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Read further to learn more about Dapple Dachshunds.

Dapple Dachshund
Dapple Dachshund

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What is a Dapple Dachshund?

Breed GroupHound Group (American Kennel Club)
Height8 to 9 inches
Weight11 to 32 pounds
Coat Length & TextureSmooth or wiry texture, short, medium, or long length
Coat ColorDark base coat (tan, chocolate, or black) with flecks of lighter spots. Cream, blue, silver, and rare red possible
Exercise NeedsModerate
IntelligenceVery intelligent
BarkingWhen necessary
Life Span12 to 16 years
TemperamentSmart, affectionate, vigilant, playful, stubborn
HypoallergenicNo
OriginGermany
Overview of a Dapple Dachshund

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History of a Dapple Dachshund

Dapple Dachshund
Dapple Dachshund

The look of the dapple dachshund is no accident. To fight the badger, which is a ground-burrowing animal, doxies needed long, low bodies with short, powerful legs for digging. They relied on their incredible sense of smell, a trait carried down from their hound dog ancestors, to sniff out their prey.

Their bravery and intelligence allowed them to fight the badgers independently. And their bark – surprisingly loud for their size – alerted hunters to their locations underground. Everything, from the prominent breastbone (“the prow”) to the underside of the ribcage (the keel), to their large teeth, was purposely bred into the original dachshunds. 

Breeders took that purposefulness one step further in the 19th century when Germany’s rabbit population spiked, creating the miniature dachshund. As the breed became more of a companion animal and less of a hunting dog, other breeds were blended into the line to create new coat types.

The smooth coat is thought to be the original, with potential pointer, terrier, bloodhound, and basset hound ancestry. Wirehaired dachshunds were introduced by breeding smooth coats with rough-coated terriers. The long-haired dachshund was developed through selective breeding of longer, smooth-coat dachshunds.

Today, the American Kennel Club recognises standard and miniature dachshunds in all three coat types, though there is an informal middle size called a “tweenie.”

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Physical Features of a Dapple Dachshund

Dapple Dachshund
Dapple Dachshund
  • Height – 8 to 9 inches
  • Weight – 11 to 32 pounds
  • Coat length & texture – Coats can be smooth or wiry in texture and short, medium, or long in length. 
  • Coat colour – Most commonly, dapple dachshunds have a dark base coat colour (tan, chocolate, or black) with flecks of lighter spots all over the body. Cream, blue, and silver are also possible to coat colours, as well as red which is rarer.
  • Exercise needs – Moderate

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Temperament and Behavior

Dapple Dachshund
Dapple Dachshund
  • Dapple dachshunds are smart, loyal, and independent companions.
  • Not ideal for first-time owners or families with small children and cats.
  • Their history as working dogs involves hunting and catching prey underground.
  • Early training can help control their strong prey drive around smaller animals.
  • With proper training, they can behave well around older kids and be friendlier to strangers.

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Caring Tips and Maintenance of Dapple Dachshunds

  • Lifelong care, medication, and potential surgery are often needed for conditions like cancer, heart problems, and mobility issues in dapple dachshunds.
  • The long body of these dogs can strain the spine, leading to mobility issues as they age.
  • Dog ramps and steps can alleviate stress on their bodies.
  • Health insurance can help with expenses; signing up early is beneficial.
  • Consider a pet savings account to manage budget for health issues in dapple dachshunds.

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Health Challenges of Dapple Dachshunds

Dapple Dachshund
Dapple Dachshund

The merle gene responsible for the dapple pattern has higher instances of deafnessblindness, sunlight sensitivity, and higher rates of skin cancer.

You’ll also want to beware of the “double dapple dachshund,” which occurs when the merle gene comes from both parents. These double merle pups are often born deaf, blind, and, in some severe cases, without eyes at all.

  • Eye conditions. In addition to a prevalence of blindness, dapple dachshunds can also suffer from cataracts, cherry eye, corneal ulcers, and progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Autoimmune disorders. Thyroid disorders, particularly hypothyroidism which can lead to obesity if left untreated, and Cushing’s disease, which produces excess thirst, urination, and hair loss, can occur in dapple dachshunds of any age.
  • Bone conditions. The small stature of the dapple dachshund is due to a canine form of achondroplasia, or dwarfism. This genetic mutation can lead to problems with the back and spine, like intervertebral disc disease (IVD), patellar luxation  (dislocated knee caps), and osteogenesis imperfecta, an inherited disease that can cause fragile bones and teeth. 
  • Heart problems. The most common heart problem for the dapple dachshund is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which can cause lethargy, coughing, and loss of appetite.

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Conclusion

Dapple Dachshunds are very good dogs to breed. They have a distinct coat colour with spots and a rich heritage dating back to the Germans.

Though there is no denying that they cost an arm and a leg, it is worth having this reputable breed as a pet.

Go get yourself a dapple dachshund today.

If there are any questions, post them below.

FAQs

Do dapple dachshunds have health problems?

The merle gene responsible for the dapple pattern has higher instances of deafness, blindness, sunlight sensitivity, and higher rates of skin cancer. These double merle pups are often born deaf, blind, and in some severe cases, without eyes at all.
Eye conditions. In addition to a prevalence of blindness, dapple dachshunds can also suffer from cataracts, cherry eye, corneal ulcers, and progressive retinal atrophy.
Bone conditions. This genetic mutation can lead to problems with the back and spine, like intervertebral disc disease (IVD), patellar luxation  (dislocated knee caps), and osteogenesis imperfecta, an inherited disease that can cause fragile bones and teeth. 
Heart problems. The most common heart problem for the dapple dachshund is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)  which can cause lethargy, coughing, and loss of appetite.

Why are dapple dachshunds rare?

Dapple dachshunds are considered a rare type of purebred dachshund due to them inheriting the merle gene. 

What is the most expensive dachshund colour?

The most expensive Dachshund colours are often those that are rare and highly sought after, such as Isabella (also known as lilac) and certain dapple variations.

How much is the cheapest Dachshund?

Dachshunds cost somewhere around a thousand pounds if you buy them as puppies. Shelters may rehome them for much lower amounts, but if you buy from a breeder, be wary of prices below about £700, and always check a dog’s situation out carefully before buying.

What is the most famous Dachshund?

Standard Dachshund The standard Dachshund is the most popular breed of Dachshund.

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