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What Color or Pattern is that Dachshund???

The list of colors and patterns below are those that can occur in the Dachshund. It should be noted that neither the double-dapple nor the piebald pattern is recognized in the breed standard that describes the ideal Dachshund, nor are they representative of the "acceptable" or "permissible" amount of white specified therein. Therefore, both are discouraged in the conformation show ring.

1. What is a pattern? How is it different than a color?

The self, or solid, colors in dachshunds are red, cream, black and tan, black and cream, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, and isabella (fawn) and tan. All dachshunds have one, and only one, self color.
The patterns found in dachshunds are dapple, double dapple, brindle, sable, and piebald. Any pattern can be superimposed over any self, or solid, color; for instance, black and tan dapple, red brindle, chocolate and tan piebald. The color is named first, followed by the pattern, if any.


2. What does the dapple pattern look like?

In dapple dachshunds, patches of lighter color are intermingled with patches of the self color, sometimes with a patch of white hair on the chests. For instance, black and tan dapples, often incorrectly called silver dapples, have patches of silvery colored hair mixed in with areas of black hair, giving the dog an overall mottled appearance. If the dapple pattern should occur across the face, one or both eyes may have blue speckles or may be entirely blue. In chocolate and tan dapples, areas of yellowish hair occur along with patches of chocolate hair. Red dapples are very often hard to distinguish, because the pattern of lighter red patches is often not very distinct.

One parent must have the dapple pattern in order to produce a dapple puppy. Two solid, self-colored dogs cannot produce a dapple. A dachshund is considered to be a dapple if it has even one tiny dappled patch on it. Sometimes this dappled patch is only noticeable when it is a puppy, usually on the ears or belly, and often fades away with age.

This dog should still be registered as a dapple, because it will produce some dapple puppies when bred to a dog with no pattern present.

3. What is a double dapple?

When two dapples are bred together, they may produce a double dapple puppy. Double dapples usually have large areas of white on their bodies in addition to the self colored, and dappled patches. For instance, a blue and tan double dapple with have patches of steel blue and silver on a white background. Double dapples' eyes may be completely blue, and they may have white blazes on their heads, white tail tips, and extensive white on their feet, bellies, and sides. The breeding of dapple to dapple is unadvisable. Double dapples always carry eye deformities that range from slightly perceptible problems all the way to reduced eye size and eyes that are entirely missing. In addition, deaf and partially deaf puppies may result from the breeding of a dapple female to a dapple male.
Caring for handicapped dogs is challenging, and double dapples make up a good percentage of dachshunds that find their way to rescue organizations, where they heavily burden the system by being difficult to place. It is best to avoid the chance of producing dogs that have these problems by never breeding one dapple dachshund to another.

4. What is a brindle?

In brindle dachshunds, dark stripes, like a zebra, are superimposed over the dog's self color. A red brindle will have blackish stripes all over its body, while a black and tan brindle may only show the brindle pattern in its tan markings, because the dark stripes would not be visible against the dog's black coat. One parent must be a brindle in order to produce a brindle puppy.

5. How can I determine if a dachshund has the sable pattern?

Sable is perhaps the most difficult pattern to describe. Many people mistakenly call a red dog with a heavy black overlay a sable. This is incorrect; the dog should be registered as red with no pattern. A true red sable is so dark it almost looks like a black and tan from a distance. All body hairs, except on the face and feet, are banded with two colors, the self color occurs closest to the dog's body while the darker color occurs near the hair tip. The face and feet are usually just the dog's self color. Therefore, a red sable will have body hairs which are red near the base and black near the tips, and a red face and red feet. One parent must be a sable to produce a sable pup.

6. What does the piebald pattern look like and how is it different from the dapple pattern?

For instance, a black-and-tan piebald appears to have solid black body patches on a white background, but in actuality is a dog whose base color is black and tan, but whose black has been covered in various areas by white markings imparted by the piebald gene. He may have tan markings where tan markings normally occur on a two-colored dog, such as the face, feet, and under the tail, but some (or all) of the tan markings may also be affected by the piebald gene, turning them white. It is incorrect to refer to black and tan piebalds as "tricolors".

A red piebald appears to have solid red patches, sometimes with intermingled black hairs, on a white background, but actually is a dog whose base color is red, with various areas that have been rendered white by the piebald gene.