Dachshunds were bred to hunt and catch badgers, so it should be no surprise if you hear about a Dachshund chasing cats.
Dachshunds often chase cats, or indeed any small animal because they see them as trespassing into their territory. Most Dachshunds are not looking at the cat as their next meal, rather just want to get them out of their territory. Most of the time the cat runs away, which reinforces the Dachshund’s behavior, meaning they will chase the next intruder that they see.
There are some Dachshunds who chase because they want to play, but it is a brave cat who stands their ground against a dog. Cats that do stand and fight are often in great danger, especially against an opponent like a Dachshund, bred to find and kill badgers, creatures much more substantial than a domestic cat.
Stopping a Dachshund Chasing Cats
It is important to understand that you will likely never completely stop your Dachshund chasing cats. It is therefore important to be aware of when there are cats in the area and put your Dachshund on a leash until they have gone.
If you have a cat, you can train your Dachshund to not to chase them, but it may take time. Start by putting your Dachshund on a leash. Bring them into the room where the cat is and make them sit. If they try to chase the cat tell them “no” and put them back into a sit. When they are calm you can move closer to the cat, again making your Dachshund sit if they lunge towards the cat. The aim is to have them close enough that your cat and Dachshund can meet and check each other out. Dachshunds are renowned chasers, so don’t be surprised if it takes several sessions before your Dachshund can meet your cat appropriately without chasing them.
You can also train your Dachshund the command “leave it”. To do this take a treat and let your Dachshund sniff it. Enclose it in your hand and tell your Dachshund to “leave it”. It is likely that they will continue to sniff, that is OK. Don’t say or do anything, just watch and wait. At the moment they look away, give them the treat and praise them. Repeat the exercise until your Dachshund moves away when you say “leave it”. Once trained, when you say “leave it” your Dachshund should walk away from your cat.
I Can’t Stop My Dachshund Chasing Cats
Unfortunately there will be Dachshunds whose chase instinct is so high that they can’t be trained not to chase, especially if your cat is outgoing and likes to provoke your Dachshund. In cases like this, the only option you have is to keep the dog and cat separate. This may involve keeping them separated in different areas or crate training your Dachshund while you are away from home.