Separation anxiety or distress can be a normal but undesirable behavior in young Dachshunds, particularly Dachshunds that are ‘new to you’.
Pretty much any puppy will experience separation distress or anxiety. How you handle the situation will determine how long your Dachshund will have separation anxiety.
A Dachshund that’s ‘new to you’ may also experience separation anxiety. Being in a new home is enough to cause your new Dachshund some distress.
Your Dachshund can very easily become scared, anxious, or distressed when first left alone. This anxiety may also lead to your dog ‘expecting’ to be anxious every time being left alone. That’s why it’s important to nip this separation anxiety behavior in the bud.
How do you know if your Dachshund is experiencing separation anxiety?
Signs may include chewing things while you’re gone. It may be an item (or items) that personally belong to you, like one of your shoes or socks, etc.. Your Dachshund may whine, howl, bark or pace the room.
You may come home and find that your Dachshund has gone potty in the house (although a young puppy can’t hold it very long – so it may or may not be related to anxiety).
Suggestions How to Alleviate Separation Anxiety
‘Downplay’ your departure and downplay your return.
In other words don’t get overly excited yourself. Remain calm. Dogs sense your emotional state and often react to it.
They ‘know’ when you’re getting ready to leave because they are very good at associating your behavior. Certain clues and things that you do will signal them that you’re getting ready to go.
If you appear in a rush to leave, they will be overly anxious. Try slowing down and remaining calm. It helps!
This is what works for me and my Dachshund:
When we’re getting ready to leave, he’s usually somewhere on or in his pile of blankets on the couch. I simply walk over to him and in a very calm and reassuring voice (while gently petting him), I tell him “We’re going out for awhile and we’ll be back pretty soon.”
He has become accustomed to this particular action, and the calm voice and gentle petting sets him immediately relaxed and at ease – knowing that we’re going but it will be ‘alright’. It actually works!
Misbehaved? Don’t Get Mad
Note: If you come home and your Dachshund has misbehaved, don’t get mad at him.
(Unless you catch your Dachshund in the act of doing something wrong, discipline is pointless. I repeat, Your Dachshund will not associate your discipline with his bad behavior if you don’t catch him in the act and immediately discipline with a stern “NO’ and corrective action.
Understand that your Dachshund did not potty in the house or chew your shoe out of spite because you left him. He did this as a reaction to his fear or his anxiety. You were gone, he was left alone, and he (and you) have not been trained properly yet. Remember, he is only a baby (although older dogs may do this too, if you and they are not trained properly). This behavior doesn’t need to be punished, it needs to be helped.
You may think…’ he knows he’s been bad. He has that ‘guilty’ look, or cowering when I get home… and he’s made a mess.’ He’s not looking guilty or fearful because he knows he’s done wrong. Chances are it’s a ‘learned’ reaction to a previous behavior pattern on your part. If you’ve gotten mad at him previously when you’ve come home and found he’s been bad (after the fact), and then have scolded him for it (after the fact), then you are in essence unwittingly training him to be that way when you return home.
Imagine that he’s been feeling alone, fearful, maybe even panicked. His beloved Mom or Dad comes home, …and you get mad at him. Now he’s really confused.
Tip: Leave your Dachshund plenty of toys to play with. Maybe your Dachshund will enjoy chewing on this rather than something else (Ours loves this particular Nylabone style),