An Easy Way to Train a Pair of Fearful Dachshunds

By: David Codr

Published Date: February 10, 2020

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with a pair of very fearful Dachshunds; Wally and Tasha – teaching them how to sit and come by petting at the right time.

We were originally called in to help the dogs stop acting fearful to the family’s grandchildren, but it was obvious that their dog fears ran deeper than that.

The dogs barked then moved away when Taylor and I were at the door. Once we came inside the dogs displayed a number of classic fearful behaviors; barking and hiding, tense body language, stiff or jittery movement and cowering any time they came out from behind the couch. These are all classic signs of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Anything a dog is doing when you pet it is what you will amplify and this includes fearful behaviors. The guardians had been unintentionally amplifying or reinforcing their fearful behavior any time they petted then when they were in a fearful state. This is probably the most common mistake people make when trying to help a fearful dog.

As Taylor asked the guardians about the dogs and their day to day life, we learned that they didn’t know many commands. Well just like humans, dogs develop self esteem and confidence when they master new skills. If a pair of fearful dogs ever needed to develop some confidence it is this pair of scared Dachshunds.

Since the dogs are so scared of strangers, I started doing a clicker priming exercise while I sat on the floor tossing treats to entice the anxious dogs to come out from behind the couch. It took a lot of treats and no other attention from me, but eventually these scared Dachshunds were taking treats out of my hand.

Tasha was the more confident of the two for this session which puzzled the guardians, as she is usually the more fearful dog. Regardless the treat tossing worked. I asked Taylor to repeat this approach when she returns for a follow up session.

Since the dogs were so anxious and our session had lasted a few hours, I decided to share an awesome dog training tip; the easiest way to train any dog. I call it passive training and you can learn how to do it by watching the free positive dog training video below.

The best part of this easy way to train a dog is that anyone can do it. Technically its a form of Operant Conditioning, but you don’t have to be a professional Dachshund dog trainer like Taylor Francis to do it.

I wanted to share some other dog psychology tips that can help these fearful dogs learn to stop being scared of people. To help the guardians remember everything we covered in this in home Omaha dog training session, we filmed a roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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