Dapple Dachshunds: How to care for the spotted Sausage Dog

The spunky Dapple Daschund, also known as the Dapple Doxie or the Dapple Sausage Dog, is a rare color variation of the Daschund dog.

These independent and cute Dapple dogs require attention and commitment, but the pay-off is big. 

A brown Dapple Dachshund puppy portrait
A sweet Dapple Dachshund puppy

This article will cover everything you need to know about the rare Dapple Doxies, from their characteristics to their detailed history and training needs.

What should I know about Dapple Dachshunds?

Historians and breeders have traced the Dachshund development back to somewhere between the 15th and 16th centuries. The breed originated in Germany. 

German breeders developed Dachshunds as stubborn and tenacious hunting dogs. They bred standard-size Dachshunds to hunt badgers and miniature Dachshunds to hunt badgers.

This is where the breed gets its name. “Dachshund” in German translates to “badger dog.” 

The Dapple Dachshund gets its name from its coloring; the word “dapple” refers to light spots or superimposed markings on a contrasting base color on the coat.

This is caused by the dapple gene or the merle gene, a genetic mutation in the breed’s DNA.

Breeders create Dapple Daschund puppies by mating one Dapple Doxie with one non-Dapple.

As part of the purebred Dachshund breed, Dapple Dachshunds received official recognition as a color variation from the American Kennel Club in 1885.

Dapple Dachshunds are not their own breed but fall under Dachshunds, which are part of the hound dog breed type. 

What does a Dapple Dachshund look like?

An adorable Dapple Dachshund puppy sitting on a couch
Meet Bruce, a Dapple Dachshund waiting for treats – Image source

Like their other Daschund counterparts, Dapple Doxies have long, narrow bodies atop stubby, short legs.

Their ears are long and floppy relative to their small heads, which have long, slim snouts. Despite their unique proportions, Daschunds are well-balanced and have no trouble moving about. 

This is thanks to the breed clubs breeding Dachshunds down in size over the years.

Their bodies are long and low to the ground, meaning they can burrow deep into the ground to locate their prey. The legs, strong and muscular, aid the working dog on the hunt.

Dachshunds have small, dark noses, medium-sized tails, and dark-rimmed eyes. Some Dapple Dachshunds have blue eyes, others brown, while others have one of each.

Sausage dogs’ bodies are not only cute, but they’re also capable. If you want to see a video of what Dapple Dachshunds look like, check out the link below:

How big does a Dapple Dachshund dog get?

Dapple Dachshunds come in two sizes. The standard Dapple Dachshund stands 8-9 inches tall (20-23 cm) and weighs 16 to 32 pounds (7-15 kgs).

Miniature Dapple Dachshunds are 5-6 inches tall (13-15 cm) and weigh up to 11 pounds (5 kgs). 

Dachshunds, in general, can make good apartment dogs but don’t always do. Sure, they’re small in size, but they can wreak havoc on your furniture if not appropriately trained. 

Dachshunds also have significant exercise needs, which can prove difficult for some apartment-dwellers.

That said, these dogs should live indoors with their owners. They love to run around in the backyard, but they are loving dogs who need company and attention at the end of the day. 

Breeders created Dachshunds to hunt small animals, which is why they bred them down in size over the years. The same gene that’s responsible for their small stature, however, also causes canine dwarfism. 

This gene, called Chondrodysplasia, also occurs in other breeds like the Australian Shepherd. 

Standard Dapple Dachshunds reach full size at twelve months old, while Miniature ones stop growing between 10 and 12 months. You can track the growth of your Dapple Doxie using the chart below. 

Age (months) Weight (lbs)
3 3-6
4 4-8
6 6-16
12 13-32

Dapple Dachshund coat type

A hairy Dapple Dachshund looking up adorably while sitting on the grass
Meet Ivy, a long-hair Dapple Dachshund smiling – Image source

Dapple Dachshunds have three different coat types: smooth, long-haired, and wire-haired.

