Determining how long to walk your Dachshund can be a challenging dilemma. There are a variety of factors to take into consideration first, such as age, weight and overall lifestyle.
In this article, we’ll help you decide how far and long your Dachshund can walk in a day.
Keep in mind though that this advice is focused on healthy adult Dachshunds, but we do briefly discuss exercise for puppies and seniors.
Also, I’m not a veterinarian, so remember to consult with your vet about increasing your Dachshund’s exercise regimen or other questions you have.
How Much Exercise Does a Healthy Adult Dachshund Need?
Dachshunds are hunters by nature, so they are built with the need to exercise their active instincts.
No matter how old your Dachshund is, it’s important that they receive some sort of daily exercise to avoid obesity, and to remain happy.
If you’re asking how long you walk your Dachshund you could mean duration or distance.
While it’s important not to push your dog too hard, your Dachshund should maintain a brisk, steady pace in order to get the most benefit from their walk.
Healthy adult Dachshunds need about 30-60 minutes of activity every day (duration).
The average human walking speed is 2 miles per hour. Assuming your dog can also keep that pace, the distance you would be walking your dog every day is at least 1-2 miles.
You may be surprised to learn that Doxies are capable of walking for much longer than that though.
With the right physical conditioning (ie. regular exercise that gradually increases in length and difficulty) they can walk, or even hike, 5 or more miles at a time.
A healthy, adult Dachshund will be able to walk further than puppies, seniors or those with health conditions.
What About Puppies, Senior Dachshunds and Those with Health Issues?
Older Dachshunds, and puppies, have different exercise needs than healthy, adult Dachshunds do.
When determining how long you can walk your Dachshund, you need to take your pup’s age, health, and physical condition into consideration before anything else.
Dachshunds with “special needs” – like puppies, older Dachshunds, and those with underlying illnesses or injuries – will likely require, and be capable of, less exercise than a healthy, adult Dachshund.
Also, Dachshund’s in these categories tend to move at a slower pace so will cover less distance in the same timeframe.
Even if your adult dog is generally healthy but they suffer from a heart murmur or other respiratory ailment, it’s best to ensure your dog doesn’t overdo it.
In general though, puppies can walk about 5 minutes for every month of age (so about a mile for a 6-month old puppy).
Senior Dachshunds, and those with underlying health issues, may only be able to walk around the block.
If you aren’t sure about the best exercise regimen for your Dachshund, seek advice from your veterinarian.
How Often Should You Walk Your Dachshund?
The answer to this question comes down to each individual Dachshund. As stated above, dog parents must consider health, age and other factors.
Ideally your Dachshund should get at least one walk per day. A daily walk will help keep your Dachshund in great physical and mental shape.
Walks are excellent for a dog’s mental stimulation. Sniffing is their way of connecting with the world.
Let your Dachshund sniff during their walk every now and then (but make sure you’re not teaching them to stop every 5 feet) to stimulate their senses and workout their cognitive function.
Walks intended for exercise should maintain a steady pace. Stopping occasionally to let your dog sniff for a few seconds is ok but be careful not to let it become the norm.
If you live in an apartment or a place without a yard, it’s fairly routine to go on a daily walk.
It may be more difficult to find motivation for daily walks if you have a backyard for your Dachshund. But even if you have a yard, it’s still recommended to take your Doxie on a walk each day.
Obviously there’s no punishment and no need to be hard on yourself if you skip a walk day, especially if you just walked or hiked a long distance. Just try to get out for a walk the next day if possible.
If you start skipping too many days of walking your Dachshund, it could become a habit.
Keep in mind that if your dog gets bored easily or frequently becomes destructive, you may want to start increasing the length or frequency of your walks.
Some adult dogs are higher energy than others, and they’ll need more daily activity to thrive.
If your Doxie is one of those who needs to burn more energy, consider breaking one walk per day into two. This two-walk-a-day routine may help with keeping your Dachshund tired out.
Once you discover how long your Dachshund can walk in one day, you can decide to do it all at once break it into two walks per day/
What You Should Know About Walking Your Dachshund
There are other ways to keep your Dachshund active besides walking.
Hiking with your Dachshund is a fun activity that will provide both mental and physical stimulation. Healthy adult Dachshunds can hike several miles per day.
Dachshunds can also run, but it’s crucial that you make sure your pup is healthy enough to do so before you go run a 10k.
If your Dachshund is beginning to experience back problems, your pup should only be walking to avoid worsening symptoms.
Dachshund puppies should not be walking long distances like adults. Too much exercise can put stress on a growing puppy’s joints.
Instead, you can work on getting your puppy’s energy out by playing with their favorite toy, offering treat puzzles or giving them a frozen Kong for them to chew on for a while.
Working on basic obedience training can get your puppy excited and wear them out quickly too.Y
Since puppies should stick with short, easy walks until they are fully grown, you may need to find other ways to tire them out.
On the flip side, senior Dachshunds will need less exercise once they’ve slowed down. As dogs age, they become less active, similar to humans.
Senior dogs typically still need daily exercise, but your walks may be shorter or less frequent.
How do you know when your Dachshund has reached their walk limit?
We’ve learned that Dachshunds can walk upwards of five to 10 miles in a day, but how do you know when they’ve had enough?
This is where it’s important for you to understand your Dachshund’s body language.
Being able to read their body language will help you see warning signs that your dog is physically exhausted.
Some common signs that your Dachshund has had enough exercise include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Bright red gums, which can indicate heat stroke
- Limping or excessive slowing down
- Licking a specific area on their body, which can be a sign of chafing or irritation from the harness or collar
As a Dachshund parent it’s up to your best judgement to determine when your dog has had enough. Do not push them if they are too tired, as it can lead to injury.
Do keep in mind that a Dachshund will sometimes refuse to walk because they don’t feel like it that day or one of these several other reasons.
If your Dachshund refuses to walk, you’ll want to figure out of they are refusing to go on because they are simply tired or there is something else wrong.
Best Equipment for Walking Your Dachshund
It’s best to walk your Dachshund using a harness, rather than a standard collar. Harnesses offer better control while being more comfortable and safer.
Using a collar for walking can put pressure on your Dachshund’s delicate trachea if they tug and pull at the leash. Choosing to use a harness instead will protect your dog’s neck and throat.
Harnesses also discourage pulling, and they give you more control if your Dachshund likes to jump on people or lunge toward wildlife.
Other accessories you may want to consider investing in are a jacket and boots for your Dachshund.
If you live or hike in a cold climate, you’ll want to purchase a quality jacket that fits a Dachshund’s long body to keep your dog warm in chillier weather.
Your Dachshund may need extra protection in extreme hot or cold temperatures.
Boots can be especially helpful for walking in the snow and ice. You may even need boots for your Dachshund if you live in a place where pavement burns in the summertime.
Dachshund parents should always have their pup’s safety and health in mind while going on any walk or hiking adventure.
Your healthy, adult Dachshund needs a daily walk that is at least 30-60 long.
Ideally, you can walk your Dachshund every day. One walk a day is usually fine but you may want to consider walking your high-energy dog twice a day.
Consult your veterinarian if you have any specific concerns about your Dachshund’s health or exercise regimen.
Daily walks will keep your Dachshund happy and in tip-top physical shape.