Dachshunds are small dogs that were developed in Germany over 600 years ago to hunt badgers. Their short feet and long “sausage dog” bodies don’t just make ’em look unique, this also helped them dig into badger dens, and dispatch them, back in the day. Today, however, they’re better known as friendly, family companions with cheerful personalities.
Do they shed much? Dachshunds come in three coat varieties: smooth-coated, longhaired and wirehaired. They all shed an average amount of hair but the grooming needs of the longhaired and wirehaired are more intensive.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how much shedding you should expect and what each type of Dachshund is like to brush and groom!
Dachshund Shedding – What to Expect
Dachshunds are a moderate shedding breed.
Which basically means that you will notice some fur floating around the home, but not as much as you would with a large, heavy shedding breed like the German Shepherd for example.
And when they do molt, it tends to be more evenly spread throughout the year, rather than one or two big seasonal “coat blows.”
That said, it does depend on the individual dog and there are things that can cause them to shed excessively such as fleas, poor diet and stress for example. So if you have any concerns about your dog’s shedding, it may be worth contacting a qualified veterinarian.
Either way, if you’re looking for a non-shedding dog, the Dachshund isn’t it. And he’s not the most suitable dog for people with pet allergies either because his coat is not hypoallergenic.
In reality though, unless you get a completely hairless breed, there’s no such thing as a non-shedding dog. All dogs with hair molt to some extent. And there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog either. Because all dogs produce dander, which is the main thing that causes the allergies in the first place.
Related: Dog Shedding FAQ (What is a Hypoallergenic Dog?)
So the terms “non-shedding” and “hypoallergenic” aren’t meant to be taken literally, they are really used to describe dogs that are lower shedding and those that are generally considered to be more suitable for allergy sufferers than others. And if this is what you’re after, the Italian Greyhound and Basenji are probably better alternatives to the Dachshund.
In any case, Dachshunds are awesome little dogs and the molting is easily managed with proper grooming. So let’s take a closer look at this now so you can see what’s involved!
Coat and Grooming
As well as their being different size Dachshunds (standard and miniature), the Dachshund breed standard lists three different coat varieties:
So it does depend on which variety of Dachshund you adopt as to what sort of coat he will have and therefore what level of effort will be needed to brush and groom him. But overall, their coat requires an average amount of maintenance. With the short-coated variety being the easiest of the three to brush and groom.
Let’s explore each variety in more detail.
Smooth-Coated Dachshunds have short, smooth, shiny coats that are very easy to care for. A weekly brush with a rubber hand mitt or bristle brush is generally all that’s needed to maintain their coat and remove any loose, dead hairs from their coat.
So if you’re looking for the lowest maintenance variety of Dachshund, this is definitely the one.
Longhaired Dachshunds, as the name suggests, have a longer coat of hair. And as such, they need to be brushed more regularly, even daily, to remove any mats from their coat. In this case, brushing with a metal comb, slicker brush, or pin brush is more suitable given the length of the coat.
Wirehaired Dachshunds have short, thick, wiry double coats and these are arguably the highest shedding and highest maintenance variety out of the three.
One reason for this is because they have a double coat which means that instead of having one layer of hair, they have two – both an outer coat and an undercoat. The undercoat is good for keeping them warmer in cold conditions, so they are more suited for people who live in colder climates, but it also means they are more likely to shed seasonally. And when you brush, you’re brushing two coats instead of just one.
Another reason they’re considered to be higher maintenance is that, while optional, they need to be hand stripped two-to-three times per year to keep their coat looking its best. Hand stripping is a tedious process that literally involves plucking out the old, dead hairs by hand or with a stripping knife. You can learn how to do this yourself, but it’s normally done by professional groomers for show dogs to maintain the color and texture of his wiry coat.
As you can imagine though, given the time and/or cost involved with this process, most people simply have him clipped. Not all the way down to the skin so as to remove the undercoat, but just down to a manageable length which can make brushing a little easier.
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Can You Stop Your Dachshund from Molting?
You can’t stop any dog from shedding completely, and the Dachshund is no exception.
It’s natural and normal for dogs to molt, they are simply shedding their old, dead hairs to make way for the new ones. So the best thing to do is accept this as a reality and learn how to minimize and manage it.
There are a number of ways to control shedding, but when you boil it all down, it mostly comes down to proper diet and grooming.
Making sure your Dachshund’s diet is optimal is the starting point. Speak with your vet about selecting the best dog food possible as this can make a huge difference to his overall health and wellbeing, as well as how much he molts.
There’s no magic dog food that’ll stop shedding, but there are dog foods that are healthier, more balanced, and contain better quality ingredients. And some dog foods contain things like Omega-3 which can help improve your dog’s skin and coat.
So, even though you might pay a little extra, a good quality dog food can be very beneficial for your dog and make a difference with respect to molting.
When it comes to grooming, there’s a couple main ways this helps.
Firstly, brushing can be a very effective way to remove the loose hair from your dog’s coat, before the hairs fall off of him and onto your furniture and floors. And many find that using a deshedding tool is effective with Dachshunds, regardless of which coat type they are. Either way, brushing regularly, as well as bathing as needed with a good quality dog shampoo, can make a big difference.
Second, brushing massages their skin which in turn stimulates the hair follicles and spreads the skin oils evenly over the coat. So this is a good way to improve the overall condition of his coat and help promote stronger, healthier hairs that are less likely to molt prematurely.
And that’s about it!
There are some other methods of reducing shedding, like using coconut oil or a natural supplement for example, but once you have his diet in order and you’re maintaining a proper grooming routine, you’re going to find that these make the biggest difference overall.
By simply taking the time to select the right food and by incorporating brushing into your routine, you can save yourself a good amount of time cleaning up loose dog fur down the road.