Understanding Separation Anxiety in your Dachshund


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.

Barron’s ‘DACHSHUNDS’ book
Dachshunds – The Owner’s Guide From Puppy To Old Age

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).

( Potty Training Your Dachshund )



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!

( Other Tips That May Help )


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.

(((Dachshund Gifts For Dachshund Lovers))) (amzn)


  1. Anonymous says:

    My doxie has bad breath, how do i get rid of this. It is really ofencive to visitors. They love dog but not breath. Thank you.

    1. @ Anonymous: Well, not to worry, he is normal. Pretty much all dogs have bad breath! 🙂 There are two things I do for Sampson and perhaps you can try them. I brush his teeth everyday, which seems to help. However, once in awhile, his breath will still get bad, so I will put a Breath Assure tablet in his food for 3 or 4 days and it helps. Good Luck!

      1. My baby sausage is finding crate training really hard, she cries and tries to bite her way out even when I’m stood next to her. I have to have her confident being in her own lovely space with all her toys, food etc with her as I work part time and she will be alone in the house for 4 hours twice a week. I have taken 3 weeks off but after week 1 we have got nowhere and I am a bit worried about not getting this right for her. Any advice please.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Take your dog to the vet! Our dachshund had bad breath and the result was two rotten teeth removed! Bad breath in dogs is NOT normal and is a sign of advanced tooth decay which can affect your dog’s overall health

    3. Anonymous says:

      Doxies are notorious for bad teeth! It’s because their mouths are long and narrow – and the teeth are close together. Imagine if you never brushed your teeth for years – you’d have really bad breathe too!!!
      He needs a dental cleaning.
      And without doing that annually – he will suffer from heart disease. Very sad.
      Get his teeth cleaned and they will pull “ bad” teeth. You will probably see a big change in his disposition too as they can’t tell you they have painful teeth’. Just do it!

  2. We adopted a doxie because she was neglected at her home.
    We hit it off right away.
    She pretty much runs the house and nags for attention.
    We went on vacation and left her at home with a hired baby sitter.(she knew the sitter)
    We knew she could’nt handle a kennel
    Upon our return she was clingy and cryed and whimpered for 2 days.
    Is this normale or is she just plain spoiled?

    1. Sampson is very clingy too. I believe this is somewhat normal. I wouldn’t say that he would ‘cry and whimper’ though – after his initial excitement of our return (even if out for half a day), he will want to be close to use for awhile.

    2. Renee Florsheim says:

      This is very normal. I have three dogs, two of which are doxies. I live away from most of my family, and I had to leave town unexpectedly on a family medical emergency this past weekend. My usual sitter took care of them. She’s great with them, and they love her, BUT – when I got home, they all had severe diarrhea (and yes, they ate their usual food in my absence). They are all unbelievably clingy (one of them actually climbed up inside my nightgown in my sleep last night, and I only woke up when his head popped out of the neckline and he rested his face on mine – with a huge smile on his face). This kind of thing happens every time I go out of town, and I was gone for less than 3 days!

  3. Help. Spud is a 10 yr old doxie who was rarely left alone. A year ago he has been left alone for first time. His separation anxiety causes excessive pooping/peeing in house. I recently introduced a crate, was positive, etc but he poops in crate to point of smearing it everywhere. All signs is that he goes utterly crazed while in crate, even for a few hours which is all he’s left for at this point. I’m stooped. Any suggestions? He never has accidents when we’re at home.

    1. Sampson had some separation problems too. The answer to Spud’s problem is going to require a lot of patience and consistency on your part. I would start with consistent, yet short separations. Start with just leaving for 15 or 20 minutes. Perhaps you can just take a walk around the block, go put gas in your car etc. Something that will be quick. Before you leave the house, an important thing to remember is that you don’t get Spud anxious or worried. Take him out to potty before you leave. Make your departure quick. The longer you take, or the more you talk to Spud, the worse it will make him feel.
      When you return home, show him how excited you are to be back with him. He will be happy, so return his happiness. Be consistent with these 20 minute trips. Make them once a day or at least 4 times a week. Do this for a few weeks until Spud gets used to them. Once he is used to these short trips, then you can move up to longer trips. After the 20 minutes, you can go to say 45 minutes. Go through the same training routine until he is used to 45 minutes, then you go can longer.
      Patience and consistency on your part are the two things that will help Spud. Best wishes, Lauren and Sampson

  4. thanks for advice! will try this, however, not sure if your short goodbye time is in crate or out of crate?

