Dachshunds, also affectionately called “doxies” or “wiener dogs”, are a popular small dog breed known for their long bodies, short legs, and fun-loving personalities.
Originally bred to hunt badgers and other small prey, dachshunds tend to be lively, curious, and tenacious.
With an average lifespan of 12-15 years, dachshunds generally live longer than larger breeds.
However, their unique body shape does predispose them to certain health issues, especially intervertebral disc disease, that can affect their longevity if not properly managed.
There are three coat varieties of dachshunds – smooth, long-haired, and wire-haired. Long-haired dachshunds have a beautiful, silky coat that requires frequent brushing to prevent matting.
While coat type does not directly impact lifespan, long-haired dachshunds do need extra coat care to keep them healthy. In addition to coat types, dachshunds come in two sizes – standard and miniature.
Standard dachshunds weigh 16-32 pounds while minis weigh under 11 pounds. On average, miniature dachshunds live 1-2 years longer than the standard size.
No matter their size or coat length, dachshunds make wonderful companions known for their devotion to their owners. With excellent care and a bit of luck, a healthy dachshund can live well into their late teens.
The world’s oldest dachshund lived to the ripe old age of 20!If you’re considering adding one of these charismatic hounds to your home, read on to learn more about the typical dachshund lifespan and how to help your doxie live a long, happy life.
The Lifespan of a Dachshund
The average lifespan of a dachshund is 12-15 years. However, dachshunds can live anywhere from 10 to 20 years depending on their health, genetics, and quality of care. Standard dachshunds tend to have a slightly shorter lifespan than minis, averaging 12-14 years.
Miniature dachshunds usually live 13-16 years on average.In general, smaller dog breeds live longer than larger breeds. Dachshunds are one of the longer living breeds due to their small size.Long-haired dachshunds are said to live about 1-2 years longer on average compared to smooth and wire-haired varieties.
However, coat type itself does not directly impact lifespan. Proper grooming to prevent skin issues may contribute to long-haired doxies living slightly longer.
The world’s oldest dachshund, named Chanel, lived to the incredible age of 20 years and 114 days. She passed away in 2009 after enjoying a long life in California.
While 20 years is rare, with attentive care and some luck, many dachshunds live into their late teens. The Dachshund Club of America collected data showing 13% of minis and 9% of standards live past 15 years of age.Genetics play a role, with some bloodlines genetically prone to longevity.
But lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, vet care, and avoiding obesity have the biggest impact on your doxie’s lifespan.By providing excellent care, keeping your dachshund lean and active, and catching issues early, you can help your pup live a long and healthy life.
Factors That Affect the Lifespan of a Dachshund
Several key factors influence how long a dachshund will live. Some aspects are out of an owner’s control, like genetics and luck. But many important lifespan determinants can be optimized through proper care.
Dachshunds are prone to certain health problems, especially intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), that can shorten their lifespan if not well-managed. IVDD causes painful back issues due to their long spines.
Staying slim, providing joint supplements, using ramps, and avoiding high jumps can help prevent IVDD.Other common health concerns include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dental disease. Catching and treating conditions early is key. Wellness vet visits, bloodwork, and vaccines help keep dachshunds healthy.
Diet and Exercise
Obesity is a leading cause of illness in dachshunds. Keeping your doxie fit and trim with regular exercise and appropriate calorie intake helps avoid excess weight gain. A high protein, low carb, limited ingredient dog food supports their long back.
Grooming and Coat Care
Long-haired dachshunds require daily brushing to prevent mats and skin issues. Trimming around paws, ears and rear helps keep their coat tidy. Proper dental care is essential too.
Active breeds like dachshunds need lots of toys and activities to engage their minds. Prevent boredom and behavioral issues by providing interactive play, training, puzzles, and quality time with their people.
How Long Do Standard Dachshunds Live?
Standard dachshunds typically live 12-14 years on average. Also called full-sized or normal dachshunds, standards weigh between 16-32 pounds depending on height. Males tend to live around 12 years, while females average 13-14 years. Spayed/neutered standards generally live about 1-2 years longer than unaltered dogs.
The oldest standard dachshund on record lived to 19 years old. With attentive veterinary care, a lean body condition, and a bit of luck, many standards live well into their mid-late teens.
Standards may be slightly more prone to back issues and disc disease due to their larger size putting more pressure on their long spines. However, keeping standards fit and slim can help prevent or delay IVDD.
High quality nutrition tailored for their long back, ramps to avoid jumping on/off furniture, joint supplements, and avoiding obesity are all important for supporting the longevity of standards.
