6 Backpacks for Carrying Dachshunds Scrutinized

I’ve been searching forever for a safe backpack carry a Dachshund around the city or on a hike.

Note: although I was searching for a Dachshund carrier, the bags listed below will work as a small dog backpack carrier too.

I’ve seen almost every option available and tried several.

UPDATED: January 9, 2023

Almost all of the backpacks for carrying dogs I tried cause a Dachshund to sit upright, definitely or potentially (depending on the pack) putting stress on their fragile spine or causing then to sit in an abnormal position.

Even the backpacks that I think are safer for a Dachshund’s back are not ideal for a couple of reasons.

So what is one to do if they need a backpack to safely carry their Dachshund on a hike?

Unfortunately, Dachshund owners are left with having to choose between the lesser of evils.

Reasons Your Dachshund May Need to Be Carried

There are many reasons you may be looking for a Dachshund carrier backpack.

The top 5 reasons are below.

1) Senior Dogs Get Tired Easily

When my Dachshund Chester became a senior dog, he started to have trouble keeping up with us on walks and hikes.

His speed and mobility wasn’t what it used to be.

He had always lived a life of adventure though so I didn’t want to leave him home.

The best solution for us was to carry him along with us on hikes in a backpack.

2) Puppies May Not Be Ready

Besides needing their full round of shots before being exposed to germs on the trail, puppies will need to be carried on hikes until they are physically developed enough to hike themselves.

I started taking my puppy Summit with us as soon as her shots were finished. 

I brought her along in a hiking dog carrier so that she could start getting used to the sights, sounds, and smells of the woods.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I would occasionally set her down to sniff around and explore when we stopped for breaks.

When she was a little older, I would also let her “hike” a few hundred feet with us.

Because a puppy is smaller and has a shorter spine than an adult Dachshund, some bags that wouldn’t be safe for an adult Dachshund will work for puppies.

3) Pre-existing Injuries and Health Issues

Sometimes a dog is recovered enough from injury, or other health issue, to get out of the house but is still not physically up to hiking or walking long distances.

At least not for very long.

Carrying a dog recovering from an injury or illness still gives them mental stimulation, and can be helpful for reducing their energy/stress levels, while keeping them safe.

4) Your Dog Gets Tired

We all have to start somewhere.

Just like people, dogs need to get into hiking shape before doing long distances.

Any dog can get too tired on a hike, especially when they are still building up their fitness.

But maybe you don’t want to be stuck only doing short hikes until your Dachshund can hike further.

In that case, you can bring along a backpack that your dog can ride in when they start showing you they are too tired.

5) Emergencies

Of course, there is always a chance your dog could suffer an injury while hiking and need to be carried out.

I’ve had this happen.

Honestly, if it’s an emergency, I’m more concerned with carrying my dog out any way that I can so we can get help.

How safe the carrying mechanism is for my Dachshund’s back is way less of a concern in an emergency.

I’m not specifically addressing backpacks to carry your dog off the trail in an emergency in this article.

However, you can check out what I did the one time Chester hurt his feet and had to be carried out HERE.

What Makes a Backpack Safe for Carrying a Dachshund?

I used to work for a large outdoor retailer in the gear department so am a gear snob, and I have a Dachshund with back issues, and so I scrutinized the dog carriers for hiking listed in this article very closely.

In order for a dog carrier to work for hiking, I need it to be ok for my Dachshund’s back and also work for my needs.

The requirements for a backpack to be safe for a Dachshund’s back are:

  • Doesn’t hurt them while they are being carried
  • Is comfortable and secure so they don’t wiggle around and fall out
  • Doesn’t put stress on their spine (ie. ideal of they are laying horizontal and their body is fully supported)

Safety for my dogs is the first priority but I can’t use a backpack to carry my Dachshund on hikes if I can’t carry some of my own hiking gear too or it’s uncomfortable.

Ideally, a Dachshund-carrying backpack would also be:

  • Large enough to carry at least minimal hiking safety gear and snacks (I usually hike alone so there is no one else to carry the stuff)
  • Not so large that it’s cumbersome on the trail
  • Adjustable so I can fit the straps comfortably to my body
  • Have a waist belt to help distribute the wait I’m carrying to my hips

I evaluated many different Dachshund carrier backpacks against these criteria and listed what I think are the most viable options below.

Options for Carrying Your Dachshund in a Backpack

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means that I get a small commission on any qualified items you purchase. 

My Top Backpack Choices for Carrying a Dachshund

Timbuk2 Muttmover

The Timbuk2 Muttmover is my first choice for carrying a Dachshund, with a few catches.

I first discovered the Muttmover a few years ago and got excited about the carrier style.

Timbuk2 happily sent me one I could check it out.

Dachshund in a Timbuk2 Muttmover Dog BackPack
Timbuk2 Collage

Note: The photos above are for their original carrier but the new model positions the dog the same so I left them in the article for you to see.

The Timbuk2 dog backpack used to come in two models – the original Muttmover (shown above) and the Muttmover Light.

Both of the earlier models have been discontinued, but it’s possible you can find them on a closeout sale or used online, so I wanted to mention them.

The current Tumbuk2 dog dog backpack is called the Muttmover Luxe.

It’s a little larger than the original Muttmover so there is more room inside and it’s significantly smaller than the Muttmover Light so it’s not as cumbersome.

There are two different holes on the side of the pack – an upper and lower one.

The lower hole allows shorter dogs to comfortably stick their head out of the bag.

It also allows dogs to be carried horizontally across your back so that they are in a natural laying down position.

