The Dachshund dog is a favorite for many families and individuals alike, and is actually the 12th most popular dog in the US, where it has been an official member of the American Kennel Club since 1885.
Yet despite its popularity, not every person is aware that the standard Dachshund also has another color variation, which is known as the Dapple Dachshund. This could make a great choice if you are looking to bring a Dachshund dog into your home to become part of the family, but you are looking for a slightly unique color variation of that breed.
In this Dapple Dachshund guide, you will find the complete information you will need (and perhaps, were not aware that you needed!) to be a brilliant pet parent to this small dog breed.
What is a Dapple Dachshund?
It is easy to be fooled into thinking that every small dog breed is going to be a piece of cake to handle and care for, but the Dachshund breed is usually not suited to first time dog owners due to their inherited independent and stubborn nature. But if you have gained experience with other pup pals over the years, a Dapple Dachshund may be just the small dog for you.
Many people are won over to this breed because of the Dachshund’s unfailing loyalty to its owners. For this reason, it is not hard to understand why they continue to be so popular for American household pets.
If this is the first time you are coming across the name “Dapple Dachshund”, it is worth knowing that there are multiple nicknames for this breed and its color variation. For example, it may also be called a Sausage Dog, Doxie, or a Weiner Dog, depending on the most popular nickname in the area or country that you live in.
The History of the Dapple Doxie
A recognised breed with the American Kennel Club since 1885, there is clearly a lot of history when it comes to the Dachshund. But do you know how the breed grew in popularity, and why it has the temperament and personality that it is so well renowned for?
Take a little scroll through the history of the (equally little) Dapple Doxie, and we are sure you will learn a thing or two about this dog that you didn’t know before. Let’s go back to basics, and start with the origin of this breed…
The origin of the Dapple Dachshund dog
Chances are, you will have seen plenty of these little dogs when out and about. If you take a moment to remember what they look like (think of their nickname “Sausage Dog” and it will give your thoughts direction) then you will better understand the origins of this breed.
It is because of the long and low profile of the Dachshund that they were first bred. They were first used as working dogs in Germany, over 600 years ago. Their job was to dig into badger dens to empty them of the animals hiding inside. If you aren’t too familiar with badgers as a species, they are not the most mellow of creatures, which is why a fierce Dachshund was such an excellent match for this job.
The bark of this dog is also not a coincidence; the loud bellow noise that Dachshunds make was essential, as it helped their owners locate them when they were working underground in these badger sets.
With a long history in Germany, it is not too surprising to learn that the Dachshund has been a national dog of Germany since the 19th century.
Dapple Dachshund Characteristics
Now you are armed with the background information on these different Dachshunds and how the breed itself came to be, it is time to learn more about the characteristics of this dog. This is where you will be able to figure out if this pup would make your perfect pet, or you need to continue your search for another breed.
In this section, we will cover everything from the physical features of the Doxie dog, through to its temperament and how to train it. We will also share some of the known health conditions for this breed, and its average lifespan. Read on to learn more.
Dapple Dachshund physical features
Whilst the Dachshund is known as a small dog, it is interesting to note that there are actually two size variations of this breed: standard, and miniature. There is no marked difference in height for these breed standards, as Dachshunds in general do not grow to be taller than 9 inches.
The main thing that sets apart the two size variations is weight, not height. A standard Dapple Doxie will weigh in the region of 16 to 32 pounds, whereas the miniature Dachshund can weigh up to 11 pounds. Therefore, a miniature Dapple Dachshund could be quite a lot lighter than a standard dog of this breed.
Aside from the coloring, which we will get to in a minute, there isn’t much to distinguish the Dapple dog from any other Doxie dog. They have the same profile, which is a long and low body, with well defined muscles. They have short legs, but long ears, which are a throwback to their badger hunting days in Germany; helping them to hear better when they were doing their jobs.
The lifespan of a Doxie
The lifespan of any dog is hard to predict, as there are many factors that can play a part in this. Not only will it depend on environment, care, and the quality of the breeding, there may also be breed health issues to be aware of, as well as other conditions that your dog may get during its life.
Despite this, there are numbers available so you can get an idea of the average lifespan of this Dapple Weiner breed, which may be helpful for you if you are making rough plans for the years ahead.
The average lifespan for a Dachshund is 12 to 16 years, and because they typically mature into an adult dog at the age of 12 months old, you should hopefully have many years to spend with your pet whilst they are in their prime years.
Dapple Sausage Dog colouring
This is perhaps the most important section for differentiating the standard Dachshund with this variant of Dapple Doxie brothers and sisters. The key thing to remember is that “dapple” is not a color; it is a pattern.
And as a dapple pattern, it comes in more than one color set. In fact, there are three merle color patterns that can be present on the Dapple Dachshund from the dapple gene. They are:
- Black and tan dapple
- Chocolate dapple and tan
- And the rarest color variation, red dapple
Usually, the base color of the dapple will be dark, with lighter-colored areas as part of the merle pattern. Some Dapple Doxies have a large, white area on their chest. Double dapple occurs when you breed together two Dapple Dachshunds, which can result in white patches on their paws, nose, and tail tip. A double dapple Dachshund may also have a band around their neck, like you may see on a collie.
There are also variations in the coat types belonging to this breed. Dachshund puppies can either be smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. Both the smooth and long haired Dachshund coats are soft to the touch, whereas the wirehaired coat feels more coarse, and can shed more than the other two coat types.
