The Dachshund is a very easy-to-spot dog breed thanks to their long backs and short legs. Dogs of the breed have this unique conformation due to a form of achondroplasia, or dwarfism, which causes their legs to be shorter than the norm but the rest of their conformation to be regular sized.
If you’re looking to buy a Dachshund, or a miniature Dachshund for that matter, it is important to learn more about why they possess this physical trait, and what it means for the dog itself.
The Dachshund breed actually came into being in the first place as a working dog, which people don’t always realise – their uniquely short legs allowed them to fit into burrows and holt to pursue prey, and the breed was historically used to hunt badgers, when badgers were considered to be a pest.
However, if a Dachshund’s back-to-leg ratio is particularly extreme; that is, the length of their backs is very long even for the breed norms when compared to their leg length, they’re apt to suffer from painful and paralysing spinal problems like Dachshund paralysis.
This means that prospective Dachshund buyers should take pains to learn about the breed’s health and potential threats like Dachshund paralysis, and how to identify a healthy conformation in the breed, before they start considering other factors that come down to just personal preference, like the dog’s colour.
However, the colour of Dachshunds can actually have health implications for the dogs themselves too; because certain colours only occur in the breed because of specific gene mutations, which also carry the risk of bringing debilitating and restrictive health problems too, as well as an unusual shade.
For this reason, some colours are considered to be highly undesirable in the Dachshund breed, and one is disallowed entirely.
It is important then for Dachshund buyers to understand what colours Dachshunds can be found in within the breed standard, and those Dachshund colours that are undesirable and why, and what Dachshund colour is considered to be so harmful that The Kennel Club refuses registration to dogs that possess it.
Another reason why this is so important is that some of the undesirable and disallowed Dachshund colours are also as pretty to look at as they are unusual, and so if you weren’t aware of the risks they bring with them, might actually seem highly desirable.
To further compound matters, some unscrupulous Dachshund breeders who produce dogs in these colours, either deliberately or accidentally, will try to cash in on this.
Instead of refusing to sell such pups at all or ensuring their would-be buyers are properly informed of the problems they can bring, they actually try to mislead uninformed buyers and increase sale prices by trying to market such colours as rare, desirable, or very valuable.
In this article, we will outline the undesirable and disallowed Dachshund colours, so that you can be sure to avoid them.
The good news is that the safe and permitted colours for Dachshunds is a huge list; far longer than that of most other breeds, so whatever your preference on Dachshund colour, you’re sure to find something you like.
We’ll begin with sharing the full list of colours that Dachshunds can be found in within the breed standard, and then we’ll look at the other colours that you should approach with caution or avoid entirely. Read on to learn more.
If a Dachshund isn’t one of the above specifically mentioned colours, they might be able to be registered under the colour option of “other.” This is the option breeders use if a puppy appears to be a colour that is not listed above, or one that does not appear within the breed standard.
However, if a breeder uses this option, the Kennel Club will get back to them for further information in an attempt to identify the exact colour under discussion and see if it can be correctly assigned to one of the stated options, or if in fact a new colour has been developed that might be eligible for addition to the list.
All of the colours listed above are permissible for Dachshunds, but none of them should have any white in their coats; other than in some dogs, a small patch on their chests. This is permissible, but is considered a fault.
Highly undesirable colours in the Dachshund
There are some colours in Dachshunds that are not listed in the breed standard, but that can be registered under the “other” option, but that are considered to be highly undesirable, and fall outside of the breed standard.
These colours are tricolour (three colours in the same coat) pied or piebald (patches of white with patches of colour), dilute blue (a steely grey shade) and dilute Isabella (this appears almost lilac in appearance).
This is because of the increased risks of health problems in dogs that possess such colours, and because they should not occur naturally within the breed in sustainable numbers full stop.
Finally, one colour or rather, colour pattern is unacceptable within the Dachshund breed, and dogs exhibiting it cannot be registered, and breeders should not breed dogs capable of producing it.
This is what is known as double dapple, meaning a pup bred from two parent dogs each with the dapple colouration and dapple genes. This colouration comes accompanied by health issues to the extent that the colour is not permitted within the breed at all.
You can learn more about double dapple in Dachshunds, how it occurs, and what double dapple means in terms of breed health in this article.