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Dachshunds rock and you know it. They’re feisty, loyal to the bone, and their body shape is hilarious enough to deem all those Dachshund memes you can find online undoubtedly necessary. These pups are the kind of dog that gets down to business and gets things done, and that’s just a minuscule part of their charm. Their weirdness is another, and their fabulous looks are a fabulous addition as well.
None of the Doxie versions—Standard, Miniature, Longhaired, Wirehaired, or any other shape, size, or color—is as unique as the Dapple Dachshund. They have a keen sense of fashion, will refuse to wear anything last season, and have all their coats custom-made! If one of those beauties has caught your eye, here’s all you need to know—and a tiny bit extra.
How much do you know about Doxies? Every tiny thing about them becomes instantly understandable once you’ve learned about their history, so here’s a brief overview.
Here’s a fun fact for you: badgers come in various subspecies, but those are pretty constant in size and craziness. The European variety is the largest one, and it weighs about 40 pounds. Honey badgers—their smaller relatives that live in Africa and Southeast Asia—routinely fight lions for food, and sometimes eat crocodiles.
Yes, you read that right. Fight lions and eat crocodiles.
European badgers had no lions to scare, but are no less vicious, and neither people nor dogs approach them without fear. Badgers instill terror in their enemies, and the reluctance of dogs to go against such a foe is entirely understandable.
Well, not all dogs. Doxies don’t fret at all. On the contrary, they seem to be itching for a fight whenever anything remotely resembling a badger shows up. So, yeah, your little pooch is a fearless killing machine.
Badgers are burrowing animals. To get them, Doxies had to be able to:
German country folk were able to create a dog that would deal with the pests. Doxies have strong front paws and an almost irresistible urge to dig. They have short legs and long bodies that enable them to move around any burrows. They have no fear whatsoever and never shy away from a fight. Their sturdy tail helped their human companions pull them out of the holes in the ground with their prey in their teeth, and their loud bark let the humans know their exact underground location.
Dachshunds are perfect for what they’re supposed to do.
As agriculture evolved and people found other ways to deal with pests, Doxies became beloved companion dogs (did you know that even Picasso had one?). AKC lists them as number 12 on their most popular dog chart, and they registered the breed in 1885 for the first time. If you’d like to know more about this fearless little breed, check out these 10 Facts You Should Know About Pepto Bismol for Dogs.
In essence, a Dapple Dachshund is just a Dachshund with a dappled pattern. It’s unclear how they came to be since Doxies are typically uniform, but they carry the merle gene that causes the unique coloring.
Every dog with a color marking—even those with the tiniest, almost indistinguishable speck of color on their otherwise uniform body—is considered a Dapple, and will produce dappled offspring. We differentiate between Dapple (one dappled parent) and Double Dapple (two dappled parents) Dachshunds. Mating two Dapple Doxies creates distinct physical markings, as well as certain health issues, and is considered an irresponsible breeding practice.
As far as character goes, a Dapple Dachshund is your typical Doxie. They are fastidious little creatures whenever there’s something worth fussing over. For them, you can do right, or you can do nothing. Their bowl will be licked to perfection after every meal. When they find something stinky to roll in—and make no mistake, they will—they’ll make sure Every. Square. Inch. Of them is equally smelly before they congratulate themselves on the job well done.
They’re a bit prissy, and they do have the holier-than-thou attitude. They know better, and that’s the fact. You can deal with it, or you yourself can sit down if you feel so strongly about sitting. You’re not the boss of them.
They’re notorious one-track minds, and once they’ve found their target, they won’t give up. There’s no use trying to take their mind off of things or trying to redirect their attention. They’re only doing what needs to be done, anyway.
They bark and howl and dig and chase. It’s what they do, and there’s precious little you can do about it.
They’re tough to train. They probably believe they’re smarter than you, and with any luck, they’ll persuade you to accept your inferiority over time. If you’re a newbie, be aware that they’ll be trying to train you as much as you to train them.
They’re cuddly, loyal, and protective. They are opinionated and might refuse to go out if the weather is bad. They do a lot of silly things and look hilarious most of the time.
There’s one thing they never are—boring. If you adopt one of those little fellows, you’ll always have something to laugh about.
Physically, these pups are almost entirely a typical Doxie. Their shape is characteristically Dachshund—their long snouts, large, floppy ears, short legs, and long sausage bodies are the distinctive markings of the breed.
