Dapple Dachshund: The Ultimate Dapple Doxie Dog Breed Guide

Dapple Dachshund Feature

Dapple Dachshund Feature

Dachshunds are brave, fierce and incredibly loyal dogs making them the perfect watchdog.

The Dapple Dachshund just simply has a different pattern to his coat (he carries the same genetic mutation as merle colored Shepherds).

Being independent and stubborn, his personality is exactly the same as a typical Dachshund dog, just with a different color variation.

These dogs aren’t for first time owners; training recall is hugely difficult with this breed!

Keen to learn more about this brave little dog? Let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to have a Dapple Doxie in your life.

Dapple Dachshund Dog Breed Overview

Miniature Dapple Dachshund

The Dapple Dachshund is lively, intelligent and courageous.

However, their historic hunting heritage gives them a tenacity unsuitable for first time owners.

The Dapple Dachshund, has short legs and a narrow body which allow them to crawl into small spaces to hunt out badgers.

Their low bodies and long ears help them track scents making them a purposeful worker.

Affectionately known as Doxie (meaning “badger dog”), Sausage or Weiner Dog, it doesn’t take any potential owner long to figure out the heritage of this adorable dog.

Whilst Dachshunds still do participate in field trials, and conformation shows, most Dapples simply find themselves as loyal companions and family pets.

Kennel Club Recognition

Registered as a Hound with the American Kennel Club, they are the 12th most popular dog in the US.

The Dachshund is recognized by the following kennel clubs as a purebred breed:

  • American Kennel Club (since 1885)
  • UK Kennel Club
  • Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • Australian National Kennel Club
  • New Zealand Kennel Club

These dogs even have their own breed club, and for anyone looking to rescue a Dapple Dachshund puppy, there are a number of rescue shelters found across the US.

Breed Origin

To find out more about this feisty little sausage dog, we need to head to Germany over 600 years ago.

The Dachshund was first bred to dig into badger dens to evacuate its inhabitants.

Their long, low body was perfect for this task.

Anyone who has ever met a badger will understand its own ferocity and tenacity, so a dog to dispatch them needs to be equally courageous.

You will also notice your Dapple Dachshund’s bark. His loud bellow allowed his human owner to locate him underground when needed.

They have been a national dog of Germany since the 19th century, however during the war, Americans started calling them Liberty Hounds (to avoid the German Sentiment).

Dapple Dachshund Info
Size 8 to 9″
Weight 11 to 32 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 16 years
Breed Type Hound
Purpose Working / Companion
Suitable For Everyone
Color Variations Black and Tan, Red or Chocolate and Tan
Temperament Friendly, Intelligent, Independent, Tenacious, Courageous
Other Names Dapple Doxie, Weiner Dog, Dapple Sausage Dog
Discover more about Dachshunds, get a free copy of our pet parent’s guide to the Dapple Doxie.

Dapple Dachshund Puppies

Dapple Dachshund Puppy

Dapple Dachshund puppies come in two different sizes:

  1. Standard (Up to 35 pounds in size)
  2. Miniature (Up to 11 pounds in size)

Many breeders suggest that the Dapple Dachshund is rare, so will place a premium tag on their puppies.

Due to the genetic mutation associated with the dappling, certain health conditions are more prevalent in this variation of Dachshund.

Because of this, it is essential to research a reputable breeder.

A Dapple Dachshund puppy price is anywhere between $400 – $1,500USD and most litters will be between 4-8 in size

Dapple Dachshund Puppy Growth Chart
Age Min (Pound) Max (Pound)
3 months 3 6
4 months 4 8
6 months 6 13
12 months 13 26

Being a small breed, they will generally reach full maturity around 12 months of age.

Dapple Dachshund Temperament

Characteristic Rating
Prey Drive
Social Tendencies

Despite their feisty nature, Dapple Dachshunds are not renowned for being aggressive, they are super-loyal to their family, and when introduced to other pets from a young age will socialize very well.

Their loud-bark makes them a brilliant house dog too.

Originally bred for hunting badgers, not surprisingly, they have retained their digging behavior (if you can channel this into a sand box in your yard your turf will thank you)!

Compatibility with Families

Dapple Dachshund Portrait

Dapple Dachshunds can be incredibly affectionate dogs.

They often love nothing more than curling up on the lap of their human after a long day, but their sociability with other animals and people depends on their early experiences.

As with all dogs, it’s crucial to start socialization as soon as you bring your dog home.

These little dogs were bred to hunt and chase prey, so unless they are taught differently, you run the risk of them chasing other small pets around your home.

Their stubborn nature means they can be a challenge for children to be involved with training, so again if you are thinking of bringing one into your family home, be realistic about the skills you all have as dog handlers.


The breed standard categorically states that any evidence shyness is a serious fault.

This should tell you all you need to know about a Dapple Dachshund.

They are tenacious and spunky with a character that will keep you on your toes, their endearing qualities are adored world over by experienced handlers.

Their high prey drive means they generally like to play and chase and they love being busy; but, because of their small size, they are not built for distance running.

Known hunters and protectors, they are stubborn, independent and watchful barkers.

Dapple Dachshund Size and Appearance

Dapple Dachshund In A Jumper

Full Grown

These dogs come in two different sizes:

  • Standard
  • Miniature

Miniature Dapple Dachshunds will weigh up to 11 pounds whereas standards can weigh anywhere between 16 – 32 pounds.

The Breed Standard does not highlight a difference of height, however neither dog will grown to be taller than nine inches.


The Dapple Dachshund is fondly nicknamed the Weiner or Sausage dog and you can see why.

Like other Dachshund mix dogs, they have low bodies, with short legs and their backs are long.

Their typical appearance is strong with well-defined muscles and not surprisingly they have long ears to help them hunt too!

