Both labradors and dachshunds are hands down one of the most popular breeds in the world, given how extremely loving and playful they are by nature.
However, there are subtle nuances between these two breeds that are worth paying attention to if you’re interested in settling both labs and dachshunds together.
Here’s whether or not Labs and Dachshunds get along well:
Labrador and dachshund breeds have varying degrees of opposite characteristics that may make them complementary to one another. Even though both of these breeds do generally get along well with proper socialization, the compatibility between the two depends on their temperament, sex, age as well as their sizes.
Keep reading on to have a better grasp on the detailed factors and reasons behind their slight compatibility before making any crucial decisions on getting a second pooch.
Note: Our articles are comprehensive and in-depth. Feel free to expand the table of contents below and skip ahead to sections that interest you.
Factors Determining Their Breed Compatibility
We must examine their breed compatibility from a wide array of factors to affirm the camaraderie between a lab and a dachshund for a harmonious home. Amongst the factors that we’ll dive into are as follows:
- Breed history
- Loyalty & Possessiveness
- Prey drive
- Intellect and trainability
European fishermen settlers used to bring along their companion dogs to Newfoundland and after mass commingling with dogs of other breeds, a new smaller size of a Newfoundland dog, a labrador retriever, was developed.
These labradors rose to popularity for their extraordinary skills with water, including their diving skills. They are also well versed with waterfowl hunting given their exceptional aptitude for water. And with proper training, labs would make exceptional bird hunting dogs as well.
On the other hand, the dachshund breed can be traced all the way back to 15th century Germany, though its formative years began two centuries later. Its literal translation into English is “badger dogs”, and that’s exactly what they were bred for.
The dachshunds are excellent hunting dogs with their acute scenting powers for trailing purposes on the ground as well as in the air.
Their stumpy legs coupled with their long elongated body are well suited to burrow into underground tunnels to hunt for badger or any burrowing preys. They have also later adapted to hunt for larger preys such as deers, foxes and even wild boars in a pack. These weiner dogs are also a top contender dog for a blood tracking wild game among avid hunters.
Considering how both of these breeds have been bred to work in a pack, they possess great social skills and will get along well with other dogs under the right circumstances.
Labradors are well known for their good-natured amiability with just about everybody as it’s in their DNA to be loving, affectionate. Hence, they are a top choice for first time owners for how laid back and easy-going labs are for the most part.
Labs are generally extremely sociable dogs as they are highly adaptable and obedient, as long as they were trained well. Any incompatibility with other breeds are rare as it’s in their genes to be predisposed for socialization and bondings with both humans and dogs alike.
On the other hand, dachshunds are not as friendly to strangers as labs are. They may also seem standoffish to family members at first and can get very aggressive whenever they’re uncomfortable or feel threatened.
Also, dachshunds aren't as adaptable as labradors are in terms of sociability and it may take some time for these weiner dogs to be accustomed to changes. Therefore, socialization training is an absolute must for dachshunds if they were to quickly bond with another dog.
Over time, dachshunds will perceive the other dog as a member of its own pack and eventually open up to a life-long camaraderie with their household counterparts.
With that said, these polarizing behaviors between a lab and a dachshund actually be favorable for a parent owner because each breed is balanced out by the other or otherwise, they’d have to deal with two friendly dogs competing to please everybody – which don’t usually end well.
Loyalty & Possessiveness
Labradors are immensely loyal to their parent owners as they are natural pleasers and affectionate by nature. Their ease of bonding coupled with their extreme friendliness makes them easily devoted to their owners.
Labs almost always tend to have a favourite person who spends the most time with it, though they may appear devoted to every family members on a surface level.
It’s important to note that their casual interactions and exceeding friendliness with strangers should never be taken as a sign of their dissatisfaction or disloyalty because they’re social butterflies by nature. They’ll only follow your commands and stick by your side after all.
Surprisingly, dachshunds are also extremely devoted to their owners once trust and comfortability is achieved. They may appear aloof initially, but once they take notice of your consistency as well as your care, affection and provision for them; they’re yours for life.
Dachshunds may take a step further by being extremely clingy and become attached to only one person by constantly following them around like shadow. Labradors on the other hand may have a favourite person but aren’t clingy in general.
