Groom a Longhair Dachshund
Dachshunds come in three different coat types: short, wire, and long. Longhaired dachshunds have soft and silky coats that need more care and upkeep than the other two varieties. To keep your dachshund looking neat and clean, you’ll need to routinely brush their coats, keep the hairs trimmed, and bathe them as needed.
Brushing the Coat
- Prepare your dog for grooming. Place your longhair dachshund on a comfortable spot on the floor or on a portable grooming table. You can also use a countertop or kitchen table. If you choose to be on the floor, lay out a soft, large towel to catch any hair. Remove any accessories they may be wearing, such as a harness or collar.
- If your dog will not stay still during grooming, enlist another person to help hold them while you groom the dog.
- Divide their coat into sections using hair clips or barrettes. You want to be able to focus on one section of the coat at a time. This will help you brush each section thoroughly and to detect any tangles or mats.
- Comb each section gently. Before you begin brushing, go through each section and gently comb the hair. This will dislodge loose hair and untangle smaller knots. Use a fine-toothed comb so you can untangle knots more easily.
- While you are combing, keep an eye out for any skin irritation. Dachshunds aren’t any more predisposed to have skin problems than other longhaired dogs but they do occur. Grooming regularly will help you to notice any skin irritation or problems early on. Look for any redness, flaking, or scabbing on the skin.
- Brush each section, starting at the head. Using a soft bristle brush, begin to brush each section of the coat. You should start at the head and make your way down their body. Always brush in the direction that the hair grows; never go against the growth pattern.
- Brush down their coat towards their legs. As you finish the first few sections, brush down towards your dachshund’s legs. Continue brushing in the direction that the hair grows all the way down their legs.
- Be extra careful when brushing their tails. This hair tends to be very fine and longer than the other sections of the coat, and can become easily tangled. Check for any debris, like chips of wood or dust, before you brush it.
- Brush their coats daily. Daily brushing helps to remove any loose hair that can get trapped in the dog’s fur. Dachshunds have double coats and longhaired dachshunds are more likely to become tangled and matted when they are not thoroughly brushed daily.
- Twice a week, use a wire-pinned brush to detangle their coats.
Grooming Your Dog
- Trim inner ear hair. Longhaired dachshunds are prone to ear problems since their coat and floppy ears can trap bacteria that cause infections. If needed, use pet scissors to trim their hair on the inner flap of your dog’s ear. This helps to prevent tangles, and allows for good circulation so moisture and dirt don’t build up.
- You'll need to trim their ear hair whenever the hair becomes fluffy or bushy, or when it is long enough to reach into their ear canal.
- Trim the hair on their stomachs. In show terms, this is called the “flag.” Longhaired dachshunds tend to accumulate debris and tangles in this area of their coat. It’s a good idea to keep this hair trimmed. Not only will it be easier to brush and keep clean, it will help your dog to get around more easily.
Using grooming scissors, trim the hair so it does not reach the ground.
- It is a good idea to keep this area trimmed. Owners may even want to keep the hair fairly short in this area, especially if they are not using the dog for shows.
- Wipe each inner ear. Using a cotton ball and a dog ear cleaner solution, which you can find at pet stores and large retailers, gently wipe the inside of your dog’s ears. According to the solution’s directions, place the correct amount into the ear and let it soak into the canal.
Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes and begin wiping upwards to dislodge any wax. Check for any discharge from the ear canal.
- It’s a good idea to check your dog’s ears each time you groom them. Since dachshunds are prone to ear problems, this helps you catch conditions early on.
- Examine their teeth and gums. Dental health is very important in dachshunds. Regularly examine your dog’s mouth to look for any broken teeth, red or irritated gums, and brownish teeth. Dogs that are hesitant to play with chew toys, eat, or drink cold water may have a periodontal disease. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these problems.
- Brush their teeth. Using toothpaste specially designed for dogs and a soft toothbrush, brush your dog’s teeth. Gently hold back their lips so the teeth are exposed and gently brush each tooth. Ideally, you should brush their teeth each day.
