Miniature Dachshund

Dachshunds come with a set of challenges, particularly when it comes to handling them correctly. We have a guide how to pick up a dachshund the right way.

Known for their elongated bodies, short legs, and spirited personalities, dachshunds are not just any dog breed; they are a blend of endearing traits and specific care requirements.

As experienced owners of dachshunds across many years, we know a thing or two about the essentials of properly handling your dachshund to ensure their wellbeing and longevity.

Dachshunds are prone to certain health issues, predominantly related to their long spines, which necessitates a mindful approach to handling.

Whether you’re a seasoned dachshund owner or considering welcoming one of these delightful pups into your life, understanding the right way to pick up, hold, and care for them is crucial.

From the correct lifting techniques that protect their delicate backs to the common handling mistakes you should avoid, we guide you on how to nurture and handle your dachshund in a way that ensures a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.

How To Hold a Dachshund Properly

Holding a dachshund properly is important due to their long backs, which are prone to injuries.

Dachshunds are prone to a condition called Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which affects their spine. Proper handling is crucial to minimize the risk of this condition.

1. Support Their Back

Always support a dachshund’s back and spine when lifting them. Use one hand to support their chest and the other to support their hindquarters. This ensures that their back is not strained.

2. Gentle Lifting

Never lift a dachshund by their front legs or collar. This can cause serious injury. Instead, gently scoop them up with both hands providing full support.

3. Hold Against Your Chest

Once lifted, hold the dachshund close to your chest. This helps them feel secure and prevents wriggling, which might cause them to fall or injure their back.

4. Avoid Sudden Movements

Be gentle and avoid any sudden movements while holding them to prevent any potential spinal injuries.

5. Set Down Carefully

When setting them down, gently lower them to the floor, making sure their feet touch the ground first. Keep supporting their back until they are fully on the ground.

Wrong Ways To Hold a Dachshund

Holding a dachshund incorrectly can lead to serious injuries, especially to their spine. Here are some bad ways to hold a dachshund:

Lifting By The Front Legs

Never lift a dachshund by their front legs. This puts immense strain on their spine and can cause injury.

Holding By The Collar or Neck

Lifting or holding a dachshund by the collar or neck can cause choking and spinal damage.

One-Handed Lift

Avoid lifting a dachshund with just one hand under their chest or abdomen. This method does not support their back properly and can lead to injuries.

Holding Them Upright

Keeping a dachshund in an upright position, like standing on their hind legs, can put undue stress on their spine.

Dangling Unsupported

Allowing the dachshund’s body to dangle without support, especially from the front or back legs, can lead to spinal injuries.

Sudden or Rough Handling

Rough or sudden movements while holding a dachshund can cause serious harm, given their delicate spine.

Allowing The Back to Bend Excessively

When holding a dachshund, their back should not be allowed to bend or twist excessively, as this can cause injury.

It’s crucial to always support both the front and rear of a dachshund, keeping their spine aligned and avoiding any strain.

If you’re unsure about the correct way to hold your dachshund, consult a veterinarian or a professional dog handler for advice.

Problems Dachshund Suffer With

Dachshunds, known for their unique long bodies and short legs, are predisposed to several health issues, primarily due to their distinctive physical build.

It’s important for dachshund owners to be aware of these potential problems and to seek veterinary advice if they notice any concerning symptoms.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

This is one of the most serious and common issues in Dachshunds and one the biggest reasons you should know how to pick up a dachshund.

Due to their long spine and short rib cage, they are prone to disc herniation, which can cause pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis.


Dachshunds are prone to weight gain, which can exacerbate spinal problems and lead to other health issues like diabetes and joint problems.

Dental Issues

Due to their small jaws, they often suffer from dental problems such as periodontal disease.

Patellar Luxation

This condition involves the dislocation of the kneecap, which can be painful and may require surgical intervention.

Eye Problems

Dachshunds can suffer from various eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Ear Problems

Their long, floppy ears can lead to poor air circulation, making them prone to ear infections.


This breed can suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy, and other health issues.

Cushing’s Disease

This condition, caused by an overproduction of cortisol, can lead to increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, hair loss, and a pot-bellied appearance.

Allergies and Skin Problems

Dachshunds can have sensitive skin and are prone to allergies, which can cause itching, redness, and other skin issues.

Acanthosis Nigricans

A unique condition to Dachshunds, this causes dark, thick skin particularly in the armpit area.

Regular veterinary check-ups and appropriate care, including maintaining a healthy weight, can help manage and prevent some of these health issues.