Behavior – fear and aggression to strange people, animals and the vet

Dear Your Own Vet,

I have been searching for information on my adopted male long haired sable colored dachshund.  He is supposedly a mini, but more midi neutered male. He had many strange behaviors when we got him which surprised me. The first trip to the vet he seemed to “scream” in pain and lost control of his anal glands producing a very nasty smelling material. He gets full of burdocks, seems to get sick if he tries to chew them off of himself, but will sit for over an hour when I slowly remove them from his long hair. He barks at people when they leave or arrive (closing door?) but we have slowly trained him not to. We have had him for almost two years and he was just one when we adopted him.


Problem behavior long haired dachshund

Dachshunds don’t adapt fast to strange places, people and animals

His owner was going through marital problems and I guess the dog was banned from his house. He seems to do this “scream” on certain occasions, when picked up, when his leash got gently wrapped around a short growing plant like cut corn stalks, he freaked out when I picked up a stick. He was with young children, tormented by a cat when tied up, and I wonder about many of his behaviors and what they stem from. He was transported from the breeder to his original family by someone else, was the last left in the litter, and when I finally got the name of the breeder, she did not seem very willing to talk, and I asked about the parents. She said his father was a good hunter but she got rid of him when one puppy had a genetic disorder, the name of which I cannot remember.

Hank allows his nails to be trimmed with no problems, seems dedicated and loving, has gotten used to our cat (took a year) and immediately enjoyed the company of our 6 year old standard black and tan smooth female. The cat and both dogs are about the same size. Hank immediately became dominant to our female and we had a few skirmishes over animals that were “caught”. They pulled a squirrel in half. Yikes. I know they are hunters, diggers and very brave with raccoons, woodchucks, etc.  Any help, or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I love my “baby” and he has plenty of yard (40 acres) away from cars which he does not like! We walk the woods on leash and most of the time he stays in the mowed area we call our yard. Can you explain this unusual behavior he shows?

Thanks again,



problem behavior dachshund, fear aggression dachshund
Adopting an adult dog can be a challenge

Dear Jeanne,
The first trip to the vet was not a happy experience when he lost control of his anal glands. This usually is related to extreme fear.  To sort that out, you need to take him to the vet for no reason at all so that he learns that going to the vet is not a bad thing. When you get there get the assistants to give him a treat and lots of praise and then go home.
It is good that you are able to remove the burdocks from him – many dogs don’t like this being done.
He seems to have had a problem upbringing in his previous home. Unfortunately, this will impact on his behaviour now. A dog’s most impressionable time is up to four months. Later in life a dog can revert back to these memories, but a new life and good handling will always help. It takes time!!

Problem behavior dachshund aggression fear etc.

It is so important to socialize your dog when he is a young puppy to reduce his stress levels with strangers and at the vet!

You also mention that the breeder was not willing to talk – this is not good as obviously there a problems with the lines as well – so genetics are coming to play as well.
At least he has calmed down and is used to your cat, and sadly, dogs can be hunters and will catch birds etc. I would suggest that you put a bell on his collar which will warn the animals when he is chasing them.

I would suggest that you give him some rescue remedy or a homeopathic or natural calmer for dogs if and when he needs it. This is great for calming, helping with stress and any other problems that are bothering him.


Kathy Clayton
Accredited Companion Animal Behaviourist &Professional Dog Trainer
+2711 783 3042 +2782 454 1750

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