Smooth-coated Dapple Doxies have shiny, short fur, whereas the wire-haired variation has medium-length hair. Wiry coats are double-coated with soft undercoats and grizzly topcoats.

Long-haired Dapple Doxies are gorgeous, with silky fur that feathers around the legs and ears. No matter the coat-type, shedding with all Dapple Dachshunds is moderate. 

Dapple Dachshunds breed standard include a variety of coat colors along with their dapple pattern, including the following: 

  • Black and tan
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate and tan
  • Cream 
  • Black and cream
  • Silver
  • Blue
  • Red

In case you’re wondering, Blue Dapple Dachshunds aren’t blue but more of a dull gray color that appears blue at times.

Silver Dapple Dachshunds are a lighter gray. Dapple Dachshunds can have white on them on the areas with spots.

Dapple Doxie pups are born with spots, which is also called dappling or merle.

Any observable spotting pattern on a Dachshund is enough to qualify the pup as a Dapple Daschund. Whether the dog has one spot or many – he meets the criteria for the Dapple name. 

Don’t miss out: The Rare and Most Loved Dachshund Colors

Double Dapple vs. Dapple Dachshund

a Double Dapple Doxie closing eyes and standing on the fall leaves
Meet Peet, a Double Dapple Doxie loving the fall season – Image source

Mating one Dapple Dachshund with another is unethical and frowned upon amongst reputable breeders. This can lead to severe health risks for the pair’s offspring, known as a Double Dapple Dachshund

Breeding Double Dapple puppies are unsafe for the litter, as the puppies can suffer from vision and hearing loss. In the most tragic cases, these dogs are born with missing eyes or malformed “micro eyes.” 

You can spot this unethical breeding practice by looking at the coat of your Dapple Dachshund. Double Dapple Doxies can have white markings or all-white coats similar to the Collie breed. 

The difference also lies in the parentage of your dog. If one parent is a coat type other than Dapple, you’re in the clear.

Piebald vs. Dapple Dachshund

Hearing and vision problems also occur in Piebald Dachshunds. Piebald is a coat pattern of prominent lighter patches on top of a darker base.

This is different from the coat of Dapple Dachshunds, of which the white markings are less pronounced and more spotty. 

Are Dapple Dachshunds good-tempered dogs?

The history of the Dachshund breed explains much of the Dapple Dachshund’s temperament. They have a high prey drive, which is key to hunting badgers.

They are also tenacious and strong-willed – a necessary trait in a small dog bred for the hunt.

Dapple Doxies’ prey drive might have them chasing your small pets around the house. Hamsters and rodents beware. They do get along fine with cats, however, if socialized early and trained well. 

In general, Dachshunds tend to be aggressive if mishandled, so socialization is key if you have young children. These dogs can nip or bite if, say, a toddler happens to yank on their tails. 

Again, anything is possible if you train Dachshunds well. Their tendencies don’t make them high contenders for good family dogs, but good training goes a long way.

It’s best to introduce the dog to new people early and often in puppyhood; otherwise, your Dachshund will bark at strangers. Socialization will get the dog used to the idea that not every stranger is a threat.

Dapple Dachshunds are friendly and loving towards their owners. They also tend to be quite playful.

You may find your Dapple Doxie jumping up onto the couch to roll around in your lap. These dogs also have high activity levels despite their size.

Do Dapple Dachshunds bark a lot?

In the Dachshunds’ early days, the breed had to burrow into badger holes and bark to alert their owners. Today, Dachshunds have retained their sharp bark.

Dapple Dachshunds, too, make great watchdogs. They’re protective and will bark loud and clear to warn you of any intruders.

Like most working breeds, Dachshunds are smart dogs. They also have high activity levels and love to run around and play. This may sound sweet, but it can also prove problematic. 

With their high intelligence levels, Dachshunds get destructive if they lack mental stimulation. These dogs are prone to separation anxiety too, so they may jump around on the furniture if left alone too long. 