By laying sideways – instead of vertically – the bag offers even support along the length of a Dachshund’s spine.

The front panel on the backpack zips completely open to lay flat so your dog can easily step in instead of having to struggle to slide their body inside.

This is the best pack I have found so far for safely carrying a Dachshund for hiking.

So what is the catch?

The Muttmover is still not ideal for several reasons (it’s definitely more suited to walking around a city).

  • Although the shoulder strap length is adjustable, the width between them (where they connect to the backpack) is not and the straps are set a bit to narrow to be comfortable on a long, steep trail for me.
  • There is a waist strap but it’s just a strap of webbing, not a padded hip belt, so the bulk of the weight can’t be transferred from your shoulders to your hips well.
  • Although there are small pockets for snacks and a bit of water, there is not enough space to pack hiking necessities like an extra jacket, first aid kit, headlamp, and an other-than-cell-phone camera.

There are also a couple of other considerations about the pack to be aware of.

First, Even the low head hole was a bit too high for my Dachshund Chester.

He kept coughing because the fabric put pressure on his throat.

I put a towel in the bottom of the bag to raise him up and it was perfect but you may have to take this extra step.

Chester is about 14 inches long from his shoulder blades to base of tail.

The bag is 13.8 inches wide so I thought he would just fit. It turns out I didn’t think about his chest adding a couple of inches to his length.

He fits in the bag because the sides are flexible but it is a little snug for him.

If your dog is under 20 lbs, or is less than 14 inches from the front of the chest to butt, this backpack carrier will probably work for them.

In summary, the Timbuk2 Muttmover:

  • Allows a Dachshund to lay horizontally so it’s the safest option for their backs
  • Is 13.5 inches wide (ie, Max Dachshund length), 9.5 inches deep at the bottom, and 18.7 inches tall
  • Is ideal for Dachshunds weighing under 15 lbs (the max limit is 20 lbs.)
  • Has a hole on the side for your dog to stick their head out
  • Has a Ripstop Nylon fabric inside that is easy to wipe clean
  • Has a few small pockets, but they are only suitable for keys, wallet, snacks, and a few other small supplies
  • Includes collapsible, folding water dish for your pup
  • Has adjustable and removable sternum and waist straps

Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier Backpack

I thought the Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier backpack looked cool and had potential but I was concerned about it putting pressure on a Dachshund’s spine.

I decided to give it a try though and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Dachshund riding in a Kurgo G-train backpack

I bought the first version of the pack to try but Kurgo reached out and sent me the updated version before I had a chance to try it.

I heard that the first version had some issues with sagging against a person’s back under the weight of the dog.

The new version has two small stabilizer bars inside to make it more supportive.

I found the Kurgo G-train to be acceptable for carrying a Dachshund in our case.

Our case was hiking for less than an hour with a dog that weighed 11 lbs (and is 14 inches long from shoulders to base of tail).

Although the listed weight limit for the pack is 25 lbs, I have heard from people that the pack doesn’t perform quite as well, and the pack doesn’t potentially fit as well, for dogs that are over 16 lbs.

I can’t speak to that personally though.

Gretel was able to sit in the pack like she would at home – with all 4 paws on the floor – and seemed comfortable.

She didn’t squirm around until I set the pack down or stopped and she thought it was time to get out.

While she did start to slump a little inside the pack and lean against the side, the curve it created in her spine didn’t worry me much because she could easily reposition herself if she was uncomfortable.

It would be tight but I do feel like she could curl up inside the pack to sleep if she wanted (but I think she’s too worried about missing the action to not look out).

This video shows what it looks like inside and how she sits in there.

The backpack was comfortable for me to carry and had some space to carry other stuff inside.

It has a removable, washable pad in the bottom and a waist strap to help support the load.

However, there is not enough space to carry everything I would on a day hike.

I wouldn’t take this pack out for more than a 1-2 hour casual hike without bringing someone else with me that could carry the bulk of our supplies.

One thing to note is that the divider between the backpack compartment and your dog’s space is flexible so the more supplies you put in the back, the less space your dog has.

Again, this backpack is not 100% ideal but it’s one of the best options I’ve found for safely and effectively carrying a Dachshund.

It’s a significantly better option than the Muttmover for me but not for my Dachshund because she can’t lay horizontally in it to fully support her spine.

Still, I think it’s less harmful to the spine than some other options.

In summary, the Kurgo G-Train:

  • Is 12.9 inches wide (ie, Max Dachshund length), 10 inches deep at the bottom, and 21.7 inches tall
  • Is ideal for Dachshunds weighing under 16 lbs (the max limit is 25 lbs.)
  • Allows a Dachshund to support themselves by putting all 4 feet on the bottom
  • Has enough space inside that a Dachshund can shift their body into a comfortable position
  • Has a hole at the top for your dog to stick their head out and a mesh windows on one of the sides (although they are not useful if there is something in the pocket)
  • It has a removable, washable pad in the bottom and a waist strap to help support the load.
  • Is comfortable to wear
  • Has a separate compartment, and small pockets to carry more supplies and gear than the Muttmover (but still not as much as a true backpack)
  • Has an adjustable sternum and waist strap

Other Options I’ve tried and What I Think About Them

Your Regular Backpack

During one of our trips to Colorado, we had to carry Chester on the steep and rocky parts of the 14er mountains we hiked.

I posted a picture of my hubby carrying him in a regular backpack and a lot of people asked me about it.

Chester the Dachshund being carried in an Osprey Talon backpack

The pack was an Osprey Talon 44.

Carrying  your Dachshund in a regular backpack is not ideal. It’s what we had though so we made it work.

