Dachshund means 'Badger Dog' in German, since they were originally bred for hunting badgers. Since they are German, their popularity took a nose dive after the first world war, but soon after they rose again on the popularity charts and have been one of the top 10 popular breeds since then. Although they are no longer bred to hunt badgers, the breed is still very popular with people due to the feisty spirit of these dogs. What they lack in size, they make up for with their personalities. They are very playful, independent to the point of being stubborn, and form extremely close bonds with their masters. They have a distinctive habit of piking up strong odors and then rolling about in their source! This can be a nightmare if you have a long haired breed.
Dachshunds are basically of 6 types and they come in two sizes - miniature dachshunds and standard dachshunds. They can also be classified on the basis of their coats. Dachshund coats can be broadly divided into 3 categories:
- Long Haired Dachshunds
- Wired Haired Dachshunds
- Smooth Haired Dachshunds
Grooming Long Haired Dachshunds
While long haired dachshund grooming can prove to be arduous, it is a necessity and can be done following a few basic steps. These include:
Bathing long haired dachshunds can prove to be quite the task. Ideally, bathing your dachshund should be done twice a week in summers and on a weekly basis in winter. Since they have long fur, it doesn't dry quickly on its own, so it is necessary to blow dry your dachshund after bathing him/her. While blow drying, hold the drier away from the roots of the hair. Blow from a few inches away from their bodies, else the heat will make their hair weak leading to an increase in shedding.
Another important point is that, if you are bathing your dachshund frequently, use a detergent free soap. If it is fragrance free, then better still. Make sure you wash off all the soap/shampoo thoroughly. Frequent bathing should be avoided since it causes dry skin and hair. Soaps, shampoos and conditioners should be used on the recommendation of the vet. There is such a wide range of products to choose from, that it leaves us confused as to which to use. Avoid fragrant products since they contain added chemicals which may cause allergies to your pet.
Brushing a long haired breed is almost an art! First up, you have to tackle the variety of brushes available out there. Here is a quick overview of the most common types of brushes available and their uses.
- Pin Brush: A pin brush is mainly used for de-matting. It doesn't help in removing dead hair, so it usually has to be used in combination with another brush.
- Slicker Brush: Slicker brushes are a good option, since they take care of de-matting as well as removal of dead hair from the coat. They can be soft toothed or firm toothed.
- Bristle Brush: Bristle brushes are used to remove all the dirt, twigs, and other unnecessary stuff which can get stuck in long hair when the dachshund rolls around on the ground. This brush is to be lightly used as these things come off with a light hand.
- Undercoat Rake: This brush is a great option for dense haired dachshunds, since it has long teeth which help to remove tangles and undercoat from the roots.
You can choose from any of the above brushes depending on the length and thickness of your dachshund's coat. Start brushing from the head and proceed towards the legs and tail. The right technique is to brush in the direction of hair growth and not in the opposite direction. The best way to go about brushing is to start by brushing the coat and then comb it. While brushing you can use large toothed brushes to remove the matt from the coat. Then comb with a fine toothed brush to remove the dead hair and make the coat sleek and shiny. Avoid brushing wet hair immediately after a bath. Dachshunds require brushing daily or once every two days.
Shedding is a major problem but it can be managed with regular combing. Helping your dachshund shed is a solution. Use the undercoat rake early on in the day, and you can make sure that he/she sheds less inside the house throughout the day. Take your dachshund out of the house in the garden/patio or even the balcony, and comb thoroughly but gently with the undercoat rake to remove all the dead and loose hair, which usually falls when they move around in the house or scratch themselves. Untangling is necessary to maintain matt free hair. You can use a mild de-tangling spray which helps loosen the matt, thus making them easier to comb out. Removing or combing out matt can prove to be painful for your pet, so an easier option is to cut off the matt. Make sure your dachshund is still while you cut them off, lest you nip him.
This includes the activities that are difficult to do at home, like trimming of the coat. Trimming should be done at least once a year during the summer months. This helps keep your dachshund cool and light. A visit to a professional parlor once or twice annually is advisable, even though you are taking excellent care of your pet.
Long haired dachshund grooming requires patience and dedication! But if you follow all the above steps, taking care of a long haired dachshund and a miniature long haired dachshund won't be that daunting. You will have a soft, silky, adorable pet that you'll love to cuddle with!