more you reinforce him for being in that spot, the more he will do it. It’s as simple as that!

#5 – Don’t Let Pulling Be Reinforced

As mentioned above, dogs do what gets reinforced. If your Dachshund pulls on the leash and gets what he wants (for example, following a prey trail) then he will continue to do it and it will get worse. Instead, if you feel your Doxie start to pull you in one direction, you can plant your feet and not move, waiting until he returns to you. Or, you can turn and walk the opposite way. Once he is walking next to you nicely, you can go the way he wanted to. This teaches your Dachshund that if he wants to go somewhere, he has to keep that leash loose.

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