What Should My Dachshund Weigh?
I get a lot of questions about the Dachshund breed, and, because our blog is one centered around being active with your Dachshund, one of the common question I hear is “Do you think my Dachshund is fat?”
I’m no veterinarian, but I’ve owned Dachshunds for 15 years, I’ve blogged about them for almost 8, I’ve organized the Dachshund club for over 6, and I was a Doxie walker and sitter (yes, I stuck primarily to the long and low) during my 3 years of grad school.
I would venture to say have a high level of expertise when it comes to Dachshunds, and I am more than willing to share what I know when asked.
So, let’s get down to it.
What Should Your Dachshund Weigh?
I want to clear up some things about Dachshunds and their weight.
First, Dachshunds come in several sizes. The most widely recognized categories are miniature and standard.
With Dachshunds, their category is determined by size/weight, not breed lines or the size of their parents. For example, two miniature Dachshund parents can have a puppy that grows up to be a standard.
In other words, all Dachshunds are the same breed. The different sizes are just sub-categories of the breed.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes two sizes in the AKC Dachshund breed standard – standard and miniature. A Miniature is 11 lbs and under at 12 months of age. Standards are between 16 and 32 lbs.
In Germany, they also recognize a “rabbit” size dachshund. Rabbit Dachshunds are smaller in stature than miniatures. When they are full grown their rib-cage circumference is 11 inches or under and they weigh no more than 8 lbs.
Most Dachshunds, at an ideal weight, weight between 5 and 35 lbs.
Note: you may see a “Toy Dachshund” for sale sometimes but that’s not a real classification – there is no such thing.
However, as Dachshund owners know, there are many more size variations than that.
What about Dachshunds that are between 11 lbs and 16 lbs? We know they exist. The Dachshund community has fittingly deemed them “tweenies.”
Some people claim that they are technically standards since they don’t fit into the miniature classification.
Having so much variation in weight among the breed can make it difficult to determine what the proper weight for YOUR dog actually is.
An easy mistake Dachshund owners often make is saying “my Doxie weighs 18 lbs so he/she must be a standard.” However, your pup may be 2, 4, or even 10 lbs overweight and is actually a miniature underneath that unnecessary fat.
So, the most important thing is to determine your Dachshund’s ideal weight.
The most common condition in Dachshunds in regard to weight is having too much fat. So hat’s what this article primarily deals with.
However, there is a section on what to do if your Dachshund needs to gain weight at the end.
How Do I Know if My Dachshund is Fat?
Pet Obesity is an Epidemic.
A Veterinarian can examine a dog’s bone and body structure to make recommendations for ideal weight.
Estimating body condition, using an illustrated weight chart, is a “simple” thing you can do yourself at home.
A body condition chart has photos or sketches, as well as descriptions, which tell you how to determine the proper weight by look and feel.
Below is the general chart for dogs. A body score of 3 is typically considered ideal.
It’s pretty easy to see these weight “markers” if your dog has a short or slick coat. If they have longer hair, these things generally need to be determined by feel and by smooshing the hair down to look.
When determining whether your Dachshund is over or under weight, you will have to use both sight and feel.
In summary, your Dachshund is overweight if:
- You look at your dog’s ribs while they are standing up and you can’t see them and you can’t easily feel them under the skin (ie. have to push into their skin a lot to feel them).
- You look at your Dachshund from the side when they are standing up and their abdomen does not “tuck” up behind their rib cage (think Greyhound) . In other words, their chest and belly are equal distance from the floor.
- You look at your dog from above when they are standing up and your Dachshund doesn’t have a waist (hourglass shape). In other words, their body just one round cylinder with, basically, straight lines from front to back
Your Dachshund may be underweight if:
- You look at your dog’s ribs when they are standing up and you can see all of them from a distance.
- Looking from above while your dog is standing up, you can clearly see their spine and hip bones sticking out.
Note, you can see the last two ribs on my Dachshunds. Sometimes people ask me if there is something wrong with them.
I’ve spoken to several veterinarians about their weight and have been assured that seeing a rib or two does not necessarily mean a Dachshund is too skinny.
Use the information you have gathered above and consult this ideal weight chart for dogs.
Use both the look and feel information for both the ribs and waist to determine where your Dachshund falls on this chart.
If your Dachshund is classified as 4 or 5 on the chart, your pup is overweight. heir ideal weight may be 2-5 lbs, or more in server cases, over their ideal weight. l
If your Dachshund is classified as a 1 or 2 on the chart, they may be underweight. Their ideal weight may be 1-3 lbs heavier than their current weight.
Whether your Dachshund is over or under weight, it’s never a bad idea to confirm your suspicions with your veterinarian.
Obesity is the Most Common Weight-related Issue with Dachshunds
Over 55% of all US dogs are estimated to be overweight or obese according to the latest study from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
A recent article in the Scientific American highlighted a study that found many people do not know a fat dog when they see one.
It says that people often minimize how overweight their pets are. They tell themselves, “I guess he could lose a pound or two” but don’t see it as a big deal.
It can be hard to admit that your Dachshund could stand to lose a few pounds.