    We only have a couple weeks before i go back to work which is long days. Although my son is around in/out and can help with his effort.

    ever hear of those “thunder-coats”? tight Velcro wrap that is supposed to reduce anxiety? I bought one but haven’t used it. Make sense to put him in it before I leave?

    Also, am having an “animal communicator come in today” attempt to get to his “issues” and negotiate a solution!!!! you believe in dog whisperers? I do. She comes highly recommended. will share results of “session”!

    1. @ Spud: You are very welcome! I would recommend that ‘short good-bye time’ should be out of the crate. Remember, you don’t want the crate to be viewed as a place of ‘punishment’ by your dog. Since your dog is already experiencing some severe separation anxiety, he may very well view the crate as punishment, adding to his anxiety.
      Have faith that you can very well change his behavior in the few weeks you have left before you go back to work. Consistency on your part, everyday, for the next few weeks is time enough to accomplish this change.
      I’d never heard of the ‘thundercoat’, but I did a little reading on them since you mentioned them. Since you already have one, give it a try. I could see that the dog would feel ‘secure’ in one, as though they are not alone. For example, small dogs prefer a harness instead of a collar for use when going on walks. Why? The harness makes them feel like you have your hand around them, so therefore, they feel secure. I’m thinking it’s the same result with the thundercoat.
      Best wishes, Lauren and Sampson

      1. Anonymous says:

        Had a session with Jai Jamison/ animal communicator…Needed confirmation I guess…many of my instincts about his “issues” were right on and validated for Spud. Losing his human elder “buddy” that he hung out with all day/night who was put into a “facility” confused him and left him feeling sad, lost, bored. He was clear that the crate WOULD NOT WORK OUT. He felt confined, bored, freaked out. He’s willing to poop in one designated spot that we agreed upon, preferably an old rug!!! he doesn’t like the feel of dog pads. he also said having the TV on all day would remind him of life with AL, the elder. After 10 yrs as Al’s bud, going out to do business many many times a day, feeling loss of Al’s company, he needs his continued freedom in house and “mission” to protect. Also, more undivided attention (walks, play time) lots of explanation. She recommended that in addition to talking to pet, send mental pictures of thought your communicating, that these messages get through clearly. animals tend to think and communicate in pictures and symbols. helpful and easy for me to do. So that’s the upshot of my counseling session with Spud!! Now back to readying him for time alone, still some training, use of coat, even some herbal anxiety tincture (Valerian, etc) He still has a couple weeks with me home!

  5. OK! HELP Please! Let me start out saying that it is just me and my husband, our children are grown and moved out. My Husband and I recently took in a dachshund about a year old. He had been abandoned. The neighbors next door had treated him horrible and then they up and moved away and left him. I just loved him the first time I saw him. After they left, we took him in, I took him to the vet, had him checked out and got his shots. He was house broken already. We have had him about 5 weeks now. At first he was really good. He did have an occasional accident in which I did expect. He is very loving. My husband and I do work from 8:00 until 5:00. I am able to come home for lunch from 12:00 until 1:00. My routine is that I try to let him sleep in a bed next to ours. We get up in the morning, I take him out, let him eat while I get ready, and then take him back out before I leave. I then put him in a large crate until I return for lunch. I come home at 12:00, take him out, feed and water him, take him out again, and then put him in his crate until 5:00. I usually am the first home, so I take him out, put him some water and feed out while I am cooking supper. Now he doesn’t always eat and drink, but I do put it down for him just in case he is hungry. He loves for me to sit and hold him and play with him, and I do at night while we are watching television. We take him out usually right before we go to bed. All this has worked until recently. He seems to be backing up. When my husband tells him “NO”, it is like it makes him mad. He will tee tee or poop seemingly out of spite. Last night, I had taken him out before bed, he did not do his business but was ready to go back in. He had not eaten or drank last night much so I thought he would be ok. He got under our bed, this usually seems like where he baulks, but he will in time get in his bed after a while. Last night, no, it was bad. He pooped on the floor next to the bed, ran back under the bed, when he came out, he tee teed on the floor. He then ran to the living room hiding behind the couch. I finally got the couch out, he ran through the kitchen and living room leaving a wet trail. Finally, my husband got him, spanked him and put him in his cage. We have been told if he does this in the house to spank him and put him in his cage. It seems we are loosing ground here. Please tell me what to do. I do love this little fellow.

