Are Dachshunds Aggressive Dogs? What Can You Do?

Photo of a calm Dachshund dog.

Right now, you’re probably thinking about owning a Dachshund, although you may have stumbled upon some research warning you of its aggression and has eventually gotten you doubtful. Are Dachshunds aggressive dogs? We’re here to find out!

Yes, Dachshunds are defined as one of the most aggressive dog breeds. They can become aggressive if not given proper socialization. They can also become aggressive if in pain, bored, anxious, or in fear of something or someone.

However, this is not, at all times, true. Be mindful that aggression may vary since every individual Dachshund can be entirely different from another. Generally speaking, random aggression found in dogs isn’t always rooted and ingrained in their nature, but it can also be caused by several distinct factors you should be aware of.

This article will be focusing on explaining the reasons for a Dachshund’s display of aggression and possible ways of dealing with it and putting an end to this behavior. Let’s get right into it!

Why is my Dachshund so aggressive? 

Understand that every dog has its own personality. If you’re planning to get a Dachshund, you must learn about its roots and the purpose of why it was bred before you finally commit to keeping one. 

Hunters by nature

Dachshunds were initially bred 600 years ago in Germany, and it was undoubtedly for a specific reason. Have you ever wondered why their bodies are narrow, elongated, and are so close to the ground? It’s because they were simply bred to hunt badgers and these physical traits help them chase their prey faster as well as making it easier for them to dig into its den. 

Other than that, Dachshunds have sharp teeth and claws since they also hunt smaller animals like squirrels, rabbits, and rats. 

This is also why Dachshunds are naturally fearless, that despite their adorable size, they carry a hunter’s instinct with them that may appear as an aggressive trait to many people. 

Aggressive due to their size

Dachshunds are tiny dogs, but they do give the impression that they see themselves bigger than they actually are. While they can be playful and intelligent dogs, Dachshunds also have temperaments that should be worked on through proper socialization and training; otherwise, it may lead to a display of aggressive behavior towards other animals, strangers, or even towards its owners. 

Surprisingly, smaller breeds like Dachshunds happen to show more aggression than larger dogs. They may not cause fatal attacks, but they’re most likely to bark, growl and bite when they feel provoked. Again, this may not be the case for all Dachshunds, and it would greatly depend on a dog’s environment and upbringing. 

Behavioral aggression and lack of trust

Most of the time, Dachshunds and other smaller dog breeds receive the wrong treatment from their owners that might’ve caused them to be aggressive. Displaying aggressive behavior may be a way for any little dog to show that it can be dangerous. 

More so, aggression is possible to manifest if Dachshunds sense that they can’t trust you or that they simply don’t like how they’re treated. If your dog growls at you when you come near, it may indicate that you’ve done something that’s led it to feel the need to protect itself from you. 

Aggressive behavior can also be a sign that a Dachshund lacks discipline and has assumed dominance over its owner. Hence, providing your dog continuous training with a certified dog behaviorist’s guidance is essential to keep it obedient. 

Self-defense aggression 

It could be dangerous if children weren’t taught how to treat a Dachshund correctly, as it’s possible to fight back! Children who treat small dogs as toys are likely to get growled at or bitten.

So if you happen to have kids, let them be aware of how they can adequately pet or hold a Dachshund. Be warned that once a sausage dog feels pestered, threatened, or physically hurt, it won’t double-think about defending itself, even from a child. 

In contrast, Dachshunds can be good with children if they’re used to being around them or have developed a very close relationship with them. You’ll notice that if they’ve been exposed to kids for a while, they won’t seem to be bothered with their presence and have better control over their temper. 

Territorial and protective aggression

Dachshunds may appear aggressive at times, but when they are, they are for a reason. Instinctively, Dachshunds feel obliged to protect their people and other animals they consider as part of their pack, which is why they tend to snarl or bite strangers. 

Dachshunds are not predisposed to being friendly, although having them interact and exposed to different people during its puppyhood would help them stay calmer whenever you invite visitors into your home.

Constant barking can be a real issue you don’t want to deal with when you have friends or relatives over, so it’s better to eliminate this behavior while a Dachshund is still young. 

Are Dachshunds Aggressive Dogs?

