Regular grooming of wirehaired Dachshunds is vital keep this dog's streamlined, dapper appearance. This breed possesses a short, coarse outer coat with a thick undercoat, and the outer hairs exhibit a strong degree of independence. As with most wirehaired breeds, the Dachshund’s coat responds well to brushing, stripping, and occasional plucking out of dry, dead hairs. The coat of a well-groomed wirehaired Dachshund should resemble a close-fitting jacket, lying snugly against the dog’s body with long hairs evident only on certain parts of the face.
To maintain the coat, brush your wirehaired Dachshund several times a week using a good bristle brush. Brush in the direction of the hair growth, lifting the hair as you go. Apply gentle pressure to ensure that the brush reaches the dog’s skin. This removes the dander or dead skin cells on the surface and stimulates the oil-producing glands in the skin, keeping the coat clean and healthy. Take care not to press hard, or you may scratch the dog’s skin, which could lead to infection. Follow the brushing with a thorough combing, using a fine-toothed comb to remove any fleas or other parasites.
Preparing for Stripping
When the dog’s hair begins looking dry and dull, it may be time to strip the coat. Owners of wirehaired Dachshunds commonly strip the coat twice a year, first in spring, just ahead of the warm summer weather, and again in the fall, ahead of the growth of a new winter coat. Brush the hair using a slicker brush with metal pins set in a rubber cushion, first in one direction and then in the other. This will remove as much of the dead hair as possible in readiness for stripping.
Stripping and Plucking
Strip the dog before bathing, because the hair is easier to grasp when it is slightly dirty. Using a stripping knife, grip a section of the dog’s hair as close to the roots as possible. Holding the hair firmly between your thumb and the knife, pull it toward you, using your arm and shoulder. This strips out the undercoat and the remaining loose hairs. Avoid using your wrist, as this can cut the hair instead of pulling it out. Pluck out individual hairs remaining after stripping, using your finger and thumb or a pair of tweezers.
Wirehaired Dachshunds should not be bathed more than three or four times a year. The dog’s skin produces quantities of sebum, which covers the hairs of the undercoat and protects against the cold and heat. Bathing removes most of the sebum, leaving the dog vulnerable to heat and cold, although it makes the coat softer to touch. Use lukewarm water and specially formulated dog shampoo to bathe your wirehaired Dachshund, then rinse very well. Avoid getting water into the dog’s long, floppy ears, which are prone to ear infections because of the covered ear canal.
Tangles and Mats
If the coat of your wirehaired Dachshund develops tangles and mats, break these apart with your fingers while the coat is dry. Once you wet the coat, the tangles can be far more difficult to eliminate. Gradually separate the hairs and comb them out, starting from the bottom end and using a wide-toothed comb. Once the tangle has broken up completely and the comb moves easily through the dog’s hair, switch to a fine-toothed comb. Avoid cutting tangles out unless you are shaving the dog all over, because this may leave you with uneven areas in the coat.
Clipping the Body
Wirehaired Dachshunds need minimal clipping if their coats are stripped regularly. Trimming your Dachshund, however, helps maintain a neat appearance and an even flow of hair. Using a No.10 blade, run the clipper over the dog’s head, underside of the neck and the outer edges of the ears. Switch to a No. 5 or 7 blade for the back of the neck, body and tail, and work in the direction of the hair growth. This prevents a shaving action, and just the loose ends of the coat are clipped.
Trimming the Face
Trimming around the face of the Dachshund should be done by a professional groomer. For the eyebrows and beard, the groomer uses a pair of small scissors to trim the hair from the corner of the lip to the corner of the dog’s eye. The groomer removes any long hairs under the eyes, and leaves the eyebrows long but clips them to taper towards the outside eye corner and blend them into the shorter hair on the cheek.
Eyes and Ears
Clean your wirehaired Dachshund’s eyes by wiping discharge gently away using a damp cloth. Avoid using any drops or other substances in the dog’s eyes unless prescribed by your veterinarian. Wipe the inner surface of the ear flap with a warm, damp cloth or a cotton swab soaked in mineral oil. Check with the veterinarian about whether it is advisable to pluck excess hair out of the ear canal.
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