Dachshunds are small dogs with big personalities. They’re little charmers that are incredibly popular worldwide, thanks to their short legs and long bodies.
They’re even known by many nicknames like Doxie, Sausage Dog, and Wiener Dog.
But did you know that they also have a massive range of colors and three different coat lengths? You may have seen a Doxie with long hair, a short, smooth coat, or even wiry hair.
Then there are those with dapples, stripes, and other patterns.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.
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How do Dachshund color genetics work?
All Doxies, regardless if they’re standard Dachshunds or miniature Dachshunds, originally have smooth coats and were red or black. It wasn’t until later that breeders started to work in newer colors and patterns.
All dogs have 39 pairs of chromosomes, and these are what determine the color and coat type a dog will have.
The wirehair gene is dominant, and smooth is dominant to long. A dog that appears one color may carry genes for another.
Experienced breeders make sure to understand their dog’s history to ensure that they know what kind of colors their puppies may end up with.
This video helps lay out how color genetics work:
What are the different colors of Dachshunds?
Before we jump in, let’s clarify a few things. First, there’s a difference between colors and patterns. Colors are the different hues that a doxie coat can come in.
Patterns are the various ways that the shades combine. Red is a color, while brindle is a pattern that involves two colors.
There are 15 recognized Dachshund colors and six recognized patterns, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard.
But it doesn’t stop there. There are several unofficial colors and patterns that you might find.
The most popular coat color is red, followed by black and tan, and you’ve probably seen an adorable doxie in one of these colors. That doesn’t mean it’s the best colors, though.
Dachshunds with one or single color have one solid color and no markings, shading, or overlays. These colorings are sometimes called “self” colors.
By the way, shading or overlay is when a dog has solid black hairs on top of a different base coat color.
The Red Dachshund (AKC)
The famous red Dachshund has a brown coat with a rusty red tint. They have black noses and tails and can either be clear or shaded. This is the most common color.
The clear Doxie doesn’t have any white markings, and their coat doesn’t have any black tint. A shaded red dog will have a black tint to their hair, usually on the ears and tail and the back.
A lot of people confuse this coloring with the sable pattern, but it’s different.
The Cream Dachshund (AKC)
The cream Dachshund ranges from nearly white to dark golden. Clear cream dogs don’t have any black tinting the hairs on their coat, and they don’t have any dark points.
The coloring comes from the Chinchilla dilution gene.
Shaded cream Dachshunds have black tinting to their fur. This often shows up on the ears or tail.
The black may fade over time, or it might not. Cream doxies are less common than many other colors but not as rare as black.
Black Dachshund (Non-standard)
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as an all-black Dachshund, but they’re rare. The AKC calls this coloring non-standard, and it usually doesn’t appear in dogs bred by careful breeders.
That’s because the black coat happens when a dog is bred to have the typical tan points, but they are repressed because of genes that the breeder should have weeded out before breeding.
That’s not always the case, but it often is. In all other ways, black Doxies are just like their more colorful cousins.
Chocolate Dachshund (Non-standard)
Chocolate Dachshunds don’t have any cream or tan markings. They are solid dark brown. This is another non-standard color, and it’s extremely rare.
Fawn Dachshund (Non-standard)
Fawn, or Isabella, is an unusual color that’s considered non-standard.
It looks almost lilac or likes faded-out chocolate because of a recessive gene, while some have a yellow tint to their coat. This is another fairly rare color to come across.
Albino Dachshund (Non-standard)
Rarely, you may see an albino Dachshund, which lacks any pigment at all. These dogs are often deaf and or blind and shouldn’t be bred.
There are also white Doxies, which are different from albino dogs. They have an all-white coat, and their skin has pigmentation, like having dark eyes and dark noses.
Tan, or wheaten Dachshunds, are extremely rare. This coat color looks like a golden brown or wheat brown and originally only appeared in wire-haired dogs. You can find it in smooth or long-coated dogs, too.
Blue Doxies have a steely or light blue coat, which is a sort of silver or gray hue. This is different from a fawn Doxie.
There aren’t any solid blue Doxies. Because of their genetic makeup, the blue coat is always accompanied by tan points, even if they’re small. This coloring isn’t very common.
There are many two-colored Dachshund colors accepted by the AKC, with black and tan being the most common.
Two-colored coats can be a combination of black, tan, chocolate, cream, white, fawn, blue, wild boar, or chocolate boar.
You won’t see fawn and blue or white and cream, but rather a dark color combined with a lighter color.
All multiple-colored dogs have a self-color that the pattern sits on top of. Here are some of the common combinations.
Black and Tan Dachshund (AKC)
The black and tan Doxie is relatively common, and they look a little like a long, squat Doberman, with tan points over their eyes, on their muzzle, tail, legs, feet, and chest.
Black and Cream Dachshund (AKC)
A black and cream doxie has cream in the same places that a black and tan has a tan. The black appears on the rest of the body.
Blue and Cream Dachshund
Blue and cream Doxies look similar to the black and tan pattern, except just more faded overall. The cream appears on the muzzle, over their eyes, and on their chest, feet, legs, and tail.
Blue and Tan Dachshund (AKC)
Blue and tan is a rare combination, but the AKC officially recognizes it, and fanciers love it.
In this color combination, the coat is a dark, steel gray with tan points on the face, over the eyes, and on the chest, feet, legs, and tail.
Isabella and Tan Dachshund
This combination sort of looks like a sun-bleached black and tan doxie. The primary color will be a light gray, while the tan is often faded and pale. The tan appears on the face, tail, and legs.
Chocolate and Cream Dachshund
Chocolate and cream coats combine cream points in the same places as the tan on black and tan dogs, with deep, dark chocolate covering their forehead, ears, back, and tail.
