According to the American Kennel Club1 (AKC), Dachshunds are among the top 10 most popular breeds. It’s easy to see why—these pups are playful, cute, and friendly. They’re always open to making new friends, too, both human and canine. If you’ve just brought a puppy into your home, you may wonder how far your pooch can walk in a day.
The answer is that it depends. Several factors will determine how many steps you can rack up on your pedometer walking your dog. These factors include things like your dog’s age, weight, and overall health. It also depends on how active your pet is currently. Taking a couch potato on a marathon hike is probably not wise. The Dachshund Club of America2 recommends two half-mile walks a day.
Age and Walking
Dachshunds aren’t large dogs, with miniatures coming in at under 12 pounds and standards between 16–32 pounds. Smaller pups mature quicker than large pets, which can take over 2 years to reach their adult size. It’s essential not to overtax your Dachshund if it’s still a puppy. Parts of its bones are still fusing together during this time.
Don’t forget to use caution with seniors. Dogs lose muscle mass as they age, just like people. An older Dachshund may have trouble walking long distances, particularly if it has joint problems or arthritis.
The Doxie Factor
Dachshunds have a higher propensity for certain skeletal disorders that may affect how long they can walk. That’s why the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) recommends screening dogs for patellar luxation. The breed is also susceptible to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). Research suggests a correlation between short legs and long bodies with back issues.
A mutation in the ancient dogs’ DNA caused this body shape to develop. Somehow it managed to survive in the Dachshund and other short-legged canines. However, there’s an upside to it that led to the breed’s development. It’ll probably come as no surprise that Dachshunds got their start in Germany. Their short stature made them excellent hunting companions. Its name means “badger dog.”
By the late 1800s, Dachshunds became quite popular with the establishment of the first breed club: The Tekel Club, in 1888. It wasn’t long before the dogs endeared themselves to Europeans and eventually Americans. The latter was fortunate because it helped save the breed from going into extinction during World War I.
This background shows that Dachshunds were selectively bred to be active dogs to handle the rigors of being in the field hunting. Of course, these pups are more likely to be pets than hunting animals anymore. We can safely say that the breed has the DNA to be active and walk longer distances. Remember that the two half-mile walks were merely a suggestion. A healthy pup will likely go longer.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the health benefits of walking for you and your pet. The two walks will ensure you both get at least 60 minutes of moderate activity a day. The American Heart Association recommends that adult humans exercise at least 2.5 hours or 150 minutes a week. Your canine companion will hold you to it.
Regular walks will not only keep your Dachshund fit, but they may also help prevent obesity. Unfortunately, this breed is susceptible, despite its energy level. They may also reduce your pup’s risk of IVDD, although further research is necessary to confirm this association. Nevertheless, staying active is an excellent way to keep your dog healthy both mentally and physically.
Ensuring your Dachshund stays healthy means regular exercise. Two daily walks will allow your pup to get in 1–2 miles a day. However, a fit dog can go longer if the conditions are right and if the terrain isn’t too rugged. We suggest monitoring your pet for signs of fatigue or discomfort and let those things be your ultimate guide to how far your pooch can walk in a day.