Well, the short answer is that it’s just the way they are, but there is more to it. Dachshunds are pack animals that don’t like being left alone, even for short periods of time.
They are outstandingly loyal and very demanding of love and attention, which makes them kind of clingy. In some cases, if they get too needy, it can even lead to separation anxiety whenever you leave the house.
We all want what is best for our canine friends, and that includes helping them cope with feelings and emotions they go through on a daily basis. So, it doesn’t matter if you have a standard Dachshund or a mini Dachshund – as long as you want to help them tackle their emotions, you have come to the right place.
In this article, we will explore the Dachshund breed from an angle that helps us understand the reasons behind their neediness, clinginess, and anxiety problems.
Dachshund puppies are some of the cutest beings in the animal kingdom. Their little bodies with long ears simply make your heart melt. They can be single-colored or come in striking patterns, including dapple, brindle, and sable.
Even though they make excellent family dogs, there is no denying that Dachshunds are a clingy bunch. These little dogs follow us wherever we go, cry when we are out of sight, and always want to cuddle.
With their big round eyes, it’s as if they want to say: “don’t you ever leave me human, or I will wither and die.” Now, as pet parents, we know that is unlikely to happen when we leave the house for a couple of hours. But, to them, it might seem like an eternity.
So, why is that? Why are Dachshunds so needy for human companionship? Let’s get into it.
Why are Dachshunds so clingy?
Even though most dogs can be quite clingy to a certain extent, Dachshunds take it to another level. This is why these pups are often referred to as Velcro dogs – they are always stuck to your side.
This can be cute for some but tiresome for others. So, let’s go over the most common reasons why Doxies are so needy.
Dachshunds are pack animals
Dachshunds were originally bred as hunting dogs to live and work in packs. Therefore, they have a lot of natural instincts that are still present in their behavior today.
Dachshunds don’t like being alone
As pack animals, these dogs are used to living in smaller or larger groups. They tend to feel anxious without social contact, whether from a human or another dog.
Dachshunds instinctively follow the alpha
Because all packs have a hierarchy, it is in Dachshunds’ instinct to follow the alpha. That is you if you haven’t figured it out yet! Thus, if your Dachshund follows you around constantly, it could be due to that natural instinct.
Your Dachshund has no boundaries
A Doxie doesn’t automatically know that it isn’t supposed to follow you everywhere. So, it is your job to introduce boundaries and teach your dog to stick to them.
For instance, if you don’t want your Dachshund to follow you into the bathroom, you should work on it from day one.
Setting boundaries will also help you keep the loose hair from reaching your bedroom as Dachshunds are known for their moderate to heavy shedding levels. These pups are also not considered hypoallergenic, so keep that in mind if someone in your household suffers from dog-related allergies.
You fuss over your Dachshund too much
Sometimes, we unknowingly encourage clingy behavior in our Dachshunds. We love the cuddles, and it makes us feel extra loved when a pup is following us around.
But, the thing is, showering your Doxie with attention all the time and encouraging it to follow you around can have negative effects. It can lead your Dachshund to become very dependant on you and develop bigger issues like separation anxiety whenever you need to leave your home.
Your Doxie is hoping for treats!
You might have gotten this all wrong, and instead of your Dachshund being needy, it might actually be following you around because it knows it’s going to be rewarded for doing so.
Often, we reward our dogs for needy behavior without meaning to. For example, your Dachshund might think that because it followed you to the door, it is rewarded with a walk. Or, because it followed you into the pantry, it is rewarded with a treat.
The more this behavior goes on, the more your Dachshund will get into the habit of following you around. It is simply because it knows that it will get what it wants – treats and rewards!
You are the chosen one!
These pups are incredibly loyal dogs that tend to pick one human to latch onto in the household.
This means that if you are the person that treats, walks, feeds, and plays with your pup the most, then your Dachshund will naturally gravitate towards you because it depends on you for everything.
It is completely normal for puppies to get close to the humans who spend the most time with them, but as we’ve seen already, Doxies can be particularly clingy.