What many people don’t realize is that extra pounds on a pet can take TWO YEARS off of their life. And that’s not necessarily two years off of a healthy life either.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, obesity is our pets’ #1 health threat.
Obese pets are at higher risk of developing diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, carrying extra weight is terrible for a Dachshund’s back.
So, if your Dachshund is fat, it’s VERY important to recognize it – to be honest with yourself – in order to help your dog live their best life.
Related: 5 Reasons Why Pet Obesity Is a Serious Problem
Did You Call My Dachshund Fat? That’s Kind of Harsh
If you think I’m a little harsh about the weight issue sometimes, that is because I am very passionate about it.
I promote hiking and being active with your Dachshund on my blog, and with my Adventureweiner Club, to bring awareness to, and combat, obesity.I
I am not going to lie. I get angry when I see people post pictures online of their fat Dachshund and celebrate their “cute, chubby dog”.
Although it can be painful to hear from a stranger, those that don’t live with your dog every day, and who don’t have an emotional attachment like you do, can offer objective feedback about your Dachshund’s weight.
Yes, all dogs deserve to be loved and cherished but fat is NOT cute! It’s sad and, quite frankly, it’s unfair to your pup.
Dogs can’t speak up and tell us how they are feeling about the extra weight. However, I can speak from experience myself that it’s possible to look happy despite being overweight and feeling like crap a lot of the time.
People can look “healthy” from the outside but still have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
Those things can severely limit ones quality of life and be a significant factor in determining how long they live (spoiler alert: it’s shorter).
The same is true for dogs.
That being said, I admit that I don’t know each individual dog’s story. There ARE circumstances beyond an owner’s control that can result in an overweight pet such as limited mobility of the owner, a disease the dog has, or medication.
That’s why I mostly keep my opinions and thoughts to myself. If someone asks for my opinion about their Dachshund though, I am not afraid to “tell it like it is.”
So, What Can You Do About It If Your Dachshund is Overweight?
Now that we’ve addressed the issue, let’s discuss the solution to either obtaining or maintaining that trim and fit body type your Dachshund was born to have.
Control Food Intake
The most basic and important thing you can do is to control your Doxie’s daily food intake—this includes food portion and schedule.
Read this article to determine how much food you should feed your Dachshund.
Commercial dog foods contain a feeding guide with portion recommendations on the label.
However, as with people, the perfect amount of food for your Dachshund is a case-by-case situation, and should be adjusted according to the exercise levels of your pup.
If you are not sure, I recommend talking with your vet about the proper amount of food to feed your Dachshund.
Although it can be painful to hear from a stranger, those that don’t live with your dog every day, and who don’t have an emotional attachment like you do, can offer objective feedback about your Dachshund’s weight.
Additionally, establish a regular feeding routine. Decide how many meals a day is best for your Dachshund (I feed my adult Dachshunds twice a day and fed my puppy three times a day), and stick to it!
I know it may take a little extra time to do so, but leaving food out all day for your dog allows them the opportunity to overeat, and consequently gain unnecessary pounds.
Minimize Extra Calories From Treats
Speaking of unnecessary weight… how often are you handing out treats? Also think about how big they are and how many calories each one has.
I know all too well the temptation to slip your little one a tasty token of your love here and there throughout the day.
Dachshunds have a way of totally disarming their owners with those hilariously convincing eyes (I’m sure you all know the look I’m talking about).
While I don’t discourage the occasional treat, it’s important that you’re careful not to over-do it.
It’s also best to stay away from feeding them fattening human food.
On the days that you feed your Dachshund more treats, feed them a little less at each meal to balance out the calorie intake.
There are a few ways you can minimize calories from treats:
- Use a small portion of your Dachshund’s kibble, set aside from their daily allowance, and give that throughout the day as treats
- Use very small dog treats
- Find other ways to show your dog the love for being so wonderful
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a firm believer that Dachshunds can get outside and be just as active as your neighborhood lab.
Don’t let those short legs fool you: Dachshunds are athletic and love to be outdoors, and daily exercise is just as important to their health as is their eating regime.
Make sure your pup is getting outside for at least thirty minutes every day, whether it be walking around the block or hiking up a mountain.
Staying active is key to weight loss, and will ensure your dog is not only staying fit, but happy as well.
For more information, check out my article How Much Exercise Does My Dachshund Need?
How Can I Help My Dachshund Gain Weight?
Remember, most people think that their Dachshunds are too skinny when, in fact, they may be a healthy weight.
However, being too thin, and not eating enough food, can lead to nutrient deficiencies and other health issues.
If you suspect your Dachshund needs to gain some weight, the first thing you should do is double check with your veterinarian.
The two primary ways to help your Dachshund gain weight is to increase their calorie intake by:
- Feeding your dog more of the same food
- Feeding your dog the same amount of food but one that has more calories per cup (volume)
If your Dachshund is too thin, it’s also likely that they could use to build some muscle.
It’s helpful to start doing some strength building exercises at the same time you increase your dog’s calorie intake.
I hope, if anything, this has challenged you to view your Dachshund in a different light.
Remember: your 16 lb “standard” Dachshund may actually be an overweight miniature.
