The mini dachshund is to the standard dachshund as a cocktail wiener is to a regular-size hot dog. He is essentially the same as his slightly larger cousin, just a little smaller. Mini wiener dogs need the same type of grooming as standard dachshunds, with the same focus points.
A Hairy Difference
The length of time necessary to primp your mini depends on the length and texture of his coat. The mini, like his slightly larger counterpart, has three types of coat—smooth, wire-haired and long-haired. While he's not as labor-intensive as the shih tzu, a mini dachshund's coat needs regular care to keep it looking its best. Smooth-coated doxies only need a simple brushing once a week, but wire-haired and long-haired minis require brushing several times a week to keep their coats from matting. They're low-shedders, meaning you aren't likely to find your couch, floor and bed covered in hair.
Eyes on the Ears
Although they're not as long as the basset hound's characteristic flappers—and a good thing, or the short-legged pooch would trip over them—the doxie's ears are droopy enough to be problematic. Check them weekly for redness or strong odors that may indicate the presence of something unwelcome. Use ear cleaner on a cotton ball to clean his ears once a week, keeping away from his inner ear. Only clean the part you can see. Visit your veterinarian if something seems amiss, such as an increase in scratching or head shaking.
Strip His Coat
Beauty hurts, as the old saying goes, and for the wire-haired mini doxie, that statement may be true. His coat is a double-layered one, with a wiry layer on top of a softer undercoat. Regular brushing keeps this double coat from matting, but will not remove all the dead hair. Two or three times a year his coat must be stripped, which essentially means you have to manually pull all the dead hair off of him. Now, this sounds more horrific than it actually is, and a professional groomer can demonstrate the best way to do it without hurting your mini.
Mini dachshunds emit no natural odor, so baths are typically given only a few times a year, or as needed—like if your little cocktail dog has found a delightful pile of nastiness to roll in. If you have a smooth-coated mini doxie, congratulations—you probably have one of the easiest dogs to keep clean between his rare baths. Just wipe him down with a damp washcloth. Seriously, that's it. As for the long- and wire-haired varieties, they'll need baths more frequently than their smooth-coated, look-how-easy-I-am-to-keep-clean cousin. It's best to blow-dry your mini doxie after a bath, both to make sure he doesn't catch a chill and to help his coat look its best. (Put the dryer on its lowest setting and keep it moving to avoid burning your dog's skin.) Adorable little sweaters are optional, but recommended if you live in a cooler climate.
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