How to Groom a Wirehaired Dachshund
Wirehaired dachshunds are energetic, smart, and full of personality (despite their small size!). Because they love to play, especially outdoors, it’s important to keep your dog clean and well-groomed. A wirehaired dachshund’s coat is composed of 2 layers: a thick, soft undercoat to keep it warm, and a short, coarse topcoat. Like many wirehaired breeds of dogs, your wirehaired dachshund needs regular brushing, grooming, and cleaning to look neat and stay healthy.
Brushing Its Fur
1. Place your dog on a counter or table to brush it more comfortably. Since dachshunds are so short, you may be more comfortable brushing your dog on a kitchen counter or table. However, if your dog is too nervous to stand on a higher surface, you can brush it on the floor.
- Lay down an old towel or newspaper to catch any fallen hair.
- A grooming table is a good investment if you groom your dachshund regularly for shows. You can secure your dog to a grooming table with the attached collar and loop, which helps if your dog likes to move around.
- Never leave your dog unattended on a counter or table. The dog could get seriously injured if it fell.
2. Brush your dog daily with a dense, firm bristle brush. Gently brush your dachshund with a bristle brush in the direction that its hair grows. A bristle brush with closely spaced, firm bristles will smooth out your dog’s wiry coat, and can help remove loose hair.
- Be gentle when brushing your dog’s ears, face, beard, and tail.
- You can use a bristle brush to brush your dachshund once a day. It should be brushed at least once a week to maintain a nice coat.
3. Use a slicker brush to gently tackle mats and tangles twice a week. Because wirehaired coats don’t shed that much, dead hairs will remain and become tangled with new hairs that grow in. Gently brush in the direction of the hair with a slicker brush, which is made with wire or steel pins instead of bristles.
- The Furminator is a popular brand of slicker brush used for all types of dog breeds, but you can find other brands online or at pet supply stores.
Grooming Its Fur
1. Strip your dog’s coat 2 or 3 times a year to remove dead fur. Gently run a stripping comb through your dog’s coat from neck to rear. A stripping comb will remove dead fur. It may be easier than stripping by hand, where you use your thumb and forefinger instead of a comb.
- Hand stripping is tricky since you can pull out too much hair. Have a groomer do it for you, or have a professional show you how to do it correctly.
- You can strip your dog’s coat in several short sessions to get it used to the process, which is called “rolling the coat.” Or, strip its entire coat, which may take 1 to 2 hours.
2. Trim your dog’s coat with clippers if you don’t want to strip it. Wirehaired dachshunds can be clipped 2 or 3 times a year if you prefer not to strip its coat. Use pet clippers with a short attachment to trim the ends of its fur, and avoid shaving its coat.
- Clipping is also best left to a professional groomer so it can be done safely and correctly.
- When done instead of stripping, clipping can even out your dog’s coat and keep it looking tidy.
- Be aware that clipping can affect the quality of your dog's coat. Avoid clipping if you are planning to show your dachshund.
3. Have a groomer trim your dog’s eyebrows and beard. Trimming the hair on your dachshund’s eyebrows and beard can be dangerous if you and your dog aren’t used to the process. A groomer will trim its hair safely, and shape the overall look of its eyebrows and beard.
Bathing Your Dachshund
1. Bathe your dachshund 3 to 4 times a year to protect its coat. Wirehaired dachshunds don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Washing them too often strips their coat of sebum, an oil that covers their fur and helps them keep cool or stay warm.
- Brush your dog before giving it a bath to remove loose dirt and make it easier to clean.
2. Put your dachshund in a deep sink or tub. Fill a deep sink or tub with lukewarm water. The water should reach your dog’s belly. Test the water temperature with your hand to make sure it’s not too cold or too hot.
- Be gentle when wetting your dog around its ears and eyes. Try not to get water into its ears, since this can be irritating and may cause infections.
3. Massage dog shampoo into your dog’s coat from neck to tail. Work the shampoo into a lather, and pay special attention to the dog’s stomach and feet, which tend to be dirtiest. Avoid getting shampoo on its face and into its ears.
- It’s best to use specially formulated dog shampoo rather than human shampoo, which may contain chemicals that can irritate your dog’s skin.
- After shampooing your dog’s rear or any particularly dirty spots, wash your hands before continuing.
4. Rinse your dog with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Keep your dog’s head lifted to make sure shampoo suds don’t run into its eyes. You can use a detachable shower head, pitcher, or bucket to rinse your dog.
- You can drain the sink or tub while doing this so your dog isn’t standing in soapy or dirty water.
5. Pat your dog dry with an old towel. Soak up water from the bath using an old towel. It’s important to dry your dachshund as best you can with a towel. Leaving it wet may cause it to become cold and sick. Let your dog shake off any excess water.
- If your dog is not afraid of a blow dryer, you can use the lowest setting to dry its coat. Be careful not to blow air into its ears or face.
Cleaning Other Areas
1. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe your dog’s face and ears. Dampen a soft cloth with warm water and gently pat your dog’s face and ears. Move in the direction of your dog’s hair. Be careful when you’re washing the area around its eyes.
- Clean your dog’s face after you give it a bath, or if it is especially dirty. This is also a good time to check your dog’s ears for dirt or ticks. If your dog’s ears are very dirty, you can swab them gently with cotton balls.
2. Brush your dog’s teeth every day. Choose a dog toothpaste in a flavor your dachshund likes, to make the brushing experience more pleasant. Brush your dog’s teeth with the toothbrush in one hand while holding their lips back with the other hand.
- Never use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth, since it is designed to be spat out.
- Your dog will probably be uncomfortable having its teeth brushed. Use a calm, soothing voice while brushing, and give your dog a treat as a reward when you finish.
3. Cut your dog’s nails every 2 to 8 weeks. Trim the tip of its nails using small dog nail clippers or small pet nail clippers. However, if your dog frequently runs on pavement or gravel, its nails will wear down naturally and won’t need to be clipped as often.
- Before trimming your dog’s nails on your own, it’s important to have a dog groomer or veterinarian show you how to do it. If you cut the nails too short, you can cause them to bleed.
- If you’ve never groomed your dog before, ask a professional groomer or veterinarian for advice on stripping, clipping, or trimming your dog at home.
- If your dog is nervous and tends to squirm while being groomed, ask someone else to help you.