Rather than let the scale tell you which category of Dachshund—rabbit, miniature, or standard— your dog falls under, let their body size, shape, and energy levels do the talking.
Pet obesity is an epidemic that needs to end, and the change starts with you.
When is the last time you checked your dog’s weight?
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.
This is a great post! I also support necessary daily exercise for Dachshunds. I have a mini Dachshund who weighs nearly 15 pounds and he is in perfect shape. He’s just a tall mini! Great post!
I worry about my boy, he is very over weight, he only eats once a day, a pack of the purina soft pouch chew!, he is only 3 years old and weights 38 lbs!…I walk him every morning, but he acts like it hurts hin!
Hi Glen. Maintaining a proper weight can be challenging for some dogs. It can be even more frustrating when your dog is overweight and you are trying to get them to lose it. I am very happy to see that you recognize that he could lose some weight and are seeking help though. That’s great!
Would you be willing to email me a few pictures of your pup? My email is Jessica@PetTalkMedia.com? Alternately, you can post a few pictures to our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner Most of our fans there have Dachshunds and would be happy to offer additional advice. I am not a veterinarian but I might be able to help estimate just how overweight your pup is (how much he has to lose) based on his apparent body frame size.
I’m not sure what your situation is but I would start with feeding your pup a higher-quality food if you can. Many dog foods contain a lot of fillers (empty calories) like corn. Grain-free dog foods contain more protein and the important nutrients a dog needs. You can often feed your dog a smaller amount of this food. Sometimes you can leave the amount the same but they still lose weight because their body better processed what’s in the food. A good, relatively inexpensive grain free food is Taste of the Wild. If you can’t afford that, I would still do what you can to improve his food. The first ingredient on the label should be meat (or the second at the very least). You can replace some of the volume of his food with Frozen green beans (thaw them out first though – don’t used caned because of the sodium).
Some dogs need to be conditioned to walking. If your dog is severely overweight, he could indeed be in some pain. It’s necessary to give him exercise though. I would discuss that with your vet to rule that out or get some exercise suggestions for him that won’t cause him as much discomfort. For example, walking him on the grass/dirt instead of the a street or sidewalk.
Anyway, good luck to you and your pup.
Here in Canada our winters are so brutal that I find it harder during that time to keep the pounds off. However we for sure make up for it in the summer months with lots of trips to the off leash park. Great article !!
Have you thought about getting a dog treadmill? They aren’t cheap but they are a good way to fit walks in during the cold months.
Hi Amanda and Jessica, I live in Alaska on the coast so we get very cold weather and lots of rain. When it gets bad my miniature dachshund and I play ball which she loves. She has a coat for the winter that she gladly wears when it’s cold. Just a couple of ideas.
Yule weights 7kg (15.4 pounds) and is a very lean boy. So I guess he’s closer to standard than miniature. Which is funny, since both of his parents are really tiny! (on the 4-5kg range)
We don’t go out for exercise as much as I would like (definitely not everyday), but raw feeding sure helps to keep him in good shape.
I hear ya there. In my mind we get out every day buy that’s sadly not the reality. I’ve been trying to be better about it though and have managed to get them out to walk at least every other day for the last couple of weeks. It’s good for my waistline too! 🙂
This is a great post for dogs of all breeds, I think! I recently got a foster dog who was severely underweight, so trying to help him gain weight has been a whole new adventure (especially when Barley is pretty certain she needs a snack any time he’s getting something and she absolutely does not need to put on any weight). Thanks for sharing such good info.
Wooftastic post Jessica!
Last Thursday I had some blood work done to check my level (anti-seizure medications) & as always the first thing I am asked to do is stand on the scale.
Due to the extreme temperatures, weather disturbances, & seizure activity this summer I didn’t get out to hike & play as often as I would have which resulted in weight gain.
Fortunately, we are talking about a single pound but my huMom knows that’s how obesity starts, one pound at a time. With winter approaching, a season we often see weight gain, we are looking at ways to nip this in the butt.
That’s right… some fluctuation is ok but it’s important to be aware and keep an eye on it. Gretel gained 3/4 lb when she was on crate rest for her back but I reduced her food, and we’ve started walks again, and she is back down to her pre-injury weight.
3 bum swings! 3 more!
Good girl Gretel!
Stay strong my furiend!
We can get a little carried away on giving treats for our pets and they can get fat or obese. Thank you for this very informative post that can be used for all dog breeds!
I must have missed that! Where can I read about that
I think that here in the Netherlands it is a bit different… We do have three sizes just like in Germany. The rabbit, miniature and standard. My dachshund has standard parents but is smaller then they are. She is 7 kg. I train her and so she gets a lot of treats, but she looks great! Of course I keep a close eye on her, bit so far she is ok!
I’m sorry, I am not sure what you mean but it’s different in the Netherlands (Just clarifying so I can learn). What you describe sounds perfectly normal to me – what it’s like in the US too. Standards can have babies that turn out to be miniatures or standards. In the US, miniature is anything under 11 lbs. If I’m not mistaken, 7 kg is about 15 lbs. That means that your pup would not be considered a mini in the US. Some would call 15 lbs a standard (anything over 11 lbs) and some would say “tweenie” (not a technical breed term) because standard starts at 16 lbs and yours isn’t quite there. What matters most is how they look and feel according to the body conditioning chart. Sounds like you keep your pup at a healthy weight.
