Dapple Dachshund: Dog Breed Complete Guide

Dapple Dachshund: Dog Breed Complete Guide

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.

Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Your Dapple Dachshund

Choosing the best shampoo and conditioner for your dapple Dachshund involves considerations for their unique coat. Opt for a gentle and hypoallergenic shampoo specifically formulated for sensitive skin, as Dachshunds can be prone to skin issues. Look for a shampoo that is free from harsh chemicals or fragrances that may irritate their skin. Additionally, consider a conditioner that provides moisture to their coat, helping to manage any dryness or tangles.

Furminator deshedding shampoo for dogs and cats, 16 ounces
  • Made in the USA.
  • Designed to reduce excess shedding.
  • Contains moisturizing omega fatty acids.
  • Features a deodorizer that reduces wet dog smell.
  • Free of parabens and chemical dyes.
Dog shampoo with oatmeal & aloe vera - grooming pet wash for itchy & sensitive skin + dandruff & coa
  • Zesty Paws Dog Shampoo is a bath wash with Oatmeal, Aloe Vera, and Vitamin E that support your pup's skin and coat health.
  • This shampoo includes oatmeal to keep skin moisturized, plus the antioxidant Vitamin E to help support your pet's healthy skin.
  • The Aloe Vera in this formula may help support soft hair and coat for your canine companion.
  • Zesty Paws Itch Soother Dog Shampoo features Vanilla Bean Extract to give your smelly pup a clean and refreshing scent.
  • This soothing and cleaning bath wash is a great choice for pet parents and groomers to clean dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes, and regardless or short, long, straight or course hair texture.
Dog conditioner with oatmeal, aloe vera & shea butter - natural grooming pet wash for skin & coat -
  • Zesty Paws Dog Conditioner is a bath wash with Oatmeal, Shea Butter, and Aloe Vera, to help condition and detangle dog fur, while also supporting their skin health.
  • This conditioner includes oatmeal to help moisturize skin and Shea Butter to help support healthy skin for dogs.
  • The Aloe Vera in this formula may help support soft hair and coat for your canine companion.
  • Zesty Paws Itch Soother Dog Conditioner features Vanilla Bean Extract to help you wash your smelly pup with a clean and refreshing scent.
  • This soothing and cleaning bath conditioner is a great choice for pet parents and groomers to clean dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes, and regardless or short, long, straight or course hair texture.

A Brief History of all Things Dachshund

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.

Dachshunds became a separate breed somewhere in the 16th century in Germany. The countryside there was terrorized by the plague of every agriculture worker of the time—badgers.

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:

  • Dig to reach the prey
  • Navigate the narrow tunnels to catch it
  • Be capable enough to kill it
  • Pull it back out of the hole in the earth
  • Communicate with their human partners while doing all of the above

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.

How Did We Get Here, Anyway?

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.

Character and Physique of the Dapple Dachshund

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.

  • Miniature: 11 pounds or less
  • Standard: 16–32 pounds
  • Miniature: 5–6 in at the shoulder
  • Standard: 8–9 in at the shoulder
Size Standard and miniature
Coat type Three varieties:

  • Smooth
  • Longhaired
  • Wirehaired
Coat color
  • Variety of colors
  • Dapple pattern
Shedding Low to medium
  • Blue
  • Hazel
  • Brown
  • Brown
  • Black
Ears Big and floppy
Temperament Playful, determined, affectionate
Life expectancy 12–15 years
Hypoallergenic No
Kid-friendly No
New owner friendly No
Breed recognition Recognized by AKC in 1885

Taming the Sausage: How to Train the Dapple Dachshund

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.

  1. Use treats. Dogs learn best through positive reinforcement, so make sure you have a reward for them every time they do something well. Make sure you use high-quality treats only, and avoid these worst dog treat brands if you possibly can. Treats should be given sparingly, and are generally not great for your pup’s health, so be mindful of what you’re offering to them. It would be useful to understand the difference between healthy and natural treats, so you can conclude what the best option for your dog is.
  2. Try clicker-based training. This allows you to avoid overfeeding your dog during training. After you’ve taught your pup to associate the clicking sound with something pleasant, you can alternate between clicking and treating.
  3. Be consistent. This is probably the most critical part of the training. If you give in to begging or a lousy attitude, you’re just teaching your Doxie that they’re the boss and losing any respect you might have hoped for otherwise.

There are several rookie mistakes you should avoid when training your pup. The most important ones are

  • Skipping practice
  • Rewording commands
  • Making training sessions too long

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.

Have You Spotted that Brush Anywhere? It’s Grooming Time

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
  • Smooth: Monthly
  • Longhaired and Wirehaired: Weekly
  • Slicker brush
  • Deshedder
  • Nail clippers

What Would You Like with Your Sausage?

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.

As dogs age, their needs change. When you get your pooch, you’ll need to know about the best puppy food brands, but as they grow old, you’ll need to start looking for the best senior dry dog food.

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.

Health Issues in Dapple Dachshunds

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
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Bloat
  • Obesity
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eye problems
  • Skin problems
  • Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Osteoporosis
  • Excessive hardening of the bones
  • Cutaneous Asthenia
  • Kidney problems
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Achondroplasia
  • Blood disease
  • Eye examination
  • Physical examination
  • Knee examination

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:

  • Be born blind or deaf
  • Suffer from a condition that will progress into blindness or deafness
  • Have reduced sight or hearing

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.

How Much Exercise Will Your Dapple Dachshund Force You to Do?

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

Are Dapple Dachshunds Good Family Dogs?

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, potentially leading to vicious dachshund behavior. 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:

  1. Dachshunds have little patience in general, and children can be incredibly persistent.
  2. Little children can treat the dog as a toy, and hurt them without meaning to.
  3. Kids can’t understand the warning signs that dogs give when they feel threatened.

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.

Put a Little Dachshund in the Mix

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


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachshund
  2. Schmutz, S. M., and T. G. Berryere. “Genes Affecting Coat Colour and Pattern in Domestic Dogs: a Review.” Animal Genetics, vol. 38, no. 6, 2007, pp. 539–549., doi:10.1111/j.1365-2052.2007.01664.x.
  3. Seymour, Alex. Dachshunds: the Owners Guide from Puppy to Old Age: Choosing, Caring for, Grooming, Health, Training, and Understanding Your Standard or Miniature Dachshund Dog. Place of publication not identified: CWP Publishing, 2016.