A young brown Dachshund bounds across a lawn

Practical Tips For Running With Your Dachshund

If you’ve got a dachshund, you might be wondering whether it’s a good idea to allow them to accompany you during a run, and if so just how you can ensure that these runs are fun and safe for both you and your energetic little buddy.

Dachshunds have short legs, after all, and you might think they’d struggle to keep up – but actually many are perfectly capable sustaining a good turn of pace, as long as the run distance doesn’t extend into a multi-mile venture.

That said, if you’re an advanced runner, you probably won’t want to take your dachshund on a long  trek into the countryside. Their legs simply aren’t long enough to make covering vast distances an effortless task (such as these canine endurance champions).

They like short jogs and moderate runs – but they can certainly hold their own on these!

So we’re going to cover some practical tips for running with your energetic dachshund so you can both enjoy a burst of exercise together.

Are Dachshunds even built to run in the first place?

Dachshunds were originally bred to be good at hunting small animals such as rabbits. They were small enough to dart through the undergrowth and scrabble down holes after their prey. This means that they were bred to be energetic and reasonably quick over short distances, but they aren’t suited to endurance running.

Dachshunds are however high energy dogs and like at least 60 minutes of exercise per day when they are in good health.

If you’re struggling to wear your little four-legged friend out, consider taking them on a jog after reading through the tips below to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for both parties.

A very wet brown Dachshund looks up at its owner whilst out on a walk in the forest
Photo by Dan Smedley on Unsplash

Make sure your Dachshund is in good health before running

Before you properly start running with your pup, get a health check from the vet. Make sure that there are no issues with your dachshund’s hips or back that you need to be aware of before you hit the trails.

Dachshunds often suffer from problems with these parts of their bodies because they are quite “disproportionate” creatures.

It’s easy for them to injure themselves, so you need to know about weaknesses in advance so you can choose appropriate exercise.

Talk to your vet about your fitness plan and what your dog can manage. A dog that is young, physically fit, and full of enthusiasm will be more suited to jogging than a puppy, or an elderly or overweight dog.

 

Build up distance slowly when running with a Dachshund

No matter how enthusiastic your miniature dachshund proves to be, don’t go crazy on the first few runs.

Just like humans, dachshunds need to build their muscles for running, and while they may not realize they need to stop, you shouldn’t let them overdo it.

Think about their legs in relation to yours and calculate just how much more work they’re having to do to keep up with you. This may help you ease into running at a more reasonable pace and cadence.

Remember also to take breaks regularly so they can catch their breath and rest their muscles a bit. Some dogs just don’t have any quit in them so it’s up to you to say when enough is enough. 

A young brown dachshund running on the beach
Image by NORRIE3699 on Canva Pro

Watch for tiredness

If the exercise is proving too much for your dachshund, you’ll notice a few signs. These include:

  • heavy, labored panting
  • lagging behind
  • unwillingness to walk
  • whimpering
  • limping

You may also notice that your dachshund is extremely thirsty when you stop, or that it seems achy the next day. These are all good indicators that the exercise was too much, and you need to review the approach before you do harm to your friend.

Try to keep an eye on your dachshund throughout the run. Glance at them frequently to see how they’re doing, and slow down or stop if they need you to. Remember too that this is a sign to do less in future runs, and to take the foot off the gas.

If you want to do long runs and your dachshund can’t keep up, you’ll have to leave them behind and only take them on days when you’re prepared to do shorter, slower exercise.

It might be fun exercising with your best friend, but not if they’re finding it too much to handle.

It’s particularly important to keep an eye on your dachshund’s behavior when you first start running with them, but you should always be watching for signs that they’re struggling, even if you are familiar with their limitations.

An injury that you have yet to notice could be worsened by over-exercising. Keep an eye on your dog whenever you run together, and respond quickly to negative signs

A Dachshund wearing a green collar goes for a walk on the beach
Photo by Emma Charles from Pexels

Don’t run with any dog in the heat of the day

Humans cope well with heat; we have plenty of sweat glands that are very efficient at helping us to cool down. Dogs do not handle heat so well. They can cool down by panting and they do sweat through their feet, but they are much more likely to suffer from overheating than people are.

Miniature dachshunds are so full of energy, they may not notice if they are getting too hot, and could even get heatstroke.

Don’t run in weather that’s over 60° F, and don’t run in the hot sun. Choose shady, cool routes that will let your dog stay comfortable.

Think about those little paws

It’s easy for humans to run on pretty much any surface, because we protect our feet with shoes.

Hard surfaces do cause more impact damage overall, but we won’t feel immediate effects from running on tarmac or gravel.

Your dog, however, has no such protection, so you need to think about your running surface.

If you want to take your dachshund on a jog around the inner city, you may want to invest in some doggy boots to help protect its pads from the tarmac surface.

Remember too that impact isn’t great for your dog’s joints, and as dachshunds are vulnerable to joint problems, it’s really better to choose soft surfaces for your jogs if possible. Your dachshund is less likely to overheat if you’re running in a shaded green area, too, and may get more enjoyment from being out in nature!

A dachshund running full speed with all four paws having left the ground
Image by NORRIE3699 on Canva Pro

Carry water for your dog

If you plan to run in hot or even warm weather, you should carry water for your dog. They may not get dehydrated like humans do, but they will appreciate a good drink to help themselves cool down.

For short runs, it’ll be fine to just give them a drink when you return home, but if you plan to go for a longer journey (with appropriate rest breaks), take a bowl and pour some water out of your bottle for them. Most dogs will really appreciate a refreshing drink while they’re exercising.

Watch out for stiffness and soreness the next day

If your dog seems stiff and reluctant to move the day after a jog, don’t take them with you that day.

Instead, choose a gentle form of exercise to get those sore muscles moving, but not stress them further.

It’s good to keep your dog moving, but if it isn’t feeling its best, go slowly and let it set the pace!

Conclusion

Jogging with your dachshund can be great fun, but set realistic expectations and don’t take your canine buddy on long journeys – they simply aren’t built for it. They won’t have fun and they may even suffer injuries as a result.

Keep jogs with your dachshund short and sweet, and think about their comfort as well as your own. You should always have one eye on your jogging partner, and be ready to stop if you sense that anything is wrong. They may just need a break, or it may be time to call it a day.

Don’t be fooled by high-energy enthusiasm; dachshunds aren’t built for endurance running!