Dapple Dachshund: What To Know About This Spotted Dog

There is no mistaking the Dachshund with its sausage like body and short legs. But could you ever imagine a spotted Dachshund?

Yes, it’s true! Dachshunds can naturally be spotted and still be purebred.

The Dapple Dachshund is a rare pattern that creates random splotches of light color. These spots appear all over their body and give them a mesmerizing appearance.

This cute breed is one of America’s favorite dogs. A bold, playful, smart and friendly breed, there is much more to love than just its adorable spotted sausage body.

Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about this unique pattern…

What Is A Dapple Dachshund?

Dapple Dachshund Feature

The mesmerizing Dapple Dachshund is a rare type of purebred Dachshund that has mottled spots. What makes them unique is their beautiful spotted coats. Dapple is not a coat color. It is actually a spotted pattern which in other dog breeds is known as merle.

The merle and dapple gene are both the same but in this breed it is called dapple.

Any color of Dachshund can be a dapple if it inherits the right gene. One of the most popular dapples is the Red Dapple. Their fiery red coats are littered with orange and pinkish spots that give them a wonderful appearance.

Merle (dapple) dogs are often controversial because of the potential health issues that are associated with the gene, but the dapple gene in Dachshunds is considered standard by the American Kennel Club.

These spotted Dachshunds will be just as healthy as any other color or coat pattern.

In all other aspects Dapple Dachshunds are just like any other. They are everything people expect from this classic “wiener dog”: a bold, friendly, loyal, feisty, stubborn, and independent dog.

Any Dachshund will become very attached to its family. There will be no other pet that is more loyal than it. They might be small, but they are also incredible watchdogs and will keep your family safe by alerting you if there are any intruders.

One thing about Dachshunds that might not make them suitable for first time owners is that they can be quite stubborn. While they are really smart, training them sometimes can be a challenge because they like to think independently. They really need someone who can be patient with them.

Breed Information

NameDapple
SizeMiniature: 5 to 6 inches
Standard: 8 to 9 inches
WeightMiniature: 11 pounds and under
Standard: 16 to 32 pounds
CoatSmooth, long or wirehaired
HypoallergenicNo
TemperamentBrave, friendly, stubborn, independent and loyal
Family FriendlyVery friendly
BarkingVery barky
TrainingDifficult
Walking20 to 40 minutes
Lifespan12 to 16 years
HealthProne to back injuries and intervertebral disc damage
Price$1,600 to $4,000

History

The Dachshund, whose name means “badger dog” in German, was made to hunt badgers. Breeders focused most on their temperament, size and long body. They were more interested that these dogs could squeeze through holes into badger dens than their colors.

This breed became a national symbol for Germany because of their fierceness, hard-working attitude and loyalty. Today in Europe it is still used as a hunting dog but in America it is bred more to be a pet.

Dapple Dachshunds have likely existed since the breed itself was created in Germany about 600 years ago.

The Dachshund breed became an official member of the AKC in 1885. From that time on Dapple Dachshunds have been growing in popularity. Some like Honey Dew have even become TikTok famous.

In the 1800s the breed was standardized with all its different sizes, coat types and colors.

Dapple Dachshunds were originally smooth coated, but later the long-haired and wire-haired dapples were bred. These coats were bred for specific environments like cold climates and thorny shrubs. The mini and standard were also bred for different kinds of prey. Standards could chase after prey like wild boars, while the miniature version would chase after hares and ferrets.

Fun Breed Facts

  1. Dapples are the only type of Dachshund that can have blue eyes, all others only have brown eyes. Dapples can even have one brown eye and one blue eye, or an eye that is partially blue. Their eye color is related to the dapple gene. Blue eyes happen when the merle gene dilutes the pigment in the iris, the same way it gives them spots on their coat.
  2. The pure-black Dachshund is actually the rarest coat type and needs to inherit two copies of the black gene since it is recessive. Only two parents that carry the black recessive gene can have pure black puppies. Dapples only need one copy of the dapple gene since it is dominant.
  3. Black and Tan Dapples are often called Silver Dachshunds. No Dachshund is truly silver. They are actually Black and Tans that are misidentified as silver. The dilution of their black fur often creates the ‘silver’ spotting or streaks.
  4. A Dapple Dachshund does not need a body full of spots. It could just have one spot and it would count as Dapple. Some have very few spots scattered around their fur. Others could be littered with spots. It will be unique to each puppy.
  5. The dapple pattern can be seen in puppies and then disappear when they’re adults. Red Dapples can have spots as puppies and not as adults. The lighter orange spots might also not be easily visible in between their very bright red hair. It is important that breeders carefully examine their Red Dachshunds for any spotting and take note of it. You do not want to breed this puppy later on with another dapple as it could create a double dapple.

Dapple Dachshund Color

Dapple Dachshund
Dapples are unique for their random blotches of lighter color.

Yes, they look like other Dachshunds, but what makes them totally different is their spots. If part of their base coat is slightly spotted then they are considered a Dapple Dachshund. These mottled patches of lighter colors can be anywhere over their long body.

