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Is Running Bad For Dachshunds? 3 Facts, 3 Dangers & 4 Tips

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Many dachshund parents worry about their furry friend running long distances due to their short legs. Will they struggle to keep up? Will it cause them to get IVDD or hip dysplasia? Can you take them jogging with you?

Is Running Bad For Dachshunds?

No, running is not bad, in fact, it’s very healthy for adult dachshunds. However, due to their short legs and long backs, dachshunds are susceptible to spinal problems. So, It’s important to be aware of this so you can train them and build up their strength to avoid injury from running.

In this post we’re going to dive deep on how far and fast dachshunds can run, if they make good jogging partners, some important dangers to watch out for when jogging with your dachshund as well as helpful tips.

Let’s jump right in!

How Fast Can Dachshunds Run?

At their quickest, dachshunds can run anywhere between 15-20 mph (31 kph).

Just like any other animal, they aren’t able to keep up their max speed for very long and would slow down to an easier pace after hitting their top speed.

Given that humans jog anywhere between 4-6 mph a dachshund would have no problem keeping up with you at this pace.

How Far Can Dachshunds Run?

The answer to how far a dachshund can run is dependent on how healthy and how often your dachshund has been running.

If your pup has never run before, outside of playing fetch in the backyard, they won’t be able to run far.

If you’ve been running with your dachshund their whole life, they should have no problems going as far as you’re wanting to go.

Many people think that because a dachshund is short, long and prone to IVDD that they shouldn’t run long distances, but this isn’t the case.

It’s very similar to a person running. If they’ve never ran before and decide to go for a 5 mile run without stretching… They’re going to get injured. Same thing goes for a dachshund.

But, if a person stretches, starts off with smaller distances and gradually increases, they’ll be fine running. Again, same for your dachshund.

IVDD isn’t caused by a dachshund running on flat surfaces, it’s from jumping on people, on and off couches or even when climbing stairs in some cases.

It’s when they put excessive pressure on two of their legs instead of having their weight evenly distributed on four that IVDD flares up.

Running long distances on flat surfaces would be no problem for your dachshund as long as their distance gradually increases.

One woman runs 40-miles a week with her dachshund!

Is Running Bad For Dachshunds

Can You Run With Dachshunds? Do They Make Good Jogging Partners?

Dachshunds can absolutely go running with you. The most important thing to keep in mind is to gradually build them up to your skill level.

If you’re an experienced jogger, start your dachshund with shorter runs and work their way up to your preferred distances.

Overtime dachshunds can make great jogging partners!

If you run 5 miles everyday without your dachshund then decide one day you want to bring them along, they’re going to struggle and could even get hurt.

But if you are just starting to practice jogging and you start with 1 mile and bring your pup along, they’ll likely be as pooped as you are.

Then slowly but surely as you start increasing your distance, both you and your dachshund will get in better shape and be able to handle the added distance.

3 Dangers When Running With Your Dachshund

1) Heat Regulation

One of the biggest dangers that comes when running with your dachshund is their heat regulation.

Dog’s only have 2 real ways of cooling off, panting and blood vessel expansion.

Panting works for dogs because it allows moisture to evaporate on their tongue which creates a cooling effect.

The same thing happens when people sweat. Fortunately, we sweat all over our bodies to help regulate our temperature when we get too warm. 

Dog’s aren’t so lucky.

Which means they need to be closely watched to make sure they aren’t showcasing any signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

When a dog’s temperature reaches above 105 fahrenheit they could be suffering from heat stroke.

Now, unless you carry around a thermometer to check their temperature, this will be difficult for you to know.

But there are a few early signs that they will show/do when they’re getting close to heatstroke levels of warmth. 

Such as, excessive drooling, dry nose and mouth (may notice the fur around these areas clumping together and dried out), bright red tongue and gums, or skin that’s warm to the touch.

If you notice any of these signs it’s important to stop your jog, find some shade and give them a drink of water.

2) Possible Unforeseen Injuries

There’s no doubt about it, running long distances as well as running often is taxing to the body.

Some of the more common injuries that could occur to your dachshund are fractured bones, hip/elbow dysplasia, or burned foot pads.

Whenever doing any kind of physical activity there is a risk of being injured.