Dachshunds are generally far more prone to jealousy because they thrive on attention given by their owners and they are extremely devoted to them. They don’t do well with changes of attention towards them nor do they like being left alone, and this may lead to an ingrained aggression that could go wrong.
However, this behavior can be corrected early on and on top of that, well trained labradors that come from a top notch breeder aren't aggressive and attention seeking by nature. They are generally the complete opposite to dachshunds' predisposition of clinginess, jealosy and aggression --Though there are some rare outliers.
This polarizing breed characteristic is once again a perfect match for owners as both dogs have unwavering loyalty and one balances out the other with different types of attachment.
So if you’re the type of owner who loves undivided loyalty and wants to be perceived as the single most important person in your dogs’ lives – labs and dachshunds are a best fit.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with clinginess in dogs as some of them are naturally predisposed to it, but jealousy should be stemmed early on. Hence, it’s crucial to nip any unwanted jealousy between the two in the bud early on with proper training.
Recommended Reading: Do Labs & Pugs Get Along Well? (A Complete & Comprehensive Guide)
Dachshunds have an overall higher prey drive than a labrador does. This is because these weiner dogs come in smaller sizes and are equipped with a powerful nose, thus they have a very high impulse to chase and catch mice or any smaller creatures.
Labradors on the other hand have a slightly lower prey drive than a dachshund does because dachshunds hunting instincts are deeply embedded in their genes and they are born to hunt, so to speak. Unlike a labrador who may have a high prey drive but they require an extensive training to be efficient in hunting.
Also, it’s advisable to only acquire a hunting Lab from a licensed breeder who sells only pups from Labs that have been line-bred as hunters for generations for a prey driven based Labrador.
These polarizing characteristics are generally a perfect match for both Labs and Dachshunds as they won’t be preying after each other. Also, both of these breeds won’t fight each other for dominance as they have complementary prey drives.
Intellect and Trainability
Labs are generally smarter and sharper than Dachshunds because of their innate instinctual intelligence which is contingent upon their obedience, as well as their brilliant adaptability skills.
Meanwhile, Dachshunds are known to be quite slow and have an average intelligence due to their stubbornness which explains their substandard trainability track record.
Their strong scenting power makes them easily distracted by any smell around them, hence why it can be hard to obedience-train these weiner dogs.
Thus, their breed intelligence levels are complementary and conducive for a harmonious home. The last thing you’ll ever want is two highly intelligent dogs trying to constantly outsmart one another for attention and treats.
Upon affirming each of the breed’s general characteristics compatibility, further scrutiny on their individual temperament and personalities are of paramount importance.
This is due to the fact that are outliers within a breed, and a dog may or may not bond well with other suitable breeds based on their:
- Individual temperament
- Gender of the breeds
Temperament & Energy Levels
Dachshunds may be averse to bonding with dogs of other breeds at first, but with proper socialization and training it can be manageable. Overall, dachshunds tend to vibe with other breeds that display the same temperament and energy level as they do.
Labradors on the other hand are laid back and sociable with just about any breed thanks to their exceptional adaptability skill, and hence it wouldn’t be a hassle in training labs for a faster bonding. Labs are hands-down a neutral compatible breed for the most part.
It’s advisable to pair up both labs and dachshunds that have the same energy levels because dachshunds are not used to an uptick shift of an energetic change around them, and they may in turn be protective of itself.
Nevertheless, these breeds will bond quickly if they are properly socialized and well trained together with patience, rather than having mismatched energy levels where they wouldn’t enjoy each other’s presence.
If your lab’s exuberance knows no bounds despite training and socialization, it’s best to not pair it up with a calm and reserved dachshund.
Hence, it’s always crucial to never grow a dachshund puppy together with a puppy of a different breed as their individual temperaments may conflict with each other in their adulthood – more so with a dachshund as these sausage dogs are well known to be highly individualistic and are prone to aggression and jealousy when temperaments don’t match.
Gender of the breeds
According to the experts and from my anecdotal experiences, neutered breeds of the opposite sexes tend to get along much better compared to breeds of the same gender. A combination of two female would incite more violence compared to two males.
The presence of two males would inevitably lead to the need of forming a stable pack order – an establishment of dominance and submissiveness between the two.
Fights will always erupt if neither one decides to cave in, and it may permanently change their personalities. This is because your pooch may become more overtly dominant than it could have otherwise been, and the same applies vice versa in terms of submission. This may lead to distress over time.
