How to Groom a Wirehaired Dachshundby Karen Curley
Dachshunds are affectionate, fun-loving small dogs that are excellent family pets. Dogs of this breed come in two sizes: miniature and standard; and three different coat varieties: smooth, wirehaired and longhaired. The wirehaired dachshund's double coat consists of a short, soft undercoat with a topcoat of short, coarse fur. Some hairs from the undercoat show through the rough topcoat hairs. Wirehaired dachshunds have eyebrows and a beard on their faces and short fur on their ears. They need weekly brushing to prevent mats and remove loose fur. You can hand-strip, use a stripping comb, or combine the two methods to groom your wirehaired dachshund's coat. Stripping the coat two or three times per year removes dead fur, allows new fur to grow, and preserves the coat’s rough texture. After stripping, the fur on your wirehaired dachshund's body should be from 1/2 to 3/4 inch long.
Begin hand-stripping your wirehaired dachshund as soon as the coat begins to grow longer than one inch. This is usually when puppies reach about two months old. Puppies should be introduced to hand-stripping at an early age to get them used to the procedure. Place your dog on the grooming table, and position the grooming loop around his neck. The loop hangs from the grooming arm, which attaches to the table. It holds your dachshund in place while you groom him, so he won’t jump off or fall from the grooming table. If your dachshund struggles against the loop collar, you can try a harness or snap collar instead. Grooming tables are available at any pet grooming supply store. If you do not have a grooming table, or if your dog is afraid to stand on one, you can groom your wirehaired dachshund on the floor. It is more comfortable for you to groom with your dog standing on a table, because you don't have to stoop over such a small dog while stripping the coat.
Brush your dog to remove loose fur, dirt or debris caught in his coat. This makes hand- or comb-stripping easier, because brushing catches much of the shedding fur.
Begin hand- or comb-stripping at your dachshund's shoulder while standing at his right or left side. If it is more comfortable, you can stand behind your dog. Use one hand to firmly hold your dog’s fur and skin at the shoulder, and pluck the loose fur, pinching it between your thumb and index finger of your other hand, or use the stripping comb and hold the fur between your thumb and the stripping comb. A stripping comb, also called a stripping knife, has dull blades that help you grip the fur. Using a stripping comb gives the same results as hand-stripping. Always pluck the fur in the direction of growth, moving across your wirehaired dachshund's withers and down his back until you reach the base of his tail. When you finish stripping your dog’s back, run your fingers up his fur from the tail to his shoulders. Any dead fur you missed will stand up, and you can remove it.
Strip the sides of your wirehaired dachshund using the same stripping method. Pluck the loose fur, moving down his side from his shoulders to the ribs and across his flanks. Depending on how your dog tolerates stripping, you can do this in 10-minute sessions, taking a break between sessions, because a complete stripping can take up to two hours. Hand-stripping also requires finger strength, so you might need a break before your dog does.
Strip the front of your wirehaired dachshund’s neck and chest, following the fur direction and moving down to his belly. Lift his front leg with one hand, and pluck the fur using your other hand. Begin stripping between his front legs, then down across his abdomen to the underbelly. If your pet is comfortable lying on his back or side, this can make stripping his belly easier.
Pluck the fur from your dog’s tail, giving it a uniform, tapered appearance. Trim the fur around your dog’s anus and underneath the tail with blunt-tipped scissors instead of plucking, because these are sensitive areas.
Begin stripping your wirehaired dachshund’s head behind his eyebrows. Move up and across the top of his head and down the back of his neck. Gently pull the loose fur from between his eyes and eyebrows, keeping the eyebrow fur bushy and longer over the inside of the eye and tapering down to the outer edge of the dog’s eye. Strip the fur across his cheeks, and gently remove any loose fur from around his eyes. Strip the ears so that the fur is short and smooth. Remove dead hair from your dog’s beard, but keep his beard long. You can trim it slightly with scissors to give it a tapered look.
Strip the loose fur on your wirehaired dachshund’s legs, but leave the fur a little longer than the rest of the coat. Use scissors to shape the fur around your pet’s feet to give them a rounded appearance.
Items You Will Need
- Grooming table
- Clamp on grooming arm
- Grooming loop collar
- Grooming brush
- Stripping comb
- Grooming scissors
- You can opt to clip your companion dog's fur with electric grooming clippers. This is a quicker grooming method, but it removes the wiry fur, and your pet will have a softer coat. Using electric clippers on the wiry topcoat of wirehaired dachshunds is not for show dogs. Absence of the wiry topcoat is a fault in the show ring.
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