I put all of the stuff I needed for hiking in the bottom of the Osprey pack.

We stuffed a blanket in on top of our stuff and then we put another blanket on top of that and fluffed it so it created a bit of at a slope inside the pack.

When Chester laid on it, his upper body was propped up to peek out of the bag and his lower body rested against the other side of the pack.

Set up this way, it did offer a bit of back support.

However, I could see an obvious curve in his spine when he was sitting and his back seemed a little sore when we took him out.

It wasn’t ideal but it worked good enough for that trip.

You don’t know for sure until you try sometimes, but I wouldn’t carry an adult Dachshund again this way unless it was an emergency.

I would, however, consider carrying a small puppy this way.

The K9Sportsack

The K9 Sport Sack is probably the backpack I get asked about most by Dachshund owners.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I had my opinion about the dog backpack carrier but gave it a try anyway just to confirm my suspicions (they kindly sent me one to test out).

The original model was just a bag for your dog.

Later, seeing the need to be useful for hiking, K9Sportsack started developing other models that included various configurations of extra storage.

I’ll discuss those briefly at the end of this section but because all bags are based off the original model, and that is where your Dachshund will go, this analysis is for the dog-only carrying model.

The #1 thing about this backpack carrier – which is stating the obvious – is that a dog has to sit upright in the bag.

That position puts pressure on a Dachshund’s spine.

The bag is slim and fits close though so there is a bit of support in that a dog probably can’t completely slump down.

It does allow a curve in the spine though, which can become a pressure point.

There isn’t any significant support to the side of the bag but there is marginal support for the dog’s body if the wearer is leaned forward like when riding a bike.

I carried Chester in the K9 Sport Sack a few times and it did work.

He didn’t seem uncomfortable or seem more sore after.

Dachshund laying on the ground in a K9Sportsack backpack after a hike

The longest I carried him in it was 2 hours though.

I think the K9 Sport Sack could work for some Dachshunds.

Well, I know it does because I know a few people who use it.

I personally would not recommend this backpack to carry a Dachshund, and would never use it to carry a Dachshund that has IVDD or prior back problems (the couple people I know that use it said their dog never has).

In fact, when I recently talked with a brand representative at the Superzoo pet product trade show, he agreed that a Dachshund should only ride in this pack for an hour or so because of the back issue.

However, I’m including it on this list since I know several Dachshund owners that use it for short hikes and scooter rides and really like it.

The original design of the K9 Sport Sack, now called the Air, had no way to carry your things in addition to your dog.

The company has since developed several options that make this pack more useful for hiking and longer adventures.

Three options to add storage to this pack are:

  • Buy the PLUS model that has a small backpack attached to the outside
  • Buy the Knavigate with a compartment attached to the bottom of the pack, internal frame, and added hip belt.

Kurgo K9 Rucksack

This backpack is similar to the Kurgo G-Train in regard to how your dog sits in it – they can support themselves by sitting on all fours.

It doesn’t have the fiberglass supports like the G-train so the bottom is more likely to sag under weight but I didn’t have an issue with an 11 lb. dog inside.

This bag isn’t among one of my top picks because it provides very little extra storage.

Since I was primarily searching for a backpack to carry a dog while hiking, that rules this one out for me.

However, it would be perfectly fine when walking around an urban area.

Ruff Rescue Gear Sling

I get asked a lot about the Ruff Rescue Pup Traveler small dog carrier too.

The company claims it’s “IVDD safe” but I’m not sure I agree.

Yes, it holds a Dachshund horizontally but I have a few reservations.

Regardless, I’m discussing it here because readers have asked my opinion and it’s the only Dachshund front carrier that I think is even remotely remotely safe for a Dachshund’s back (unlike a dog in a Baby Bjorn).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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To be fully transparent, I haven’t tried the Ruff Rescue Pup Traveler myself so I can’t give a first-hand analysis.

However, I’ve tried enough backpacks for carrying Dachshunds that I can spot potential issues when I see them in a photo.

It’s great that it allows a Dachshund to lay horizontally, and supports the core of their body.

There are extensions that help support the chest (harness-like piece) and rear (sling-like piece).

I’ve seen some photos with it being worn on the front with the person also wearing a backpack.

I’m happy to see there is potential to use a regular backpack with this.

My main reservation is that a dog can’t move around in it to adjust themselves and it looks like it causes their legs to be held in an unnatural position.

I do think this dog carrier sling has a potential, and I may try it out myself sometime, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it to carry a Dachshund at this point.

I think it’s a viable option to be carried in your pack and used as emergency evacuation tool, although it’s bigger and bulkier than similar dog rescue slings on the market.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, I am very picky, and carefully scrutinize any dog carrier backpacks that look like they might work for Dachshunds, so I haven’t found the perfect solution yet.

However, I do think all of the packs I’ve listed are some variation of “might be good enough” for your dog and use.

Sadly, the dream bag I covet does not exist. Well, not yet anyway.

I’m currently working on assembling my ideal Dachshund carrier backpack from several different parts and bags.

If I ever finish it, I will come back and write DIY instructions for it.

I’ve been asked many times why I don’t sketch and manufacture my own Dachshund carrier backpack to sell but I don’t think people realize how much time and money goes into that.

Time and money I absolutely do not have.

So unless, by some miracle, a brand finds me and agrees to work with me as a designer, while providing all the funding and manufacturing behind it, it’s just not going to happen.

If you know any rich investors who love Dachshunds let me know. Ha, ha.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.

