The basic purpose of brushing your dachshund's coat is to remove dead hairs and dirt from her coat and to promote regular air circulation to the underlying skin. Regular brushing stimulates the production of coat oils (for a very shiny, glossy coat) and the flow of blood to the skin for improved circulation.
Regular brushing can also help you spot potential health problems before they become more serious. Fleas, ticks, and mites can wreak havoc very quickly with a dog's skin. These pests also carry the potential to infect your dog with a host of diseases. If you go through your dog's coat every day you'll spot these problems quickly. You will also be able to spot lumps and bumps under the surface of her skin that could be tumors, as well as other painful or tender areas.
All dachshunds' brushing needs are not equal. Obviously the longhaired and wirehaired coats take more work than short or smooth coats. Using the right tools for the job can help immensely and make the job easier for both dog and owner.
What could happen if I don't brush my dachsie?
When dead hairs are left in a longhaired or wirehaired coat, they entwine with new hairs and cause mats, which are uncomfortable for the dog — they feel like a pinch to the skin — and unsightly. Additionally, since hair mats limit airflow to the skin, they can cause serious health problems, including open sores and infections. In some cases the skin itself can become so unhealthy and damaged that it peels off with the coat.
If you have a smooth-coated dachshund, brush him regularly — every other day is fine — to get rid of any loose or flaky skin, to minimize the amount of hair that the dog leaves on your furniture and floors, and to give your dog all the benefits of stimulating his skin to keep him healthy.
To begin, use a hound brush — a glove with rubber nubs or little bumps on one side — and start brushing in massaging, short circular motions from the tail of your dog to his head and neck. Once you've gone from tail to head, brush in the direction of the hair growth from head to tail. You can follow this by brushing with a soft bristle brush in the direction of hair growth. A quick rub with a slightly damp towel — also in the direction of growth — will gather any additional loose hair and dander remaining on the surface of the coat.
Some vacuums come with a pet attachment that is similar to a hound glove but has suction. Work with your dachshund to gradually introduce her to this helpful grooming tool, beginning with using the tool with no suction on. Reward good responses with treats, and keep the sessions very short at first.
The most common mistake owners make when grooming a longhaired dachshund is to brush and comb the coat that lies on the top without ever touching the coat that lies closest to the skin. The resulting mess is a mass of mats and tangles that might warrant an appointment with a groomer to cut or shave the dachshund's coat. The best way to prevent this from happening to your dachshund is to use the proper tools.
First you'll need a wire slicker brush. This type of brush has fine wire bristles that are long enough to reach through all layers of coat, including those lying closest to the dachshund's skin. Just make sure that you don't press too hard when using a slicker brush. The wire-tipped ends can irritate or even scratch your dog's skin.
Grooming your dog keeps his coat healthy and shiny. Plus, it provides quality bonding time.
If your dog's coat is in good shape, work in the direction that the coat falls. Begin gently at first, searching for any tangles or mats. You may use either the slicker brush or a fine-toothed or medium-toothed comb to work through your dog's long coat. Finish by brushing smoothly through his entire coat. Be watchful of his stomach and anal areas — both are very sensitive and require a soft touch.
You've probably heard that wirehaired dachshunds don't shed, so why do they need brushing? The truth is the wirehaired dachsie does shed; however, the dead hairs get caught in her wiry coat and don't fall to the floor. That's why is so important to brush often. If these hairs aren't removed on a regular basis, they form mats against your dog's skin, causing skin sores and other painful health problems.
Maintenance of the wirehaired dachshund's coat requires regular brushing with a wire slicker brush and a pin brush. The pin brush is made of metal pins, with or without rubber tips on the ends of the bristles. Pin brushes are effective in lifting dead, wooly undercoat hairs out from under the wiry guard hairs of the wirehaired dachshund.
Stripping is not a job for the inexperienced to attempt alone. (Mistakes last a long time.) If you've never stripped a dog's coat before, do it the first time under the tutelage of an experienced dachshund breeder or owner.
Brush against the lay of the hair initially with the pin brush, and then follow by brushing the dog from head to toe in the direction of the hair. You can follow this with a wire slicker brush, going in the direction of hair growth.
In addition to regular brushing, your wirehaired dachshund will need to be “stripped” roughly two to three times a year. This is the way to remove long, dead hairs from the coat that don't come out with regular brushing. Stripping can be done using your fingers or a stripping knife, which doesn't “cut” the coat but simply improves your grip on the hairs being pulled out. Hold your dog's skin so it doesn't move, and grasp finger-pinches of hair and pull them out with a hard tug. An experienced groomer or owner can probably hand-strip a dachshund's coat in one to two hours.