All dogs require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and their nails in trim. Exactly which technique to use for your Dachshund depends on which of the three main types you have.
A Smooth-Coat Dachshund is the classic, short-haired type you have seen in a hundred films and ads. Their coats are easy to care for, requiring little more than a regular bath and brush. ‘Regular’ varies with the dog’s age and environment.
Younger dogs may require baths as often as once per week, though once a month is fine when they stay out of dirt and bushes. If they live in rougher circumstances, be sure to keep their coats clean and brushed regularly. ‘Regularly’ means at least twice per week, and as needed. Remove any plant material as soon as they are done playing.
A wire slicker is fine for grooming, but exercise care. All dogs are durable, but it’s important not to scrape the skin. That leads to hot spots that the dog will make worse by licking and chewing. Since Dachshunds are a high-energy, assertive breed, extra caution is needed.
The wiry hair on the muzzle, chest and legs of this variety gives them the name. It also gives them a need for extra grooming care. More frequent baths will be called for in their case, along with more regular brushing. Brushing will take longer, too.
Like the terriers they resemble, the stiff coat is actually in two layers. Get the undercoat with a slicker and use a regular brush for the upper layer. Remember, too, that they will shed more. That may call for a shed control shampoo in some cases. In every case, be prepared for seasonal changes as they naturally adjust to the change in weather by shedding more.
Trim any excess hair off the muzzle to avoid it dragging on the ground. A trim behind the rear legs will also be necessary once it reaches a length that leads to mats. Otherwise, regular brushing of once or twice a week is good enough.
As the name suggests, this type has long, wavy hair. Since Doxies are low to the ground, more regular trimming will be needed, along with more frequent bathing. Matting is especially common in this variety, but can be avoided with brushing every other day, especially behind the ears. When mats arise, trim them gradually with a blunt-nose pair of scissors until you have removed enough to work out the tangle with fingers and brush.
A combination shampoo and conditioner works well with this type. Take care not to over-bathe them, though, since that leads to dried, scaly skin. Regular, gentle brushing will help, since it smooths natural oils over the skin under the coat.
All types need to have their nails trimmed often, usually weekly. The usual technique is fine. Get a good pair of guillotine scissors and hold each foot firmly, searching for the quick. Cut well away from the quick to avoid accidents, which are more likely in the Doxie’s case because of their feisty nature.
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