With their long weiner-like bodies, short legs, and small stature, Dachshunds don’t exactly look like they were made to compete on the racetrack, and that’s actually the truth. Originally bred to be hunting dogs, Dachshunds are better adapted to chase their prey and for digging instead of sprinting. But hey, all hunters need to be fast to catch their prey, and the same goes for Dachshunds.
Therefore, in this quick and easy to follow article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how fast Dachshunds can run and what you can expect from this little breed.
What’s a Dachshund’s top speed?
Dachshunds are strong dogs but strength doesn’t always translate to speed. They have very short legs relative to their body size, and this makes hitting high speeds particularly hard for Dachshunds, making them one of the slower dog breeds.
An average member of this breed who doesn’t have any health problems can run at speeds of 15 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour at maximum. Dachshunds also tend to be low on endurance, and therefore they can’t sustain their top speeds for very long; therefore, owners should never force their Dachshunds to run for long or very quickly.
Even though Dachshunds are very small, they enjoy running. Adult Dachshunds can run up to speeds of 15-20 mph (31 kph), which is very fast when compared to the average human male that can jog at 8.5 mph and the average female, at 6.5 mph.
Dachshunds are able to run at high speeds in short bursts, rather than long distances, as they have very small legs.
Video of a Dachshund running fast!
Here is a YouTube video from dannyrice29 showing his Dachshund, Remy, running at full speed along the California coast. Very speedy!
Can running be harmful to Dachshunds?
Just like many other dog breeds with a long back, like a Corgi, a Dachshund’s back is highly susceptible to a wide range of health-related problems. Around 25% of Dachshunds suffer from intervertebral disc diseases in their lives, so it’s not something that should be taken lightly.
This condition is similar to herniated discs and is characterised by causing immense pain and difficulty in mobility, and it can even lead to partial or complete paralysis. There are many factors that can significantly increase the chances of Dachshunds contracting intervertebral disc diseases, and the most common of those factors are continuous stress on the backbone.
Therefore, it’s crucial to not over work your Dachshund or encourage any activity that could apply extra stress on their backbone, such as:
- Running up or down the stairs
- Long runs or walking more than they are used to
- Jumping from high places
- Aggressive play fighting with other dogs
- Handling or holding them incorrectly
You should always take great care of your Dachshund, especially while they are around children, as some children may attempt to pick them up or handle them incorrectly.
How can you tell if your Dachshund has exercised enough?
Unfortunately, there is no accurate answer to that question as different dogs are able to run for different distances. Therefore, what we, dog experts and veterinarians, recommend to owners of Dachshunds is to keep an eye on their dogs during exercise and see if they start showing signs of fatigue.
If your dog starts refusing to walk further or if they start panting vigorously, then you should stop exercising immediately and head back home.
Below are some of the additional signs of fatigue in Dachshunds that you should look out for:
- Changes in behaviour or gait
- Excessive thirst
- Dropped tail position
- Loud panting
- No longer listening to commands
- Refusing to walk or exercise
- Laying on the floor
- Shortness of breath
Generally speaking, healthy and young Dachshunds will prove to be better running partners than Dachshunds who are old or are suffering from health issues. You can also take puppies for a run or walk but make sure not to overdo it as puppies are still developing and are not ready to do any challenging exercises. You will also need to ensure that your puppy is fully vaccinated before taking them outside your home, or when introducing them to other dogs.
Can you take a Dachshund running?
Yes, in fact, Dachshunds love to run, however, they have very small legs, so you shouldn’t take them on long runs, or expect too much from them, but they are very fast runners.
They are very energetic but tend to have short bursts of energy, so even though they can run up to high speeds, this is only for a short period of time.
If you do decide to run with your Dachshund, give them plenty of time to rest up and make sure to take breaks throughout your run, you shouldn’t ever over-exercise them, or force them to run for longer distances. Take your time, keep them well hydrated and keep it fun.
Are long walks bad for Dachshunds?
