Do You Need to Groom a Dachshund?

dachshund being groomed with cucumbers on eyes

Is your dachshund’s coat looking a bit dull and out of condition? Does he need professional grooming, or can you do it yourself? How would you even go about grooming him? We’re here to answer all your questions about grooming dachshunds.

Do you need to groom a dachshund? Yes, but you can do a lot of the grooming yourself and don’t need to pay a professional that often. Brush, wash and trim your dachshund’s coat to keep it healthy, shiny and tangle-free. Long and wire-haired varieties need more work than smooth-haired dachshunds.

Read on to find out how you should groom all the different coat types, and whether you should do it yourself or take him to a professional dog groomer.

How do I groom a dachshund?

To groom your dachshund, you’ll need to brush his fur, trim his coat and bathe him. Check his ears, eyes and paws regularly to make sure they’re clean, and check for fleas and ticks. Brush his teeth with doggy toothpaste once a week and get his nails clipped regularly.

When you bring a dachshund into your life, it’s up to you to keep his coat in great condition. Your dachshund will lick himself to keep clean, but you need to help him get rid of loose fur and tangles in his coat. With regular grooming, you can make sure your dachshund’s coat is clean, healthy, shiny and free from tangles and matted fur.

Do You Need to Groom a Dachshund? Close up of a wire-haired dachshund's head
Groomed wire-haired dachshund with a glossy coat

How much grooming you need to do depends on the type of coat your dachshund has. Is he long-haired, wire-haired or smooth-haired? This will change how often you need to groom him and what tools you use.

Whatever type of dachshund you have, you’ll need:

A grooming table or suitable surface

You’ll want somewhere secure to pop your dachshund so you can stand up as you work, and easily move around him. If you’ve got him at a height, never leave him unsupervised, as he might try and jump down and could seriously hurt his back. It is possible to do this on the floor, but some people find it easier to groom at height.

Doggy shampoo and conditioner

Human soaps and shampoos are far too harsh for doggy skin.

Do You Need to Groom a Dachshund? Smooth-haired dachshund with shampoo on his head
A dachshund being bathed and covered in doggy shampoo

A non-slip matt or towel for the bath/sink

If your dachshund fidgets, you don’t want him to slip.

A towel to dry your dachshund with

Or a hairdryer if your dachshund is used to it and doesn’t mind!

A selection of brushes

Depending on the type of fur your dachshund has, you might want to use a slicker brush, pin brush, bristle brush, comb or grooming mitt (or a combination of these).

Do dachshunds like being groomed?

No, dachshunds don’t really like being groomed at first, so get him into a grooming routine when he’s a puppy. Get him used to you touching him all over his body, including his paws and mouth. Be really calm but firm, and try not make a big deal out of being groomed.

Smooth haired dachshund placing his paw in a woman's hand
Touch your dachshund’s paws regularly to get him used to the feeling

Dachshunds are no different to other dogs with their general dislike of grooming, so it’s probably something you’ll have to work on with your little sausage dog. Take it slow but be persistent – he needs to get used to it!

Should long-haired dachshunds be groomed?

Yes. Long-haired dachshunds need daily brushing, regular trimming and a bath every three months. Their coat is long and wavy, so can pick up dirt and get knotted and matted quickly, especially around the ears and feet.

Should long-haired dachshunds be groomed? Two long-haired dachshunds laying down on a cosy blanket
Two long-haired dachshunds with beautiful coats

Brush once a week

To help keep tangles under control, you’ll want to give your dachshund’s hair a quick brush once a day. And brush it properly about once a week. The best tool for detangling is a slicker brush, as it’s gentle but effective.

Separate hair with sectioning clips

When you give him a proper brush, you’ll want to separate his fur with sectioning clips so you can move through one section at a time. You don’t miss any tangles or matted bits.

Detangle the hair

Start at his head, brushing from root to end. Work along his body to his tail and down each of his legs. If you spot any matted balls of fur you can’t detangle, you may need to snip these out using grooming scissors. Just be careful not to get too near his skin. When the hair is matted, it can be hard to see where the hair ends and the skin begins. If in doubt, visit a professional dog groomer.

Use a bristle or pin brush

Once you’ve detangled him, you can switch to a bristle brush to make his coat nice and shiny. Or you can use a pin brush (make sure the pins are rounded) and brush his fur backwards to fluff him up.

Trim around the ears and feet

He’ll need trimming regularly too, especially around his feet and ears, where the hair grows in fringes. You can use regular grooming scissors to snip carefully until the fur looks neat and tidy. Again, if in doubt, take him to a professional dog groomer.