While genetics play a role, providing excellent veterinary care, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and a healthy diet are the best ways to maximize your standard dachshund’s lifespan.
How Long Do Miniature Dachshunds Live?
Miniature dachshunds generally live 13-16 years. Weighing under 11 pounds as adults, minis tend to outlive their standard counterparts by 1-2 years on average. Female minis usually reach 14-16 years, while males average 13-15 years.
Spaying/neutering can add 1-2 years by reducing reproductive cancers. The world’s oldest dachshund, Chanel, was a mini who lived to 20 years old.
The smaller size of minis puts less pressure on their backs.
As a result, they are less prone to IVDD than standards.
However, minis are still at risk for back issues due to their elongated spines.
With excellent care, genetically blessed minis can even reach 17-18 years. To help your mini live a long and healthy life, feed them a high quality small breed diet, maintain a lean body weight, provide ramps and joint supplements, and ensure excellent veterinary care.
An active lifestyle and positive mental stimulation also benefit minis. While a mini’s smaller stature lends itself to a longer lifespan, providing appropriate care tailored to their needs gives them the best chance at reaching the upper end of their lifespan range.
Do Long-Haired Dachshunds Live Longer Than Other Varieties?
Long-haired dachshunds are said to live about 1-2 years longer on average compared to smooth and wire-haired dachshunds.
However, coat length itself does not directly impact lifespan.
The reason long-haired doxies may outlive their short-haired cousins includes:
- Increased grooming and skin checks by owners, allowing early treatment of conditions
- Possible increased tolerance of temperature extremes due to their coat
- Personality differences – some data shows long-hairs are calmer than smooths
However, lifestyle, genetics, and health play a far bigger role than coat type in determining longevity. All dachshund varieties have the same expected lifespan range.
To help your long-haired dachshund reach their potential lifespan:
- Groom thoroughly at least weekly to prevent mats and skin issues
- Trim hair around paws, ears, and rear for cleanliness
- Brush teeth and nails regularly
- Feed a high quality diet tailored to their long back
- Maintain a lean body condition
- Provide ramps and joint supplements
- Ensure excellent veterinary care, especially of teeth, skin, and back
While the extra coat care may contribute slightly to longevity, excelling at overall health and wellbeing has the greatest impact for long-haired dachshunds. With dedication, your beautiful long-haired pup can live a long and joyful life.
Oldest Known Long Haired Dachshund
One of the oldest known long haired Dachshunds is Lady, who reached the impressive age of 17 years old in 2018.
Lady is a red long haired Dachshund originally from Connecticut, USA. Her owners, Rick and Michelle Riendeau, lost Lady when she went missing as a senior dog at 12 years old.
Remarkably, Lady turned up over 5 years later in 2018 after she was picked up by animal control in Norwich, CT. Scanning her microchip led Lady to be reunited with the Riendeaus, who had since moved to Brooklyn, CT.At 17 years old, Lady made headlines in 2018 as a heartwarming lost dog story.
After being separated from her owners for so many years, Lady was still alive and healthy.There have been no further updates on Lady’s status since the 2018 reunion. But her exceptional longevity as a long haired Dachshund shows how resilient these dogs can be even well into their senior years.
With attentive owners and a bit of luck, long haired Dachshunds like Lady can achieve lifespans beyond the average into their late teens and even 20s. Proper care and genetics play a key role in their potential for long life.
Tips for Maximizing Your Dachshund’s Lifespan
While genetics and luck play a role, there are many things dachshund owners can do to help their dogs live long, healthy lives:
Choosing a Reputable Breeder
Seek out responsible breeders who health test their dogs and breed for longevity. Ask about parent lifespans and health histories.
Providing Proper Veterinary Care
Bring your dachshund for annual exams, vaccines, dental cleanings, bloodwork, and body condition assessments. Catch issues early.
Feeding a High-Quality Diet
Select a small breed formula with controlled calories. Consult your vet for feeding recommendations. Avoid obesity.
Keeping Your Dachshund at a Healthy Weight
Weigh regularly and adjust food/exercise to maintain an ideal body condition score. Extra pounds strain the back.
Exercising Your Dachshund Regularly
Provide at least 30-60 minutes of activity daily. Walks, play, and training help keep muscles and joints healthy.
Brushing Your Long-Haired Dachshund Frequently
Groom at least weekly to prevent mats and skin problems. Trim hair around feet, ears, and rear when needed.
Training and Socializing Your Dachshund
A well-trained doxie is a happy, long-living doxie. Practice basic manners and socialize extensively as a puppy.
