Dachshund Dog Breeds
Height at the withers: Males 20 – 27 cm, Females 20 – 27 cm
Average weight: Males 9 – 12 kg, Females 9 – 12 kg
There is no mistaking a Dachshund for any other breed, although there are 6 varieties of these charming little dogs, which can sometimes cause confusion. Often called Sausage Dogs thanks to their short legs and long bodies, they are well muscled compact dogs that boast powerful front legs which are perfectly put together for digging. They boast long, almost conical shaped heads with a very slightly arched skull and their muzzle lacks a very prominent stop. They boast strong jaws and tight lips.
Their eyes are almond-shaped and medium in size and set obliquely. Dachshunds boast dark eyes, although chocolate coloured Dachshunds have lighter eyes and in dogs with dapple coats either one or both can be “wall eyes” which is acceptable as a breed standard. Their ears are set high and broad being moderately long with the forward edge of their ears touching a dog’s cheeks. When Dachshunds are alerted by anything they carry their ears forward and outward.
Their mouth is well developed and powerful with teeth that fit tightly together. They boast a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Necks are long and muscular which dogs hold slightly arched and which run nicely into a dog’s shoulders. Dachshunds carry their heads proudly forward which gives them these little dogs a very defiant trademark look.
Shoulders are broad with dogs boasting long shoulder blades and their front legs are well muscled and strong. A Dachshund’s body is extremely well muscled and moderately long with nicely sloping shoulders and they have quite a level back with a slightly arched, short and strong loin. Their breastbone is prominent and dogs are well ribbed with slightly curved abdomens that allow enough clearance from the ground for dogs to move about freely.
Their hindquarters are powerful and well-muscled with dogs boasting a broad, full rump and long croup that slopes slightly towards their tail. Their upper thigh is strong and set at a right angle to a dog’s pelvis while the well-muscled lower thigh is set at a right angle to a dog’s upper thigh. Their front feet are broad, full and close knit with a dog’s back feet being slightly narrower and smaller. Toes are closed with a distinct arch to each of them. Nails are strong and well placed with dogs boasting firm, thick paw pads. Their tail continues the line of a Dachshund’s spine with dogs carrying them slightly curved.
When it comes to their coat, a smooth haired Dachshund has a short and dense one with the hair underneath their tail being coarser in texture. Their skin is supple and loose, but showing only a little or no wrinkles. Dachshunds can be any colour with the only exception being white. With this said, dogs can have a small amount of white on their chest although it is not encouraged. Acceptable colours under the Kennel Club breed standard are as follows:
- Black & Cream
- Black & Cream Brindle
- Black & Tan
- Black & Tan Brindle
- Chocolate & Cream
- Chocolate & Cream Brindle
- Chocolate & Tan
- Chocolate & Tan Brindle
- Chocolate Dapple & Cream
- Chocolate Dapple & Tan
- Chocolate Dapple & Tan Brindle
- Chocolate Dapple Cream Brindle
- Cream Brindle
- Cream Brindle Dapple
- Cream Dapple
- Red Brindle
- Red Brindle Dapple
- Red Dapple
- Shaded Cream
- Shaded Red
- Silver Dapple & Cream
- Silver Dapple & Cream Brindle
- Silver Dapple & Tan
- Silver Dapple & Tan Brindle
Potential owners are strongly advised not to be tempted into buying Dachshunds described as having “rare colours” and this includes the following:
- Double Dapple – Kennel Club registration would be refused
- Piebald – Kennel Club registration as Colour Not Recognised
- Blue – Kennel Club registration as Colour Not Recognised
- Isabella – Kennel Club registration as Colour Not Recognised
The reason why the Kennel Club does not accept the above colours in Dachshunds is due to the health risks associated with them. It is worth noting that breeders would not be able to prove a puppy’s pedigree should they be any of the above colours
More about Dapple
The Kennel Club breed standard states that there should be not white in a Dachshund’s coat other than in the dapple pattern dogs. Dapple coats are described under the KC standard as being a dog with a lighter coloured patches on a contrasting darker coloured base with neither the dark or lighter colour being the predominant colour. Even a small spot of white on a Dachshund’s chest is in fact, undesirable under the KC breed standard.
When it comes to “dapple” in the breed, this describes a coat that is the same both genetically and in appearance to that of a merle Collie and the Australian Shepherd as well as some other breeds. In Dachshunds, the dappling can be very obvious whereas in other dogs it may be less noticeable with the most obvious typically being seen on darker bases which includes the following:
- Black and Tan (Silver Dapple)
- Red and tan
- Chocolate and tan
More about Double Dapple
As previously mentioned, a Dachshund with a Double Dapple coat (from two Dapple parents) would be refused Kennel Club registration because of the health issues associated with the colour and the fact that both parent Dachshunds have dapple coats. Double Dapple dogs always have some white in their coats quite similar to that of a Border Collie, namely a band that goes around a dog’s neck, paws being white and the tip of the tail being white too. Double Dapple Dachshunds often have blue eyes whether it is one or both.
The health risks associated with Double Dapple Dachshunds is so great that the Kennel Club strongly advises that breeder should not breed 2 dapple coated Dachshunds at any time. The health problems associated with double dapple are as follows:
- Impaired vision with some Dachshunds being totally blind
- Impaired hearing with some Dachshunds being totally deaf
It is worth noting that Dachshunds with single Dapple coats are not at risk of having impaired vision or hearing. It is also worth noting that Dapple and Piebald are totally different with both being caused by different genes. The Dapple being the dominant gene whereas the Piebald is recessive and as such there is less risk of puppies bred from two piebald Dachshunds being affected by the health risks associated with Dapple coated dogs when bred together. With this said, breeders are advised not to breed a Piebald Dachshund to a Dapple.
Health risks associated with ‘dilute’ colours in the Dachshund
Blue (now sometimes referred to as lilac) – dogs may have a predisposition to a condition known as colour dilution alopecia; as such this colour is highly undesirable under the Kennel Club breed standard
Isabella – dogs may have a predisposition to a condition known as colour dilution alopecia as such this colour is highly undesirable under the Kennel Club breed standard
When Dachshunds move, they do so freely with a naturally flowing action that sees their strides being long with lots of power being generated from their hindquarters when seen from the side. Their legs should move parallel to one another when from behind or from the front and the distance from each other being that of their shoulders and hips respectively.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggeration or departure from the breed standard and the seriousness of the fault would be judged on how much it affects a dog’s health and welfare.
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