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How Much Exercise Do Dachshunds Need? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

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By Misty Layne

a smiling dachshund running outdoor

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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Our dogs need to be exercised regularly, no matter what size they may be but trying to figure out how much exercise is needed each day can be a challenge. Exercise needs can be dependent upon dog breed, the size of your dog, and your pup’s age, so what’s good for one dog may not be suitable for another. If you’re a Dachshund owner, you’re likely curious about how much exercise dachshunds need.

The answer varies depending on if you have a regular dachshund or miniature dachshund and the age and health of your dog, but generally speaking, adult dachshunds require 30–50 minutes of exercise each day, with miniature dachshunds being on the lower end of that spectrum. Below you’ll find out more about your pet’s exercise needs, so read on!

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How Much Exercise Does a Dachshund Puppy Need?

Despite their small stature, dachshunds are fairly active, so it’s important to get all that energy out in constructive ways, such as walks and play. But their small size and short legs do mean they need less exercise than large dog breeds. And when it comes to dachshund puppies, you need to be careful you aren’t over-exercising them as this breed of dog is more likely to develop back problems. To allow them to mature their musculoskeletal systems they do need moderate levels of exercise but avoiding high impact such as jumping and stairs. Gradually increase their exercise until they reach maturity and then continue an active lifestyle.

A general rule of thumb for puppy exercise is to exercise your pup 5 minutes for every month of age. So, if your dog is 7 months old, you’d take them for a 35-minute walk. Do this until they reach 10–12 months of age; then, you can start exercising them for the amount of time required by adult Dachshunds. And keep in mind that this exercise is formal, such as walks. Playtime doesn’t count here.

dachshund in training
Image Credit: 825545, Pixabay

The Best Exercises for Dachshunds

Since you have to be very particular when it comes to your dachshund and exercise to avoid back issues, what are the best ways to ensure your dog gets enough activity each day? Here are some excellent ways to exercise your pet to keep them healthy without overstressing the back and spine—remember to keep your pet from jumping on and off things and running for too long!

  • Walks. Your dachshund should be walked each day (you can break it into two walks a day if that works better timewise).
  • Toys. Getting your dog toys that appeal to its natural instincts will keep it happy and engaged while playing. Dachshunds enjoy digging, so puzzle toys where they can do this will be an excellent choice for them. Toys like the flirt pole that engage their prey instinct will be enjoyed as well.
  • Fetch. You’ll need to tweak this game a bit to accommodate your pup’s size, so they aren’t running long distances—try rolling a ball part way across a room rather than throwing a frisbee half a field—but this game is great for keeping them active and encouraging recall. It also teaches your dog how to retrieve items and commands such as “drop it”.
  • Obstacle/agility courses. Though they shouldn’t be jumping or running distances, dachshunds are incredibly agile and will love darting through a homemade tunnel course.

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Dachshunds, like most dogs, will need plenty of exercise each day. How long your pet needs to exercise will depend on their size, health and age. Miniature dachshunds will only need 30–35 minutes a day, while regular dachshunds will require roughly 50 minutes every day. If you have a dachshund puppy, though, you’ll need to start their exercise regimen small (5 minutes for every month until they reach adulthood); otherwise, you run the increased risk of back problems.

Dachshunds shouldn’t be jumping because of their propensity for back issues; they also aren’t built to run long distances. This means incorporating exercise that is safe for them into their daily lives. Walks are great, as are games of fetch and obstacle/agility courses. Toys that play into their natural instincts will also offer plenty of fun and activity.

Featured Image Credit: In Green, Shutterstock

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Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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