Keeping Your Dachshund Mentally Stimulated
Provide puzzle toys, training games, quality time with you, and safe supervised interactions with other pets and people. Prevent boredom.
Common Causes of Death in Dachshunds
While dachshunds can live over 15 years with excellent care, there are several health issues that commonly shorten their lifespan:
Intervertebral Disc Disease
IVDD causes back pain, nerve damage, and paralysis due to disc herniation in the elongated spine. Keeping lean, providing joint supplements, using ramps, and avoiding high jumps helps prevent IVDD.
Dachshunds are prone to cancers including mast cell tumors, mammary gland tumors, lymphoma, and oral melanoma. Annual exams and prompt veterinary care for lumps provides early treatment.
Dilated cardiomyopathy and mitral valve disease can lead to congestive heart failure. Regular veterinary checks, bloodwork, and an ultrasound of the heart may identify problems early.
Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes in dachshunds. Maintaining a healthy weight and diet can help prevent diabetes.
Excess weight stresses the back and causes or worsens most health conditions. Stick to recommended feeding guidelines, weigh regularly, and exercise daily.
While some causes of death like cancer are unavoidable, excellent veterinary and preventative care helps dachshunds live longer, healthier lives.
How to Care for an Elderly Dachshund
As your dachshund reaches their senior years, their care needs change. Here are some tips for caring for an elderly dachshund:
Adapting Their Environment
Install ramps or steps for furniture access. Provide orthopedic beds and mats. Keep pathways clear around your home.
Providing Joint Supplements
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and anti-inflammatory medications support joint health. Consult your vet.
Monitoring Their Health Closely
Schedule more frequent vet visits to catch issues early. Monitor for lumps, weight changes, altered behaviors.
Adjusting Their Diet as Needed
Your vet may recommend a senior diet or additional nutrients. Adjust portions if weight changes occur.
Supporting Dental Health
Brush teeth daily. Have professional cleanings done regularly. Monitor for mouth pain.
Ensuring Adequate Exercise
Low-impact activities like short walks and swimming keep muscles strong and weight down.
Providing Mental Stimulation
Games, toys, quality time with you, and social interactions prevent cognitive decline.
Adjusting care for an aging dachshund helps ensure they remain comfortable and maintain the best possible quality of life into their senior years.
Focus on early detection of health issues, joint support, and keeping their mind engaged.
Enjoying Every Moment With Your Dachshund
Dachshunds may be small, but they leave a huge imprint on our hearts.
While it’s painful to lose them, focusing on providing the best care possible allows us to enjoy every moment with our doxies.
With average lifespans of 12-15 years, dachshunds remain playful and curious well into their senior years.
Attentive veterinary care, proper nutrition, exercise, training, and loving homes allow dachshunds to thrive into old age. While their unique long backs require some special considerations, taking steps to support their spine health enables dachshunds to live energetic, fun-filled lives for years to come.
No matter how long your journey together lasts, each day with a dachshund brings joy and laughter. Sharing your life with a doxie means experiencing the special devotion they shower upon their families.
Your Most Pressing Questions Answered: FAQs About Long Haired Dachshund Lifespans
How can I maximize my dachshund’s lifespan?
The best ways to help your dachshund live a long life include feeding them a high quality diet, maintaining a lean body weight, providing ramps to prevent back injuries, ensuring excellent veterinary care especially for their spine, teeth and skin, keeping them mentally and physically active, and giving them plenty of love and attention.
What health issues should I watch out for in senior dachshunds?
Common health issues to monitor for in senior dachshunds include intervertebral disc disease, arthritis, dental disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, urinary incontinence, and cognitive dysfunction. Catching conditions early and providing appropriate treatment can help extend your senior doxie’s lifespan.
How much exercise does an elderly dachshund need?
Low-impact exercise like short 15-20 minute walks, swimming, or gentle play is ideal for elderly dachshunds. Monitor for signs of pain or fatigue. Providing orthopedic beds, ramps, and joint supplements helps ensure they can remain comfortably active.
What kind of diet is best for senior dachshunds?
Many vets recommend switching to a senior dog food formula around 7 years old. Look for a high-quality diet with controlled calories, extra omega-3s, glucosamine, antioxidants, and easily digestible protein sources. Adjust portions to maintain an ideal weight.
How can I make my elderly dachshund comfortable at home?
Use ramps, steps, or pet stairs to access furniture. Provide orthopedic beds and mats. Keep pathways clear and lighting adequate. Maintain a consistent routine. Give them their own quiet space when needed. Adapt outdoor access if mobility declines. Focus on quality time together through cuddles, play, and massage.