How to prepare for a Dachshund puppy

4 June 2024 - 4 min read
Image of a Dachshund looking upwards

So, you're bringing a Dachshund pup home - we're excited for you! They're popular dogs, known for their courage, intelligence and, of course, adorable looks.

We've consulted Jacqueline Byrne, RVN, a trusted veterinary nurse here at ManyPets, to get her expert advice on Dachshund puppy care.

Research the Dachshund breed

Dachshund sitting with head tilted

Okay, this one is an obvious point, but it's one of the most important ones: you need to know all about Dachshunds before you get one. All dogs have their personalities, but breeds share some habits, like temperament and needs.

Research will help make the first few weeks smoother. You can prepare your home, create a training plan, accommodate your lifestyle to get ready.

For example, Jacqueline recommends getting ramps to access places like the sofa, car or bed. She also recommends barriers to stop your Dachshund from walking up or down the stairs. It helps reduce the chances of your puppy hurting their spine.

For research, our Dachshund fact file will have everything you need, from temperament to health issues.

Dachshund characteristics

  • Intelligence: Dachshunds are very clever (sometimes not for their own good). But it makes them wonderful, surprising companions.

  • Playful: Thanks to their intelligence, they're great dogs to play with, and they can be natural entertainers once you gain their trust.

  • Active: Originally bred for badger hunting, Dachshunds keep their active lineage alive. They love outdoor activities.

  • Loyalty: Dachsunds are fiercely loyal to their owners. They're ideal if you want a fully committed dog for you and your family.

Jacqueline advises that training can get a little difficult, but patience pays off:

"Thanks to their intelligence, can come across as headstrong, courageous little dogs. It can make training difficult, but be consistent and patient, and it'll pay off."

Owning a Dachshund: essential supplies

Cute dachshund pet lies in dog bed at dog-friendly hotel looking at camera. Black domestic friend relaxes in room on vacation close view

Here's a list of essential Dachshund supplies:

Food and water bowls

We recommend getting a smaller bowl, especially if you have a Miniature Dachshund. Some owners like to use raised bowls to lower impact on their spine, but a lot depends on your dog, its size and what it likes.

They can get a little food-obsessed. A slow-feeder bowl might help prevent overfeeding and stop your pup from inhaling their food.

High-quality puppy food

We recommend picking puppy food for small breeds rich in protein and healthy fats. Both of these macronutrients are essential for pet growth.

Do remember that they're prone to overfeeding and obesity, so we recommend knowing a thing or two about pet nutrition.

Your vet can help you pick a good brand that suits your dog.

Comfortable bedding

You may need some trial and error with this one. Dachshunds are a little particular with their sleeping space, and they'll let you know if they dislike their bed.

A lot depends on your Dachshund's size. Small, wirehaired breeds may prefer a smaller bed, while bigger Dachshunds are better off with a medium-sized bed to stretch out on.

Some owners recommend orthopaedic beds since Dachshunds are prone to spine problems like IVDD.

Leash and harness

A properly fitted harness for Dachshunds is essential. It helps reduce the strain on their neck and back, which is important given their predisposition to IVDD and other spine problems.

Read our guide on picking a harness and training a dog on one.

Identification tags

ID tags can help identify your dog if they get lost. Of course, they'll have a microchip, but this can help minimise stress and help find your dog faster.

Make sure you get one that's easily legible with engraved contact information (your dog's name and your address).

Dachshund accessories and grooming tools

All dogs need regular grooming to stay healthy and happy. Our article on dog grooming can help point you in the right direction if you're lost.

Grooming frequency depends on your puppy. Jacqueline mentions that "long and smooth-haired varieties that shed requiring grooming more than once a week", so getting familiar with dog grooming will help.

We list some of the main grooming tools to look out for below:

  • The right brush: This largely depends on what type of Dachshund you have. This may be a slicker brush, pin brush, bristle brush or a grooming mitt. These remove loose hair and dirt from the skin. Long-haired Dachshunds will need weekly brushing.

