In our survey, when we looked at Dachshunds over the age of 3 that were allowed to jump on and off furniture every day, they had lower odds of IVDD than those not allowed to do this.
Dachshunds over the age of 3 that were allowed to go up/down a flight of stairs every day also had lower odds of IVDD than those not allowed to use stairs. This finding is interesting in light of a previous Scandinavian study (*) that showed moderate use of stairs reduced the risk of disc calcification, whereas exercise accompanying a cyclist increased the risk.
Clearly, there is a risk of injury due to putting sudden stresses through the dog's spine, but the majority of reported cases of dogs going down with back problems are not directly attributable to an event such as running down stairs or jumping off furniture. There is, however, always the risk of your dog falling off furniture or down stairs and this could cause a serious injury.
A dog in good body condition, that is well-muscled, should be capable of tolerating the normal activities of day-to-day living. Individual owners must make up their own minds as to what regimes they will allow at home.
Dogs that have been diagnosed with disc degeneration and/or suffered an IVDD incident will be at higher risk of further injury if they are allowed to jump off furniture.
* Occurrence of Intervertebral Disc Calcification in the Dachshund [Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A, 47 (5): 283-296]