Thanks for your reply…think I must have misunderstood, because of the tweeniething ???? In the Netherlands we normally don’t take the weight as measurement for the type (rabbit, miniature, standard), but the size of the breast. My dachshund is quite small for a standard, but because of her breastsize she is a standard. I’ve got to say that I do ‘t feel it that way ???? Both her parents are larger and I’m so happy that Doortje (her name) stayed small!
Ok. I understand now. Thank you for explaining. It’s very interesting how different countries judge differently. Hope you and Doortje have a great weekend! 🙂
Yes indeed! In the end it doesn’t matter as long as they are healthy and having a good life ???? nice weekend to you too!
Great article. I came here looking for harness information and found this timely write-up.
When I read that mini parents can have a standard, I quickly whipped out my measuring tape and sure enough, I believe Fritz is a standard! He’s just shy of 9in tall and weighs 19.2 (weighed this past Monday during a quick Vet visit for his bordatella booster) Liesl is 12.6lbs and just shy of 8in tall. (They share a father who topped out at a 14lb and each of their mothers were around 12).
I’d prefer that he hang out in the 17lb range because, despite his muscular frame and deep barrel chest, I feel that 19 seems a bit too much. With winter in Texas, we’ll be able to stay out longer (summers we went a bit shorter) and shave off some pounds. We’re active with a 30-min a.m. walk and a 30-min p.m. walk or dog park run; weekends are a 1-2 hour hike with a 45-min dog park run on Sunday.
I found my encouraging their hunting instincts by hiding treats affected them, so we stopped doing that. We’re also going to lay off the tripe hoofs to 1/2 hoof per weekend, too.
Hi Jennifer. Did you also find my harness information?
It sounds like your pups are well excercised, at least in the winter when it’s cooler anyway 🙂 Controlling the amount of food, especially during times when they are less active, is key. That’s the primary tool I use to keep Chester and Gretel so fit. I adjust their food up and down according to our currently actuvity level… and sometimes even on a daily basis. For example, we are doing a photo shoot today which will involve a lot of treats so they got a light breakfast and will get a light dinner. Good luck. It sounds like you are on the right track.
This was a great point! I just had my girl weighed today and she was 15lbs, which looks a pound or two too much to me. We feed her by the instructions on her food and don’t give her too many treats–but I admit that at 8.5 months pregnant I haven’t been as active daily in general as I should be. I’m hoping after the baby is here and I’m all healed, we all will get out for some walks!
I don’t find the instructions on the back of the package very helpful. It’s a great place to start but I’m always adjusting Chester and Gretel’s food up or down to compensate for their currently activity level. Good luck.
I am guilty of over-treating. The result is a fat 10 year old dachshund. I love her to bits and she knows she has me wrapped. She is also not the biggest fan of being outside. My boyfriend and I always attempt to give her good walks but 1/2 the time she throws on the brakes and we have to yell at her to get her to come with us (she has been like this since she was 6 months old). A lot of the time we give in and just come home. I needed this read. It’s never to late to change. She sits in front of me and harasses me for treats. I am going to try to give her less. It’s going to be painful, but not nearly as painful as losing her before her time.
Think about the fact that she may be hungry for better quality food. Same with the human diet, less/restriction is not the whole answer.
Personally, the quality of diet affects the dog just as much and more then the amount of food. We feed raw meat and never have a problem with our Doxie mix being overweight, though he was when we adopted him. Listen to your dog’s stomach on kibble. The gurgle is not a contented stomach. There are seasons where we are able to get out more than others and we see no weight change.
I concur that quality of food is important. However, the amount DOES count too. My dogs also eat raw and I can’t just feed them as much as they want or they would be fat.
My vet has recommended that I give my mini dachshund benedryl 2x a day. I’ve been putting the pill and one-half in a little ball of peanut butter, but Melvin is gaining weight! What would be a better choice to put the pill(s) in? He also doesn’t get enough exercise because he’s very scared to go outside, so 1x around the block is about all I do with him. He’s 4 years old and hasn’t had any back problems yet, but I know I need to help him lose 3 or 4 pounds. Thanks for any suggestions.
Hi Toni. A tiny bit of peanut butter should not be a make or break issue with his weight. I wonder if the weight gain is a side effect of the Benadryl. I would ask your vet about that. To help control his weight, you might need to reduce his food (you can replace the volume with thawed, frozen green beans) and increase the exercise. I understand he’s scared but it’s important to get him past that. Being healthy is more than weight – like people dogs also need to have cardiovascular fitness. You can consult with a dog trainer or animal behaviorist to try and determine where the fear comes from. You can also look for solutions online (search for things like desensitization, fearfulness, and reactive dogs). Good luck to you guys. Knowing it’s a problem you need to address is definitely the first step.
Is this where I can ask a question about weight?
