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Are Dachshunds Smart? Understanding Dog Intelligence

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

shiny black dachshund

Are Dachshunds Smart? Understanding Dog Intelligence

Dachshunds are a unique breed of dog that has many people asking the question of whether they are smart. The answer is yes, Dachshunds are smart when compared to the average dog. The truth is, there is no definitive answer to this question relating to officially measuring their intelligence level, but there are some things that we can look at to try to get a better understanding of how intelligent Dachshunds actually are.


So, Are Dachshunds Smart?

First of all, it is important to understand that there is no official “IQ test” for dogs. This means that it is difficult to compare the intelligence of one breed of dog to another. However, there are some general intelligence tests that have been developed for dogs in general. These tests look at a dog’s ability to learn new commands, solve problems, and remember things.

Based on these general intelligence tests, Dachshunds are of above average intelligence. This means that they are smarter than the average dog. However, it is important to remember that these tests do not specifically measure a Dachshund’s intelligence. They simply provide a general idea of how intelligent Dachshunds are compared to other dogs.

It’s also important to take into account that every dog is different, even two dogs from the same litter that are raised the same way. Because of this, it is hard to say definitively that all Dachshunds are smart. However, the general consensus is that Dachshunds are above average when it comes to intelligence.

Other Measures of Intelligence

There are also a few other things that we can look at to try to get a better understanding of Dachshund intelligence. One of these is the breed’s history. Dachshunds were originally bred to be hunting dogs. This means that they have a strong natural instinct to track down and find prey. This requires a high level of intelligence and problem-solving ability.

Another thing to consider is the Dachshund’s physical appearance. Dachshunds have long bodies and short legs. This unique body type can make it difficult for them to do some things that other dogs can do easily. For example, Dachshunds often have trouble climbing stairs. This can be frustrating for them and their owners. However, this has nothing to do with how intelligent they are. Intelligence comes when Dachshunds are willing to try new things and figure out ways to overcome obstacles.

Dachshunds playing with his ball toy
Image Credit: Hayden Patmore, Unsplash

What Do Dachshunds Excel At?

Dachshunds are known for their hunting ability because they were bred to be hunting dogs. Hunting requires a high level of intelligence and problem-solving ability. Dachshunds have a strong natural instinct to track down and find prey. In a family setting, this translates to a dog that is very loyal and protective of their family. They will often bond closely with one or two people in the family.

What Works Against the Dachshunds Intelligence?

Dachshunds are also known for their stubbornness. This can be frustrating for owners who are trying to train their dog. However, it also shows that Dachshunds are independent thinkers. They are not afraid to think for themselves and make their own decisions. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the situation.

Dachshunds also have a strong prey drive. This means that they are often more interested in chasing small animals than listening to their owners, which may make training difficult. It can also be dangerous if the dachshund is not properly supervised.

However, these things do not mean that Dachshunds are not intelligent. In fact, the opposite is true. Dachshunds excel at tasks that require problem-solving ability and a strong natural instinct. These types of tasks include hunting and tracking and navigating a tricky path on a walk.

dachshund truffle hunter
Image Credit: Aleksandar Malivuk, Shutterstock


Top 3 Training Tips for Dachshunds

Dachshunds can be difficult to train because of their stubbornness. However, there are some things that you can do to make training easier.

1. Be Consistent

First, it is important to be consistent with your commands. This means using the same word or phrase for each command. For example, if you want your Dachshund to sit, you should always say “sit” instead of using different words like “down” or “stay.”

2. Be Patient

It is also important to be patient when training Dachshunds. They will often need to be reminded of a command several times before they finally obey. This is normal for Dachshunds, and it is not something that you should get frustrated about. Make sure you are training your Dachshund in short sessions. This is because Dachshunds have a short attention span.

Wire-haired Dachshund walking with owner
Image Credit: Katrin B., Pixabay

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

Use positive reinforcement when training Dachshunds. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior. For example, you may give your dog a treat when he or she sits on command. This will help your Dachshund to understand that they are doing what you want them to do.

Also make sure that you’re using high-value rewards when you’re training an especially stubborn dachshund. This means using treats or toys that your dachshund really loves. This will help to motivate them to listen to you and obey your commands.

divider-dog paw


Dachshunds are intelligent dogs. They are not as intelligent as some other breeds, such as Poodles, but they are still smarter than the average dog. Dachshunds excel at hunting, and they are very loyal to their families. However, they can be difficult to train because of their stubborn nature and high prey drive. With the right training and plenty of patience, you’re likely to be able to train your dog into a well-behaved Dachshund. Just remember that they may never be as obedient as some other breeds.

Featured Image Credit: NORRIE3699, Shutterstock

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