The most important thing you can do is make sure the environment is safe for running (not too hot), not running too long of a distance than your dachshund can handle, and your pup has been properly warmed up.

3) Hunger

When going for a jog, you’re both burning a lot of calories. 

And your dog may not have as much control as you do where they won’t eat something on the ground during one of your breaks. This isn’t good for a variety of reasons.

What they ate could make them sick, could get lodged in their stomach because it’s not able to be digested, or cut their mouth.

This is another reason to keep a close eye on your pup while on your jog, as well as to bring treats with you.

Giving them a treat at certain check points on your run can be enough to make the other smells much less tempting.

Top 4 Tips To Keep Your Dachshund Safe When Jogging

1) Use a Harness

Is Running Bad For Dachshunds

Harnesses are a great alternative to collars because they remove pressure from a dogs neck and evenly distributes it across their chest.

This is even more important when jogging than on everyday walks.

When walking, if your dog is in good shape, they won’t be excessively panting and trying to catch their breath.

But when jogging, they’re likely pushing their limits and need each breath.

If they were pulled on their leash while wearing a collar, to speed them up, slow them down or correct their direction, it would stop them from being able to breathe momentarily.

And if you’ve ever finished a run or pushed yourself past your previous limit, you know how much you need to catch your breath.

You also can probably imagine how terrible it would be to have a collar pulled on your throat when you’re in that condition.

A harness gets rid of this possibility. You can still correct their walking behavior, but it won’t make breathing more difficult when they’re likely already needing to catch their breath.

Also, many harnesses have pockets or compartments that you can put treats or toys inside.

Whether you’re jogging to the park or would like to reward your furry friend, a harness can make bringing certain things alone very simple.

Related Reading: Top 12 Best Harnesses For Dachshunds

2) Walk Before You Run

In order to maintain the wellbeing of your dachshund, it’s important to work your way up to longer distances with them.

Dog’s aren’t great at expressing they’re overdoing it.

Many dog’s love running and being outside so much that they’ll go and go until they collapse.

This is obviously the last thing you want.

So you have to be their gauge on what’s too much activity for them.

If you’re just starting to jog yourself and bringing your dachshund along for the journey, they’ll likely be able to handle as much as you can. 

So long as they aren’t in much worse shape than you.

In this situation, you’d both begin to gradually get in better shape and become more able to jog longer distances.

If you’re already an active runner and one day decide to bring your pup along, start them off on a shorter run.

Gradually increasing their distance over several weeks will ensure they don’t injure themselves.

Remember, you didn’t start off being able to do the distances you’re able to do now!

3) Keep a Phone On You

In a perfect world there would be vet clinics on every corner and anywhere you ran with your dachshund you wouldn’t be too far from a clinic.

But unfortunately that’s not the case.

And because of this, the next best thing you can do is to bring your phone with you on your runs.

If you notice your dog limping or all of a sudden refusing to run or walk you should call someone to pick you up.

Or if you aren’t far from home (and are strong enough), call the vet to make an appointment, and carry your dog home.

Making sure you can contact someone in the event that your dachshund got physically hurt or started to overheat is super important.

4) Bring Water & Treats

Is Running Bad For Dachshunds

Depending on the length of your run, or how hot it is on a given day, water is a must have for your dog.

Dog’s don’t have as many ways to cool off as people do.

Their primary way is through panting, when moisture evaporates on their tongue.

Humans sweat all over their body which means they have cooling effects all over and not just on their tongue.

So if it’s a warmer day or you’re going for a longer run than usual, it’s important to take a break to hydrate your pup (and yourself).

Treats are never a bad idea either.

If you want to reward your dachshund for a good run or need to sway them from chasing a squirrel, having treats handy never hurts.

Final Thoughts

Dachshunds can definitely be good jogging partners. The key is to ensure they’ve been given time to get stronger, improve their cardiovascular health and don’t do more than they can handle.

You have to make the executive decision on what’s a good starting point for them and gradually increase their running distance.

Other posts you might find interesting:

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Do Dachshunds Like To Cuddle? 11 Things You Should Know

Top 5 Reasons Dachshunds Can Make Great Service Dogs

Can Dachshunds Climb Stairs? 4 Dangers + 7 Helpful Tips


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