My email address suggests I have Scottish Terriers but I would like to talk about my standard wire female
Yes, you can ask me a questions about weight.
thank you – Truffles is almost 7yrs old, standard wire spayed female. she has always been extremely active. she lives to run. she has a very high energy level.
my breeder recently came down on me very hard regarding her weight. (17lbs) she told me that this bordered on abuse; that her organs could shut down; that she might have cancer. In January she weighed 18lbs. after speaking with my vet who assured me that Truffles is lean, not sick (normal blood work; negative fecal) I changed food and increased her calories. I feed her 3 times a day now. my vet explained that the kind of protein in her food could be making her almost “high”, like a race horse. she is doing very well on this new regime and has gained 2 lbs in 2 weeks; which makes me wonder if indeed she weighed 17?
the breeder’s comments nearly destroyed me; my friends want to be reincarnated as one of my dogs (I have a mini dachshund and a PBGV, both in excellent health).
what are your thoughts?
Karen, you were not explicit but I gather the issue is that the breeder thought Truffles is too skinny? Most people come to be with questions about their dog being overweight so that is a nice problem to have 🙂 I’m not a veterinarian but I can share what I do know with you.
I can’t speak for your breeder as far as what she is seeing but I do question her approach. Telling someone they could kill their dog, unless it’s an “intervention” type situation because repeated “educational talks” have not worked, is neither helpful or productive. I can’t speak for your vet because I’ve not seen Truffles. However, you can make a body conditioning assessment on your own. Check out the chart in this article: http://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/lets-get-real-is-your-dog-fat/. Ideally, your dog would have a score of 3. However, my vet said that a dog that is closer to a 2 can still be healthy and, with some breeds like greyhounds and Dachshunds, that is more normal when a dog is fit. If your dog is a 1 then, yes, they definitely need to gain some weight to be healthy.
I can’t speak to the food you are giving Truffles because I don’t know what it is. Also, I’ve not heard that a particular type of meat will make a dog feel “high”. However, feeding a dog 3 times a day is a good recommendation if they are having trouble gaining weight. Standard Dachshunds, as classified by the AKC, are 16 lbs and up. The classification is solely based on size – all sized Dachshunds are the same breed. What a dog should weight is based on their frame size. Every dog’s frame size is different. That’s why the chart above is the best indicator of proper weight on a dog.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
Hi Jessica, I was wondering if you could recommend a good dry dog food for dachshund’s? My vet uses Science Diet, but when I have checked the dog food advisor it’s only 3.5 stars. I love my girl Maggie so much and just want to feed her the best. I read some good things about Taste of the Wild. But there are a couple more out there that look good too. Could you give me your top 2 dry dog foods that I could try? Thanks so much! -Maggie’s Mom
Hi Rachel. Chester and Gretel eat raw food now but I used too feed them Acana or Orijen (made by the same company – very similar). I also like Nature’s Variety with the raw coating. Each dog is different but I definitely recommend something grain free if you want higher quality. I used to work at a pet store and we considered Taste of the Wild a good “entry level” grain free food. It’s affordable and grain free but there are higher quality foods out there. Nature’s Variety is a bit better but Acana/Orijen is one of the highest quality grain free foods out there. Hope that helps.
Thanks lots of good information. Daisy and I need to start watching her weight.
I googled ideal Dachshund body weight after a trip to the vets and so glad I found this lovely blog! Great read! I live in the UK and my lovely fur baby Reggie is 18 months old and weighs 19.8 lbs. He is 15 inches long from bace of neck to base of tail and just under 12 inches in height. The vet considers him overweight as she goes by the dimple that is visible at the base of his spine just above his tail. Also, that his ribs are palpable but not very visible. Our vet has recommended he goes on a diet. Reggie eats occasional kibble, cooked chicken (small portion) and cooked chicken livers (small portion) and has the few odd treats thrown in between. We walk on the heath for a couple of hours a day as we both love it. Going by your US standards, Reggie is a small standard. Do you think if I switch to a raw food diet on alternate days that this would help him lose weight? I’m confused as the vet said that if he had a bit of a mix from another breed in him then his weight would be acceptable. Im sure he hasn’t but I would appreciate what you think!
Hi Salina. It is my understanding – several veterinarians have explained it to me – that a Dachshund is sort of like a Greyhound and other deep-chested breeds when it comes to gauging weight. At a proper weight, you should be able to see at least the last rib bone with the naked eye. It sounds like Reggie is getting plenty of exercise. What you are feeding him doesn’t sound bad but if he needs to lose weight, you either need to increase his exercise more or reduce his portion sizes. My Chester is a little smaller than Reggie but he only gets 1/2 to 2/3 cup of food a day (split into two meals) and a few treats on some days (half the time he gets no, or only one, treat a day). I have heard of dogs losing weight when switched to a raw diet. However, raw food is pretty calorie-dense so it’s extra important to watch portion sizes. It sounds like you are on the right track though. Asking questions and researching is the first step. I’m sure Reggie will be at an ideal weight in no time 🙂
Hi Jessica, I have an 11 month old miniature short haired who I think is overweight…she looks chubby but it’s hard to tell what to do. Ever since we’ve had her at 9 weeks old she literally gobbles up her food within seconds. This idea of leaving a food dish out to eat at leisure would be foreign to us. We’ve always fed her Royal Canin Miniature, first the puppy until 10 months as recommended, and now the adult. I’ve always followed the portion suggestions based on her age, and she’s now she’s at 1/2 cup twice a day. Snacks consist of occasional carrots, dog treats for house training. Of course an occasional mini wheat, popcorn or cheerio might end up in her mouth as well… activity level could be better, but we go on 30 to 60 minute walks 3 to 4 times a week. This will likely end in winter though…we’re in a very winter area of Canada. My question is if it’s too early to diet? If so, how much should I cut back?