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Is it common for a Dachshund to be aggressive? 

A Dachshund’s aggression can be a mix of inbred and learned behavior, but somehow, it’s heavily caused by the latter. It’s always the owner’s responsibility to understand their dog’s demeanor and to be mindful of what could trigger or cause their sudden aggression.

It may be common news that Dachshunds tend to be aggressive, but it always depends on how they were brought up by their owners. Therefore, training your Dachshund and having it go through socialization will prevent it from being too uptight when meeting new people, pets, and being in new places.

Causes for a Dachshund’s Aggressive Behavior 

Aside from a Dachshund’s genetic predisposition, its aggression can be traced to its environment and overall well-being. Most of the time, Dachshunds develop nasty behavior from being neglected or mistreated by their owners. These dogs, although bold and free-spirited, are still dependent on their owners’ care and understanding. 

If your Dachshund has grown aggressive, it may indicate that he couldn’t experience proper socialization during its puppyhood. When Dachshunds are showing very sudden and seemingly unreasonable aggression, it may indicate that it’s suffering from an illness you may not know of and needs professional help.

Why is my Dachshund suddenly aggressive?

If you’ve ever owned a Dachshund, you know that they’re typically known for being fun-loving and loyal companions. But sometimes, even the best-behaved Dachshunds can suddenly become aggressive for no apparent reason. While it can be confusing and frustrating to deal with this behavior, there are usually a few underlying causes.


Your Dachshund may be acting aggressively if they feel threatened by someone or something. This could be anything from a new person in the home to a loud noise outside. If your Dachshund is acting aggressively out of fear, it’s important to help them feel more comfortable and safe. You can do this by providing them with a safe space, such as their crate or bed, and by gradually exposing them to the things that trigger their fear.


Another common cause of aggressive behavior is pain. If your Dachshund is in pain, they may act aggressively in order to protect themselves from further harm. If you think your Dachshund’s aggression may be due to pain, it’s important to take them to the vet for an evaluation. Your dog may be ill or injured and acting aggressively as a way to protect itself.

Maternal Instincts

If you have a female Dachshund who has just given birth, she may be acting aggressively to protect her puppies. This is a natural maternal instinct and is nothing to worry about. However, if you have any concerns, it’s always best to consult with your vet.


Another possibility is that they are feeling anxious or scared due to a change in their environment, such as a move to a new home or the addition of a new pet to the family.

If your Dachshund’s aggression is due to anxiety, there are a number of things you can do to help ease their stress, such as providing them with a safe space to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed and establishing a regular routine.

Poor Socialization

Poor socialization is one of the most common causes of aggression in dogs. If your Dachshund has not been properly socialized, they may be fearful or anxious around new people and situations, which can lead to aggressive behavior.

The best way to prevent this is to socialize your Dachshund from a young age. This means exposing them to new people, places, and experiences in a positive way. For example, you can take them to the dog park, on walks in new neighborhoods, or to obedience classes.

In many cases, aggressive behavior in Dachshunds is the result of anxiety or fear. If your dog is acting aggressively, it’s important to try to identify the cause so that you can help them feel more comfortable and safe.

Whatever the reason for your Dachshund’s aggression, it is important to seek professional help from a certified dog behaviorist to ensure that the problem does not escalate.

Dachshund puppy behind the wire mesh fence looking aggressive

How to stop Dachshund aggression?

Perhaps you already own a Dachshund and lately, it’s been showing aggressive behavior that’s led you feeling anxious and confused about what may have caused it. Don’t be too down when this happens. Instead, help your dog discontinue the behavior through trying ways that could possibly tame them. 

Below are some tips you can do to stop Dachshund aggression.

1. Use positive reinforcement 

Positive reinforcement is a simple method wherein you reward your dog once it obeys your command. You can start by carrying some of your dog’s favorite treats while you walk it outside your house; if it starts to growl or bark at people or other animals it sees, try to move it slowly away from them and give it treats once it stops growling or barking. 

Keep on doing this until your dog gradually stops being aggressive towards strangers. This would not only help you fix your dog’s behavioral problem, but it will also help you build and strengthen your bond. 

