Whether your Dachshund is an adult or a puppy, this article covers just how much exercise they need on a daily basis. Plus a few extra trips and tricks to know!
Dachshunds need about 35-50 minutes of exercise per day. Although Dachshunds are small, they still love to be active and will appreciate a decent walk as well as additional playtime throughout the day.
I’ll cover exactly how much puppies need below, as it’s a little different from adult Doxies.
How Much Exercise Does a Dachshund Need?
Adult dachshunds (over 1 year) need around 35-50 minutes of exercise per day. Dachshunds are active little monsters and despite their small size love chasing their ball and running around.
It’s also important, however, not to overexercise your Dachshund. This can easily happen with their short little legs and it’s something that must be avoided. Dachshunds are prone to back problems is they’re pushed too hard during physical exercise.
How Much Exercise Does a Dachshund Puppy Need?
For every month of age your Dachshund puppy has, give him 5 minutes of dedicated exercise/walking per day. So when your puppy is 2 months of age, you give 10 minutes of exercise per day, at 3 months, it becomes 15 minutes per day.
|2 Months old||10 Minutes per day|
|3 Months old||15 Minutes per day|
|4 Months old||20 Minutes per day|
|5 Months old||25 Minutes per day|
|6 Months old||30 Minute per day|
|7 Months old||35 Minutes per day|
|8 Months old||40 Minutes per day|
(physical growth slows down after around 8 months)
|9 Months old||45 Minutes per day|
|10 Months old||50 Minutes per day|
When do you start this exercise program?
Breeders should not be selling puppies to the public before 8 weeks old, so if you come across a breeder who is trying to sell you a puppy younger than 8 weeks, treat that as suspicious and move on. At 8 weeks old your puppy is 2 months, so you can start this routine then.
How long should you follow this routine?
So until what age should you follow this exercise plan for… Well, the safest guideline is to follow the 5-minute rule until fully grown which is usually around the 10-month mark. Once your Dachshund is around 1 year of age, you can start exercising him as an adult.
Dedicated Exercise vs Indirect Exercise
So far we have been mentioning the term “dedicated exercise” so it’s important to explain that before moving on.
● Indirect exercise:
Indirect exercise consists of all other physical activity he engages in throughout the day. This includes everything from walking room to room, chasing his ball, and interacting with you. While all of this counts as exercise, it’s hard to track it, and it’s not the same as dedicated exercise.
● Dedicated exercise:
Dedicated exercise consists of walking your puppy properly on a leash. It’s important to expose your puppy to the leash and collar early as you are better able to establish good walking habits.
Before your puppy wears himself out for the day with indirect exercise, it’s a good idea to run through your dedicated exercise routine near the start of the day. This gives you a chance to practice walking on a leash, and you’ll be able to follow the exercise plan accordingly.
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Why Follow This Exercise Plan?
You may be wondering why such a plan is necessary? There’s a good reason so read on below…
All puppies go through crucial growth and development stages during the first year of their life. Throughout this time their bones, joints, ligaments, and general strength are continuously developing and are not yet ready for too much physical impact.
That’s why it’s important not to over-exercise a young puppy that’s still developing. Putting too much stress on his body early on will likely result in injury.
The growth and development stage is one of the reasons why puppies sleep so much. Resting allows their body to grow as it should, so despite how much we want to play and take our pups out for walks, we must limit it.
Dachshund Puppy Growth Timeline
● In the first 6 months: Your Dachshund puppy will be growing the most throughout this time so rest and recovery will be a crucial part of their day. Their bones, joints, and ligaments will be at their most fragile.
● The next 6 months to 1 year: Your Dachshund puppy will still be growing, but it will be at a slower rate, until around 10 months to 1 year when their adult height will be reached.
● 1 to 2 years: Although your Dachshund will be at his full height, he’ll continue to gain muscle mass and fill out in weight until around 2 years of age.
Taking Your Dachshund Puppy Outside For Exercise
Taking your Dachshund puppy outside goes hand in hand with exercise, but as you know, puppies can’t just go outside from any age.
Veterinarian guidelines state that puppies should not venture outside in public spaces until 2 weeks after their last round of vaccinations. For most puppies, this will be around 14-16 weeks of age, depending on when they started their vaccines.
Before this point, you should not visit public places like the park, as your Dachshund puppy is at greater risk of catching a range of diseases from various bacteria and germs.
Exercising Dachshund Puppies Before Vaccinations
You may be wondering, at 16 weeks of age my puppy is already 4 months old and requires 20 minutes of dedicated exercise per day! So where can you do this up until this point?
Private yards away from public walkways are typically safe for your puppy to go in before his vaccinations are over. Some people agree with this and others do not, and it’s been a hot topic for debate for years.
If you’re aware that your private yard doesn’t have other animals living close by, isn’t located close to public paths and you don’t use harsh chemicals for gardening purposes (weed killer), then it’s most likely fine. Just keep your puppy located inside a pen, on a clean patch of grass away from shrubs and bushes.
Socializing Your Dachshund Puppy Before 16 Weeks Old
Socializing your Dachshund puppy from a young age is crucial for a well-behaved, friendly, and non-aggressive dog later on in life. One of the most common causes of aggression or aloof behavior in dogs is a lack of socializing during puppyhood.
According to veterinarians and dog behavioral experts, the ideal time to start socializing a puppy is 7-18 weeks. So you may be wondering how it’s possible to do this before 16 weeks of age.
Fortunately, socializing your puppy around other dogs in the safety of your home or someone else’s home is fine. As long as the other dogs have finished their vaccines, is in perfectly good health, and isn’t aggressive towards puppies, socializing can go ahead from 7 weeks old.
Meeting new dogs, new people and even going for a ride in the car, all count as socializing and expanding their world-experience. But of course, nothing beats getting up close and sniffing around another canine, so try to make this a priority.
After 16 Weeks Old
Whenever your puppy reaches 2 weeks past his last round of vaccinations, he’s ready to go out into the big wide world and spread his paws!
This is a wonderful moment for any young puppy and his senses are finally going to experience unlimited smells, sounds, and sights. His nose will be glued to the floor and he won’t know where to run next!
The sight of other dogs and the sounds of birds will charge his social desires and energy. Visiting the dog park for the first time is truly a wonderful moment for any puppy.
Just be conscious of other dogs and always monitor how your Dachshund is acting. The first time in the park may even prove too overwhelming for him, so be prepared to pick him up, head back home, and return another day.
Remember that he’s only 4 months at this point and should still follow the dedicated exercise plan to avoid over-exercising.
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Dachshunds Should Always Avoid Jumping
Before finishing the article, it’s crucial to point out that Dachshunds should avoid jumping. Which also happens to be a natural part of chasing their ball while out on their walks.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a condition that affects the spine. This condition happens when the cushioning discs in the vertebrae start to bulge or even burst due to compression. This can cause a lot of pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. And it can be caused by jumping and landing.
Due to the Dachshund’s physical build (small legs and long back) jumping up just isn’t an activity that their body and spine can handle. So it’s important for you to discourage and prevent your puppy from jumping (as much as possible).
Unfortunately, your Dachshund doesn’t know all of this, and to him, jumping up is a normal reaction to chasing his ball when it bounces.
As a responsible dog owner, it will be up to you to walk and play with him in such a way to avoid him jumping.
So there you have it! Your Dachshund puppy will need around 5 minutes of dedicated exercise per day, per month of age they have. At 2 months old he will need 10 minutes per day, and at 3 months old he’ll need 15 minutes per day, and so on.
Always be conscious that your puppy needs as much rest and downtime as he can get, in order to let his physical body grow properly without injuries.
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