Dachshunds are one of the most popular breeds of dogs, more commonly kept as family pets than for hunting, which was their initial purpose. They are easily recognized for their long backs, short legs, and long ears, all of which were developed to help them get into setts and dens when chasing their prey.
Although they are more commonly kept as pets, Dachshunds do retain a lot of the characteristics that made them such good hunters. They are energetic, and they have a strong prey drive and a great sense of smell. They also enjoy digging and chasing around outdoors, which means they can get messy.
To help keep your Doxie clean and comfortable, and to ensure their fur doesn’t get matted, you do need to offer some assistance with their grooming requirements.
All Dachshunds need some grooming, but the frequency and amount of grooming required depend primarily on the type of coat your dog has. Short-haired Doxies require the least grooming, while long-haired Doxies need more frequent brushing and trimming, and the wire-haired Dachshund needs its coat stripping.
Below are 13 tips to help ensure you’re meeting your Dachshund’s grooming and maintenance requirements.
The 13 Easy Tips to Groom Your Dachshund
1. Start When They’re Young
Some dogs really dislike grooming, but if you start when your dog is young, it will get used to the process. Start with regular bathing, trim their coat when necessary, and brush their teeth several times a week. You will also need to trim your Wiener’s claws every few months.
2. Make Grooming a Positive Experience
Dogs can sense the stress of their owners, so if you’re worried about bathing or clipping claws, your sausage dog will pick up on this and be worried themselves. No matter how anxious you are, you need to stay positive and calm. You can also make the experience more positive for your dog by giving plenty of attention and rewarding good and desirable behavior with some healthy treats.
3. Elevate Your Dog
Ideally, you should have your dog on a table to be able to effectively and comfortably groom them. Otherwise, it can be difficult to get to claws and their bellies. The more you have to stretch and move into awkward positions, the more likely you are to get something wrong.
4. Brush Long-Haired Dachshunds Every Day
Long-haired Dachshunds have substantially longer outer coats than the other breeds, and their long hair can get matted and messy. You should be prepared to brush the coat every day or two days at the very least.
Brushing not only removes knots but also helps spread natural oils. It can also help build and maintain a close bond between the two of you.
5. Brush a Smooth Dachshund Twice a Week
Smooth Dachshunds are the short-haired Dachshunds that most people think of when they imagine this breed. Their outer coat is much shorter than the long-haired one, so it doesn’t require as much brushing. However, you should still brush twice a week for comfort. It won’t take long to brush your dog from nose to claw.
6. Strip a Wire-Haired Dachshund Twice a Year
Wire-haired Dachshunds have more brittle hair. It can be difficult to brush and it will shed heavily during shedding season. Brush them three or four times a week. Regular brushing will make the coat easier to manage.
Stripping the coat, which is typically done using a stripping knife, gets rid of dead fur and prevents mats. Some wire-haired Dachshunds do not require stripping at all. The process manages the undercoat of the dog, and pin-haired Dachshunds do not have an undercoat, so there is no need to strip the coat.
7. Bathe Your Dachshund Every 3–6 Months
The breed loves to get outside, and naturally likes to dig, and because it is so close to the floor, the Dachshund can get really dirty really easily. As such, you will need to bathe a Doxie.
Generally, you should bathe yours every 3–6 months. If you leave it any longer than this, the coat might get damaged and may start to smell.
8. Don’t Bathe Them Too Often
Bathing regularly is a good idea, but bathing too often can deplete your Dachshund’s store of natural oils. These oils not only keep the coat looking healthy but also help moisturize the skin, so bathing too often can lead to poor condition coat and skin complaints. Don’t bathe them more often than every 3 months.
9. Clean Tear Stains
Especially common in the short-haired variant of the breed, epiphora causes tear stains around the eyes. If your dog is especially plagued by the problem, you may need to wipe the tears away every day.
If the tears are still moist, you may be able to wipe them with a cloth. Otherwise, you will need to use a special cleaning solution to safely and comfortably remove them.
10. Use the Right Ear Cleaner
A Dachshund’s ears are long. This would have helped prevent dirt and soil from getting into the ears while the badger dog was digging in badger setts. It also means that if dirt does get in, it can sit in the ears and eventually may cause infection or other complaints.
Don’t use a damp cloth to wipe the ears. Instead, use a cleaning solution that has its own drying agent. A damp cloth may make matters worse.
11. Brush Teeth at Least Three Times a Week
Dogs do a lot of grooming themselves, but they can’t brush their own teeth. Get a canine toothbrush and some canine toothpaste and brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week. Some owners brush as frequently as daily as this helps prevent tartar and plaque build-up.
12. Clip Nails Every 2–3 Months
Another grooming ritual that your dog cannot manage on its own is claw or nail trimming. Your dog’s claws continue to grow, and while they might wear down a little by running on concrete or other abrasive surfaces, you will likely still have to get the scissors or clippers out and give them a trim. As a general rule, if you can hear your dog’s claws when it walks on a wooden or laminate floor, they need trimming.
13. When in Doubt, Visit the Groomer
Some owners and dogs find regular grooming to be a really anxious and difficult affair, while owners with mobility problems can find it difficult to properly maintain their dogs. A professional groomer can do everything from brushing and bathing to clipping and tooth brushing.
If you aren’t able to groom your Dachshund, enlist the help of a professional. You can also brush and do some light maintenance between visits so you don’t have to pay for grooming services every month.
The Dachshund is a very popular breed. Although originally developed as a hunting dog that chased badgers down into their setts, you are as likely to find a Dachshund burrowing in the sofa.
One of the ways that you can help look after your Doxie is through regular grooming, which includes cutting the nails, trimming the coat, and brushing teeth, as well as brushing and bathing. Start young, stay patient, and groom according to the length of the coat.
Featured image Credit: titov dmitriy, Shutterstock