Well, we all know how much our Dachshunds love to run around and jump on and off furnishings. Some of them, we are pretty sure, think they are actually mountain goats. But what this actually demonstrates to us, is that Dachshunds are active dogs who should be fit for function.
If you have a mature dachshund who has an ideal body condition and is well-muscled and toned, then they should be able to tolerate activities of normal day-to-day living. Think about what they were originally bred to do; go to ground as earth dogs and hunt. Instinctively they love being active dogs and you won’t be able to wrap them up in cotton wool. Common sense prevails.
However, it is important to emphasise that the sudden shock of jumping off furnishings and flying up and downstairs in particular, does put added strain on their spines. This added stress is where you can make some lifestyle changes to help avoid this from happening. Clearly, if you allow your Dachshund to jump on and off furnishings or allow them to continually run up and downstairs, then the added stress on their spine can in fact put them at greater risk of injury. Installing and training your Dachshund to use ramps is a great way to prevent added stress on the spine.
Many of the Dachshund stories we see on DISA’s Owners Support Forum are after such an episode, where an owner reports “my dog just jumped off the bed/lounge and since then has not been the same or is now unable to walk”. Whilst we can’t say that these activities are directly attributable to IVDD, a dog in good body condition should be fit for function and be able to do daily activities of living. It really is down to individual owners to decide what they feel comfortable in allowing or disallowing their dachshunds to do in their own home setting. The best advice is to keep your dachshund fit and healthy, of good body condition and wherever possible, avoid activities that have direct compressive forces on the spine.