On the other hand, two females would lead to a much more brutal fight that would sometimes lead to death. This is due to the fact that neither female dogs would compromise to form a stable pack order as female dogs are slightly independent in nature.
Also dog scuffles among females always spill blood and you’d almost always end up with a high vet bill, compared to male dog fights where it’s usually posturing/scrappy fights to lead.
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and some female dogs have formed amicable life-long bonds with one another but exceptions aren’t the norm.
So labs and dachshunds of the opposite sexes are your best bet for a harmonious home.
You might also want to check out on whether or not Labradors & Rabbits get along well.
As for the size, you’ll have to keep in mind what size of a dog your pooch naturally gravitates to. Most labs are familiar with their own breed, but they can form extremely close bonds with other breeds as well.
As for dachshunds, you’ll have to make sure they’re not intimidated by a bigger dog. But for the most part they’ll likely bark at larger dogs as they are protective and aggressive by nature.
However, this can be toned down by a proper introduction. It also depends on their individual temparaments on whether or not they are able to co-exist together with a bigger dog like a lab.
Furthermore, it’s also important to keep in mind that the size disparity between a lab and a dachshund may render excessive playfulness very risky between the two. This is because dachshunds have fragile backs that are prone to injuries.
Hence, it’s crucial to supervise and keep a constant eye on their playtime together to make sure those weiner dogs don’t get hurt. Also, be sure to train these weiner dogs to not jump off an elevated position or furnitures at home. This will actually save you a fortune from their expensive intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) surgery.
An extra tip for taking care of both dachshunds and labradors is to never overfeed them or otherwise they'll be prone to their respective predisposed diseases; IVDD in dachshunds and hip dysplasia among labs.
That way you’ll know your current dog’s temperament like the back of your hand and you’d be wise enough to pick a second companion that matches your dog’s breed and personality. Or you could easily train a second puppy to get along well with your current dog which always works out great.
Hence, you shouldn’t get both labs and dachshunds as puppies as they might grow up to be total opposites and not get along despite being close as puppies. They may also suffer from littermate syndrome if raised as puppies together.
Furthermore, it will be best for you to fully train and socialize your current dog in order for it to be well mannered and friendly for a second dog later.
Fully trained dogs are more likely to bond well with other dogs of different breeds, and plus they have many more good habits to teach young dogs. Besides, they can be a little less high maintenance if you ever decide to get a second puppy.
However, you should never introduce a second young dog/puppy to a current old dog that has past their prime years. Senior dogs and young puppies don’t get along well in the slightest. Those rambunctious pups will be too much for an old dog with health issues to handle.
How to introduce both labs and dachshunds for the first time.
The first introduction is key to making sure both dogs are set up for success together. If you’re introducing two young dogs at the same time, you’ll want to make sure either one of your lab or a dachshund is properly leashed trained on your command.
- Set the first meeting outdoors out on an open neutral space with each dog on a leash (Amazon).
- Then walk your lab/dachshund towards the other dog on your command by making sure they are fixated on your attention and the other dog. You’ll have to let your dog know that you’re the boss and the meeting has to take place under your terms.
- If your dog seems a little more feisty than usual without even talking heed of you, pull back the leash and walk in the opposite direction to let it know you’re not allowing your pooch to run the show.
- After walking your pooch in the other direction for awhile, gradually walk your lab/dachshund again to the second dog and make sure its attention is fixated on you, as if its seeking your approval to meet up with the second dog.
- Once both dogs are close to each other, let them sniff each other vigorously and pull back on the leash a little every 10 seconds and repeat the same procedure.
- Let them eventually sniff each other’s bottom to get them familiarized with their specific scents, and in turn learning more about one another. Also, keep an eye on their wagging tails.
If both of them are comfortable in each other’s presence with their tails wagging, then gradually take them for a walk together for 10 minutes and nip any aggression in the bud by pulling on the leash and walk away to reinforce a negative association to it.
Walk them long enough till you could gradually let them loose together without a leash on. And be sure to give them positive reinforcements on a good behavior during the introduction.
As for introducing them indoors, let the newer dog get familiarized with the house while keeping the residential dog separated outside. And let the latter walk into the house under close supervision.
Chances are they’ll get along really well indoors if they’re already acquainted well during the first meeting outdoors.
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