Dachshunds love to dig, and a lack of actual soil is not going to stop them. They’ll burrow into your couches and destroy your furniture if left alone for more than four hours at a time.

Keep their digging tendencies in mind when you’re erecting your garden fence, too. 

Training any Dachshund requires patience and commitment. These dogs are stubborn, making them challenging to train. 

Owners should be firm but not too firm, as Dachshunds are sensitive dogs. If you are too harsh when berating them, Dachshunds can shut down and refuse to listen to you for the day.

Since Dachshunds are so intelligent, a good tip is to turn training into a game.

If they receive mental stimulation from training (instead of feeling forced), they are much easier to handle. They are also very food-motivated, so positive reinforcement in the form of treats is a good tactic. 

Owners will pay the price of not training correctly. Left to their own devices, Dachshunds will jump on your furniture and bark at every stranger.

Dachshund owners need to be consistent and devoted to a training regimen when it comes to potty training.

The first thing to remember is that Dachshunds are small, so they’ll need to relieve themselves many times throughout the day. 

Each time you take your Dachshund out for a potty break, make sure you take him to the same spot. The routine will help him adjust and train him to go to that specific place.

Use the same verbal cue each time. Something like “go wee-wee” will do, but it’s up to you.

You also shouldn’t punish Dachshunds for accidents but rather use positive reinforcement when housebreaking. 

Watch for signs that your Dachshund needs to go. These include sniffing, circling, sitting by the door, and squatting. 

How to take care of your Dapple Dachshund

A Dapple Doxie walking on the wheat field
Meet Loki, a Dapple Doxie having a fun walk – Image source

Dapple Dachshunds require a lot of time and devotion from their owners regarding exercise and training.

They are low maintenance when it comes to grooming, however. In terms of financial investment, these dogs can be expensive to buy, but they eat very little.

Dachshunds love to lay in the sun so they can live in warmer weather conditions. Just be sure to occasionally take your dog inside to cool down, as this keeps him from overheating. 

Dachshunds with short fur (unlike the long-haired variety) are sensitive to the cold. Owners will need to watch out for shivering and buy their Dachshunds doggie jackets for the winter. 

Make sure to remove the jacket when the dog is inside, however. Dry the jacket thoroughly before putting it back on. 

Exercising your Dapple Dachshund

Thanks to their high energy levels, Dapple Dachshunds need an hour of exercise every day. These dogs can’t take long runs despite these high activity levels due to their short legs holding them back. 

A half-hour jog or brisk walk each morning and each night is just the right amount for a Dapple Dachshund. 

If you have other family members bearing the responsibilities with you, or a dog-sitter or dog-walker, then the Dapple Dachshund could work for you.

Overall, these spunky hounds need a lot of attention and love that may prove difficult for new owners.

Do Dapple Dachshunds shed?

Dachshunds are not hypoallergenic, and Dapple Dachshunds are no exception. These dogs are moderate shedders and relatively easy to groom.

You’ll need to adjust your grooming approach based on the dog’s coat type, so keep that in mind when caring for a Dapple Dachshund.

Smooth-coated Dapple Dachshunds are the easiest to maintain. They need to be brushed once a week with a hound’s glove. 

Wire-haired Dapple Dachshunds should be brushed two or three times per week.

They also need to be stripped two or three times a year to remove any dead hairs. You can do this yourself or take your pet to a professional groomer. 

Stripping involves brushing the hair in the opposite direction it grows, then pulling the loose hairs. A good stripping will leave a wiry coat looking smooth and silky. 

Long-haired Dapple Dachshunds, on the other hand, require more upkeep. You should brush these Dachshunds at least four times per week.

Comb out any knots with a metal comb, and be sure to brush in the direction the fur grows. Do this once each day, or, at most, every second day.

Dapple Dachshund adults and puppies keep themselves clean, so they don’t need to be bathed often. Wire-haired Dachshunds only need to be bathed every two months or so since their fur repels dirt. 

Other coat types will need to be bathed once or month or whenever they get smelly, which doesn’t happen much.

