Are Dachshunds smart?

Are Dachshunds smart?
Photo by Kojirou Sasaki on Unsplash

If you’ve ever known a dachshund, you’ve would’ve questioned their intelligence at some point and how smart they really are. You probably know them for their charming, quirky, and hilarious natures. From their stocky bodies and stubby legs to their dire need for attention, dachshunds are a wildly popular breed among many.

There’s far more to that long, cute face and body than meets the eye! Dachshunds are intelligent breeds that use their smarts for playfulness and independence.

Here’s everything you need to know about the dachshund breed and how intelligent Dachshunds truly are!

How intelligent are Dachshunds?

Dachshunds possess diligent intelligence that owners need to be prepared for. Oftentimes, dachshunds will get themselves into a pickle out of sheer curiosity. It’s a dachshund’s nature to get themselves into trouble. These dogs thrive off of a challenge and will resort to creating a ruckus if they don’t have enough mental stimulation. This can be easily solved by providing them with enrichment, long walks, and playtime! Dachshunds are keen, hypervigilant, and natural problem solvers. They are very perceptive of their human’s gestures and languages and are generally very obedient to their people. Dachshunds are easily trainable and love to please their people.

Dachshunds possess unique emotional intelligence as well. Given that they are fairly emotional themselves, dachshunds are the type of dogs to come running at the first sign of you displaying visible sadness. Your dachshund will go to the ends of the earth to make you smile. They’re very keen on emotional well being. Dachshunds, while adorably stubborn and fierce, will put on their most sensitive face to empathize with you. If you own a dachshund, then you know all too well the lengths they’ll go to in order to please you.

What’s the IQ of a Dachshund?

According to Professor Stanley Coren, a psychology professor and researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, he considers Dachshunds to have an “average intelligence” and has rated the Dachshund breed as #49 out of 79 on the canine intelligence survey. Dachshunds are within the category of the “average working/obedience intelligence”, along with the Greyhound, Boxer and Whippet.

Throughout Stanley’s career, he’s dedicated time to studying the relationship between dogs and humans and in 1994, published a book called The Intelligence of Dogs, that involved sending a survey to all dog obedience judges in the United States and Canada, and this resulted in the ranking of dogs by their intelligence.

It’s important to note that just because Dachshunds fall within the “average” category, it doesn’t mean that Dachshunds aren’t an intelligent breed. According to Professor Stanley Coren, 51% of a dog’s intelligence stems from its genes, while 49% is based on environmental circumstances. This means that there could be other factors that influence your Dachshunds intelligence. This could include how the dog was raised, their ability to socialize with other dogs and humans, and the experiences that they have lived. Generally speaking, a dog that regularly socializes and leaves the house often, will likely have experienced different social environments that could impact its intelligence. So, the intelligence of a Dachshund will vary.

Nevertheless, Dachshunds are a very smart breed compared to those that fall below the average rating.

Are Dachshunds considered intelligent?

According to Professor Stanley Coren, Dachshunds are considered to have an “average intelligence”, however, the intelligence of a Dachshund will vary depending on various environmental factors. So, this doesn’t mean that all Dachshunds are considered average, but the majority are.

Are miniature dachshunds smarter than non-miniatures?

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that the intelligence of miniatures and non-miniatures differ. Dachshunds are very stubborn and they like to get their way most of the time, so if you’re planning to get a Dachshund puppy, or have one already, it’s very important to teach them basic training commands and discipline early on. An excellent starting point is to teach them how to sit, how to stay and what their name is.

Training your dog will help stimulate and engage their brain and this won’t only improve the relationship between you both, but it could impact their intelligence over the long term. Dogs love to play, have fun and stay engaged!

History of the Dachshund

Dogs have been used to hunt for their human companions since the Middle Ages! It wasn’t until the 17th century that the dachshund we know and love today began to emerge thanks to breeding. While it’s not known exactly how the dachshund began to take form, that signature long snout and body was of particular use in Germany. As badger hunting increased in popularity in Europe, 18th-century dog breeders began to breed what we now know today as the dashing dachshund! Dachshund actually means ‘badger hunter’ in German.

Badger hunting wasn’t easy. These wild omnivores are equipped with tough skin, razor-sharp teeth and claws, and burrowing tendencies, they were tough to hunt. Dachshunds proved perfectly capable of hunting badgers with their long snouts and bodies thanks to their extensive breeding. While many dogs were bred to hunt, dachshunds accepted the unique challenge to hunt badgers without hesitation. Even in the face of underground battling, their resilience, headstrong nature, and courage propelled them forwards in the hunt.

The intense sport of badger hunting equipped dachshunds with the intelligence they naturally possess. In addition to being fearless and robust, the dachshund possesses a wild amount of intelligence that prioritizes strategy. For centuries, dachshunds have set their minds to the hunt. This has allowed them to maintain and expand their intelligence.

Dachshund Personality

Dachshunds are personality plus! These dogs are brimming with personality. Don’t let their size fool you, dachshunds are endlessly intelligent, charming, confident, and playful. A dachshund is the type of dog that will stop at nothing to protect its family and loved ones, even if the perceived threat is much larger. They make wonderful watchdogs and if brought up properly with children, will commit themselves fully to their safety. Once a dachshund commits to you, they will do everything in their power to protect you. Dachshunds are fiercely loyal to their people.

With their unbridled courage comes a few caveats and quirks. Dachshunds can be difficult to train and may even display stranger based aggression if undersocialized. With proper training, socialization, and care, dachshunds will embrace their naturally outgoing natures. Dachshunds demand attention from any environment they’re in. In fact, they thrive off of being the stars of the show!

Dachshund Temperament

When brought up correctly and properly socialized, dachshunds are the perfect family dogs! They will do well with other dogs, children, and can even coexist with cats. While each dachshund is entirely individual, a dachshund’s temperament is manageable with adequate training. They’re loyal, intelligent, playful, strong-willed, stubborn, and independent. It’s their bold personalities paired with their short and long bodies that make them a favourite of dog owners everywhere.

Training a dachshund is a commitment, especially if you begin raising them from puppyhood. Dachshunds have a temperament that’s equivalent to that of a toddler. With boundaries and consistency, they make wonderful dogs. When training your dachshund, it’s important that you earn not only their trust but their respect. While most dogs value respect, dachshunds take it to a whole new level. They need to see you as their leader in order to be successfully trained. They were bred to be job oriented at the command of their owners. With the intense task of hunting badgers, it’s no surprise that dachshunds value leadership and respect above all else. Dachshunds need to feel that if they’re going to risk it all for you, it better be worth it. Treats will be integral in your training.

How to Know if a Dachshund is Right For You

If you have time to commit to training, desire unconditional love from a pet, and don’t mind a vocal dog, then a dachshund may be the right fit for you! However, there are some things to be noted about the dachshund. They have incredibly fragile backs and thrive with low intensity, steady exercise. They need frequent playtime and snuggles to feel fulfilled. Dachshund owners often mention the difficulties of housetraining and trying to get them to stay silent. If these issues don’t bother you, you can rest assured that their intense love, loyalty, and devotion will make up for it!

All in all, dachshunds make wonderful pets. Their intelligence is just one of many reasons to love them. If you’re looking for a little dog with a lot of personality, then look no further than the dachshund!

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