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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Do wirehaired dachshunds shed? How to groom them?

I was reminded about grooming needs of wirehaired dachshunds this morning when I was feeding our beagle Rip. Right now Rip is losing his winter coat and he is shedding profusely. Shedding is a natural process and for outdoor dogs such as Rip its timing is very seasonal. My guess is that many beaglers do not brush their beagles, but when dogs are worked on rabbits and go through heavy cover, they will lose the old and dead hair quickly as a new coat grows in. The natural brush will act as a grooming tool.

Rip as a puppy, eleven years ago

How does Rip compare with wirehaired dachshunds? In my experience wires shed very little. And a little bit of grooming goes a long way. Since we usually have around ten dachshunds, it is hard to say which ones shed more than others. I have written about problems with wirehaired coats before on this blog. This is anecdotal, but I was told by a couple of friends that their softer coated wires shed less than they harsher coated dogs.

With most wires, the best approach to grooming is by hand-stripping. This is the only way that will maintain a correct wiry and harsh texture of the coat. By pulling out old coat you will make room for a new and strong coat to grow in. If you clip your wire, you will just cut the hair tips, that's all. The old coat will not be removed, and in the long run the coat will lose its desirable harsh texture. I tried to find a good guide to stripping a wirehaired coat on the web, and the article I like very much (not too technical and lengthy) is  at It deals with Border Terrier's coat but principles are exactly the same.
"Kuba" had a perfect coat. Here he is posed on a grooming table, after his coat was stripped.

A good alternative to hand-stripping is Coat-King comb by Mars. It pulls the hair out quickly, and you can groom a wire much faster this way than by hand. I use it a lot for the fast, casual grooming. There is a lot of good info about this tool at Make sure you see "before and after" pics at .

"Tasha", Kuba's niece, was an exceptional blood tracker, who passed last year at the age of 14. This picture shows her with her natural coat, not groomed. If I were to groom her, I would hand strip her body coat with some help of King-Coat comb, and I would clip her furnishings and hair on her belly.

Clipping is recommended if a wirehaired dachshund has a very soft, fine and fluffy coat. Pulling out hair from this kind of coat would be very painful.

These pictures show Gunnar before and after his coat was clipped.

Many hunters and tracking dog handlers like a rather short coat as grooming needs of such dogs are minimal. The below picture shows Zosia von Moosbach-Zuzelek, a wirehaired dachshund with pretty short coat and minimal beard. Sometimes this kind of coat is called "pin wire", and it may never need to be stripped.

As we said before, wirehaired dachshunds' proper coat does not breed true. Even if you breed individuals with a very proper wirehaired coat, you will get, most likely, a wide range of coat textures in their offspring. The below picture shows Blitz, who technically is a smooth dachshund (he has a short body coat and no furnishings), and his grooming needs are not different than of a "regular' smooth dachshund - occasional brushing and nail clipping. He is a son of Alfi and Elli, both with excellent proper coats.

How often do we bathe our dogs? Very rarely, only if they get into something stinky and so dirty that we could not brush it out of their coat. If they get into heavy mud, we might rinse them, dry and brush them. Some of our dogs have never been bathed at all. Giving frequent baths and using shampoos is not recommended as it strips the skin of natural oils leaving it dry and itchy. Our dogs are allowed to swim in the pond as much as they want, but this is a different matter - no shampoos are used in that process!

"Winnie" (Wynnona von Moosbach-Zuzelek)


Lisa~* said...

Hi, which no. Coat King Blade did you use please? Thanks

Jolanta Jeanneney said...

We use the 20-blade type.

Archavez said...

At what age can a person tell if a dachshund puo is wire haired? And at what age did you get a full representation of their 'grown up' coat? If a 4 month old doesn't look very wiry (not much beard or eyebrows), what are the chances of predicting their adult coat?

Unknown said...

We just adopted a wire haired Dachsund mix from the shelter. We can't wait to bring him home to oiur family (he's getting shots today and we will pick him up tomorrow). I have owned dogs before, but never a dachsund and I don't know what the mix is. Is there any advice you have for a new doxie mix owner?