89 Comments

  1. I have been using the outward hound pack to carry Roxy for a few years now. She loves it, and it’s easy to carry. But, It wouldn’t work for a long hike if I needed to carry stuff for me. I have had an idea in my head as a solution for all this, but need to find a company that could make one. For now, I carry Roxy in a shoulder type bag that works while carrying my backpack too. (Actually Al does the carrying)

  2. I think you should design one yourself. There are alot of small dog/dachshund owners that would love a bag to fit their fur baby.

    1. Agreed, you can always sell your design to a company like K9 or Petco and take a percentage of the profits from retail sales. Its called a royalty payment.

    2. Specially for those dog who suffer from ivdd, we would love for u to design a bag that are safe for long torso dogs like dashshunds and dog with ivdd.

  3. Thank you for continuing to search for backpacks for our little doxies. Madison broke a tiny bone in her toe 3 weeks ago so we are out for 3 more weeks. I was hoping to have found something by now. Nothing I have tried works and she is depressed from having to stay home. We were in trouble with the Vet last week because we were sneaking her around the block for short walks…I take her where I can (Santa Fe area is dog friendly) but have to carry her in one arm which is not ideal and she does not really like it either. Soon we’ll start fall higher elevation hiking trips. I am worried she’ll have lost a degree of fitness and won’t be able to go the distance so I need something soon! Trying baby slings next week…

  4. We also have 2 doxies. We use a day pack like the Osprey you pictured. They are happy in it. A little padding on the bottom, and they are fine. They don’t move very much and are happy to be up higher. We don’t keep them in there to long. Most bags are for one dog, which is a problem. One of us will carry the girls and the other carriers the pack with the extras.

  5. This is a great info. I am not am avid hiker but I am planning to start hiking with my shih tzu. He is 20 lbs, short legs and short snouts. I am looking for one too. He likes being carry in the backpack. I bought an Osprey Celeste 29 daypack last year and carry him in it for hiking around Yosemite Valley floor. What do you think of modifying a child back carrier that Osprey also have?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Novie – I’ve seen people modify the child carriers and they work good enough. I think the key is to pad it somehow so the dog isn’t sitting straight up and down and putting a lot of weight on it’s spine.That’s especially bad for long-backed dogs like my Dachshunds but I image it’s not the best for other dogs either. In your case, I am not sure that would gain you a lot anyway. It’s might be a better framework for carrying an uneven load but it will also really limit what you can carry (I am assuming you can at least fir some other things in the backpack besides the dog). As I said, I, Unfortunately, haven’t found the perfect solution for carrying a dog while hiking yet.

      1. I have a mini dachshund, about 8lbs. What I am beginning to craft a HIKING backpack starting with just a frame. I think I can get my Sleepypod on the bottom as an interim solution, then attach a different pod onto of it to the frame. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

        Thanks!
        Lee

  6. So glad I found this site!! I don’t have a dachshund but I am planning a hiking trip this summer with my small dog. She is certainly small but she has never-ending energy and just loves to explore outdoors, I can’t imagine going on this trip without her but there are so many people that insist hiking with her is not “appropriate” because of her size; it is wonderful to read your reviews and stories about successful small dog hiking 🙂 I am having a problem right now figuring out a solution for carrying her should it get to be too much at any point…I was thinking to just stack up blankets in my regular hiking backpack such that she could sit comfortably and then could have the head out the top (with a strap sewn in that could connect to the harness to keep her from hopping out). Have you tried that or have some other advice? Any thoughts on this kind of solution? The timbuk2 pack looks interesting but I agree with you, it doesn’t seem to be built for comfortable long and overnight hikes…

    1. That’s what I listed as one of the options – to put blankets or towels in your regular pack and carry your dog in there. It’s not the best solution for long dogs but it’s about one the best ones I’ve found for real hiking. I do carry a REI Flash 18 back for :emergency evacuation” if needed. It’s small and lightweight so it’s not a big deal to carry in my pack. If I need to, I can put it on backwards and carry one of the dogs on my front like a baby 🙂 Again, that is not ideal either but it’s better then trying to carry them for miles in my arms. It’s surprising how heavy a 11 lb dog can get over even a mile! Hope you find something that works for you guys.

    2. I have learned having a dachshund and walking her on the beach that anyone can have opinions about her leg length versus mine. They never once have been able to say that her tongue is hanging out because she’s hot or overworked. She’s about 7 in at the shoulder and we do anywhere from 3-5 mi a day and she runs most of it. Generally my reply is simple and to the point. Thanks for your input & Have a nice day.
      Unfortunately I am on the site because 6 years ago my ex let her jump off the couch onto a new laminate floor. It didn’t require surgery but it did require meds and 4 months off her paws. With the the exception of potty time which was limited to a small area.
      2 weeks ago I was picking her up to put her in the car and she yipped. I was really hoping with all the muscles strength she had to avoid this kind of situation. She had surgery a week and a half ago. So here I am looking for the best carrier for her when we can begin walking the beach or going to the intercoastal so she can swim as part of her rehab.

  7. Thank you so much for this post I bought my mini Weiner blu the mut mover from timbuk2 and she loves it we went to Redding for a week wish I could upload a photo. I folded a towel on the bottom and she stuck her head through the top larger hole and it was super comfortable for me as well recommend for everyone!