Bathe every few months

He won’t need bathing very often. Once every three months should be fine, unless he gets really dirty or rolls in something stinky!

How do I groom a wire-haired dachshund?

Wire-haired dachshunds are different to other dachshunds because they have thick undercoats that need stripping twice a year (unless they have a ‘pin wire’ coat that doesn’t need stripping at all). They need regular brushing and bathing every few months.

How do I groom a wire-haired dachshund? Wire-haired dachshund laying down on sofa and resting his head on the sofa arm
An adorable wire-haired dachshund

You’ve probably noticed your wire-haired dachshund doesn’t shed very much. Well, unfortunately, this doesn’t mean he doesn’t need grooming. While his short, coarse fur is fairly low-maintenance and only needs brushing a few times a week, he also has a soft undercoat that sheds twice a year, usually in spring and autumn. As the undercoat dies, you’ll need to get it stripped (or do it yourself). You’ll know it’s time because his coat will look lacklustre and dry.

Wire-haired dachshund coats vary from fluffy to coarse. The wires with fluffier coats probably need the most grooming of all the coat varieties. But, the wires with shorter, coarser, ‘pin wire’ coats don’t actually need stripping at all. They just need baths and brushing and, because they don’t moult much, they could be a better choice for allergy sufferers.

To groom your wire-haired dachshund, you can either take him to a professional groomer or, if you feel confident, you could groom him yourself.

This is what you need to do:

Slicker brush

Grab the slicker brush and gently brush your dachshund’s fur in both directions to loosen up and catch the dead hair from his undercoat.

Stripping knife

Then, switch to a stripping knife. Gather a section of hair and hold it at the roots, between the knife and your thumb. Slowly pull the fur towards you, using the knife and your thumb to grip it. The aim is to pull the fur out, not cut it. If your dachshund hates this, just take it slowly and don’t make a big fuss. He’ll soon get used to it and realise it doesn’t hurt. You can easily pick out any remaining hairs with your fingers or a pair of tweezers.

NOTE: This does not apply to wire-haired dachshunds with ‘pin wire‘ coats as they don’t need stripping at all.

Other than that, wire-haired dachshunds need the same amount of grooming as other dachshunds. Give him a brush a few times a week and pop him in the bath every few months, or whenever he needs it.

What is a pin wire dachshund?

A wire-haired dachshund with a pin wire coat has shorter, coarser hair that generally doesn’t need stripping. The beard, eyebrows and legs are still hairy but, compared to a fluffier wire, there’s not as much hair overall. The hair on the ears is silky smooth.

Can you shave your dachshund?

No, it is not advisable to shave your dachshund because the hair may not grow back. Wire-hired dachshunds have undercoats and topcoats and, if you shave them, you may just end up with a dog that resembles a smooth dachshund and not a wire. If you’re struggling with grooming, go to a professional.

Do smooth-haired dachshunds need grooming?

Smooth-haired dachshunds require the least amount of grooming because their fur is so short. They just need a brush with a grooming mitt every few days to remove any loose hairs, and a bath every few months.

Do smooth-haired dachshunds need grooming? Dachshund in the bath wearing a shower cap and covered in dog shampoo
Smooth-haired dachshund having a bath

The great thing about short, smooth fur is that it doesn’t pick up much debris or get tangled. So, when you have a smooth-haired dachshund, you don’t need to do much grooming at all. A few times a week, grab a rubber grooming mitt and gently run it over your dachshund’s body to loosen and remove any dead fur. Other than that, he’ll just need a bath every few months (no more as it can dry out his skin) or if he gets muddy.

Do dachshunds need professional grooming?

Not necessarily. You can groom your dachshund yourself, especially if he’s a smooth-haired variety. For long-haired or wire-haired dachshunds, a lot of people handle most of it themselves and then use a professional dog groomer once or twice a year.

Search online for a local dog groomer or get recommendations through a dachshund Facebook group. If you’re happy with their customer reviews, drop your dachshund off and remind them to be careful of his back. Then, pick him up a few hours later all trimmed, fluffy and clean!

Using a professional is really up to you. If you feel happy and confident trimming your dachshund’s fur, clipping his nails or stripping your wire-haired dachshund’s undercoat (if needed), you could do it yourself. Otherwise, leave it to the doggy professionals.

So, that’s everything you need to know about grooming dachshunds. Now it’s over to you to keep your dachshund’s coat looking glossy and lustrous. Good luck!

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