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Your new Dachshund is super friendly and gentle with you, but you were surprised to find out this dog is not a fan of other people? 

Moreover, some Dachshunds might even be uncomfortable with strangers. What is the reason for this? Why is my Dachshund so afraid of people?

You would love to share all of your fun activities with your new furry friend, but this might be difficult if your Dachshund is so frightened of people. Even going for a walk to a dog park can be quite stressful for dogs that are so afraid of strangers.

I am sure you want to know right away how you can help your Dachshund stop being so afraid of people.

But, let’s first start with something that is even more important – finding out what is causing this kind of behavior in your Dachshund dog.

Why Is My Dachshund So Afraid Of People?

dachshund dog and his owner in a walkdachshund dog and his owner in a walk

You might have heard that Dachshunds are super needy, but you were fine with this. You have enough time and you are willing to give much of your attention to this adorable puppy!

However, you might not have expected for this dog to be so uncomfortable when other people are around. 

But, before you give up on this adorable, but fearful dog, I would like to clarify why some Dachshunds are so afraid of people.

1. Lack Of Socialization

You are walking with your Dachshund and everything seems perfectly fine. However, the first moment you encountered another dog owner walking its pet, your Dachshund started shaking, whining, and hid behind you.

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This was quite awkward, and it kept repeating every time you encountered another person during your walk.

Also, your Dachshund behaves in the same way when you have guests over. What is happening? Your friends might start thinking you are not treating this dog well!

The most common reason for your Dachshund being afraid of people is lack of socialization. You might think your pooch behaves perfectly fine when you two are alone, but this does not mean he will act in the same way with other people around.

When a puppy gets used to you, and starts trusting you, he will show you this with even being too clingy sometimes. But, there is a high chance your Dachshund will not behave like this with strangers.

Your dog might think strangers are scary, and will feel insecure when you two are not alone. This is why it is so important to start with puppy socialization from a dog’s young age. A Dachshund needs to realize that there will be other people in his life besides his loving owner.

2. Negative Experience

a dachshund dog looking sada dachshund dog looking sad

Unfortunately, not all people treat dogs well, and this is why some dogs become so scared of people.

If you have adopted your puppy from a Dachshund rescue, its fear might be caused by improper treatment in the past.

Many dogs in animal shelters are older dogs, abandoned dogs, or even previously abused dogs. Adopting a dog is a wonderful and noble act, but it also carries a certain burden.

You might have a hard time trying to teach your Dachshund that other people don’t want to hurt him. Dogs like these might have had such bad experiences with their previous owners that they become distrustful with all people they meet.

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3. Dog’s Nature

Have you heard of shy dog breeds? It takes a while for dogs like these to start trusting their humans.

Not all Dachshunds are shy dogs, but some of them will be. Maybe your dog has no bad experience with people, or anything – maybe he is just a bit timid.

It might take a bit longer for a timid Dachshund to become more open with people – a dog like this might even be afraid of you at the beginning!

Still, these dogs can be as loving and loyal as all other Dachshunds; you just need to have patience and give them all the time and space they need.

How To Help My Dachshund Stop Being Afraid Of People?

dachshund dog gives his paw to a man in the parkdachshund dog gives his paw to a man in the park

All of us want our dogs to be as comfortable and as satisfied with their environment as possible. Having a fearful Dachshund will make both this dog and you miserable.

So, of course you would love to know a good way to encourage your dog not to be so afraid of people.

Let’s look at the best ways to do this.

Early Socialization

Socializing your puppy from a young age is the best way to be sure your puppy will not be afraid of strangers. Also, early socialized Dachshunds are less likely to show aggressive behavior.

Exposing your dog to new people outside its home from a young age will make your dog get used to meeting new people. This way, you will not have to worry how your dog will react when he sees strangers during your walk.

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It would also be good if you invited guests to your home often. This is a nice way for your dog to meet people that are closest to you, and to even become friends with them!

Positive Reinforcement

One essential method you should use while teaching your Dachshunds to not be afraid of people is the positive reinforcement method.

What does this mean? It means encouraging a certain behavior in dogs while giving them some kind of reward. The most efficient one would be your Dachshund’s favorite treat! 

You should use this method only when your dog behaves well around new people. You should not reward your dog when he gets afraid, since he might misunderstand this. Your Dachshund might think that you will reward him when he is afraid to comfort him!

Also, make sure to always praise and encourage your dog. Tell him that he is a good boy, and that you will always be there for him.

Ask Your Guests For Help

You can also ask your family and friends that come over often to help you.

If your Dachshund barks a lot when you have people over, you shouldn’t punish or yell at him for this. You need to give your dog some time to get used to having new people around.

I am sure your guests would love to pet and to cuddle with your adorable pooch, but you should ask them to avoid doing this at the beginning.

Actually, your guests should totally ignore your Dachshund for starters.

After some time passes, and your dog calms a bit, he himself starts sniffing around your guests, and shows some kind of desire to interact with them, this is the moment your guests should respond to your dog’s calling.

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Believe me, giving them their space and in some cases ignoring them too, can make miracles with dogs’ behavioral problems!


I hope this article provided you with a concrete answer to your question: Why is my Dachshund so afraid of people?

Dachshunds are wonderful, loving, and friendly dogs, but some of them might get afraid of people, which usually happens due to poor socialization.

The best thing to encourage your dog is to expose it to new people on a regular basis from its young age.

Having a well-socialized, confident dog will make you feel a lot better walking with your Dachshund around the neighborhood. A dog like this will make friends wherever he goes!

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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