  8. I hiked in June with my 15 lb Dixie who had back surgery December 2015. I have looked and tried several packs that would allow her to lay horizontal. I finally bought a Kelty redwing 50 backpack. It zips open on the top instead of a cord closure with a top piece that closes over it. I put my sleeping bag in the bottom and place her on top. She was clipped in with her harness. My hiking partner packed the tent, etc for an overnight hike. We carried close to the same weight. She hiked 2.5 miles out of 8 the first day and 2 ish of 5 miles the second day. We had to hike up a steep rock section which she was zipped in. The blessing of this pack is how it opens on top and the waist belt to carry the load. IMG_3919.JPG

    1. That’s great that you found a “regular” pack that will work to carry her. I’ll be meeting with Kelty in a couple of weeks and will be seeing their new products. Knowing that one of their packs worked for you, I will pay extra attention to see if there are any of their packs I would recommend to my readers.

  9. Hello ! My name is Charly, I am 9 years old, I had bad problems with my back, half of my body stop working for less or more 15 days, and now i walk again but I am “lame”. On the first photo, you can see my sherpa, and my “sweet home” when i go for a walk, specially for hollidays in Austria. http://miamigocharly.canalblog.com
    Have a nice week end everybody !!

  10. I have a 12 pounds dog and i find the perfect backpack for long hikes.. the only problem its a bit big but really confirtable its made by tough traveler its dog oerch backpack its expensive but will last forever….check it out

    1. Hi Julie. I assume that is supposed to say dog “perch” backpack. I have a very similar model. Unfortunately, it still requires that a Dog sit upright on their bum, which can cause a Dachshund’s spine to form a curve and put pressure on it. I am very, very picky about that, especially since I found out that Gretel has IVDD. There seems to be no ideal solution though since almost every “dog holder” pack out there is designed for them to sit up. The ones that don’t aren’t suitable for hiking long distances. Since Chester is getting too old to hike far now, we’ll need to come up with a solution so I might look into this pack again as “a lesser of evils”. Do you use this pack for a Dachshund?

  11. I use it for my 12 pounds yorkipoo.. i disn’t use it so much because i always bring him in case my dog will need it when we hike and at the end of it he wasn’t tired… i use it around the house for walks and practice my dog the be inside…….

    1. Hi Kristy. I have not. At least not any I would be comfortable carrying my dogs in (because I can just tell it’s not safe on their back or I haven’t tried it). My friend uses the K9 Sportack for her Dachshund. She said he’s pretty long too. However, the dog still sits the dog upright on their spine when inside the bag. My friend uses it when she’s on a bike so, when she leans forward, her back helps support her dog. Her dog has never had any back issues. Her and I have talked and agreed it might not be the best idea for a Dachshund that’s ever had back issues. Still, I may try and get a hold of one to try. Check them out and see what you think. We did try the Ruffit Carrier but it was definitely not good for Chester’s back (caused it to bend in all sorts of weird ways)… in case you run across that one and are wondering. Good luck.

      1. Thanks Jessica! My problem right now is the freezig cold temperatures. My Oliver wont go outside for more than 2 minites before falling onto his side and holding his comd feet up and I feel AWFUL leaving him at home when he’s used tk walking every day. I figured a warm backlack would work, or a snowsuit with feet. I’ve considered a stroller, but then in tbe summer I want to have something for hikes. So frustrating!

        1. It definitely sounds like he needs a snow suit/jacket and possibly some boots. Holding his feet up means that they are too cold. A dog can tolerate a lot of cold and heat changes in their feet but they tell you when it’s too much by picking them up. This article I recently wrote on boots might help you. The link in the article to another one I wrote on sizing also talks about how to help get your dog used to boots. http://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/does-my-small-dog-need-to-wear-boots-in-the-snow/. Also, here is a link to my favorite jackets for Dachshunds. The ones from Hurtta are the best for winter. http://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/good-jackets-list/

          The K9 Sportsack I mentioned is not insulated. It would help block the wind and he should be fine if he’s wearing a jacket inside.

      2. Did you try the K9 sportsack yet? Curious what you think. We love hiking with our 14lb dachshund but sometime the terrain is a little rough. We’re still looking for options.

        1. I haven’t yet. I’ve seen it in person and seriously doubt it would be a safe solution because a dog still has to sit upright. And I seriously doubt it would be a good solution for hiking because you can’t carry anything else besides that. However, my friend uses it to ride a scooter with her Dachshund and loves it. Her and I have discussed the back safety issue. Her dog has never had a back injury, and does not have IVDD that she knows of, so she feels ok with any risk. That being said, I want to really try it before I can say whether I think it’s a good solution or not so I will be doing that soon.

    1. I have not. I already have a pack I like for carrying Chester or Gretel around the city (Timbuk2 Muttmover). I’m only on the hunt for one that I would use to carry them on hikes. While the concept of this one is great, it’s too big and bulky to use for hiking (for me anyway). Also, the straps down’t look super secure for going over rough and steep terrain. It doesn’t look like a bad option for just around town though.

      1. I just discovered your blog and feel like we’re looking for the same kind of backpack. For the past 5 years, I’ve been backpacking with my 11 lb rescue poodle mix and he’s great! This winter we decided to rescue a toy poodle mix to join us on our adventures. One month later she was diagnosed with IVDD, (after a quick trip to the hospital due to her pain and leg function. ) After a month of crate rest and meds, she is recovering nicely but for many other reasons, I do think I will be mostly carrying her while backpacking. I’m looking for something to either carry on the front of me, since my backpack is pretty full already for 4-5 night trips, or something else to attach to the top of my existing Osprey pack. It’s very important to me her spine is aligned properly while I’m carrying her in the pack. I’ll keep checking for any updates you or anyone else comes up with that might help. Thanks for such an informative site to visit. I would say, maybe I’ll see ya on the trails sometime, but we’re typically near home around the Appalachians:)

        1. Hi Joy. Yes, that is exactly what I am looking for too. So you understand my dilemma. Ha, ha. The newest backpack I want to try out is the K9 Sportsack. My friend uses it for her Dachshund and loves it. However, her dog has never had any back issues and the bag does still require that the dog sit upright. Someday, maybe a perfect design will come to me and I can patent it and get rich. Ha, ha. Do let me know if you end up finding something that works. If I do, I will be so over the moon about it that I will shout it from the “rooftop”… the rooftop being this blog anyway 😉

  12. I have been known to use different baby carriers to pack my doxies around in. My dog Charlie has to have his head out and be able to look around. He hates to be confined.