    1. I don’t believe in hitting or spanking dogs. Whoever told you that is entirely and completely WRONG. Having said that, the ONLY way you can get a dog properly potty trained is to ALWAYS show him where to go, when it is time to go. The same spot (in the yard… wherever).

      Also, this next part takes a lot of effort on your part, and it is difficult when you are not home very much. That is, you must take the dog out regularly to his ‘spot’ and tell him to go (use the same words every time, like, “go peepee or poopoo, etc. so that he eventually associates those words with the duty).

      Next… when he does successfully go in that spot, you must IMMEDIATELY praise him. He will only associate the praise with his action if you do it right away.

      This goes the same for discipline. This is what lots of people get wrong. A dog WILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE PUNISHING HIM FOR if you don’t catch him in the act. If you discover the accident after the fact and then scold him for it, he WILL HAVE NO IDEA what you are scolding him for. The scolding will then only damage your relationship with him and make him further confused and skid-dish.

      Potty training takes a lot of work. Dachshunds are apparently the one of the most difficult bread to potty train. It takes lots of patience and diligence on your part. Lots of trips outside. GIVE HIM A TREAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER SUCCESS, and praise him. Eventually all the work pays off with a trained dog.

      When scolding your dog when the dog is caught in the act, DO NOT HIT HIM. Instead, even though you are angry, scold him in a LOW – STERN – VOICE. Say “NO… BAD DOG” something like that. Dogs are VERY responsive to your tone of voice. Trust me… he will ‘get it’.

  6. I recently added a 6 month beautiful female dachshund to my home. I currently have a 4 year hold Doxie/Yorkie mix both very small. We are currently crate training her and the older dog is totally house broken so he does not get locked in his crate although he has one. She does really good at night when we are in bed. However if we put her in the crate and leave her in for a few hours she poops all over the place. When we get home it is smeared everywhere in her crate. We have only had her about one week and I am a little concerned about her anxiety level. With the holiday week I will have the next 4 days off but will return to work after that. She will always have to spend a few hours a day in her crate until I get home. She does go potty first thing in the morning before i leave but i also feed her twice a day. Would it benefit her to just fee her at night with a little more food so we are home to ensure she makes it outside? Or is there any other suggestions you may have. I know she is not afraid of her crate as she goes in it and smells around then comes out throughout the day. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks you

    1. One thing to remember is that the dachshund puppy simply cannot “hold it” too long when they are very young. If your doxie hasn’t gone #2 before you leave in the morning, perhaps spending a little more time outside in the potty area to see if you have success with ‘both’ duties? Remember to bring a treat for immediate praise if there is success…

      1. She is doing really good and no longer potting in her crate however she still whines and jumps around for about the first 45 mins she is in her crate she is not afraid to go in her crate as she runs in it to get her treats. but as soon as i shut the door and she eats all her treats she gets whinny. We are getting her fixed and my fear is she will jump around and hurt herself. it has been four weeks and we crate her every night without fail and she is sill is not liking her crate. i started covering the front so she can not see out and that seems to help a little bit but not much. Do you have any suggestions on how to get her to like being in her crate? Or is it just being patient and hope she gets used to being crated?