This is why you should create a bit of space between you two from an early age. Otherwise, your dog might end up being very needy around you.
Why is my Dachshund so needy all of a sudden?
Why are Dachshunds so needy? Well, first of all, you need to understand that not all Dachshunds are needy or clingy. There are dogs of this breed that are quite independent most of the time.
So, if your Dachshund gets needy all of a sudden, it might be feeling vulnerable for some reason. This could come from a health issue, or it may be because your pup is unsettled by something.
Below are some possible causes, but it is always best to speak with a vet if you have any concerns at all.
Your dog has an underlying health condition
Your little Weiner might be suffering from an illness or injury, so it might be sticking close to you because it needs to feel comforted and secure.
If you think that your Doxie might be injured or unwell, you should contact your vet as soon as possible.
Your Dachshund could be going deaf or blind
When a Doxie gets older, there is a chance it might start losing its eyesight or hearing, which would cause it to be needier.
If your dog is used to being independent, it will naturally feel very vulnerable and need you to provide guidance and extra reassurance.
It goes without saying that if you suspect that your Doxie could be going blind or deaf, you should immediately contact your vet.
Your Doxie doesn’t like change
These pups are very sensitive, and even seemingly small changes in their environment or routine can stress them out enough to become needier.
Have you made any changes to your or your pup’s life recently that may have affected it? This could be anything from a new person moving in, a baby being born, you bringing home a cat or a new dog, to your family moving to a new home.
It could even be something small like your work shift changing, so you are home at different times of the day, unsettling your dog’s normal routine.
Your female Dachshund could be in heat
If you have a female Doxie, she might be experiencing her heat cycle, a phantom pregnancy, or potentially even a real pregnancy. Any of these situations can cause her to be more clingy and needy.
Hormonal changes can be very confusing, especially for younger Dachshunds, and may lead them to needy or clingy behaviors.
Your dog may be scared
When Doxies are spooked, they instantly become needier. So, try to figure out if something happened that could have frightened your little dog.
For example, it might have been a storm that scared it, fireworks going off, or maybe construction work or loud banging happening nearby.
These types of things can all cause your dog to become more clingy and needier in your presence.
Your Dachshund may be unsettled
There is usually a reason behind sudden changes in a Doxie’s behavior, and that is why it needs to be taken seriously.
Take a moment and think about the situation in your home. Is it possible that there is an issue with a person or other pets in your household? Is your Dachshund not being treated properly by someone?
It is crucial to make sure that your house is a safe space for your dog. This will reduce the chance of your Dachshund feeling anxious or scared.
If you have young children, make sure they are playing with your Doxie gently and responsibly. If not treated with care, a Dachshund can be harmed both physically and emotionally.
How to stop a Dachshund from being so needy
The answer to the question of “why are Dachshunds so needy?” can sometimes be found within ourselves. The more your pup relies on you for comfort and attention, the more it will struggle when it has to be on its own.
You really don’t want your Dachshund to become possessive of you. This can lead to resource guarding and ultimately aggression if not dealt with.
No matter how much you love your furry best friend, you can’t be with it every second of the day. So, what can you do?
Here are some things you can try to stop your Dachshund from being so needy.
Focus on socialization
Socialization is key for having a well-mannered and well-adjusted canine companion. The more you get your doggie used to being around different sights, smells, sounds, people, and other animals, the more confident and independent it will become.
Work on separation training
If you notice your Doxie being needy and are positive it has nothing to do with a health issue, you can introduce separation training into your day to tackle the root cause of the problem.
We will go over this in more detail later on, but basically, you will need to have scheduled time away from your Dachshund to teach it that it is okay to be alone.
Create boundaries with your Dachshund
Dog owners should decide upfront what they will allow and not allow their pets to do and enforce the rules consistently.
Having some time apart and space from your four-legged friend is a good thing, too, as it will make it more confident and independent.
If your Dachshund needs a lot of attention, it might not be a good idea to let it sleep in your bed at night. It may become even more attached to you and be inconsolable when you leave the house.