  13. I can’t believe we all cannot find a good backpack! I am looking too. I go on day hikes and Rosie, at 11, is letting me know that sometimes enough is enough. Need one. Have one in which she sits upright. certainly NOT ideal. I will keep looking.

    1. It’s SO frustrating. We ended up not using it because our trip got cut short, but I created my own from a bunch of different backpack components for Chester. I’ll definitely add it to this article if we use it a few times and it works.

  14. My 12-year old long-haired doxie, Sophie, has had a rough two years. First, she ruptured a disc and had emergency surgery, then we lost our 17-year old smooth coat dachshund, Maya. That was especially hard on Sophie. She was then diagnosed with a para-thyroid tumor and had it surgically removed. Finally, earlier this year she went blind due to PRA.
    No matter what has been thrown at her, Sophie has remained the sweetest most loving pup, although I could see her displaying some depression. We have learned a lot about patience and tolerance and include Sophie in most of our adventures. She is still very reluctant to go for walks so I recently bought a front carrier to go on walks with me. It has changed her whole demeanor. She WANTS to be outside and take in the smells and noises she has missed. It’s a beautiful thing to see Sophie making her needs known.
    I need to replace the ‘front pack’ because it honestly hurts me to carry her as she is a hefty, but gorgeous, 17-lbs. I also thought about the K9 Sports Sack but her back issues have kept me from ordering one. I am looking at strollers but fear introducing a new method of transportation will confuse and frighten her.
    I am 65-years old, in good health but not the strongest women. I want to meet Sophie;s need for adventure but I am overwhelmed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Judy. Finding the right carrier is a challenge for sure. I am not aware of a carrier that would fit a 17 lb. Dachshund and also adequately protect their back. What’s available is pretty much a whole spectrum of compromise. Have to tried a sling? This one looks like it would work for larger dogs http://amzn.to/2xJ9kPf (this is an affiliate link so I would get a small finders fee if you purchased). I know I definitely couldn’t use a sling for hiking or an all-day endeavor though because it puts the weight only on one shoulder. We have this stroller http://amzn.to/2xRKG19 (also an affiliate link). It’s amazing but limits the size of trail you can walk on and is hard to push uphill over rough terrain. Also, as you said, because of her blidness, Maya may be a little unnerved by it. Chester and Gretel both took to it right away though. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Good luck on your search.

  15. Thank you for the Tumbuk2 suggestion. It is a great backpack. Unforuntately my 20lb 14yo Doxie is too long for it. I am going to try the new version in the large size. It looks like the base of the large bag is 15.5″ which may be better. Will report back if it is a success. Thanks!!

    1. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out. I had the same issue with Chester. He’s only 13 lbs – well under the weight limit for the bag – and I thought his length was fine when I measured from the base of tail to withers like I always do for stuff. I discovered that I should have measured him from base of tail to frond of breastbone for this bag though. The opening in the bag for his head pressed slightly on his neck and made him cough 🙁 I hope the new size works for you guys. I do think the bag is one of the safest options out there for Dachshunds.

  16. Look up the Petego Jet Set Pet Carrier with Forma Frame – I just found it while searching for a backpack and this one looks like it might be a good option. I think I might give it a try.

    1. We have that but it’s not practical for hiking, which is what we are seeking a backpack for (and most of our readers are too). I think it would work for around the city but would be a bit bulky. I’d much prefer to carry my dog in the Muttmover Backpack I mentioned (they now make a larger size too)

  17. Hi Jessica,
    Do you have any good recommendations for a front carrier for a doxie who has had ivdd? Not for hiking, but just for out and about in the city.
    Thanks

  18. It’s nice to know other people are looking for the same thing but disappointing that we still have no solution. I was hiking 20 miles every Saturday but have t been for 6 months now since I got my dachshund. I love her but I miss hiking. I have a neck injury so I can’t put her in a sling and need a proper rucksack with waist strap. There must be some way of attaching a sling to a proper rucksack such as Osprey……

  19. Very helpful as i had no idea there are so many options. Dachshunds do require different equipment!

      1. Hi Nikki. This backpack is basically the K9 Sportsack in this article with a different entry style. The dog still sits upright. My recommendations for it would be the same.

  20. My dachshund is about 17 inches or so from the base of his tail to his breastbone and weighs around 18 pounds. Is the large Mutmover big enough for him? Thanks.

    1. I just measures our large and it’s 15 inches wide. Like I said, the sides are somewhat flexible so there is a bit of leeway but, when it’s borderline like that, you can’t know for sure unless you try it. Check the return policy before you order it if you want to give it a shot. That way you can return it if it doesn’t work. The thing to keep an eye out is the zipper for the opening putting pressure on your dog’s throat.

      1. Thank you for your quick response to my last question. There is a backpack called the Natuavalle 6in1on Amazon I was looking over. Have you ever had any experience with it and what do you think? My dog couldn’t completely stretch out but he curls up much of the time of course.