The short-haired variety is the most likely to become stinky, but brushing and keeping your dog dry should keep him smelling fresh. 

A little wax in your dog’s ears is normal, but keep a lookout for excessive build-up.

If they’re looking dirty, use some damp gauze dipped in apple cider vinegar to clean them out. Make sure the ear canals are dry when you’re done to avoid ear infections. 

What’s the best food for a Dapple Dachshund, and how much do you feed them?

A lovable Dapple Sausage dog sitting on the floor
Meet Luna, a charming Dapple Sausage dog – Image source

Dapple Dachshunds eat very little per day. Their one cup of kibble per day amounts to about 500-600g and even less for miniature Dachshunds. For adult dogs, this should be split into a morning and evening meal. 

Dapple Daschund puppies should eat between half a cup and a full cup of kibble per day, split into three meals.

Due to the threat of obesity, owners should consult a vet to get more specific feeding requirements that suit the individual dog. 

High-quality, nutritious dog food is a must for these dogs, and they can eat some “human foods” too.

Dachshunds love carrots, broccoli, bananas, and even green beans. Make sure their diet is low in fat, calories, and preservatives. 

If you stick to dog food, make sure the brand you purchase is species-specific. Follow the recommended portion sizes on the packet as well. There will be serving suggestions on how much to feed the Dachshund as he grows older. 

Dachshunds should eat a good dose of protein each day. This can be in the form of canned or moist dog food or even cooked meats like the lamb, chicken, and fish you’re having for dinner. 

Whatever fats the Dachshund does eat need to be high in Omega-3 to keep his coat healthy and attractive.

Dachshund puppies can also sometimes eat with too much enthusiasm, so you can use puzzle feeders to slow them down. 

Puzzle feeders are like little maizes you throw kibble into, which will keep your pup from scoffing down all his food at once. 

Make sure you read up on human foods dogs can’t eat to avoid any nasty surprises. 

Do Dapple Dachshunds have more health problems? 

A comfortable Dapple Doxie on a couch
Meet Rolo, a very comfy Dapple Doxie sitting on the couch – Image source

Double Dapple Dachshund dogs may suffer from the most severe health problems, as we’ve discussed.

On the other hand, Single Dapple Dachshunds are, in general, healthy dogs like the rest of the Dachshund family. 

That said, every dog is different. And a Dapple Dachshund can suffer from anyone (or many) of the health concerns below: 

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin disorders resulting in hair loss
  • Eye problems
  • Vision loss / Blindness
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Cherry eye
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
  • Missing eyes
  • Seizures and Epilepsy
  • Patellar luxation
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Granulomatous meningoencephalitis
  • Thyroid
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Hearing loss / Deafness
  • Obesity
  • Dental issues
  • Allergies
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (congenital heart defects)

If you’re adopting a wire-haired Dapple Dachshund, you should take his ocular health under special consideration. These dogs are prone to Glaucoma and early onset vision impairment. 

Long-haired Dapple Dachshunds are also more prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy than other coat types. 

As mentioned, Double Dapple Dachshunds are associated with severe health risks. Beyond vision and hearing problems, these dogs can also be born with malformed or missing ears. 

Due to the range of possible health problems a Dapple Dachshund can have, health screening is critical.

Along with the breeding certificates of your pup, you’ll also receive and test results on the dog’s preexisting conditions. 

Occasional tests are important, too, to keep an eye out for any health issues that develop over time.

If your dog is without the more severe health problems we’ve listed, proper feeding and exercise will help you raise a happy, healthy Dachshund. 

Dapple Dachshunds’ life expectancy ranges from 12-16 years. They tend to die from heart disease or cancer, if not old age.

Dachshunds are prone to obesity in their old age, so a high-quality and nutritious diet becomes critical as these dogs age. Daily exercise is a must well into the Dachsund’s lifespan, too. 

With their proneness to dental issues, owners must pay attention to dental care with their Dachshunds. Poor dental hygiene can result in the log losing teeth in old age, which will reduce his quality of life.