Hi Nina. I am happy to hear that you are conscious about your pup’s weight. The best way to tell if she is a proper weight is by looks and feel. Each dog is different. Talk to your vet and look at the chart in this post to assess where you think she falls on the scale: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/lets-get-real-is-your-dog-fat/
I will say that I think you feed her too much. If she is overweight, I would talk to your vet and then consider cutting down her meal size. The recommendation on the back of pet food bags is a suggestion and a starting place. It is not what should be followed exactly. Just like people, it’s simple. Start with the suggested amount. If your dog needs to lose weight, feed less. If they are getting too skinny, feed more. My Gretel is 11 lbs. She hikes for at least 3 hours, and goes on one or two 30-minute walks, most weeks. She eats 1/4-1/3 cup of food twice a day (depending on her look at activity level) for a total of 1/2 to 2/3 cup a day. Some days she doesn’t get any treats. On training and photo days, she does get a couple of handfulls of small treats but that is usually on days that we hike so she is burning a lot of calories. Unless it accidentally drops on the floor and she gets it before we can, she doesn’t get any table scraps or processed people food. So, the direct answer to your question is talk to your vet but it’s probably not an issue to cut back a little on her food. As for how much you cut back, do it little by little until she is at the proper weight (so not a diet per-se). Good luck.
My flower monkey is almost 3 years old, epileptic and on phenobarbital 1times a day and at night gets 1/2 capsule of fish oil with her phenobarbital and 2 teaspoons of chicken broth (canned) and 3 m/l of potassium bromide. Since may of 2017 when she had 14 seizures in space of two hours and the 3 vets suggested putting her down. We said no we would find out what worked to control seizures and above. She isnt very active and I don’t want to stress her – we are cutting back on her food to approx one handful dry dog food (1/4 cup or less each time). No seizures in past 5 months, would appreciate any advice you can give. We dont want to trigger more seizures. She is a chiweenie and was up to 29 lbs. now she is down to 28 lbs. this am. (/9/9/2017) and holding. Thank you very much for help with our lovebug. We adopted her at 9 lb. and terrified at everything 2-1/2 years ago. Then the seizures started several months (from a rescue shelter, returned once by prior family, then we adopted her and experienced the seizures. So we experimented with pheno with kbr and found that pheno 1X daily,kbr/ once each evening along with fish oil and chicken broth works. Now need help with the weight problem. Thank you in advance, Shirley Whalen High in the Sierra nevadas of Calif.
I have a few questions and am so grateful to have someone experienced with Doxies to ask! I have a 7 month long haired old mini Doxie. I live alone so she is kenneled while I work, however I do go home at around 130 to let my pups out to potty. I also have a 13 yr old mini longhaired chihuahua.
My Doxie, Harley is yet to be house trained! I take them out several times between the time I get home and bedtime. Then she is kenneled at night. Could you please give me some helpful tips?? Also, she terrorizes my chi who is older and doesn’t like to “play” by pulling her tail! Those are the two most pressing issues for me. I’d appreciate any help I could get!
Hi Rhonda. I edited your comment so your email wasn’t listed publicly. I’m going to answer here so that your question may help others but will also send you this info via email.
The trick for house training with my two Dachshunds was taking them out in intervals that were shorter than the time in between accidents. For example, I started taking them out every hour whether they indicated they needed to go out or not. I spent 5 minutes with them out there saying “go potty”. If they didn’t go, that’s ok but I wanted them to 1) have enough time to go amid potential distractions and 2) learn that outside is where potty is to happen. Since they went potty most of the time, that was enough to prevent accidents in the house. Eventually, I started extending the time in between visits outside (by 30 minutes)and it became less necessary to physically go outside with them. Now, I put them out every 3-4 hours if they don’t ask to go out on their own. Also, they are crated during the day when I’m gone. They rarely go potty in their kennel but, if they did have an accident, at least it’s contained to in there. I do have accidents in the house now but it’s due to my boy begin old and having dementia. You may want to consider taking your pup to the vet to rule out any medical conditions as a cause too.
Ass for her “terrorizing” your other dog, I would suggest consulting with a dog behaviorist or trainer. I’m not one myself so it would be hard for me to accurately guess even if I could see the behavior myself (which is necessary for an outsider to really get a feel for what’s going on). However, there could be a few things going on. It could just be that your girl wants to play and your Chi doesn’t – different energy levels. It could be that your Doxie’s energy level in play mode that it’s scary for your Chi. To me, because of the age difference, that is pretty likely. When your Doxie tries to play with your other dog, I would redirect her attention by playing a game of tug or fetch with her or taking her for a walk to help get some of the puppy energy out. If she won’t stop going after your other dog, then I would physically separate them for a short period until your Doxie calms down.