Chocolate and Tan Dachshund (AKC)
Chocolate and tan look just like black and tan, but instead of black, the main coat color is dark brown.
Wild Boar Dachshund
The wild boar doxie is a coat color that looks like a mix of gray, black, and brown. The dog may have a red, blue, chocolate, or black base.
This unusual coloring, which is most often seen in wire-haired dogs, comes from multiple colors on every single hair.
For instance, the darkest color may appear at the end of the hair, while the lighter color is at the base or vice versa.
This coloring is sometimes called agouti and appears somewhat grizzled from far away. They may or may not have a tiny bit of white on their chests.
Tan and Wild Boar Dachshund (AKC)
The tan and wild boar is similar to the solid wild boar coloring, except they have tan points on their chest, legs, face, ears, and tail.
A Wheaton doxie is a coloring most often seen in wire-haired dogs, but you may also see it in smooth-coated dogs now and then. It appears to be a light blonde, almost like a cream color.
These dogs have dark eyes, black noses, black eye rims, and black nails.
Some dogs inherit genes that make their coloring appear paler or weaker. In the case of a black and tan dog, they would appear faded gray and cream.
Doxies may inherit a condition called color dilution alopecia (CDA) when a dog has thinning hair, hair loss, or flaky and itchy skin.
This can happen when a dog has a dilute color. It doesn’t happen in non-diluted dogs.
Isabella or Fawn Dachshund (AKC)
An Isabella (fawn) coat is a dilution of the chocolate color. You may also see fawn and cream or a fawn and tan. These dogs are recognized by the AKC and are quite rare.
Blue or Grey Dachshund
The blue or grey coat is a dilution of black.
Dachshund Coat Patterns
A pattern stands out from a multi-colored dog because a pattern can be randomly placed and appear as spots, patches, or stripes.
1. Dapple (Merle) Dachshund (AKC)
Dapple or merle dachshunds appear to have spots superimposed over a contrasting base color. The spots can be small or can cover most of their bodies. To learn more, check out our guide to dapple doxies.
2. Double Dapple (Double Merle) Dachshund (Non-standard)
A double dapple is when two dappled dogs are bred together. It’s considered unethical because it can result in dogs with serious health issues. Many puppies can be missing eyes, be blind, and/or be deaf.
3. Brindle Dachshund (AKC)
A brindle Doxie is a pup that appears to have stripes over a base color. You may see a red dog with lighter or darker stripes or a cream dog with dark stripes all over.
4. Sable Dachshund (AKC)
A sable Dachshund is rare. They have black-tipped hairs that gradually transition into a lighter color closer to the skin.
The red sable is most common, but you might also see black and tan or another coloring. Sable dogs have multi-colored hairs rather than different solid-colored hairs.
This coloring only appears on longhaired dachshunds and shorthaired ones. These dogs have brown eyes.
5. Piebald Dachshund (Non-standard)
The piebald pattern is a mishmash of patterns and colors.
A dog may have patches of white and a dapple pattern on a solid coat, or perhaps they will have a multi-color red coat with patches of brindle and white (known as a brindle piebald).
These dogs are like patchwork quilts of colors.
This dog is different from a double dapple because the dog has patches of white and other patterns over darker fur. It’s a genetic mutation that happens in lots of different animals.
Piebald dogs may also have ticking or flecks of color on a white area of a dog.
What is the rarest Dachshund color?
The rarest Doxie coloration is black, but all-white or all-chocolate of any of the coat types is also rare.
Is it okay to get a rare-colored Dachshund?
It’s certainly okay to purchase a rare-colored dachshund provided that they come from a reputable breeder. However, you shouldn’t buy a double-dapple dachshund because of the associated health issues.
Do Dachshund puppies change color as they age?
Some dogs of all dog breeds change color as they age. For instance, blue poodles transition from near-black when they are young to silver when they reach adulthood.
Some Dachshunds do the same. Some red dogs may turn darker as they age, while others may be lighter.
Blue dogs may get lighter, and white dogs may turn cream. All dogs may develop gray hairs as they age.
Dogs with a black overlay may have that black color fade away as they age.
Why do Dachshunds lose their color?
Any dog that fades their color as they age because they have a genetic predisposition to do so. It’s nothing to worry about.
Do Dachshund colors affect behavior?
Despite rumors to the contrary, dogs of different colors or coat types don’t have different personalities.
Black dogs aren’t meaner than red dogs, and wire-haired dachshunds aren’t more stubborn than a smooth-coated dachshund.
Do Dachshund colors affect health?
While color doesn’t impact personality, it can be an indicator of health.
For instance, dapple, double dapple, and piebald dogs all have higher instances of health problems like blindness, deafness, and malformed eyes.
Many breeders avoid breeding dogs of these patterns for this reason, and the AKC won’t register double dapples.
The Dachshund Club of America recommends that only experienced breeders attempt to breed a double dapple.
Dilute colors like blue and isabella may also have health issues like alopecia and skin cancer. White dogs may have health issues, including blindness and deafness.
If you want to be safe, stick to self colors or standard multi-colored dogs like black and tan.
Do Dachshunds change eye color?
Some dogs, particularly the dappled and the double dapple ones, may have blue eyes when born. This may change as they age, but some may retain the blue their entire lives.
Taking care of your Dachshund’s coat
Regular grooming, including bathing and brushing, is key. Feeding a healthy diet also helps establish healthy skin and coat.
If you happen to have a Doxie mix, grooming might be more of a challenge. If you want to learn more about Dachshund mixes, you might want to check out our guide.
Which Dachshund color will you choose?
It’s not hard to fall in love with the dachshund breed. The little sausage dog has so much personality that their coat color is just a bonus.
Which one is your favorite? Be sure to let us know in the comments!