Dachshunds can be wilful and excitable but in principle trimming their nails is the same as for other dogs, i.e. use a small pair of nail-clippers, proceed carefully, a little at a time and avoid the quick in the nail.
Although there are different sizes of dachshund, for example two classifications based on weight in the US, three based on chest measurement in Germany, there are three types of coat common to all sizes. Attending to the coat is clearly where some variations apply, depending on whether your dachshund is smooth-coated, long-coated or wire haired.
Smooth Haired Dachshund
The sleek coat and short hair of the smooth coat dachshund is the easiest to attend to. It should be brushed one or twice a week, depending on the activities of your dog. Bathing this type of dachshund is largely at your preference, but “as little as possible while making sure the coat is clean” should be the maxim. You should take time to regularly check your dachshund’s coat and skin for minor cuts to avoid infections, but generally the short coat is easy to look after.
Long Haired Dachshund
The long, wavy hair and feathering common to this variety requires more frequent brushing and combing, usually every second day. Tangles and mats in the fur will be quite common, and the best process for dealing with mats in long fur of this type is to try as much as possible to progressively split them down with your fingers initially. Try to resort to cutting as little as possible, mainly because cut hairs tend to mat up quickly again due to them having effectively been trained in a direction as the mat formed. It will be necessary at times to cut them out, but if you frequently check your dachshund and attend to it in this way it will reduce the occurrences and also catch them quickly. With this lively and hunting-bred breed this is a good practice; if the fur is left unattended the scale of the task will escalate quickly.
Again bathing should be kept to a minimum, to help retain the natural oils in the coat. Trimming may be necessary on occasion, and the points made below relevant to the wire-haired variety apply, though it is usually slightly less of an issue with the long-coat dachshund.
Wire Haired Dachshund
This dachshund’s coat comprises two layers, quite rough and wiry on top but with a soft undercoat. Normally they require brushing twice a week, and it can be expected that this will probably take longer than with the other types of dachshund. The undercoat will possibly tangle if left too long and the process outlined above about dealing with mats will apply here as well.
As this coat is likely to require trimming every few weeks, mainly around the back of your dachshund’s legs, it might be worth finding out how to do it well yourself by watching a professional groomer do it once or twice, to begin with, if you have no experience, though with practice as the dog is small it will not be overly difficult. In my experience, unless you are planning to show your dog in the competition, you can actually teach yourself if you exercise care and patience. With a dachshund, if its temperament is fairly calm following early familiarisation with handling and grooming, it is not a hard job to do and as you gather experience it becomes much easier and quicker.