How much do Dapple Dachshund puppies cost?

A wide-eye Dachshund puppy sitting on the wooden floor
Image source

Dapple Dachshund puppies can cost anywhere from $400 to $1500. Reputable breeders can (and often do) charge a premium price for puppies whose parents both have breed certificates.

Female puppies are also more expensive than males, but the price varies quite a bit.

Dapple Dachshunds are born in litter sizes of 4-8 puppies. There are also some important things to remember before you go buying or adopting any Dachshund puppy. 

Dapple Dachshund puppies tend to cost more than other types of Dachshund dogs when bought from breeders. This is because they are rarer than different color variations. 

You can find Dapple Dachshund puppies for sale at pet stores and puppy farms. However, reputable breeding organizations tend to take much better care of purebred dogs. 

With the dangers of Double Dapple Dachshund breeding, you may want to stick to registered breeders to avoid any surprises. 

Miniature Dapple Dachshunds cost the same as the standard size, in general. The price point will vary more according to the breeders and the coat, as opposed to the size of the animal.

If you’re wondering how much it costs to raise a Dapple Daschund, there is no definitive answer. Each dog comes with its own medical needs and feeding requirements.

That said, we can estimate how much it will cost you to care for a Dapple Doxie, more or less. 

Double Dapple Dachshunds, as well as single Dapple Dachshunds with health complications, can cost you thousands of dollars in the long-run. If you have a healthy dog, though, the cost of care is minimal. 

You can do the grooming yourself to save cash, after which it’s a matter of the costs of occasional health screenings and vet check-ups.

Feeding a standard-sized Dachshund will only cost you around $50 per month, as one bag of food should last you quite a while. 

Remember, though, that the initial cost of buying the dog can be high, and more so if your breeder lives overseas. Shipping a dog can cost upwards of $2000 once-off. 

Dapple Dachshund breeders

When choosing a Dapple Dachshund breeder, it’s essential to look at the dog’s breeding certificates and health test results.

You’ll also want to see the dog’s parents’ papers to make sure you’re not getting a Double Dapple Doxie. 

Avoid any breeder that trades in Double Dapple Dachshunds, as this practice is highly unethical. To do so would be to encourage the market for these poor dogs afflicted by awful health problems. 

Check that your breeder has a registration certificate with the Dachshund Club of America or other breed clubs like the Dachshund Breed Council. This ensures your breeder followed ethical standards and raised your pup with care. 

Keep in mind that Dapple Dachshunds will be hard to find. Check-in with the breeders regularly to ask about Dapple Doxies on the horizon, and you might get lucky.

These dogs get snatched up quickly, so your best bet is to email a breeder and asks to be added to a waiting list.

Keep an eye out on the websites below, and keep refreshing to check for new arrivals. 

Dapple Dachshund rescue and adoption 

If you’re having a hard time finding the rare Dapple Dachshund puppy for sale, you may want to consider giving an adult Dapple Doxie a home.

It’s easier to find a spotted Weiner Dog with a shelter or rescue organization since these dogs have such unique needs.

The Dachshund Club of America website has an exhaustive list of American rescue organizations on their website, some of which we’ve listed below:

You can also get in touch with the Dachshund Club of America Rescue coordinator, who might be able to point you in the right direction for adopting a Dapple Dachshund.

Again, the best approach is to back and forth with emails and knock on the right doors. 

Who should get a Dapple Dachshund?

Two playful Dapple Dachshund having a tug-of-war
Meet Brodie and Parker, two Dapple Dachshund playing – Image source

Dapple Dachshunds aren’t good for first-time owners. They are stubborn and strong-willed, hard to train, and destructive if not trained properly.

They also need two walks a day, which can be difficult for some owners to pull off without help. 

If you do choose to adopt one, however, you’ll have a loving dog with a beautiful coat on your hands. Dapple Dachshunds are unique in appearance, not to mention adorable.

Have we missed something about the Dapple Dachshund dog breed? Comment below to let us know! 

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