Dachshunds are an elongated dog breed with a unique stature. Also referred to as wiener dogs, the dachshund has a longer body and stubby legs. Similar to the corgi, the dachshund is not suited for jumping and requires a special method to be picked up. Dachshunds are adorable dogs that make excellent companions with their affectionate nature, but caring for these dogs takes extra care. You can’t hold a dachshund or pick one up the same way you would other dog breeds with a regular body length.
We will take a look at the correct way to hold, pick up, and cradle a dachshund.
Pick Up Your Dachshund Safely
You can’t simply pick up doxies by the armpits the way you would other dogs. The right method requires even pressure distributed throughout his body. You shouldn’t lift your dachshund up from one end and let his lower body hang. Doing so will put undue strain on your Weiner dog’s spine. You should cradle your dachshund’s chest and abdomen with your hands and lift him up that way.
If your Doxies as much support as possible dispersed throughout the length of their bodies. If your dachshund is small enough, you can lift him up with one arm. Just slide your forearm under the length of his body, preferably between his chest, and lift up that way. Once you have your fur baby in your arms, you must still remember to keep his entire body supported.
Cradling Your Dachshund
We all like to cradle our household companions, especially if they are small enough. it gives us a closer proximity to talk to them face to face and give them comfort. To properly hold a dachshund in a cradling position, you must start by picking him up the right way. We would advise against transitioning from the ground directly into the cradling pose simply because there is less control.
Once you are holding your dachshund, hold his body against yours with one arm threaded through his legs supporting his body. You can then use your other hand to place slight pressure on your Doxie’s back and use your supporting arm to turn him around, eventually using your other hand as the support against your body.
Putting Your Dachshund Down
With other dogs, we simply lower them to the ground back legs first, much like a human child. This cannot be done with a dachshund as it will lead to back problems. With your Dachshund, you need to lower him gently to the ground, with all four legs touching down at the same time. You must do so with great care and control, keeping your dog level all the way through. Don’t let go of his body until he is stably on the ground.
Preventing Back Problems
Watch His Weight
Back problems will manifest in your dachshunds not only due to the way they are picked up and held but also how much they exercise and their weight as well. You must be able to feel your dachshund’s ribs through his skin and fur to be considered optimal. If you can see his ribs clearly, then your dog may be underweight. Conversely, if you cannot feel the outline of his ribs, then he may need to shed a few pounds.
This is a generalization, you should still consult with your vet for a clearer picture of your dog’s health. While being overweight isn’t healthy for any dog breed, it’s more detrimental for dachshunds because it puts strain on their spines. You should not be able to see a protruding stomach, and it definitely should not touch the ground.
Imagine doing a plank, but strap something heavy around your waist. It would take much more effort to keep your midsection off the ground. The same logic pertains to an overweight dachshund. His spine will be working overtime just to keep his belly above ground.
No Excessive Jumping
Unfortunately, you shouldn’t let your dachshund jump on and off your furniture. You will need to train these wiener dogs to stay off your couch and bed without being offered access. Hopping on and off higher places can also put stress on their backs. The same goes for stairs and anything of a height greater than a few inches.
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There are a few things to keep in mind when you hold your dachshund or pick him up. They have longer bodies, so you should never pick him up via his armpits or by the upper body. It doesn’t matter how you pick up your dachshund, as long as he is fully supported and every part of his body leaves the ground at the same time. Keep your dog stable the whole way through and keep his body close to yours.
You have to set your dachshund down gently, making sure all four legs are touching the ground before letting go. You shouldn’t drop them to the ground, even if it’s done levelly. It doesn’t matter if you’re an inch off or a foot off the ground, dropping them from a distance will put a lot of stress on your dachshund’s legs and back.
Your dog may squirm or twist during the pickup, but you shouldn’t let him. You have to lift him in a calm way, and don’t do it so suddenly you startle him. If you don’t have a stable hold or you notice his back is twisting or slipping, place your dog down on the ground and start again.
If your dog feels any sort of discomfort when you are holding him or picking him up, he will vocalize it. Usually, your dachshund will whimper, cry, bark or growl. Any sort of signal for discomfort shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you know your dog is uncomfortable, place him back on the ground and try again.