Color and Coat

These Dachshunds may come in three different colors:

  • Black and tan
  • Red (the red Dapple Dachshund is the rarest color variation)
  • Chocolate and tan

The Dapple Dachshund is a merle pattern, this is expressed as lighter-colored areas contrasting a dark base (some Dapples will have a large white area on their chest).

Remember, the Dapple is a pattern and not a color.

Their eyes may also be partially or wholly blue, but some dogs still have dark eyes.

The Dachshund dog can also have three different coat types:

Coat Type Appearance
Smooth The smooth coat is exactly that, soft and shiny.
Wirehaired The wirehaired is rough and coarse of medium length.
Longhaired The longhaired is a soft, sleek coat, but of long length.


The wirehaired Dapple Dachshund sheds the most, but none of these dogs shed particularly much.

This dog’s grooming requirements are slightly more intensive than other small hunting dogs as they require 2-3 brushes per week.

However, if you have a long haired Dapple Dachshund, you may need to increase their brushing frequency to 4 times per week.

He will need his nails clipping regularly so introduce this as soon as you can, it’ll be much less stressful for everyone involved.

Daily teeth brushing is a good idea too, this will help keep on top of deposits, so again, introduce this from a young age. However, studies have shown, that raw bones are even better at keeping teeth clean.

Dapple Dachshund Care Guide

Double Dapple Dachshund

If you have read everything so far (especially the temperament section) it should be clear to you that have your work cut out for you with this feisty little dog.

Despite their small size, they are still an incredibly active breed so do require more exercise than meandering around the yard.

Let’s take a look at what a day in the life of a Dapple Dachshund looks like.

Food and Dietary Requirements

Daily Food Consumption
Guide 200 to 600 calories
Cups of Kibble One Bowl of Kibble Required per Day

The key thing when caring for your Dapple Dachshund is getting his nutrition right.

Obesity can cause huge issues in these guys because of their long bodies. The additional strain on their back can rupture discs and can cause joint deterioration.

Feed the best quality food that your budget allows, ensuring it meets his protein and fat requirements.

As a puppy feed 3-4 meals per day, reducing this to two when he is fully matured.

Some Daschunds can be fast eaters so it could be worth considering a puzzle feeder to slow him down during meal times.

Exercise Requirements

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 60 minutes
Activity Level This is a medium activity dog breed

This is a particularly difficult area when considering this dog breed.

Many new owners are told not to allow their dog to jump on or off furniture or not to exercise excessively.

However, studies have shown (when considering the risk of Intervertebral Disc Disease):

  • Dogs who were exercised for more than 1 hour per day are at a reduced risk.
  • Those dogs who were not allowed to jump and exercised less than 30 minutes were at increased risk.

Whatever exercise frequency you decide upon, when you do head out for a walk, keep him on leash.

Their high prey drive means they will chase. Unless your recall is infallible, you may be waiting a while for them to come back.

Training Needs

Long Haired Dapple Dachshund

The Dapple Dachshund needs consistent and predictable training.

Training can be a huge challenge with this dog breed, it is clear these guys are better suited to the experienced owner.

Dachshunds are incredibly intelligent, but equally stubborn. You may have your work cut out, so be realistic about your skills and seek further advice if necessary.

Speaking of training, despite their tenacity, Dachshunds in general can be very sensitive.

For that reason, they respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training.

Encourage the behavior you want to see, reward it, and repeat. Ignore any unwanted behavior or provide alternatives to it.


Think of dog training like putting marbles in a jar. You may have a jar for recall and sit. Each time your dog performs a successful recall or sit, you reward. This, places a marble in each of those jars, increasing the chance it will happen again.

Known Health Problems

In general a Dapple Dachshund is a healthy dog with a lifespan of between 12 to 16 years (this is exactly the same lifespan as a standard color variation too).

There are however two major health concerns which potential owners should be aware of:

  1. Intervertebral Disc Disease – a neurological disorder where the discs in the spine become diseased. They compress the spinal cord which causes pain and weakness. These dogs are at a 10-12 times greater risk than other breeds.
  2. Double Dapple health risks which are associated with the pattern causing mutation – vision and hearing loss and missing or micro eyes.


Dapple Dachshund Appearance

The Dapple Dachshund (i.e. Sausage Dog) is a Dachshund dog who has a very specific pattern to his coat.

They can be found in two different sizes, miniature or standard and you will see them in either black and tan, red or chocolate and tan.

You may find them smooth coated, long coated or wire coated.

No matter their appearance, all Dapple Dachshunds are stubborn, intelligent, tenacious and courageous.

They are great additions for experienced dog handlers who can manage a bit of character and despite their small size they are super active so would suit those who like spending time outdoors.

Be mindful of their specific health concerns and also the issues sometimes found in the Double Dapple dog before purchasing one of these spotted dogs!

About John Woods 282 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. We bought our 1st dappled-doxie come to find out she’s double dapple partially blind and deaf the breeder didn’t tell us. Sad someone would do that to her. She’s adjusting well she is precious loving and full of energy. No breeder should do this to any dog she’s had challenges from her disabilities but hasn’t stopped her. Make sure when you get one she’s not double dappled unless your willing to deal with health problems

  2. Thank you for all that information. I want a dapple, I have raised doxies in the past, a long time ago and had a dapple show up in a litter. She was not only adorable but very easy to train. Have been a Yorkie breeder for 43 years and no longer breed.

    • I read where you found your dapple easy to train. Someone wants to give me a puppy in 3 weeks. This is encouraging that I can train the pup to use puppy pads and crate rest. I also have 3 young grandkids that visits.

  3. We have a rescued dapple and it took us a long time for him to acclimate. Now he just wants me to touch him all the time, my husband says he is in love with me. Thank You for your article, it helps me to understand him more, he is awesome.

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