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Home > Dogs > How Far Should a Dachshund Walk in a Day? Average Exercise Requirements & Health Risks

How Far Should a Dachshund Walk in a Day? Average Exercise Requirements & Health Risks

senior dachshund dog in the grass running towards camera

Given their tendency to develop back problems, you might think that it’s best to take it easy on your Dachshund. Like all dogs, though, Dachshunds still need daily exercise, and it might surprise you to learn that the American Kennel Club actually classifies them as a medium-high energy dog. Experts recommend walking your Dachshund once or twice a day for no more than 5 miles but avoid high impact sports like running until they’re at least a year old in order to let their spine develop correctly. Even so, their bodies aren’t built for long-distance marathons. At best, you can let your hound “dash” at the dog park but avoid strenuous activities such as 5Ks, obstacle courses, and stairs.


History of the Dachshund

Have you ever wondered about the Dachshund’s unique hot dog shape or curious name? The word “Dachshund” translates from German into English as “badger hound,” a name that pays homage to their native country and original purpose. The wiener dog was originally developed and bred by German nobles for badger hunting during the 17th century. Their long bodies allowed them to climb backwards and forwards into burrows to chase their prey. Their broad chests have a lung cavity deep enough to hold oxygen when they were underground for lengthy periods of time.

This hound wasn’t made to languish on the sofa. Even today, with their badger hunting days long behind them, Dachshunds are still recognized by the AKC as a hound dog with medium-high levels of energy. Without adequate exercise, your Dachshund could morph into a bored dog who barks incessantly and may even turn destructive as they hunt your slippers instead of a ball.

red dachshund dog in the autumn forest
Image By: Anna_Bondarenko, Shutterstock

How Much Daily Exercise Does Your Dachshund Need?

Although the Dachshund has plenty of energy, you shouldn’t expect them to work too hard. Taking them on a 20–40-minute walk twice a day should be enough to keep them healthy. If you only have time for one outing, try to walk them for around an hour. We recommend keeping your adventures between 1-5 miles per day to avoid stressing out your Dachshund. On rainy days where walking might not be ideal, make sure you take the time to play an indoor game of fetch to keep them physically active and mentally engaged.

Since they were bred as hunters, Dachshunds are rather quick. Indeed, wiener races are an Oktoberfest tradition around the globe. However, you shouldn’t let Dachshunds run in any sporting event until they’re at least 1 year old so that their spine can develop properly. After that, you really still shouldn’t involve them in long distance races, or any high impact activities, such as obstacle courses. As their German name coincidentally implies, the Dachshund is better at sprints and dashes than marathons.


Do All Dachshunds Have Back Problems?

The genetics that are responsible for the Dachshund’s adorable wiener shape unfortunately also put them at risk for developing back issues such as Intervertebral Disc Disease. This disorder most often affects younger Dachshunds between 3 and 8 years old, as opposed to an acute injury which can happen at any age or more generalized back troubles that may come as they grow older. Regardless of the cause, an estimated 25% of Dachshunds eventually develop back issues that need veterinary care, and many of these end up requiring surgery so that they’re able to walk. However, there are things you can do to reduce their chances.

Sick Dachshund
Image By: llaszlo, Shutterstock

The 3 Things to Avoid to Prevent Back Problems

1. Avoid Climbing Stairs Repeatedly

While it’s okay for your Dachshund to climb steps occasionally, walking up and down stairs too many times on the regular can injure their back. If you live somewhere in which you must climb several flights of stairs daily, such as on the top floor of an apartment complex, you might want to consider carrying them or taking the elevator.

2. Make Sure They Receive Plenty of Exercise to Prevent Obesity

Dachshunds require a curious balance between activity and rest to stay in optimum shape. While you don’t want them to stress out their back from over-activity, you should ensure they go on daily walks in order to build strength and prevent obesity. Excessive weight gain can stress their joints just as badly as over-activity, and the extra pounds can contribute to other health problems such as diabetes.

3. Don’t Let Them Jump On and Off Tall Furniture

You might want to invest in a pet ramp to help protect their back. If ramps aren’t an option, you can limit their activity by crating them while you’re gone or partitioning off part of the house so that they’re not tempted to spring up onto the king-sized bed.

a Longhaired Dachshund standing on grass
Image By: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock



While you should wait until they’re at least a year old before letting them participate in races, you should include your Dachshund in your daily exercise routine as soon as possible. Dachshunds are relatively active dogs that ideally need a 20–40-minute walk twice a day. If your schedule doesn’t allow for two different shifts, aim to walk for an hour, covering at least one mile but no more than five miles to avoid putting stress on their joints. Taking prevention steps such as limiting their access to stairs and maintaining a proper weight will also help keep your Dachshund in prime condition and reduce their risk of back injury.

Featured Image Credit: Ryan Brix, Shutterstock

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