Known health issues
Whilst the unique appearance of the Dapple Dachshund is likely what will attract you to this particular variation of the breed, it is worth learning that this coat color dappling actually comes from a genetic mutation, which can also go hand in hand with certain health risks and conditions.
The health problems associated with the Dapple variant of this breed are to do with the eyes and ears of the small dog. There is a risk that the genetic mutation can also lead to vision and hearing loss, or even missing or micro eyes.
In general, Dachshunds can also suffer from a neurological disorder called Intervertebral Disc Disease, which is where the discs in the spine become diseased. Doxies have up to 12 times greater risk of developing this disease than other breeds; a condition which causes pain and weakness through compression of the spinal cord.
Despite this, Dachshunds are mostly healthy dogs with good average lifespans.
Dappled Dachshund dogs and their temperament
Remember why Dachshunds were originally bred? (Hint: to help clear out badger dens of their inhabitants). It is because of this that this small breed of dog has such a personality, but it may not be for everyone!
If you are looking for a placid breed that will bless you with angelic behaviour, this probably is not the dog for you. But if you want a loyal puppy pal that will give you plenty of laughs through its lust for life (and occasionally breaking the rules), this short legged bundle of joy may be your perfect match.
You may consider a Dachshund to be a big dog, in a little dog’s body, as there are some characteristics that seem well beyond their petite dimensions. Firstly, they are stubborn and brave, and they are almost certainly never shy. In fact, shyness is considered to be a fault of this breed as it would not fit in with the characteristics stemming from their origin.
Not only are they tenacious and courageous, but they will also give you a run for your money on the exercise front. You may not be aware of this, but Dachshunds can be active dogs which like spending time with their owners outdoors.
It takes a smart cookie (or, in this case, a dog) to do the job that they were bred for in Germany all those years ago. Dachshunds are clever dogs, although they are equally as stubborn. This means that they can achieve many things, but they may choose to ignore your commands in the process.
This is just the nature of the breed, and something that you should consider before choosing one as your pet. If you are patient and resilient, you could really get the most out of this breed.
Training your Dapple Doxie
If you have just read the previous section, it probably won’t come as a surprise that training can be tricky business when it comes to you and your Doxie. They are super smart, but their stubborn temperament means they can test your patience when it comes to their training program.
So what can you do to help things along a bit? The first is to do with easing your dog into life as a well-behaved pet, and is all about socialisation. It’s important to start socialising your Dachshund as soon as you bring it home, so he or she can get used to other pets and people.
You will also need to stem some of their natural instincts to hunt and chase prey, so this will be an area you will need to focus on to avoid your new dog from causing havoc with any other pets you may have in the home. Because training a Sausage Dog can be a bit of a slog, it is recommended that this job is left to experienced adults, instead of getting kids to help out with the process, which needs to be predictable and consistent.
Positive reinforcement and reward based training will be in your armoury of tools, but don’t be afraid to seek out help from professional puppy trainers if the job is proving to be harder than you expected!
If you’ve got this far and you are still feeling positive about your future with a Dapple Dachshund, keep reading to discover what your daily life may be like after you bring your canine buddy home.
This is where you will find out about all the elements that make up a typical relationship with you and your small dog, and how much you will need to feed and exercise your canine companion.
Dapple Dachshund meal time
Getting your dog’s diet right is important, particularly when they are long and low like the build of a Dachshund. In total, a grown Doxie will need anywhere between 200 and 600 calories each day, based on its weight.
Obesity can be an issue with this breed, and if the dog is too heavy, it can put too much strain on their discs and joints, causing back problems. As a puppy, your dog will need to be fed three or four meals a day, which will reduce to two when entering the adult dog years.
If you discover that your Dachshund is shovelling down their food too quickly, you can try something like a puzzle feeder to slow down meal times.
Your Dapple Dachshund and exercise
Dachshunds have bundles of energy, but their shape doesn’t make them the best marathon training buddy. Instead of long distance running or walking, your canine companion is much more likely to enjoy exercise through play time. This may be through games of fetch, or even something like tug of war. In total, you will want to give your dog around 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Is a Dapple Wiener dog your perfect match?
If you are experienced with dogs, and you have the patience and skills to train up your pet to fit in with life at home, you may be onto a winner with this breed. If you can give a Dapple Dachshund the attention they need, and a friend when they want to play, they will reward you with their loyalty for many years to come.
And they aren’t “go, go, go” all the time. Whilst they’re an active breed for their size, they do also like curling up on the sofa in the evening for some cuddles. You could get the best of both worlds with this dappled variant of the classic Dachshund dog.
- How can I stop my Dapple Dachshund from digging up my garden or lawn? We recommend trying a sand pit in your garden where you can bury toys for your dog to find. Digging is a natural ability of this breed.
- Are Dapple variations of this breed more expensive? Some breeders do put a premium price tag on Dapple Dachshunds due to their interesting patterns and coloring.
- Do Dapple Dachshunds have a standard eye color? It is common to see this breed with partial or wholly blue eyes, but some do have dark eyes.
- Do Dachshunds shed lots of fur? There are three coat variations, and the wirehaired type will shed the most, however none of them will shed excessive amounts.
- Will it harm my Dachshund if they jump onto furniture? Some owners are advised to stop their dogs from jumping onto furniture in the fear it could exacerbate Intervertebral Disc Disease, but some studies have quelled these fears.
- Can I take my dog off-leash for walks? If your Dachshund goes off-leash, they are likely to follow their high prey drive instincts which may take them far away from where you are. It’s a good idea to keep your dog on their leash for walks.