The best thing you can do is put its dog bed on the floor near your bed, so there is a little bit of space between you. Use the same method for the living room too. Put its bed by your feet, so the dog gets used to its place in the pack. Also, this will encourage the dog to be a bit more independent.
Share the Dachshund duties
If you have kids or a partner who can take on some of the responsibilities of looking after your dog, ask them to do it.
While you are at work, have someone take your dog for a walk for potty and exercise time. Also, try to share the walking, feeding, and playing duties with other family members, so your Doxie doesn’t get so attached to just one person (you).
Do Dachshunds need a lot of attention?
As you’ve probably noticed by now, Dachshunds do need a lot of attention. Even a stubborn and independent Doxie loves nothing more than heaps of fuss from its owners. So, the answer to the question “why are Dachshunds so needy?” can be found in their incredible craving for attention.
Some wiener dogs can be quite demanding of attention, so make sure to not fuss over them too much, or they could end up needy and clingy and have trouble coping without you.
It is recommended to wait for your Doxie to calm down and only then fuss over them on your terms. By doing it this way, it will learn boundaries and won’t be quite so dependent on you.
Do Dachshunds have anxiety?
Yes, Dachshunds are a dog breed that can be prone to anxiety, especially separation anxiety. They were bred to hunt badgers with their pack, and the tendency to become anxious, when separated from their hunting companions is hard-wired into them.
Many Dachshund owners keep them in pairs specifically for this reason. Doxies are also quite intelligent and have high energy levels. So, if they do not receive enough exercise and mental stimulation, they can quickly become quite restless.
Dachshund anxiety symptoms
It is vital not to ignore or dismiss any behavior that may indicate an anxiety issue. Mild anxiety, if not dealt with, can quickly become worse and develop into a serious problem.
Signs of a Weiner’s anxiety may be behavioral or body language signs to watch for. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety in dogs you should be on the lookout for:
• Constant barking, especially when you are not home
• Panting and pacing (even when the temperature is low)
• Running away or cowering in a corner of the house
• Escaping and running away
• Digging either inside or outside
• Self-harm, including excessive licking or chewing
• Destroying furniture, or destructive behavior in general
• Loss of appetite
• Peeing more frequently
• Lip licking
• A general inability to be calm
• Whites of the eyes are visible
• Looking away and avoidance behavior
Types of anxiety your Dachshund might have
To answer “why are Dachshunds so needy?” we have to take a look at anxiety. Anxiety in canines can be caused and triggered in many ways. This may include health or age-related anxiety, separation anxiety, or be linked to a past bad experience.
Your Dachshund may even have generalized anxiety with no obvious reason or cause for it. A Dachshund with anxiety can suffer from one or all of these types of anxiety.
Knowing the root cause of your doggies’ anxiety can be useful in finding a solution. However, it is not always possible to know the cause of anxiety, but that doesn’t mean a solution can’t be found.
Let’s take a look at the different types of anxiety, possible reasons for it, and potential solutions.
This type of anxiety is a feeling of apprehension caused by a person, object, or situation. This may be a perceived threat or even a real threat.
In a situation where a doggy feels threatened, it will respond in one of three ways – fight, flight, or freeze.
When it comes to Dachshunds, the most common response to fear-based anxiety is either flight or freeze. If possible, it will try to move away or hide from the perceived or real source of threat.
If that is not possible, it will have a freeze response. This can be seen as simply holding its position and waiting to see what will happen next. In some cases, it can be a more severe reaction with its body going rigid, shaking, and even peeing or pooping.
If the threat is immediate and there is no way to escape, a Doxie will probably respond with a fight response, turning to aggression. A clear example of this response can be seen in a Dachshund who is afraid of the vacuum cleaner. If it is able to leave the room or hide, it will do so.
However, if found in a situation where it can’t leave the room, it will distance itself as much as possible and probably freeze. And if you move the head of the vacuum cleaner close to it, your wiener dog will likely attack.
