How to Groom a Longhair Dachshund
Dachshunds come in 3 different coat types: short, wire, and long. Longhaired dachshunds have soft and silky coats that need more care and upkeep than the other 2 varieties. To keep your dachshund looking neat and clean, you’ll need to routinely brush its coat, keep its fur trimmed, and bathe it as needed.
Brushing the Coat
1. Gather your materials.
Before you start brushing your dachshund, make sure you have everything you need. Grab some hair clips, a fine-toothed comb, and a slicker brush. You may also want to get a towel or small drop cloth to catch any hair that is shed as you brush your dog.
2. 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 your dog may be wearing, such as a harness or collar.
- If your dog will not stay still during grooming, enlist another person to help hold the dog while you groom it.
3. Divide the dog’s 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.
4. Brush each section, starting at the head.
Using a slicker brush, begin to brush each section of the coat. Start at the head and make your way down the dog’s body. Always brush in the direction that the hair grows. Never go against the growth pattern.
5. Brush down the coat towards the 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 its legs.
- Be extra careful when brushing its tail. 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.
6. Comb each section gently.
After 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.
7. Brush your dachshund’s coat 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.
Grooming Your Dog
1. Trim inner ear hair.
Longhaired dachshunds are prone to ear problems. The warm, moist environment inside the ear is a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. If needed, use clippers 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 your dog’s ear hair whenever the hair becomes fluffy or bushy, or when it is long enough to reach into their ear canal.
- Use clippers instead of scissors to reduce the risk of cutting your dog’s ear.
2. Trim the hair on your dog’s stomach.
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 clippers, 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.
3. Clean the dog’s ears.
Using a cotton ball and a dog ear cleaner solution, gently wipe the inside of your dog’s ears. According to the solution’s directions, place the correct amount in the ear and let it soak into the canal. Gently massage the base of the ear between your index finger and thumb for a few minutes, then let go and allow your dog to shake its head. This will help dislodge debris in the ear and expel the excess cleaning solution. Next, gently wipe the area around the outside of the ear canal 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 it. Since dachshunds are prone to ear problems, this helps you catch conditions early on.
- Clean your dog’s ears any time you bathe or groom the dog to prevent infections caused by moisture in the ears.
- You can find ear cleaning solution for dogs at pet stores and large retailers.
4. Examine your dog’s 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.
5. Brush your dachshund’s teeth.
Using toothpaste specially designed for dogs and a soft toothbrush, brush your dog’s teeth. Gently hold back its lips so the teeth are exposed and gently brush each tooth. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth each day.
- Many dogs are uncomfortable with having their teeth brushed. Start by putting a small amount of dog toothpaste on a bit of gauze or a washcloth. Wrap the cloth around your finger and gently rub the toothpaste on your dog’s teeth and gums for a few seconds.
- Gradually work up to using a toothbrush when your dog becomes used to having you manipulate its mouth.
6. Gently wipe the dog’s eyes.
Using a piece of soft cotton fabric or a cotton ball that has been dampened with warm water, wipe around the rim of the eyes. You can also use dog eye wipes, which can be found at pet stores and large retailers. Hold the dog’s muzzle while you’re wiping to avoid accidentally poking its eye.
7. Trim the dog’s nails.
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. Getting cut in the quick is also a very painful experience, and may cause your dog to be frightened of having its nails clipped again.
- 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.
- If you exercise your dachshund on concrete or pavement, its nails will not need to be trimmed as frequently since they will naturally become worn down.
8. Trim the fur between your dog’s toes.
Longhaired dachshunds tend to have very fuzzy feet. It is especially important to keep your dog’s foot hair trimmed if you live in a snowy area, since snow can accumulate on the fur and hurt the dog’s feet. Check your dog’s feet regularly and trim any excess hair with clippers.
Bathing Your Dog
1. 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 its 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.
2. 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 formulated for dogs 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.
3. 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. Cover its entire body, working your way to the head last. Avoid the face and ears.
- Massage the shampoo into a lather in their coat. Make sure that you pay special attention to the tail and stomach, since these areas tend to get dirtier.
4. Rinse out the shampoo.
Starting at the head, use warm water to rinse the shampoo out of your dog’s coat. Make sure that you get all of the shampoo out of its fur, or your dog may experience some skin irritation later on.
5. Gently wipe the dog’s face and ears.
Using a soft washcloth, now is the time to wash the 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 its 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.
6. Blow dry your dog’s 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 its skin. You can gently brush while you dry.
- Use a dry piece of cloth to wipe the dog’s 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 clippers to cut out large tangles or any matting in their coats.
- Slicker 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.