        1. Do you have any of her blankets in the crate to lay on and curl up in? Dachshunds love to be warm. Also, having a blanket draped over the top and partway down the sides is helpful (plus it keeps it warmer in there. If she has any toys that she likes, or socks that she likes to chew, etc… put them in there from time to time. If she is not going potty in the crate anymore (meaning… no accidents), then perhaps you do not need to shut the door? It sounds like things are improving…

  7. My mini dapple has changed over the past few weeks. She seems to always be scared, will pee as soon as I touch her to get the leash on her to go for a walk and in the mornings cannot control her bowel movements. She just goes as she is walking in a very frightened manner. This happened in the past once, and it got corrected, she is sleeping in a travel bag and I do not let her out until we are outside but I do not want that situation to last forever. I always praise her when she goes outside, but this a severe change in behavior on her part, she will be 3 in april. I really want to help her, her being afraid all the time makes us feel like she doesn’t want to live with us anymore.

    1. This might be a bladder infection of some sort? It’s certainly not normal in a dog that is 3 and has already been potty trained. I would consult a veterinarian as soon as possible…

  8. Mine pees when voices are raised or when she is reprimanded which gives me the idea she is scared so we are careful not to hurt her “emotions” unless its really necessary. She might just be a bit more “emotional” so we talk softer and encourage her more which seems to work. We have a male and he has a thick skin – not afraid of much.

    1. Yes there are a wide variety of personalities out there and the temperament of dogs can be very different from each other.

  9. This past weekend we fell in love with our long haired Dachshund at the animal shelter. Poor thing, he is 8 month puppy – seems to be housebroken and potty trained to go pee pee/poo poo on the grass outside. Doesnt bark indoors – and loves the company of people in the house.
    We have 2 school going boys and my husband and I work FT. I am able to come home during my lunch break – walk him/play with him briefly and reward him for the good things he does. I usually am home by 4:30pm and take him for a walk/play and kids spend time with him while i make supper. We take him out for a walk before bed time. My question is, I have been feeling very guilty for leaving him all by himself(in a pen with a crate, water and puppy pads if he needs) for 3hrs in the morning and 3-4hrs in the afternoon. He is such a sweet heart – very loving and has been a good listener to commands.
    I just want to keep this rapport going good rather than otherwise. Will him being lonely for 3hrs in the morning and 4hrs in the afternoon work in the long run or will it harm. Pls advise – and any tips on specific activities/games we can play to help him not to feel lonely would be appreciated.

  10. Hi I have a 2 year old doxie that has recently started constantly licking his crate when he is home alone. Our routine has not changed. When I get home to let him out even if it has been an hour the whole bottom of the crate is soaked and he is dying of thirst. He is left in the cage for an hour and a half in the morning and about 3-4 hours in the afternoon. He sleeps with my husband and I at night. Anything I leave in the cage from a towel to beds are destroyed by the time I get home or are soaked with drool. I would love to leave him out during the day but he has a really bad habit of peeing on everything everywhere when he’s alone. He used to be fine in the crate but now this licking is getting worse and he is completely exhausted when I get home. Any suggestions would be great.

  11. Margie sheffer says:

    When I doggy sit my sons doxie he always fakes sick or acts like he can’t walk. The first few times I would call my son home to him to find out he was faking. Anyone else ever have this happen? Lol

  12. I have a beautiful dapple that is approximately three years old. Lately, she has what we call “poop anxiety” episodes. She’s fine until we take her out. Once she poops she begins to tremble and try to “climb” us, under my feet, and trying to get on my shoulders. Nothing soothes her, not holding or trying to play. She acts like this for hours.

  13. My husband and I have 2 beautiful dogs.

    The older one is a toy pom and she is 5 this year. Still playful and loving.

    My second is a daschund she will be 2 this year. Also very playful and loving.

    I am having problems now with the daschund. When my husband and I leave the house together. Not including going to work. She chews on the furniture.. on the otherhand she is not alone. She plays with her sister, they can go outside as they please and they have toys. Plus my parents live here to.

    They are always home if we go out. The problem is when my husband and I leave to go out together, she chews my parents furniture. Never our furniture. Can this still be seperation anxiety.