Anything can be a trigger for fear-based anxiety, such as loud noises like fireworks or an animal or person the dog doesn’t trust. Even a particular situation or place can be a trigger for certain dogs.
One other type of fear-based anxiety is resource guarding. This is when your dog is anxious about a precious item being taken away from it. This may include a chew toy, bone, treat, or food. Even though the response is aggression most of the time, the motivation is fear-based.
The good news is that fear-based reactions are usually learned behavior, and with counter-conditioning and guidance, these issues can be resolved.
Fear-based anxiety solutions
Basically, there are two main approaches to dealing with this type of anxiety. The first one is to avoid putting your Doxie in a situation or near an object that causes anxiety.
In the example with the vacuum cleaner, this would be taking your Dachshund outside or putting it in another room while the vacuum cleaner is on. Of course, this doesn’t fix the phobia, but it doesn’t cause unnecessary stress for your dog either.
The second approach is to desensitize your doggie to the vacuum cleaner. This is where you take one step at a time and reward with praise or treats when your Dachshund is relaxed. Just remember not to reward it when it is obviously anxious, as this will further reinforce the negative state of mind.
You can start by just having the vacuum cleaner sitting on the floor turned off. Then, reward your dog for showing interest or curiosity in the cleaner. As it becomes more desensitized to the vacuum cleaner, you can start pretending to vacuum with the motor still switched off. Reward your dog if it shows no reaction.
This process can take time, and you should not force it as that can only make matters worse. Also, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced dog trainer or dog behaviorist.
Doxies are social animals by nature that enjoy human company. Most of them don’t really like being left alone, but it is something they should learn to accept.
Some pups that are left alone can have behaviors and reactions such as destructive behavior, nuisance barking, or leaving poop around the house. In some cases, it can even cause extreme panic in the pup, which can lead to self-inflicted injuries. There are stories of dogs that have jumped through a glass window to escape.
While separation anxiety is an overused term used to describe anxiety in a pup left alone, actual separation anxiety is a severe condition and is not as common as you might think. This happens when a dog has extreme anxiety when they are away from a certain person or family members.
If your dog has actual high-level separation anxiety, you will have to reach out to an experienced and qualified dog behaviorist for help.
In most cases, what people interpret as separation anxiety is actually separation stress. This is what most dogs have when left alone. Separation stress is a much milder situation and can be fairly simple to deal with compared to genuine high-level separation anxiety.
In other cases, it is more a case of isolation anxiety, or simply stress. This happens when a dog doesn’t want to be left alone, rather than it having an attachment to a certain person or group of people. Often the company of any other person, even a stranger or another animal, can resolve this.
If your dog has an issue when left alone, you should figure out which of these categories it fits into, a separation or isolation-related issue. After that, you need to objectively analyze where your pup fits on the scale of low-level stress up to extreme level anxiety.
Even though each dog is different, it will give you a good starting point to finding a solution to help your dog cope and adjust. Just remember that separation problems are, in general, much more challenging to fix than isolation problems.
Separation anxiety tips
Perhaps the most common anxiety in Doxies is the anxiety and stress of being left alone. If you simply can’t leave your dog alone, don’t despair; there are options available.
These mostly include things like doggie daycare or taking your dog to a friend or relative while you are out of the house.
However, with busy modern lifestyles, there are certainly going to be times when your dog will need to be on its own for some time. The following tips might help you make time home alone less stressful for both you and your Dachshund.
Train your dog to be alone
Ideally, spending time alone should be something you teach your pup from an early age. However, you can teach an older dog to tolerate being alone as well.
You can start by leaving your adult dog or puppy in a confined area, such as a kennel or a selected room, for between half an hour and an hour each day. This way, the dog will gradually learn how to be alone and understand that you will always return.
Make sure that the time they spend alone is pleasant for them by providing them with everything they need. This will include water, food, and toys. Toys that can occupy their interest for long periods, such as puzzle toys, are the best. Or, you can simply give them a chew toy.