        1. It’s definitely a good option because a dog can lay down horizontally in it. I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to wear and it would be cumbersome (looks to stick out far from the body). If you’re just using it on shorter walks around the city it could be ok.

      2. So our elderly dachshund mix is about 15 inches from breast to tail and weighs 14-15 lbs. I really want to try the muttmover as it seems the best available option for hiking. Do you think we need a large?

        1. Hi Kirsten. I would say to go with the large to be safe. The larger pack is a but more cumbersome to carry for you but can also hold more stuff in the one pocket. Ideally though, you could order the smaller one from a store that would let you return it if your dog doesn’t fit. I personally prefer wearing the smaller version if I can.

  21. Thank you for this excellent resource. My dachshund is a standard wire hair, 23 pounds and definitely a little taller than a typical short-hair, i.e. he has an extra inch or so of ground clearance. Do you have a pack recommendation?

    1. Hi Benjamin. I would recommend the larger of the Muttmover backpacks as long as he’s not too long for it. Other than that, I don’t have a pack I would recommend that’s safer for a larger Dachshund, sorry. I still strongly believe they should lay horizontally to be safe. You can also check out Ruff Rescue Gear https://www.ruffrescuegear.com/. It’s not exactly a backpack, and I’m not sure how comfortable in reality it is for a dog, but at least it allows a dog to lay horizontally.

  22. Your blog is a great resource!

    I have a Peki-Pom with the longer body of a Pekingnese and we have the usual difficultiess with harnasses and dog jackets not fitting her longish body so I’ll be checking out all the product info you recommend. For now we use the Sherpa carrier in an XL for flying in cabin on planes/trains buses but it is a cumbersome way to transport her, generally.

    1. Yeah, those carriers are great for flying, trains, in the car, etc. but they are definitely not very comfortable for carrying a dog for a prolonged period.

  23. This really IS my lucky day! Your info about backpack style carriers for longer dogs is terrific. I have a Lhasa Apso who is particularly long in the back and more short legged than most. He had surgery on his hind leg about a year ago and I have been looking since then for a carrier of a kind so when he, his brother, and I take walks, I could carry him when he’s had enough. He weighs in at around 22 pounds and I can’t carry him in my arms as I might have done when I was younger! After reading your article, I’m thinking about trying the K9 Sport Sack. Patticus has never had back injury, only leg problems, and I would only have him in it for short periods of time ~ less than an hour. I think he would be happier on my back being able to look out over my shoulder than in any other carrying position. Thank you for this article. If I were rich I’d invest in helping you bring your dream of good backpacks or carriers for long dogs come true. There are many who wish for the same thing!

  24. I need to look into getting a rescue sling. And that pic of those babies in the pack with one smiling is THE cutest thing I’ve seen today! Omg!

  25. Hey there!

    We have an 11 year old miniature dachshund, 11lbs and 16.5″ from shoulder to rear, some history of back problems, and we’ve been trying to find a good backpack for her that is safe for her body and easy to take on hikes for a long time. I clicked on the link you had for the Kurgo dog carrier and Amazon haS one other option I was wondering if I could ask you about – They have a Heather charcoal grey K9 Rucksack option that I thought might give her more room to sit comfortably, given she measures longer than your little guy, and I always hike with someone so the need to carry extra hiking hear is less important than her comfort and safety. Can yo offer some advice on this subject? So you think the backpack you mention here could Work for her or do you think this rucksack version would be better? Thoughts?? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Molly. I would need to know the specific dog backpack you are talking about. A search for K9 Rucksack on Amazon brings up many different ones. Feel free to leave a link to it here, or message me through our Facebook page, and I’ll try to get back to you on it.

  26. Thank you for your helpful insights.
    We wanted to share our experience with the Ruff Rescue Gear Pup Traveler harness.

    We love that it’s light weight with breathable fabric and designed to keep the spine in line.
    I’m grateful that it kept my pup safe while on vacation at Lake Powell. She could be with me on the boat & while hiking.

    Having the harness in front allowed me to see and tend to her needs, drinking water or spraying to keep cool.

    We are happy with the harness & would recommend it.

  27. just buyed a Timbuk2 Muttmover for my surgered dach, many thanks for suggestion, GREAT ITEM!

  28. Hi Jessica I have the Timbuk2 muttmover I think they have upgraded it. Mine has an adjustable waist belt for me. I hike w my 10 lb. 6 month old dachshund every day. She now hikes part way down on leash. She loves the muttmover. She’s getting bigger now so I’m going to ether her to the inside lessh and let her stick her head out. I also follow you on Facebook. Can you post pictures of your pups in the backpack?

    1. Can you message me through our Facebook page so we can chat more. I’d be happy to post more pictures once I’m sure the angle you are looking for and what version of the pack you have. Thanks.

  29. I have a dachshund that is 20 inches from chest to bottom, so your reviews while insightful seem to still be unable to help since you indicated that your dogs size is smaller. Did you come across any helpful suggestions or backpack/carriers that might work for a longer dog. She is still only 14 pounds so the weight is not an issue but I am concerned about her back bending in a carrier that is too small. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Jennifer. I only list backpacks for smaller dogs because, unfortunately, I have not come across backpacks that will both accommodate a heavier/longer dog AND protect their back. When one is carrying a Dachshund horizontally, which is best, one is limited by the width of their human back (to carry the dog across and support them). Your best bet if you must would be the K9 Sportsack because it holds a dog upright so can accommodate longer lengths. Good luck.

  30. Looking for a small to medium size backpack dog carrier. Not a strong back (nor slenter body ?) so I need a sternum strap as well as a waist-strap. What would suit our needs the best?