Their coat, though, is unique for every individual. Their base color can be any known Dachshund color—black, brown, red, blue, cream, Isabella, and so on. On top of the base, they’ll have splashes of different colors. Typically, the blobs will be lighter than the base color. The patches are usually not symmetrical, and there are no rules as to the surface coverage—in extreme cases, they can range from a single, almost invisible dot, to the entire body.
Double Dapple Dachshunds have white spots that are not typical for regular Dapple Doxies. The merle genes of both parents combine and cause complete whiteness wherever they overlap. If they don’t overlap at all (which never happens, although it’s possible in theory), the result looks like a regular Dapple.
In some cases, their eyes might be unnaturally small or entirely non-existent. Yes, you read it right—if you mate two Dapple Dachshunds, the offspring can be born without one or both eyes, which is why crossing two Dapples is generally frowned upon despite their gorgeous appearance. Healthy pups resulting from the cross are extremely rare, which makes this practice horribly inhumane.
Now here’s the catch—a dapple can be so small that you can’t see it at all. This is a terrible issue because it causes breeders to cross two Dapple Doxies even though they normally wouldn’t. You can’t rely on your sight in this case, and the only way to know for sure whether your pup carries the merle gene is to have them tested.
|Size||Standard and miniature|
|Coat type||Three varieties:|
|Shedding||Low to medium|
|Ears||Big and floppy|
|Temperament||Playful, determined, affectionate|
|Life expectancy||12–15 years|
|New owner friendly||No|
|Breed recognition||Recognized by AKC in 1885|
Coat color doesn’t affect the personality of the dog, so a Dapple Dachshund is just as difficult to train as a regular one.
These pups tend to be unbelievably pig-headed — it’s one of the first facts you should know about them. They do what they want to do, when they want to. They’ll obey from time to time, just to throw you a bone. Unless you make it perfectly clear who the boss is, you shouldn’t expect a lot of respect.
If you’re a newbie, you might want to find a different breed to adopt or try a Doxie cross that will mellow out this side of their character.
If you decide to adopt a Doxie, arm yourself with a lot of patience. Learn about the best ways to train your puppy and Dachshund potty training tricks and get to work as soon as you bring your new buddy home. Here are some ideas.
There are several rookie mistakes you should avoid when training your pup. The most important ones are
If you adopt a Dapple Doxie, and they prove to be too much for you to handle, get help. There are people whose job is to train such impossible little buddies, so do yourself and your pup a favor, and find help before you give up.
If there’s one thing that’s easy when it comes to Dapple Doxies, it’s grooming. These pups are usually Shorthaired and don’t shed a lot, so brushing them a few times a month is more than enough. If they’re Longhaired or Wirehaired, you’ll need to brush them weekly to keep the tangles away. When in doubt, you can refer to our dog grooming tips.
Inspect the ears and clean them carefully. Pay special attention to them, because Dapple Dachshunds have a higher tendency to go deaf than regular Doxies, and piles of ear wax could exacerbate the issue.
Take care of their teeth as well. Ideally, you should brush them every day. Your pup will hate it, and be angry at you whenever you do it. You might want to find some tasty dental chews, in which case you can get away with three or four teeth-brushing torture sessions a week. Check out this list of top 10 best dog dental chews to get some ideas.
|Brushing frequency||Brushes for Dachshunds|
You need to feed your dog well if you want them to be happy and healthy. That means steering clear of the worst dry dog food brands on the market.
Like people, dogs have different tastes in food, so you’ll need to adapt a bit. There are plenty of good options for both wet and dry dog food. Because Doxies are on the smaller side of the doggy spectrum, you’ll want to check out our list of best dry dog food for small dogs. If your pooch prefers wet food, here are the best canned dog food options.
Healthy food is one of the essential prerequisites for a healthy dog, so you need to do your homework before you offer any snacks to your beloved pup. Excess protein in dog food can cause problems in the long run, so remember to mind the label meticulously.
In general, Doxies live long lives, but they are prone to several health issues. IVDD, obesity, and bloat are just a few of them. For a more elaborate (but by no means complete) list, here’s a handy table.
|Major concerns||Minor concerns||Occasional tests|
Dapple Dachshunds are prone to these health conditions as much as any other Doxie. They, however, tend to suffer from eye and ear-related issues much more than other Dachshunds.
For whatever reason, the merle gene increases the likelihood of blindness and deafness in Dachshunds. Dapple Doxies are more likely than regular Doxies to:
With Double Dapple Doxies, the risk increases further. Some puppies are born without eyes, with abnormally small eyes or ears, or partially or entirely blind or deaf.