Thank you for such a great an informative article! We are new doxie owners (Rosie is a tweenie!) and I constantly stress over if I’m feeding her enough ( she is still a pup, 7 months) or not as she is still growing? And very active.
Hello. We had our mini Dixie 18 yrs and finally lost him. Perfect size, 10 lbs, smooth, did not need baths often. We finally decided to look for another. Found a breeder that had a mini smooth father and long coat mini mother. The pup was adorable and we love him but disappointed at his size. He is more long coat, 6 months old and already 15 lbs, needs bath more often due to smell. He is getting quite heavy for me. I did not know 2 mini dachsunds could have a standard. Never heard that before. So many breeders advertise pups as mini.
Yes, they can. It’s unfortunate that the breeder did not tell you that. Most “reputable” breeders will but many are more focused on the money than making sure the dog is a good fit for someone. While big Dachshunds can have little ones, and visa versa, usually a good breeder will be able to estimate the puppy’s size when full grown. Still though, it’s never a guarantee. My Chester is a “smooth” coat but his hair is definitely longer than Gretel’s. We never had much trouble with him smelling more but I use a freshening spray for dogs in between baths if he does need it.
I think I can answer the Smell issue. Their Food! My old hound smelled like a hound. 11 years of arguing with him to bathe often. Washing his bedding often & shampooing the carpet so often I ruined it. I switched him over to Quality food (Freshpet) and Instantly his hound odor was gone. It also helped to control his weight & energy. We now have a wired hair Dachshund mix & she eats Freshpet as well. Never had a odor issue. She gets baths cause she loves to play in mud.
I’ve definitely heard that raw or gently cooked food can help reduce dog odor.
I have a dachshund that appears to be overweight (a couple of pounds). She gets treats one time a week and no people food except the occasional dropped food from my 2 year old (she can no be in the dining room at dinner time). The problem, I believe, is her sedentary lifestyle. When it’s really hot outside, like now, she doesn’t want to go for a walk so I’ve not made her (lesson learned). Now she has become more of a couch potato. I know she needs to be walking at least 30 minutes a day but there’s no way she can do it immediately. How do I start getting her fit and how long should I start walking her?
Hi Bonnie. Dealing with extreme weather (heat or cold) can be challenging. We’re luckily to live in Seattle where that is rarely something we have to worry about. On days when it IS too hot here, I walk Gretel in the early morning when it’s cool or in the evening. If that won’t work for you guys, you can consider getting her involved in an indoor sport like agility. Also, DogTread sells treadmills specifically designed for dogs. I know there are pups that exercise indoors that way.
Jessica, finding this post was one of the best things for my little Buddy! The vet tech tells me he is overweight but that he’s only supposed to be 14lbs, is there any way I could send you a picture of him and get your opinion? He’s is about 20lbs and has been free fed his whole life (3years), never really over eating but he doesn’t get the most excerxise at the moment which will all change at Christmas when he gets a whole acre to call his own. Do you think the exercise alone will be enough to make a difference if he is overweight?
Glad we were able to chat over messenger about it. Good luck!
Hi Jessica,, my 8 month old mini dachshund weighs 19.9 pounds. He is a dapple, had him neutered at 4 months old. He gained 9 pounds in 3 months. Both parents are mini Doxies. I feed him science hill puppy food, 1/3 cup 2x a day. Just started last 2 weeks, was eating 1 cup per day , 1/2 cup 2x a day. It’s like he just blew up in 3 months. I have had mini dachshund, 14 y/o passed to rainbow bridge on 01/31/18. He was never overweight till last year of life, had lymphoma. Breeder of Rougie, Doxie I have now, states he is mini, Honestly I don’t know. Rougie is very active, not walking yet around block b/c of winter but he plays outside quite a bit with my golden who is 11y/o. Maybe he is a standard. I thought about feeding him Raw, but I don’t know how to change him over! Could I send you pics of parents and Rougie. I stumbled on your site and I am so glad I did. Thank you.
Hi Sue. I got your email with pictures. Thanks.
As you know, puppies can grow fast. Also, the size of the parents is not always an indicator of the size the offspring will be full grown. In the Dachshund breed, “mini” vs “standard” is a classification based solely on weight. Otherwise, they are genetically the same breed. Mini parents can have a standard and visa versa. With that being said – and I’m only saying this because you reached out about a weight issue – but your babies do look like they could lose a pound or two. In the standing pictures, they have a slight waist but it’s hard to make out. Even if he is really fit though, I bet he is a standard (16 lbs or over) because it definitely doesn’t seem like he has 4 lbs to lose.
1/3 cup foot 2X per day sounds reasonable. That’s what my Dachshunds eat (although I bump it up a little when they are very active in the summer) and maintain their weight well. Since you just changed his amount of food recently, I would wait to see if he slims down a little from that. If not, you could increase his exercise.
As for raw, it’s not hard to change him over. Here are a couple of articles that might help if you want to go that route: https://www.darwinspet.com/resources/transitioning/dog/ (from the manufacturer of the raw food I feed my dogs) https://keepthetailwagging.com/5-steps-to-transition-a-dog-to-raw-dog-food/ (from my friend who is a raw feeding expert).