  • Gentle puppy shampoo and conditioner (optional): You should learn to bathe your puppy early. You won't need to bathe your Dachshund too often - every four to six weeks should be fine or even longer. But when you do wash them, make sure you pick a puppy-safe, hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner that's right for their coat.

  • Nail clippers: You should know how to cut dog nails before your Dachshund arrives. Long nails can become an issue; they'll get uncomfortable and may cause injury. Pick a trimmer for small dogs, and always ask your vet or groomer if you're unsure about the technique. Do note: this can be a difficult process and takes some trial and error.

  • cleaning solution and cotton balls: Clean your dog's ears frequently to stop infections. Make sure you read our guide on ear cleaning, don't clean too deeply into the ear and always consult your veterinarian if you're unsure.

Dachshund toys and enrichment

Dachshunds love toys, but honestly, they enjoy the great outdoors a little more. Jacqueline says they "particularly enjoy digging, chasing, and burrowing due to their background as sporting dogs to hunt badgers."

But it's important to remember not to let your Dachshund out too early when they're a puppy.

Sometimes, they need some extra mental stimulation. Examples include:

  • Interactive toys: These can keep your clever Dachshund mentally stimulated. Things like puzzle feeders and dispensing toys help with positive reinforcement and problem solving.

  • Chew toys: These help significantly with dental health, and come in a variety of materials and designs. It also helps reduce anxiety with chewing. We recommend smaller chew toys suitable for the jaw size. Make sure your Dachshund doesn't destroy the toys into smaller pieces that become choking hazards.

  • Comfort toys: These are classic cuddly toys that give your Dachshund a sense of warmth and security. It can help with a dog getting used to their new home, but make sure it doesn't have any choking hazards or toxic chemicals.

  • Toys for outdoor play: As mentioned, Dachshunds feel at home in the great outdoors, so we recommend getting some outdoor toys to play fetch with.

Our article on the best toys for puppies can help.

Dachshund safety and travel accessories

Travelling with your dog can get stressful, but preparing ahead of time is key. Our article on the things to consider before going away with a pet can help. But you should also consider these travel accessories:  

  • Crate or carrier: This needs to be the right size, with enough room for your Dachshund to move around comfortably. We recommend a high-quality crate to keep your dog secure.

  • Ramp: As mentioned earlier, Jacqueline recommends a ramp to help your Dachshund into the car to reduce strain on their back.

  • Cooling travel mat: This can help keep your Dachshund nice and cool when travelling in hot weather.

  • Seat belt harness: The Highway Code says you need to keep your dog safe when travelling by car. We recommend always picking a seatbelt and harness that has passed third-party tests, and looking for one that's suited for small breeds or Dachshunds specifically.

  • Portable water bowl and travel food container: These help keep your dog hydrated and fed during long journeys.

  • Pet first-aid kit: We recommend preparing a first-aid kit before setting off with things like gauze pads and antiseptic wipes. Our dog first aid article can help here.

Dachshund training aids

Mess dachshund puppy was left at home alone, started making a mess. Pet tore up furniture and chews home slipper of owner. Baby dog is sitting in the middle of chaos, gnawed clothes, looks piteously.

We've already mentioned how intelligent Dachshunds are and how quickly they pick up on things. While this can cause pesky behaviour at times, it means they're very responsive to positive reinforcement training.

Your Dachshund training pack should include:

  • Treats - to help with positive reinforcement.

  • Clicker (optional) - some dogs respond well to clicker training.

  • Training pads - help with housebreaking.

  • Puppy gates - to stop your puppy wandering off and prevent them from walking up and down the stairs.

  • Online resources and books - like our dog lifestyle and training guides.

Prepare with Dachshund insurance

Of course, puppy insurance helps you and your Dachshund prepare.

Our Dachshund insurance helps owners like you stay well-prepared throughout your pup's whole life, from young to old.

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Ben Newman
Editorial Content Lead

Ben is a writer and editor with years of experience in insurance. After spending a long time creating content for some of Britain's biggest brands as part of a marketing agency, Ben began to focus on insurance and hasn't looked back since. When he's not consuming copious cups of tea, you can find him reading a book, daydreaming about having an Australian Shepherd and shouting at Liverpool on the TV.