COLOR IN DACHSHUNDS
A wonderful thing about dachshunds they come in a variety of colors.
Some of the colors you can get included chocolate, chocolate and cream, red, sable shaded red, red merle, black and tan, piebald, black and tan, merle, silver merle, brindle, cream, shaded cream. Wire coated dachshunds can also come in wheaten and wild boar.
While you can get a dachshund in just about any color, there are a few things that you should be aware of if you are considering a dachshund. There are breeders known as “Color Breeders”. These kennels should be approached with caution. Some kennels that breed strictly for color have been very successful at producing healthy dogs. Sadly this is not always the case. Breeding for “color” in dachshunds can produced disastrous results.
Dilutes otherwise know as Isabella (Izzys) and Blues are known to carry a balding factor known as Color Dilution Alopecia. What this means is that if your beautiful puppy has this gene it will go bald. This is permanent, and your puppy will never grow coat on the affected areas. It often will not show up in your dog until it is a few years old. You will rarely if ever see Isabella or blues in the show ring. If you do get a Blue or Isabella dachshund insist on a guarantee in writing against Color Dilution Alopecia
Some people will try to pass of a red dilute as an “American Cream”. Do not be fooled. There is no such thing as an American Cream. A red dilute is a red dog with poor pigmentation. It is not a cream.
There are only two patterns that can produce white on a dachshund. This is the double dapple (double merle) and the piebald.
Dapple or merle is a lethal gene. The dapple gene by itself is not known to have any problems, but if two dapple dogs reproduce, the result can be blind, deaf, and deformed puppies. This is why there is a huge debate in the dachshund community about the status of the double dapple in the breed standard.
The piebald is one of the older colors in dachshunds. Less is know about the effects of the piebald gene on dachshund health. Until recently, they were able to show in conformation because they were neither officially accepted nor excluded from the breed standard. However, the membership of the Dachshund Club of America recently voted that the double dapple (double merle) and piebald be excluded from the official AKC bread standard. What this means is that these colors are not recognized by DCA. As well, the name dapple was changed to merle in the breed standard. However to be very clear on this controversial matter, both the double dapple and the piebald are not part of the AKC breed standard and they are not eligible to compete for championship points. Most judges will not recognize them in AKC conformation classes. It is very unlikely that they will ever be included in the official breed standard.
If want to buy a dachshund and want a quality dog protect yourself by “training your eye”. So, how do you do this?
The best way, is to learn the Breed Standard. Most breed standards can be found on The American Kennel Club’s web-site. Read it and find out that the ideal dog looks like. Then compare this to the pictures that you are seeing on the web page or at the kennel. Dachshunds should resemble the breed standard. It’s not enough if the kennel you are looking at professes to be fantastic if their dogs are not quality and don’t look like the breed standard says they should. Some kennels may be sneaky and try to pull the wool over your eyes. They may have one of two “show dogs” and a kennel full of less-quality dogs. If you must buy from this kind of kennel that be very sure you are getting what you pay for. Basically if you go on a web-site and the majority of a kennels dogs don’t reflect what you’re seeing in the breed standard, then buy from another kennel. You will get a better quality and more than likely healthier dog. A good breeder will be able to talk to you about the breed standard, and answer questions that you have.
One other tip is this that there are only three coat varieties, they are Wire, Smooth, and Longhaired. There is no such thing as a silky-wire.
© 2007 Nicole Guidry BSW, MA
Information provided by these websites are for informational purposes and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Weniervilleusa:
Other web sites with information on color
Dachshund Colors and Patterns: Talks about what is and is not acceptable in dachshund color and provides more information on the piebald and double dapple
Color-pattern coat genetics: Describes how color works from a genetic perspective including the difference between the red dilute and the cream.
Dachshund: More on the history of the dachshund from the folks at Wikipedia