Hola Jesica! ??
I treat my dog every time we go out for a walk (3 times per day) as part of his training, and I’m starting to think these treats are the culprit of his light overweight.
Could you recommend me a type of treat that is more diet-friendly?
Hi Sergio. Treats can definitely cause weight problems. Having a puppy though, I definitely understand the need for training. I’m actually getting ready to publish a blog post about my recommended treats but it’s not quite ready yet. The treats I recommend in it are high quality, by my standards, and very small. I use Crumps Naturals Mini Trainers (tiny chunks of freeze dried liver), Zuke’s Tiny Naturals, or Red Barn Protein Puffs (the cat version because they are smaller – the formula is the same). However, those aren’t always high value enough so I sometimes use little chunks of string cheese or hot dogs. Another thing to note is that using smaller treats with less calories is only half of the equation. On days that I know my puppy will be getting a lot of treats, I also reduce her food at feeding time a little to compensate. Good luck. I love that you are watching your pup’s weight and, in my book, being aware is half of the battle.
Thank you Jessica,
I truly appreciate that you’ve chosen to share your wealth of knowledge with us for free. You’re an absolute gem!
I too, came across your blog when googling about my ‘heavy’ miniature dachshund boy. I’ve read so many things, now it just all makes sense.
The chart is great and ‘simple’ as you said, and like many others have come to realise I simply feed him too much and don’t exercise him enough. But also that he may not be a miniature at all, what a revelation, that hadn’t even crossed my mind.
It’s not rocket science I know, but it seems our intelligence has nothing to do with it when it comes to our fur babies, we simply need someone like you to ‘tell it to us straight’.
I am a ‘first time’ registered breeder (not Pedigree) and am so excited for our future ventures full of nothing but love and care and happiness (which Doxies just naturally cause with their presence).
I have my ‘May’ girl and my ‘Boston’ boy, bought as puppies, and I am head over heels in love with them. I spend every waking moment with them and I think I’m the one who gets anxious if I do have to leave them at home for an hour or two here and there lol.
After reading your blog and other info, I realise I just don’t care that if he’s not a mini, and that I want to be very transparent with the new owners about these facts when it comes time for the bambino’s to go to their new loving homes.
Minis can have standards and standards can have minis.
It’s not about the money for me, it’s about spreading the joy, and I’ll be sure to make this information clear.
I know you’re not a vet, Vet’s have all the great Medical information and skill we need, but you have so much lived dachshund experience and knowledge that no Vet could ever study for.
Thank you for sharing and caring ??
Thank you for your kind words. The fact that you were even researching the weight issue tells me you are a very caring dog owner. Good luck with the upcoming babies.
Hi Jessica, thank you for writing this article. I have a tweenie, Odie, that is overweight. When we got him at one year old he was 12 lbs. After he was neutered his weight when up to 15-16 lbs. He’s now at 18.5 lbs.
We have two main problems with getting him to lose weight. Our other dog, Buckey – a lab mix, is such a slow eater. He’ll eat half his food then come back an hour or more later to finish. Odie knows this and he patiently waits for Buckey to walk away so he can have a second breakfast. We’ll jump in if we see Buckey walk away or catch Odie eating but we often don’t catch him before he’s had a good part of Buckeys food. Any ideas on how to handle this problem?
Our second issue is walking Odie can be is such a pain in the butt. Odie will become distracted from the walk and start digging and/or refuses to walk in the chosen direction. He becomes an 18 lb brick on a leash. Several times during every walk I have to pick him up and carry him away from the distraction so we can continue our walk. My kids dislike walking him because of his stubborness. (We live in a wooded area so it’s not a big deal that he digs and he gets plenty of opportunity to dig in our fenced in back yard.) I would love it if we could take more walks without it being a battle of wills. Help!
Hi Katie. It sounds like you free-feed Buckley (leave food out all the time?). If so, the only way you can solve the second breakfast is to stop doing that or shut Buckley in a separate room with his food until he is done. If you want to switch to scheduled feeding instead, this article I wrote on my other Dachshund blog may be helpful. https://formydachshund.com/free-feeding-vs-scheduled-feeding-your-dachshund-which-is-better/. As for the walking, it sounds like Odie is not used to it and/or not in good enough shape to go far. Being overweight can make walking feel not so pleasant but the catch-22 is that he needs to walk more to lose weight. This article may help with his refusal to walk: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/how-to-get-your-dachshund-to-walk-in-a-harness-or-jacket/
It’s about refusal to walk in a harness or jacket but there is a section called “9 Ways to Out-Smart Your Dachshund into Walking” at the bottom 🙂 Good luck.
I have a Tweenie male of almost 11 years old. His name is Rudie. He has been chunky for sometime, I used to throw him a treat when leaving him for a while. I felt guilty you see.
I don’t do that now, He is still chunky though. My vet says he is well over weight.
The vet does not seem to realize,that Rudie is a tweenie, so his weight of 17 pounds is an average.
So have decided to have a Thyroid Test done on Rudie just to see the truth.