    1. Both the Muttmover and Kurgo G-Trail have both sternum and waist straps, although the waist strap is not a stiff, padded “hip belt” like on an overnight backpack.

    1. When I say I’ve tried about every dog backpack style out there, I mean it. Ha, ha. I have tried this one but it’s no advantage for me because it still makes a dog sit upright. If you are ok with that, I would go with the K9 Sportsack (they have several models) because it offers more support due to the narrower sleeve a dog sits in (vs the wide opening on this one).

  31. I was so excited to find look the timbuk2 backpack up but it seems to be sold out. Also the shipping is crazy on amazone 🙁
    When I thinking about it more i think it is to small for mine and the other one is so big. I am having a hard time finding a backpack specially since I need to buy it online since I can only find like 3 types here in Iceland and they are all way too small. I want to use mine on an electroc scooter but posibly for walks too. Has now one asked you to design for them ?
    Thank you for a great blog ?

    1. Unfortunately, Timbuk2 only makes one size now and it is, essentially, the larger version shown in this article. This article is on my list to update so I’m sorry for any confusion. I’ve spoke with a few people over the last couple years that are interested in designing one and wanted my feedback but it’s not something I have the desire, time, or money to do on my own. Up until now anyway. Maybe someday. Unfortunately, I am not sure what is available to you in Iceland. For biking (or on a scooter) I would probably try to find some kind of basket to use. If your dog does not have IVDD or back issues, the K9 Sportsack should be ok if the ride/walk is under an hour or two. Good luck!

      1. Thank you so much. He has back issue. I had onece on me bike a basket but it kept lowering so that didnt work ☹️ and he has back problems so I need to figure somthing else then the k9 backpack. He is also about 40 cm in lenght though he is not heavy so this is tricky not begin able to trie them out before buying them 😅
        Thank you again for this post it helped me understand what I need to consider when choosing a backpack 😁

  32. Hi Jessica, thanks for a really useful resource. I adopted a tripaw crossbreed last year and have spent the whole time trying to get a rucksack I’m happy with. She is not a Dachschund but she does have a long spine. She is 10kg (22lb). She lost her leg through some kind of accident before I got her. Apologies for the length of this post.

    So far I have tried:

    The Tarigs Mountain Rock backpack which I shipped to the UK from Germany. I think this is perfect for her as she can sit normally on its wide flat base. However it’s bulky, heavy (2.5kg/5.5lb) and the back is not adjustable – I don’t find it comfortable at all and if she sits to one side it’s worse – though it does have two metal supporting rods inside. Sometimes if she leans against the opening it makes her cough, and she’ll hang a paw out to stop it pressing on her chest (their social media shows quite a few dogs doing this). So I don’t love it for hiking. It would be great for buses or trains or short city walks.

    The Ruffrescue sling – no good, she is too long for this and doesn’t look comfortable.

    The Tough Traveler dog perch (in the model suitable for her weight) which I shipped from the states to the UK. This is the best model for my comfort on long hikes – so comfortable and distributes her weight evenly – the adjustable back is brilliant. BUT I’m not thrilled with the way she sits on her ‘bum’ in it due to the fact that the base is small as her spine is curved (as you’ve identified above) but she seems really happy to have her head up high and has even fallen asleep this way. The sides are rigid and she tends to lean against one side or the other to better see round my head. Her front paws sit on the top edge or my shoulders. I still worry about the way she sits though. It’s also bulky but I could live with this if I thought it was perfect for her.

    The K9 Sportsack Knavigate has a hipbelt for me and definitely keeps her spine straighter than the Tough Traveler with the straps cinched up tight. It’s more comfortable for me than the Tarigs, but less comfortable than the Tough Traveler. Again she seems really happy resting her front paws on my shoulders and dozing if she’s tired. I’m happiest with it on the bike for reasons you mention but am wondering if would also be best for long hikes too given it at least keeps her spine straight.

    All of the rucksacks listed have a small amount of space to bring enough stuff for a day hike if I supplement them with a waist bag. She doesn’t stay in any of them for longer than around 45 minutes at a time as after a rest she’s normally good to go again. She gets excited when any of them come out and runs over to get in them but that’s probably the association with longer, fun hikes when most of the week we’re in the local park.

    I would be really interested in your views as to what is the lesser of evils here. She has no issues with her spine that I know of but given her whole body is under a bit more strain given her missing leg I’m keen not to invite any.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Laura. All of the issues you mention, and the inability for pretty much all dog carrier packs to carry sufficient gear for even a day hike, is a very common issue. I’ve tried a carrier similar to the Tough Traveler before and did not like it. It doesn’t offer enough support to the spine for my liking, which you also mentioned. To me, it sounds like the K9 Sportsack Knavigate fits you best and offers yoru dog descent support. It’s not ideal for spinal support, as you understand, but it does indeed seem like the “lesser of evils” for you and your pooch.

      1. Thanks Jessica I appreciate your response. So frustrating that there’s not a perfect solution out there yet for our beloved pooches!

    1. 9 months is almost full grown for a Dachshund. If she is 8-15 lbs, she will fit into one of these backpacks. If she is smaller than that, I might suggest a sling instead (but those aren’t very practical for hiking – just around town).

      1. Worth noting as this article also just says Dachshund generally, if you’re talking 8-15lbs for a fully grown Dachshund, that is a miniture, Standard Dachsunds are double that fully grown and most these bags are not suitable for them as they’re longer.

        1. Hi Kieran. It’s correct that most of these carriers won’t work for a large standard Dachshund but some fo the smallest ones will still fit, depending on the dog’s measurements and weight.

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