IVVD in Your Dachshund
We’re learning to prevent back issues and back pain in your dachshund, but what happens if your dog develops spinal issues? IVVD, or Intervertebral Disc Disease, is a common issue in dachshunds. It’s when vertebrates in your dog’s spine calcified and deteriorate to the point of breaking or shattering upon movement. This is quite a scary health disorder that can render your Dachshund paralyzed.
It’s an issue that plagues dachshunds because of their short legs and long bodies. Unfortunately, it’s hard to prevent this problem from developing, especially if your dog is extra rambunctious. Most commonly, we see issues start to arise as soon as 3 years of age.
What happens if your dachshund has IVVD? The first symptoms will show as discomfort, which your dog won’t take quietly. You will most likely hear your dachshunds cry or remain eerily silent. He may also tremble, lose bladder control, refuse to move, and more. If you notice this, you must take your dog to the vet for an assessment. During the trip, restrict your dog’s movement as much as possible but still make sure he is comfortable.
Don’t worry, if it hasn’t gotten to the final stage, dachshunds can recover from IVVD, or at least partially. It requires a lot of rest and movement restriction. Make sure you hold your dachshund, pick him up, and put him down the right way.
We also suggest investing in platforms and slopes to help your dog’s mobility around the house. Always discourage your dachshund to jump or climb. Keep in mind that just because your dog has recovered, IVVD is a reoccurring issue, especially if you don’t take care of your dachshund.
Related: Caring for a Dachshund Puppy
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it bad to pick up a dachshund?
It’s not bad to pick up or lift a dachshund, it’s just more difficult. You must make sure you pick up your dachshund the right way to avoid injury. Support your dog’s body equally and lift up from his torso. Never pick up your dachshund the way you would any other dog- by the armpits. You should cradle your dog’s abdomen and chest and lift up at the same time.
If you lift a dachshund by his upper body, you risk injuring and putting unnecessary strain on his spine. Dachshunds are prone to IVVD, or Intervertebral Disc Disease, which can cause paralysis in more serious cases.
Do dachshunds like being picked up?
Dachshunds are very affectionate dogs by nature. Chances are your dachshund loves to be picked up and snuggled against you. However, you must learn how to hold your dachshund the right way to not injure him. It could cause your dog pain if you lift him the wrong way, so always support his entire body. If picking him up often causes your Doxie pain, then he may not like it after a while.
Are dachshunds cuddly?
Yes, they are. Doxies are very cuddly dogs that love companionship. They are people dogs, and love to be around humans. They love to give kisses, cuddles, snuggles and hugs. They will try almost any way to express their love for their humans. They are the type to bond with one person, but will love everyone in the household.
The “person” better be ready to give the dachshund all the love they deserve, because Doxies can get jealous very easily. If you pay too much attention to another pet in a multi-pet household, they can get a little envious. The same goes for humans too.
Why are dachshunds so clingy?
Dachshunds can be clingy by nature, especially when they find that one special person. They will want to be a part of everything the person does, and follow him or her around all day. Hunting dogs often exhibit clingier behavior, and this is because they are pack animals. They feel confident and safe within a pack, and the dachshund’s family is viewed as his pack. They aren’t clingy and needy per se, but more protective.
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Loving and protective by nature, the dachshund can also have a stubborn streak and display signs of jealousy. All of these tendencies can be very adorable, and we’re sure you would want your dachshund to be by your side, happy and healthy for as long as possible.
One way to ensure that is to learn how to take care of this elongated breed. Picking them up, setting them down, and holding them takes extra caution than with other dogs. Just remember to support their entire body and not to let go of them until they are standing firmly on the ground on all fours.
Did You Know?
Dachshunds are more diverse than a lot of dog owners realize. They have a variety of colors available and 3 different coat types. There are also 2 different sizes – the miniature and the standard dachshund.
Your dachshund can be a more courageous dog than others of its size. You may find them to be overprotective and bite off more than they can chew with a dog much larger, so keep your Doxie well trained.
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