Last Updated on December 12, 2021 by Griselda M.
Doxies are neither the biggest nor the most athletic dog breed. Yet, they still need good exercise. So, how much exercise does a dachshund need and why? Isn’t running around the home enough exercise for these short-legged dogs?
Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think that. Many dachshund owners take their dogs for just two brief toilet walks around the block a day. Their idea is that the dog is small enough to just “get its step in” while at home. Yet, dogs just don’t work that way. So, let’s delve a bit deeper below.
How Much Exercise Does A Dachshund Need?
For standard, adult, and healthy dachshunds, experts recommend about 1 hour of daily outdoor exercise. That should usually be divided into two 30-minute walks or one 20-minute walk and a longer 40-minute walk.
The idea behind the latter scheme is to give your dachshund one more fulfilling walk with extra time for sniffing around and exploring. Dachshunds are a hound breed, after all, so they have a very strong exploration and sensory instinct. So, one of the best exercises – both physically and mentally – you can do for your dachshund is a longer walk with extra time for sniffing around.
If you have the time, you can theoretically go with two 40-minute walks. However, this brings up the question of whether you can give your dachshund a little too much exercise? We’ll cover that below.
How Much Exercise Does A Mini Dachshund Need?
Miniature or toy dachshunds are similar to standard Doxies in many ways but they are even more prone to overexertion. So, for a mini Doxie, you really shouldn’t go much above 30-40 minutes of outdoor exercise a day, total. This means just two 15-20-minute walks a day.
Can You Over-exercise A Dachshund?
You very much can. Because of their unique body shape, dachshunds are very prone to both back and leg joint problems. So, exerting your dog a little too much can either lead to an immediate trauma and/or will just introduce too much wear and tear on the dog’s joints.
This isn’t even unique to dachshunds – any dog or any mammal can overexert itself too much up to the point of a physical contusion. Dachshunds are a bit more fragile than most other dogs because of their specific physiology.
How About Adolescent Or Senior Dachshunds?
You should absolutely be extra careful with younger and older dachshunds. The deal with puppies (up to 6 months of age) is simpler as you don’t need to purposefully exercise them anyway. Young pups simply run and play as much as they can. Once the Doxie reaches 6 months you should start with a light exercise regime of 30-45 minutes of daily outdoor exercise, slowly bringing it up to an hour.
Older dogs are trickier, however. That’s because every senior dachshund has a different physical condition – some are perfectly healthy while others have developed certain problems. So, once your dachshund passes the 6-year-mark (which is when they officially become “seniors”) you should just consult with your vet about the dog’s physical needs and capabilities.
What’s The Appropriate Exercise For Dachshunds?
You’d be forgiven to think that dachshunds have a limited assortment of recommended exercises. That’s not really the case. While you should avoid exercises that require jumping up and down steep surfaces (such as stairs), most other types of exercises are fully acceptable. Here’s a quick list:
- Brisk walking and jogging to, in, and from the dog park. That’s the easiest and best exercise as it satisfies most of your dog’s needs.
- Various mental and light physical games such as fetch or dog toys. Those are always fun for any dog, especially smart breeds like the Doxie.
Learn more about: How To Keep A Dog Off Couch When Gone To Work?
- Hiking is an excellent exercise as most dachshunds love exploring. Some dachshunds may not be fans of it and you should be careful not to overexert your dog.
- Swimming is a phenomenal exercise for dachshunds. A lot of people don’t associate dachshunds with swimming, however, what’s beautiful about it is that it exercises your dog while barely stressing its back or legs.
- Agility courses are also great as long as your dachshund is healthy and the coarse itself is suitable for a dachshund.
Do Dachshunds Need Yard Time?
Not really. Most Doxies would enjoy having a yard to run, sniff, and dig in but that’s not a necessity for their well-being. With or without a yard, your dachshund will still need about an hour of outdoor (as in – out of the yard too) exercise anyway. So, if you don’t have a yard, your dachshund will just get the rest of its playtime in the living room.
If you do have a yard, make sure that it’s well-fenced. Dachshunds are hounds after all, so they like chasing down small animals such as cats, mice, and rats. Also, be ready for some holes around your yard, as dachshunds often like digging.
What Types Of Exercise Are Inappropriate For Dachshunds?
Anything that involves too much jumping up and down is strongly ill-advised for dachshunds. If you have a young and fit dachshund then a few jumps here or there shouldn’t be an issue. However, senior dogs, in particular, should be kept safe from anything that would put too much pressure on their backs. Systemic “vertical” lifestyle pressure such as having stairs at home also isn’t great.
Learn more about Can Miniature Dachshunds Climb Stairs?
Why Is Regular Exercise So Crucial For Dachshunds?
Keeping your dachshund’s energy levels up is very important for myriad reasons. For one, it prevents obesity which leads to a whole host of other problems, including back and joint issues. Additionally, making sure that your dog has a strong musculature is great for preventing future back and joint issues such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
Lastly, exercise is important for the mental stimulation it provides. Dachshunds are pretty inquisitive and playful dogs and need to lead interesting and engaging lives.
In Conclusion, How Much Exercise Does A Dachshund Need?
About an hour of outdoor exercise should be enough for any healthy adult dachshund. The rest of the dog’s physical and mental stimulation needs can easily be met at home.
Jordan is an animal–lover who specializes in dachshunds. He has owned and cared for dachshunds since he was a child, and his passion for these unique dogs has only grown with time. Jordan is an avid researcher and learner, and spends a large portion of his free time studying the history, behaviour, and health of dachshunds. He has a knack for training and socializing his own dogs, and loves introducing them to new experiences. When not caring for his own pets, Jordan likes to volunteer at local animal rescue shelters, helping to find homes for abandoned dachshunds. He is a true animal advocate, and dedicates his time to ensure that all animals receive the love, respect, and care they deserve.