Don’t make a fuss when leaving or returning
Try not to make a big deal of your dog when leaving. Don’t make your exit with over-the-top affection and lots of fanfare. Also, when you return, don’t greet your dog or give it attention immediately. Stroll into your house and just act normal as if you never left. If you get your dog excited whenever you leave or return, it will make it harder for it to adjust to being alone.
Leave something with your scent on it
Leave a piece of clothing that has your scent. This will help comfort your Dachshund and keep it calm until you return. A pup’s primary sense is smell, and familiar and reassuring smells can offer safety cues.
Take your pup for a walk before leaving
If your schedule allows, take your Dachshund for a walk to help it calm down and release some built-up energy. This can also be done with a game of fetch or similar activity in the backyard. Once the activity is complete, just carry on with your normal routine as you get ready to leave to allow your dog to settle before you exit the house.
Provide your dog with activities to do while you are gone
Always make sure you leave your Dachshund with toys and ways to occupy itself and provide mental stimulation while you are away.
Health and age-related anxiety
In some cases, a canine’s anxiety can be the result of a disease or some other health issue. This type of anxiety usually manifests quickly, even in dogs that have never shown any signs of anxiety previously, and it can answer the question, “why are Dachshunds so needy at times?”
As a pooch starts to get into its senior years, it can be affected by anxiety. Its perception, awareness, and memory can begin to deteriorate, similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This is known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), and if you suspect that your Doxie might have developed this condition, you should contact your vet for solutions.
This type of anxiety is mostly found in rescue and adopted dogs that may have had traumatic experiences earlier in their lives. In most cases, we cannot know the dog’s history and everything that has happened to them. Although it can be helpful to know, it is not essential to help the pup.
How can I help my Dachshund with anxiety?
If your Dachshund has constant and extreme anxiety or phobia, it is recommended to consult a vet to eliminate potential health or illness-related causes. Once you complete this step and your vet eliminates any veterinary causes, you should consult a qualified and experienced dog behaviorist to create a plan to tackle the problem.
On the other hand, in less extreme and even mild cases of anxiety, there are some things you can do yourself to help calm your Doxie.
Exercise and mental stimulation
Exercise is not only beneficial for your dog’s physical health and preventing boredom. It is also vital for mental health. You can notice your dog’s mood improving after a walk or physical play. Mental stimulation is also good for stress release. This is why you should aim to provide your dog with playtime or take it out for a walk whenever you plan to leave home.
Chewing is an instinctive behavior for all dogs and has numerous benefits. These include dental health benefits and keeping the dog occupied. The chewing action releases endorphins in your pup’s brain, giving them a calm feeling and that feel-good stress relief.
This might not work on every dog, but you can give it a try. There is a lot of free music designed specifically for dogs to help them keep calm. A quick internet search will provide you with plenty of results.
Gentle belly rubs and massage
Gently rubbing your Doxie’s belly has a similar effect that a back massage has on pet owners. This rubbing sensation has the potential to calm your pup down so much that it falls asleep. This should always be done calmly and not turned into a game.
If all else fails, you can try anxiety medication. Your vet can prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. By combining the counter-conditioning dog training with these medications, your dog can develop the confidence to ignore the stress triggers.
There are some natural remedies you should consider trying first. One of them is tryptophan. Tryptophan is a natural amino acid that plays a role in optimal brain function and behavior.
Another thing you can try is CBD oil which is a component of hemp. While studies have shown this to have good results in humans, no studies have really been done with canines.
Why are Dachshunds so needy: closure
To understand, “why are Dachshunds so needy?” we have to look at the bigger picture. First of all, they are pack dogs that belong with other animals or humans. They can easily be frightened or get anxious if left alone for long periods of time.
Another cause for this breed’s neediness can come from their owners. Most owners don’t really understand how their behavior affects their pets and make the same mistakes over and over again.
Also, keep in mind that miniature Dachshunds can be even needier than their standard-sized cousins. Because of their small build, they can easily find themselves overwhelmed by different situations, including loud sounds or meeting strangers.