Dachshunds are small dog breeds that need to be exercised daily. This article will explain the breed’s characteristics and health issues and why exercise is essential for this breed.
Dachshunds need a minimum of one hour of activity each day – 30 minutes for miniature Dachshunds. This should be split into two walks, where they have plenty of time for sniffing around. These dogs also love playing off-lead in a secure area and will enjoy lots of training sessions with you too!
However, some types of exercise are better avoided as they can damage their spines – like jumping up or down from furniture or going up and downstairs.
You might be surprised to learn that the Dachshund was originally bred as a hunting dog. They were used for flushing out badgers and other burrowing animals from their dens.
Today, they make great family pets because of their small size and affectionate nature. But how much exercise does a Dachshund need? And what activities can you do together to help them stay active?
Let’s find out!
Why is Exercise Vital For Your Dachshund?
As with all other dogs, making sure that your Dachshund gets enough exercise every day is essential to provide him with a happy and healthy life. Ensuring that your dog enjoys both physical and mental stimulation, throughout his day will significantly limit any behavior issues and help him maintain a healthy weight.
Dog owners should be aware of the health issues that their breed may be susceptible to. Due to their short legs, Dachshunds suffer an increased likelihood of back issues (intervertebral disc disease), hip dysplasia and joint problems, so it’s vital that you exercise your Dachshund appropriately.
Too much exercise can end up being detrimental to their health!
How Much Exercise Does a Dachshund Need?
There is a slight variation between the amount of activity that certain types of Dachshunds will need.
A healthy adult Standard Dachshund will need 60 minutes of physical activity every day to constitute sufficient exercise.
]The smaller Miniature Dachshund, in contrast, will only require around 30 minutes of physical exertion per day to meet his workout needs.
Both Standard Dachshunds and Miniatures will need a combination of walking and free play to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. As a general rule, it’s good to split their daily exercise 50/50 between a daily walk and dedicated play to meet all of their needs.
Playing with toys, basic training and off-lead running in a dog-safe space is all great activity for your Dachshund, but be careful of long walks and strenuous exercise as too much activity can cause health issues in later life.
Best Types of Exercise For Dachshunds
Dachshunds are part of the hound family of dogs and although they have little legs, they are still very active. They love to be with their owner at all times and will do anything for them.
You can take your dog walking, or on hikes, or even runs if they enjoy it and have no health issues. They will always be there by your side no matter what!
Below are some further exercises which you may want to try
Despite his little legs, your Dachshund will love a daily walk and the freedom of a run around his local dog park. Dogs of all breeds need regular walks for the physical workouts and to sniff and explore their surroundings as a form of mental stimulation.
Both the Standard and the Miniature Dachshund will benefit from short walks around the neighbourhood but will struggle with walking long distances, so always plan your route in advance and be sure to teach your dog road sense from a young age!
Many Dachshunds also suffer from out-turned feet, if this is true for your dog, low impact exercises such as swimming maybe a little more forgiving on his joints.
Agility training can be a great form of exercise for adult Dachshunds and can help to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Setting up a small agility course with slalom poles and obstacles will give your dog a great physical workout and the mental stimulation associated with command-based activities.
Be careful not to over-exercise your Dachshund with high impact activities like agility training and stick to 30 minutes of exercise for a Standard breed and about 15 minutes of exercise for a Miniature. This amount of dedicated activity, coupled with the same amount of walking, is ideal for an adult Dachshund.
Cavaletti, Italian for “little horse”, is a doggy version of the famous equestrian training you may have seen professional horse trainers taking part in.
By setting out configurations of poles and obstacles on the ground, you can guide your dog through specific workouts that help Dachshunds with balance and proprioception, even those with poor body development.
Alongside providing a controlled and beneficial workout, cavaletti is a great exercise to aid in conditioning your dog to follow commands. It is great at stimulating dogs that get bored easily.
Balance boards can be a fantastic form of low impact activity for an adult Dachshund or older dogs. The core-strengthening benefits it provides can help combat joint issues and hip dysplasia. Be patient with your Dachshund when introducing him to a balance board and use treats or his favourite toy as an incentive.