These speckled Dachshunds can come in over 30 different colors, that’s more than Frenchies! Some of the most popular colors include chocolate and tan, black and tan, blue and cream, wheaten, fawn and cream, wild boar and red.

A black and tan Dapple Dachshund has a black coat with light silver patches.

Apart from their spots they are like any other Dachshund.

Their bodies are long, thin and close to the floor. Their legs are short and bowed. They also have long, thin muzzles, black noses, floppy ears, and almond-shaped eyes.

Sometimes Dapple Dachshunds can even have “wall eyes”, or eyes of different colors. It is common to see one eye lighter and the other darker. This is perfectly acceptable in Dapples as they can inherit blue eyes while other colors cannot. It is also accepted in other merle breeds like the mini australian shepherd.

The coat of a Dapple can come in three different varieties smooth, long-haired and wire-haired.

Smooth coats are short and glossy.

Long-haired dapple dachshunds are sleek and often have wavy coats.

Wired-hairs have a short, thick and hard outer coat with a thin and softer undercoat. They are easy to spot because of their long eyebrows and beard!

Full Grown Size

Long-haired dapple dachshund

Any Dachshund dog can be either miniature or standard. A standard full grown Dapple Dachshund can be 8 to 9 inches tall and weighs between 16 to 32 pounds. Miniature dogs will be much smaller than this.

Miniature Dapple Dachshunds when fully grown should be 5 to 6 inches tall and weigh 11 pounds or less.

The growth chart below shows the size of a standard Dapple Dachshund as it ages. At around eight months of age your pup should be reaching its adult size and weight.

Age (months)Weight (pounds)
13-5
25-11
36-13
48-17
510-20
612-25
7-914-30
10+15-32

The key thing to remember about their appearance is that there are two types of Dapple Dachshunds. The miniature is the smallest and should be no more than 11 pounds. A standard is much larger and ranges between 16 and 32 pounds.

Dapple Dachshunds can also be classified based on their coat types. These dogs can be smooth coated, long-haired, or wire-haired.

Temperament and Personality

Spotted Dachshund

There is no messing with a Dachshund. They may be small and cute, but they have a lot of spunk and pride. Do not forget that this breed comes from a history of hunting.

Dapple Dachshunds are best described as loyal, independent and stubborn.

As a working breed this dog needed to think for itself to be able to catch prey. They needed to be pretty brave too and a Dachshund will take on anyone no matter their size.

These traits make them a bit protective of their family and wary of strangers. If your dog sees anyone suspicious, it will be sure to let you know with its loud bark. Their barks will be heard because this dog loves to bark. They also have a booming bark because it needed to be heard from underground when hunting in badger dens.

Their suspicious behavior can be avoided with early socialization, but they are likely to stay distrustful of people they don’t know.

Their roots in badger hunting also means they love to dig and have a very high prey drive!

Your little spotted Dachshund is probably going to be chasing after other small pets all the time. If you socialize your puppy with other pets from a young age they might get along just fine, but just keep in mind that this pup won’t be best friends with other small pets. They do however get along great with other dogs or Dachshunds.

Breed Characteristics
Family Friendly★★★★★(5)
Energy★★★★★(3)
Training★★★★★(2)
Loyalty★★★★(4)
Barking★★★★★(5)

Are They Good With Families?

The Dapple Dachshund is an incredible family dog. Super loyal, playful and smart, families will love this breed for their affection and willingness to have fun. They get along very well with children and because of their protective nature act like their own personal bodyguard.

Dachshunds are affectionate and friendly with everyone in the family, but will particularly form a strong bond with one person. That person will quickly become their partner in crime and there will be no separating this faithful dog from their person. If you are looking for a dog that will always stick by your side a Dapple Dachshund is a great choice.

They are a good family dog, but you just have to be careful with small children as they could accidentally hurt their long backs.

Double Dapple

dapple wiener dog

Health problems can arise when this breed inherits two copies of the dapple gene. Dapples only need one copy of the gene to show their beautiful spots. If they were to inherit two copies of the gene then they would be known as a Double Dapple.

Double Dapple puppies are very beautiful, but they are associated with health issues such as blindness and hearing loss. They could even be born without eyes or very small eyes.

Reputable breeders make sure to not breed this type of dog because it is considered unethical.

A Dapple Dachshund that is bred right will live for 12 to 16 years.

Their health does depend a lot on how well you maintain their exercise routine, provide them with a well-balanced diet and look after their backs. Their long backs can easily get injured if they do exercise that is too harsh or jump off the couch wrong.

Dachshunds are known for developing intervertebral disc disease which is very painful and can affect their mobility. Not only can traumatic exercise or accidents predispose them to this disease, but obesity also elevates their risks.

Other health issues that Dapple Dachshunds might be affected by include ear infections, allergies, and dental disease. It is important that you check your pup’s ears regularly since they have floppy ears that create a perfect environment for bacteria to grow.