An Adult Dachshund can be walked a fair distance, as long as they receive lots of breaks and are well hydrated throughout the walk, but as a puppy, you should limit the exercise. The general rule of thumb is 5 minutes for every month of their age, therefore, if they are 6 months old, you can walk them for 30 minutes per day.
However, once they are an adult, you can walk them for however long they please, but you should keep a close eye on the signs of fatigue, encase they are pushing their boundaries.
How does a Dachshund’s running speed compare to other dogs?
Adult Dachshunds can run up to speeds of 15-20 mph (31 kph) – but how does this compare to other dog breeds?
|Afghan Hound||34-40 mph|
|Jack Russell Terrier||38 mph|
|Doberman Pinscher||32 mph|
|German Shepherd||30 mph|
|Siberian Husky||28 mph|
|Rat Terrier||28 mph|
Dachshunds are very fast runners, especially when compared to us humans, however, when compared to larger dogs, they seem rather sluggish. But you shouldn’t underestimate the speed a Dachshund can run – as they are very fast!
Can Dachshunds walk 3 miles?
Yes, they definitely can! A healthy Dachshund should be able to walk 3 miles or more without any problems. In fact, there are known to be Dachshunds that have walked up to 20 miles in a single day, so it’s possible.
However, all dogs are different, so what might be possible for one sausage, may not be for another, so it’s important to keep them well-conditioned and give them plenty of breaks.
Can Dachshunds swim fast?
Sure they can! In fact, Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers in Germany, so they definitely have a strong swimming instinct. If your Dachshund hasn’t swam before, the initial thought of it may scare them, but once they have swam for the first time, this builds their confidence!
We would suggest placing your Dachshund in a well controlled pool of water, that’s deep enough for them to start swimming. Keep a close eye on them and help them if they struggle, but once they’ve been dipped a few times, they’ll love it.
Our miniature Dachshund, Tilly, hated water to begin with, until we took her to Cornwall and dunked her into the water. It wasn’t until the next day she voluntarily ran into the water by herself!
Video of a Dachshund swimming fast!
Here’s a video showing a bunch of Dachshunds having a swimming race! Look at the little sausages, they may not be the best swimmers, but they are fast for their size.
Is running bad for Dachshunds?
Dachshunds are known for being playful and full of energy, but they are a breed that is prone to developing a number of different health conditions, such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). This is a common health issue among Dachshunds, in fact, one in four purebred Dachshunds will develop it at some point in their lives, so it’s important to care and look after their backs. This condition can cause serious health problems with the spine.
IVDD is a condition that affects the intervertebral discs, which are the cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. These discs can rupture or herniate, causing pain and potentially paralysis. It’s a very painful condition and could change your Dachshunds’ life, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly (2, 3).
There’s a number of things you can do to help prevent IVDD in your Dachshund, such as: –
- Keep your dog at a healthy weight to avoid additional stress on their backs
- Provide a nutritious diet to help keep them in great shape
- Avoid high impact activities such as jumping or running up/down stairs
- Get regular physical exercise, at least 30 minutes per day
- See your veterinarian for regular check-ups
If you think your Dachshund may be showing signs of IVDD, it’s important to see your veterinarian right away. If your Dachshund has ever had issues with their back, you should pass with the idea of running with them with your veterinarian, and they will be able to advise.
You should start slow and gradually increase the distance and intensity of the runs. Always pay close attention to your Dachshund’s body language – if they seem tired or in pain, stop the run.
Why can Dachshunds run sideways?
Dachshunds are known to run sideways when they have a more dominant leg, as they rely on that leg more than the others. This results in them running sideways and in some cases, side-stepping too. It’s very common in Dachshunds that are still growing, and it is more easily noticeable as they run sideways and sometimes, skip. But it’s nothing to worry about and as your Dachshund grows, this behaviour usually subsides.
- Dachshund IVDD - Intervertebral Disc Disease
- National Library of Medicine - Intervertebral disc disease in Dachshunds radiographically screened for intervertebral disc calcifications
- National Library of Medicine - An investigation of lifestyle associations with the risk of intervertebral disc disease in Dachshunds