2. Ask for professional help

Sometimes it can be challenging to teach your dog how to stop its aggressive behavior on your own, so asking help from a professional is most likely a more efficient way to straighten the problem. You can consider taking your Dachshund to a puppy class or personally hire a dog whisperer or animal behaviorist to make the job done for you.  

What’s nice about asking for professional help is that you’re sure of your dog’s progress. You’ll be receiving new and informative feedback on its temperament. You’ll also know how you can manage to maintain its good behavior on your own. 

3. Never punish your dog

Punishing your dog for being aggressive, whether physical or non-physical, is extremely wrong. If a Dachshund undergoes positive training methods, it’s said to reduce or slowly end its aggression, while coercion would only result in the opposite. Be reminded that your dog’s experiences have more effect on its behavior, and you can’t blame its lineage for it!  

It’s wrong to think that you’ll be able to discourage your dog’s bad behavior through hitting it, since it may only cause it to feel fearful that it would try to defend itself by being more aggressive. Additionally, non-physical punishments like withholding its favorite activities or yelling would only leave it distressed without realizing what it has done wrong. 

These punishments can truly damage your Dachshund’s mental health; it would either leave it scared or hurt that may be a good enough reason for it to turn against you. 

4. Don’t play rough games with your dog

Playtime is a great way to have your dog entertained, but know when to discontinue. Rough games may be fun when your Dachshund is still a puppy, but it can be a real problem once it develops its aggressive behavior because of it.

Playing rough games or games that involve chasing can stimulate a Dachshund’s aggressive side, thus, it may cause it to snarl or bite you. 

It’s important to remember that Dackels are originally bred to be hunters and not as sweet and naturally calm lap dogs. So, if the playing goes too intense, put your dog on time-out and know how you can tame it down; otherwise, you might get hurt. Then again, never initiate rough interactions with your dog as it may lead it to think that attacking you is acceptable. 

5. Have your dog checked if it needs medication 

If you don’t see any apparent reason why your dog is acting up, then it might be suffering from internal issues that you need to resolve as soon as you possibly can. It’s probable that your dog is experiencing anxiety, trauma, fear, or is in physical pain that you may not know of and may also be the cause of its aggression. 

When you notice its behavior turning severe, it may indicate that training is not enough, and medications are to consider. Although before you think of providing treatment, it’s a big must to have your Dachshund checked by a trusted veterinarian who would prescribe you the right behavioral medication and might even back you up with therapy if it’s needed.

6. Be direct with what you think your dog needs

As an owner, you need to be honest with yourself if you were able to meet the needs of your Dachshund ever since you’ve had it. It’s true that your lifestyle can highly affect your dog, so you might want to ask yourself if its aggressive behavior has something to do with you or the environment you have provided it. 

Do you have children who are insensitive with animals? Are you often away and don’t have the time to spend with your dog? Do you like to invite random guests a lot into your home? Do you hit your dog or yell at it when it does wrong? Do you think you’ve done something or have done less that’s caused it to be aggressive? —Try to reflect on some of these questions as it may also help you figure out the root cause of your Dachshund’s feisty behavior. 

Some resolutions may not be what you’ve hoped for, but it’s probably for the best. For instance, it may suggest that you find your dog a new home since your lifestyle doesn’t approve of you owning such a breed. It can be frustrating on your end, but eventually, you’ll come to realize that it’s you doing your dog and yourself a favor after all. 


Dachshunds are recognized as one of the most aggressive dogs a person can ever own, although this certainly doesn’t apply to all, and for some dogs that are displaying aggression, it’s never really too late to change their behavior. With proper care and training, Dachshunds can be loving and loyal pets that are perfect for any dog-welcoming family!

In addition, your Dachshund’s aggressiveness may be a complex issue that demands your efforts and attention for it to be resolved. Understand that without knowing the source/s of your dog’s aggression, you won’t be able to put an end to it. The same way of not knowing how to properly take care of a Dachshund, would only lead its behavior to worsen. 

Finally, asking help from a professional is one of the best choices you can ever make if your dog’s behavior has become totally severe, but if you prefer not to, the simplest efforts of a regular owner may be good enough for a Dachshund to avoid or draw back from being aggressive. Indeed, it all boils down to consistency in socializing, building close relationships, and giving it the right treatment it deserves. 

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