What It’s Like Owning One

Merle Dachshund

Feeding

The Dapple Dachshund loves to eat! Unfortunately their love of food means they are very prone to obesity which can cause serious back problems. Because this pup has short legs and a long back, you don’t want it to weigh more than it should.

Never overfeed your Dachshund.

How much food you feed will depend not just on his activity levels and age, but also whether he is a Miniature or Standard. In general a miniature Dapple Dachshund should be fed 1/3 to 1/2 cup each day. A standard should be fed 1 to 1-1/2 cups of a high quality dry kibble.

Families who adopt this dog as a pet will not need to feed as much food as if they were used as a high energy working dog.

Training

There is no doubt that Dapple Dachshunds are very smart puppies and loyal to their owners. But that does not mean they are a walk in the park when it comes to training. This breed is actually very stubborn and independent which often makes it hard for first time owners to train them.

They need someone who is very patient and committed to their training.

The best way to train a Dachshund is with short positive re-inforcement training sessions. Being consistent and gentle is key. They might not always listen to what you say, but they do not do well with harshness or being shouted at.

Since they are a very food-motivated dog, they will be very inclined to listen if you offer delicious treats for good behavior.

Exercise

Dapple Dachshunds come from a line of hunting dogs so they are going to need daily exercise. This dog should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, whether it is chasing after a ball or taking two short walks.

Exercise for this breed is important for two reasons.

If you don’t let them release all their bundled up energy they might just start chasing after your cat or bark at you in protest. They also need to maintain strong muscles so that they can support their backs.

Make sure that whatever exercise you do with your Dapple Dachshund, you try to avoid any activity that might cause trauma to their back. They should not be allowed to run up the stairs or jump on or off of the couch.

Grooming

No matter their coat type all Dachshunds shed. They are moderate shedders which means that they are not hypoallergenic. Fortunately all types are very easy to groom and do not need frequent bathing.

Grooming a Dapple Dachshund will depend on the type of coat it has:

  • Smooth coats are the easiest. As short-haired dogs and moderate shedders they will do fine with brushing once a week just to remove the dead hairs.
  • Wired coats only need brushing once a week too. However a couple of times a year they will need to be hand-stripped. Their beard and eyebrows should also be trimmed occasionally.
  • Long-haired dapple dachshunds need the most frequent brushing. Without brushing them several times each week their hair will become tangled and matted.

Dapple Dachshund Puppy

Dapple Puppy

Dapple Dachshund puppies look like adorable little plush toys with their oversized heads and paws. They are just like full grown adults, but in miniature size and cuter. They also do not have the defined muscles of adults as they haven’t grown into their adult body.

Sometimes the spotting of Dapple puppies is not always obvious at birth. As they age it will become clearer. This usually happens at about month six.

Special care must be taken with Dapple Dachshund puppies when you bring one home. Not only are they small, but they also have very fragile backs. Always be present during playtime to keep a close eye on your puppy, especially when playing with children.

You should also discourage him from jumping too much so that he doesn’t hurt his long back. Falls for dapple Dachshunds can especially hurt their long backs and cause intervertebral disc damage.

How Much Are Puppies?

Dapple Dachshunds are beautiful and rare which means they are often the most expensive. Dachshund puppies in general can cost between $1,600 and $4,000. The average dapple dachshund price is $2,900 and they tend to cost closer to $4,000 than $1,600.

RELATED: How Much Is A French Bulldog?

Since the dapple pattern is a standard pattern you will find plenty of breeders that sell Dapple Dachshunds.

Finding a reputable breeder is very important for a Dapple puppy because of their genes. You do not want to adopt a puppy that is a double dapple.

Reputable breeders genetically test the parents of their puppies so that they know they are not passing on two dapple genes to their puppies. Double dapple puppies are at a high risk of developing eye and ear abnormalities which can cause blindness and deafness.

When you find a breeder you should ask about how they select, breed and raise their dapple puppies. Breeders that avoid your questions or can’t provide genetic proof of the parents should be avoided. These are big red flags that could result in you adopting a sick puppy.

You will also want to know the pedigree of the puppy, history of the parents, get a health certificate, and have kennel club papers.

Summary

Dapple Dachshunds are a rare type of purebred Dachshund that have spots on their coats. Dappling can sometimes be referred to as a color, but it is really a pattern like brindle. This same pattern is also known as merle in other dog breeds like Great Danes.

The only difference with a Dapple Dachshund is their unique spots! This pattern is created when the coat color is diluted at random patches to create specks and dashes of light color.

This pattern does not affect personality, size or temperament.

Dapples keep the characteristic long backs, fine muzzles and floppy ears of the breed. They also keep the loyal, friendly, playful, and intelligent personalities. They repay any owner with a bond and loyalty that is unbreakable.

Dapple Dachshunds are best suited for families who are patient and can spend a lot of time with them. They are very easy to take care of since they are a moderate shedder and do not need intense exercise.

Let us know if you have a Dapple Dachshund and share your experience by posting a comment below.

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