My dachshund does not like big dogs


New Member
Every time he sees a big dog, he goes CRAZY. A trainer at Petsmart gave me some tips on how to control him when we go for a walk that I will be trying. However, I would really like him to be friendly with them! I am pretty sure he acts "tough" around bigger dogs because he is scared and intimidated by their size. So far from what I've seen, he only gets along with dogs his size or slightly bigger (he's a tweeny). He absolutely hates big dogs like labs, German Shepherds, etc. The main thing I am asking for advice about is whether anyone thinks this plan would work....

My friend recently got a Golden Retriever/Poodle mix. It is only a puppy right now. I brought my dachshund over today to see if they would get along and they got along great! They did not want to stop playing. Since her dog will get way bigger than my dog, I was wondering if they constantly play together as my friend's puppy grows, will my dog eventually get used to the size? Will the dynamic between them change if her dog gets bigger? Would this be a good way to desensitize him to big dogs?


New Member
Try the "tell me" method.

The goal is for the dog to tell you when other dogs or people are nearby - by your dog comming to you and wait for a treat instead of barking at the dogs.

The method is in four steps:
1= rewarding the dog when he is LOOKING at another dog
2) rewarding when the dog is LOOKING at another dog, and turns to me for a treat
3) rewarding the dog when hes LOOKING, TURNING and COMES to me (two steps)
4) rewarding when the dog, from a distance, LOOKING, TURNING and COMING to me!

You will have to take it slow. It can take weeks just to come to step 2. Stay in one step untill the dog gets it. In the beggining I use to "push" the treat in his mout because he was so focused on the other dog. The most important thing is DISTANCE in the begining. Dont go so near that the dog starts barking - then you are to close.

IF you do this your dog will stop barking or launching (as our dog did) and come to you for treats. That makes the dog change its expectations of dog meating from something scary to a fun thing.

This also make you dog a task to do during your walk. That makes them mental stimulated.

Remember to ALWAYS reward your dog, always!

Good luck!!


Sounds like a good plan to me. As they are already established friends this will help your dog to build her confidence around bigger dogs.

Do you know anyone else that also has a larger friendly dog? If you do know someone it would be good if you could walk your dog with them to start with as this will also help build her confidence. The walk will help to keep them focused on the task and not each other and yours will feel safe to be around another larger dog when the other dog is restrained. Good luck.


New Member
Not really, dogs don't generalize well. Just because they learn to like one big dog doesn't mean they will like big dogs going forward.

We have a lab in addition to our dachshund and they love each other. The dachshund is definitely the boss of the lab but she is not the same around other big dogs.

With that said, I think Vizzla gave you really good advice on how to desensitize him to big dogs.