As he becomes accustomed to standing on the board, you can gradually train him to sit and stand in specific positions to form a dedicated routine that tackles certain areas of his body.
This activity will help your Dachshund perfect his balance, strengthen his muscles, and gain confidence in his movement that will benefit his other exercises.
Dachshunds love to play and wrestle with chew toys like all other breeds. This form of play taps into your dog’s natural prey drive and provides a low impact activity that is both physically and mentally stimulating.
Using your dog’s favourite toys to play and bond with will help foster a strong connection between your Dachshund and you. Chew toys are also great at providing relief to teething puppies and will help to keep your Dachshund’s dental hygiene in check and his jaws strong.
Can a Dachshund Have Too Much Exercise?
It’s always possible to over-exercise any breed of dog, and Dachshunds are no different. Their tiny legs and predisposition to joint problems mean you should avoid longer walks and stick to a regular physical activity routine.
For a Standard breed, 60 minutes of activity per day (split between waking, play and training) will be ideal for keeping them in shape. For a Miniature kind, 30 minutes of combined physical activity are recommended. Owning Dachshunds is a fairly straightforward pursuit, provided you plan your routines from the start!
How Much Exercise Does a Senior Dachshund Need?
As your dog ages, he will become less physically active and the amount of exercise needed will reduce. A Dachshund is generally considered a senior dog at around the age of 11. At this stage in his life, you should begin to shorten his walks and limit any high impact activities that he may have once enjoyed.
Keeping up with low impact activities (like balance boards, cavaletti and swimming) is a good idea, as this can help prevent the joint and muscle issues that your older Dachshund may be facing.
Although your dog may be getting less exercise as they age, it’s important to keep up with mentally stimulating activities to prevent your dog from becoming bored, restless and unhappy.
How Much Exercise Does a Dachshund Puppy Need?
How much exercise does a Dachshund puppy need? You should always be careful when exercising any breed of puppy; Dachshunds are certainly no different! A Dachshund puppy will grow rapidly from 0-8 months and will not see his growth plates close until he is around 12-months old.
Any high impact activity that your Dachshund puppy undergoes at this age can be seriously damaging to his joints and bones as they continue to form.
Your puppy will generally get enough activity from simply exploring his new home and playing with age-appropriate toys, so dedicated exercising isn’t needed at this stage. Generally, it’s recommended that your puppy receives around 5 minutes of low impact play per month of age.
It’s always good to schedule regular appointments with your vet throughout your dog’s life to receive specific advice on your dog’s nutrition and exercise needs.
A Very Young Puppy – Under 6 Months
Young puppies under six months won’t need any dedicated exercise beyond exploring and playing in their new home. A Dachshund puppy can be a very timid little thing; he may simply hide for the first few days at home.
Use this time to allow your pup to be accustomed to his new surroundings and be careful to not overly exert him.
Exercising Dachshund Puppies – 6-12 Months of Age
At 6-months of age, your Dachshund puppy should have received his puppy vaccinations. At this stage in his development, he will benefit from being introduced to other puppies, dogs and other animals in a safe environment.
He will now be able to be walked outside, for short lengths of time, to help him become accustomed to his neighbourhood. As his growth plates will remain open until he reaches 12-months of age, any physical exertion beyond this small amount should be avoided.
A good rule to stick to is 5 minutes of low impact play for every month of age that your puppy has reached. After your puppy reaches one year old, he should be fully grown; at this stage, you should talk to your vet about starting a more regular exercise routine.
Dachshunds need daily exercise to promote a strong bond between themselves and their owner. It keeps behavioural problems at a minimum, keeps your furry member in a positive place in their mind and creates a calmer animal that’s beneficial for you and your dog.
By far, the most important thing about exercise is that it keeps you and your Dachshund happier and healthier! Dachshunds require physical, mental and bonding activities on a daily basis to lead a happy, healthy and full life.
The exercise duration is just as important as the type of exercise done. Dachshunds require at least 60 minutes of walking per day with additional time spent playing fetch or other games indoors.
We hope this article has helped you understand your dogs needs, and be sure to check out our new posts for more doggy tips and advice!