- Many dogs are uncomfortable with having their teeth brushed. You can get your dog used to having their teeth brushed by putting a small amount of dog toothpaste on your finger and spreading it across their teeth for a few seconds. Gradually work up to using a toothbrush when your dog becomes used to having you manipulate their mouth.
- Gently wipe their eyes. Using a piece of soft cotton fabric or a cotton ball that has been dampened with warm water, wipe around the rim of their eyes. You can also use dog eye wipes, which can be found at pet stores and large retailers. You’ll need to hold the dog’s muzzle while you’re wiping to avoid accidentally poking their eye.
- Trim their nails. If you exercise your dachshund on concrete or pavement, their nails will not need to be trimmed as frequently since they will naturally become worn down.
Your dachshund’s nails are very small so use a small dog nail clipper, not a regular nail clipper. Clip only the very tip of the nail, avoiding the quick. The quick is a vein that runs through the nail, and will bleed if nicked.
- It can be difficult to see the quick, especially with black nails. If you do happen to cut the quick, have a styptic powder and some gauze or cotton balls handy. This will help the blood clot and will stop the bleeding.
Bathing Your Dog
- Put your dachshund in the bathtub or a deep sink. Dachshunds only need to be bathed once a month, unless they’ve rolled in something smelly or muddy. The water should be warm, but not hot. The water doesn’t need to be too high, just to under their belly.
- A non-slip bath mat will help keep your dachshund from slipping in the water. If you don’t have a mat, you can place a small towel on the bottom of the tub or sink.
- Choose a shampoo. The products you use to bathe your longhaired dachshund should be specifically formulated for dogs. Use a high-quality non-detergent shampoo. Ideally, use a shampoo and conditioner that are fragrance free since these added chemicals can irritate your dog’s skin.
- Hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners are good as well. Some shampoos are marketed as tearless, but you should always avoid getting shampoo directly into your dog’s eyes.
- You can find quality pet shampoos online, at a pet store, or at a grooming salon.
- Wet the dog and massage in the shampoo. Using a cup filled with water, a spray nozzle, or your hands, wet your dog’s body. Pour a small amount of shampoo into your hand and rub your hands together. Then, begin to massage the shampoo into your dog’s coat. You should cover their entire body but avoid their face and ears.
- Massage the shampoo into a lather in their coat. Make sure that you pay special attention to their tails and their stomachs, since these areas tend to get dirtier.
- Rinse out the shampoo. Use warm water to rinse the shampoo out of their coats. Make sure that you get all of the shampoo out of their fur, or your dog may experience some skin irritation later on.
- Gently wipe their face and ears. Using a soft washcloth, now is the time to wash their face and ears. Wet the washcloth with warm water and work in a small amount of shampoo. Cover your dog’s eyes with one hand while you gently wipe their face and ears.
- You’ll need to rinse off this shampoo as well, but be very careful with getting water around their ears. Water can get trapped inside your dog’s ear canal and cause an infection.
- Blow dry their coat. Using a blow dryer on the lowest setting, begin to dry the dog’s coat. Make sure the air is not too hot so you don’t burn or irritate their skin. You can gently comb while you dry.
- Use a dry piece of cloth to wipe their inner ears. You want this area to be very dry after their bath to help prevent any infections.
- You can use a towel to dry your dachshund, but this will cause the hair to poof out and won’t be as aesthetically pleasing. If you do use a towel, pat the hair instead of rubbing it to prevent tangles.
- Fatty acids, like fish oil, can improve the texture and quality of your dog’s coat. There are a number of liquids or capsules that are specifically formulated to improve dog’s coats available.
- You may need to use small scissors to cut out large tangles or any matting in their coats.
- Pin brushes are good for dachshunds with long, fine hair. Bristle brushes add shine to the coat and are also good for longhaired dogs. Grooming mitts are not as effective as brushes.
- Regular brushing helps to cut down on shedding, especially during the spring when they shed some of their undercoat.
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