  14. I have a one year old male Daschund and I am expecting my first child. Over the last week, he has become very anxious and stressed when anyone is at my house. He will not go more than a few feet away from me if someone is at our house, but mostly he has to stay touching me or he begins to shake or become aggressive. We are very close to delivering and I am worried that his behavior will continue after our daughter is born. Please any help is welcomed!

    1. Our Dachshund has similar behavior and does get nervous when new people come into the home. It takes him awhile to become comfortable with someone. That said, I believe all Dachshund’s relish human companionship with “their people”.

      The Dachshund (and most all dogs) also feed off of the emotions of us humans. They sense emotional changes in our behaviors and may themeselves become anxious. Generally speaking, if you are calm they are more likely to be calm. When you stress, they will sense it and become more likely to be nervous or anxious themselves.

      Regarding the new baby in the house, do be aware and careful – especially at first – until the dog learns that this is the new normal. Dacshund’s are known to be potential biters and the behavior of kids around them do create anxiety (because kids behave like, well, kids…). Use common sense and don’t intentionally put the dog and baby in close proximity. The dog will have to learn that his attention will now be shared.

  15. Diane Townsend says:

    We recently adopted a 3 year old daschund who we adore. He is generally well behaved and very affectionate. The problem is if my daughter leaves him even for a few minutes he starts howling. Our neighbors are complaining and as we live in an apartment this is causing a lot of friction. We have tried leaving him at a friend’s house with other dogs when we went out hoping if he had companionship it might help with the seperation anxiety but if he can’t see us he howls and has even escaped into the street on at least two occasions. This is becoming a huge problem as we can’t go out even for a few minutes to get necessities such as food. If we do one of us has to sit in the car with the dog while the other does the shopping. We can’t carry on like this and don’t know what to do. We are desperate for a solution. Please help!

  16. Ray Charles strausser says:

    talk to your puppy, be calm with your puppy, treat her like a child, she needs the affection, she wants the affection, so just do like somebody said leave her for longer periods of time.

    just go out your back door, then come in for a few minutes, and then eventually walk around the corner and then come back after a couple of minutes, and eventually you should be able to help her get over their separation anxiety.

    I’ve had my dachshund for eight and a half years and recently lost my wife and it was hard getting her to readjust to her potty training, and I’ve had to leave her alone more more often because there’s nobody at home for her.

    so just be slow about it, lots of affection, and don’t scold, don’t get upset, don’t complain to them, they do sense your emotions.

    they can smell your pheromones so become relaxed, talk with a nice even soft voice and eventually your dachshund will come around

    1. We have a Doxie named winky has always had sepearation anxiety to the point she is always whining if even we are sitting around watching tv and all of a sudden she stays whining. She is very loud with this whiny noise like something is wrong So we pet and love on her she will roll over to be petted and will soon be quiet But this never stops we can go from one room to another and she starts this all over again. How can we break this cycle. She goes out frequently with my husband and spends a lot of time outside with him. As soon as the door is open she runs out barking. So she gets Plenty of exercise. I have a Yorkie in the house with her and he will go and just hide when she start this whinng. They do play together

  17. David Stockert says:

    I have a Dapple pup named Gabe who has been raised around cats and another dog for the first 3 years of his life. He is a little older then 4 now and I find that I need to get him a sitter who has a dog or he needs company whenever I go to work or anywhere else. I tried leaving him in my apartment alone once since we moved away from the other animals we lived with and I had to rush home because I received complaints from the building about a crying, howling, dog that was very loud. He is very spoiled and I try to bring him with me as many places as I can but it gets hard and I was wondering if he can still be trained at this point to spend time alone.

  18. Clare Pike says:

    Can u help me my partner and i rehomed a 1 yr old doxie. She has settled in and its like shes always been with us. But unfortunatly we have a couple of issues with her. When ever my partner goes to work and she is with me she whinns for about 20minutes. And if i go out and leave her with my daughter she does the same. But spend most of the time with her but she will not whinn for me if she is with my partner, its like he is her pack leader. Aswell as that we can not leave her on her own as she cries and howls. Its making life difficult as i can only go to app when one of us can be here. I have never left her because one of us only has to go out for even a couple of minutes and shes crying. Can u help please.

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