This, combined with other Doxie-related issues, makes Dachshunds potentially costly to keep. The prices of surgery can reach five digits (but usually range between $1,500 and $7,000). They’re far from the top 10 world’s most expensive dog breeds to own, but their medical bill might cause a severe strain on your budget. If you want to adopt a Dapple Doxie, you might want to consider the benefits of pet insurance, just in case.
Apart from those health complications, Dapples can develop skin conditions that are common among all Doxie varieties. They also have a likelyhood to seizures and back issues, so if you notice anything irregular with your pooch, take them for a checkup.
Despite their small stature, Doxies are no couch potatoes. They are fearsome hunters who are used to trekking through forests and fields in search of evil pests. They had to chase said pests for a while, so they’re no strangers to cardio.
Because of their fragile spine, you shouldn’t let your pooch run up or down any stairs. You should walk them regularly, and they’ll enjoy running, as long as the field is flat and obstacle-free. If you like to jog, check out our top ten tips for running with your dog. Make sure you take them out at least two or three times a day, with the total time amounting to or over 60 minutes.
The more exercise they do, the happier they’ll be. If you let them lie around, they probably won’t make a fuss, but they’ll have extra energy to put into mischief—that’s precisely how people end up with chewed-up shoes, dug-up daffodils, and dragged-in dead rodents. Here are some more ideas on how to care for your sausage doggo properly.
|Activity level||Recommended miles/day||Activity minutes/day|
|Medium to high||7||60|
When it comes to families with older kids and teenagers, Dachshunds are among the best dog breeds to adopt, and Dapple Doxies are no exception. They are loyal, affectionate, and protective, and will genuinely care about all family members.
They will have their favorites, though, and more than one Doxie has been accused of resource guarding that stretches to their humans. In practice, this means that your pup may growl at your family members when they approach you, even though the poor baby loves them in general. If you’re more precious to the Doxie, they’ll try to “protect” you from your spouse, siblings, or even children. This behavior can be trained out of them, but it will require time and patience.
Another problem arises if you have little children at home. While Doxies get on well with older children, they might not put up with the little ones. There are many reasons for this, but the most important are:
All in all, it’s best not to leave Doxie alone with little children. Doxies also bark a lot, which is not at all convenient in a house with a baby, since the sudden, loud noise can interrupt the baby’s sleeping patterns.
If you have small animals at home, your pooch will probably try to eat them. Dachshunds were bred to hunt little furry things, not be friends with them. If you have or want to have rodents and other small pets, a Dapple Dachshund might not be the best idea for a canine companion.
If you love Doxies with all your might but are not sure that the Dapple Dachshund is the right choice for you, check out some of these Dachshund mixes. Many of these will mellow out the Dach’s harsher sides, and some can even result in the dappled-like appearance! Once you settle on the ideal Dachs for you, treat yourself to a personalized Wiener gift, and go get your pooch!
|Dachshund Pug mix||Dachshund Lab mix||Dachshund Beagle mix|
|Dachshund Golden Retriever mix||Dachshund Pitbull mix||Dachshund Corgi mix|
|Chihuahua Dachshund mix||Jack Russell Dachshund mix||Dachshund Poodle mix|
|Dachshund Yorkie mix||German Shepherd Dachshund mix||Dachshund Terrier mix|
|Pomeranian Dachshund mix||Cocker Spaniel Dachshund mix||Shih Tzu Dachshund mix|
|Min Pin Dachshund mix||Basset Hound Dachshund mix||Dachshund Husky mix|
|Maltese Dachshund mix||Dachshund Dalmatian mix||Australian Shepherd Dachshund mix|
|Border Collie Dachshund mix||Rottweiler Dachshund mix||Doberman Dachshund mix|
|Papillon Dachshund mix||Rat Terrier Dachshund mix||Italian Greyhound Dachshund mix|
|Bulldog Dachshund mix||Blue Heeler Dachshund mix||Boxer Dachshund mix|
|Great Dane Dachshund mix||French Bulldog Dachshund mix||Weimaraner Dachshund mix|
|Dachshund Boston Terrier mix||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dachshund mix||Cairn Terrier Dachshund mix|
|Shiba Inu Dachshund mix||Dachshund Bichon mix||Pekingese Dachshund mix|
|Schnauzer Dachshund mix||English Cream Dachshund|
Each week, we publish high-quality, helpful content written & reviewed by our team of board-certified veterinary specialists. Think of us as your partners in pet parenthood: we’re here to provide you with expert medical answers to your pet health questions, so you can continue to give your pets the happy & healthy lives they deserve.