The Dachshund, as a member of the hound group with the AKC since 1885, is recognized by the American Kennel Club as well as different associations, breed groups and Kennel Clubs in other countries. The American Kennel Club standards are generally discussed below, however other Kennel Clubs may have slightly different breed standards. A good example of this type of difference is in the size categories for Dachshunds. In the American Kennel Club (AKC) only two sizes are recognized, the standard and the miniature.
Standard Dachshunds are larger, weighing between 16 and 32 pounds according the AKC breed standards. Miniatures are any Dachshund weighing less than 11 pounds or right at 11 pounds. There is a third size range of Dachshunds that are recognized by some kennel clubs and breed registries but not with the American Kennel Club. These are the so called Toy Dachshunds, also called tweenie, micro-mini, teacup or dwarfs, and are generally considered to be a Dachshund that weighs less than 8 pounds at one year of age. They are also shorter than the Miniature when measured at the withers but most are not too far under the 7 inches at the shoulder typically seen in this size.
The breed standard for both recognized sizes of Dachshund is the same with the exception of wither measurement and weight requirements. The Dachshund overall is a highly athletic looking dog that should be well muscled but not cobby or heavy in appearance. They have a natural energetic personality and they also typically constantly have their tail in action when they are moving or attending to anything in their surroundings. They have a natural propensity to a deep, rolling type of bark that allows them to be followed in deep brush or even underground by the hunters. The Dachshund, as all hounds, should have a free easy gait, pliable and loose but not highly wrinkled skin and be intelligent and alert dogs, even when not directly on a track.
The head of the Dachshund is carried high on a longer neck that is both muscular and smooth in profile. The neck should be carried slightly arched and should flow easily in to both the skull and the shoulders and chest. The skull is rounded and slightly arched, tapering in all directions uniformly towards the muzzle. This line should continue to the tip of the nose, however in profile the top of the nose is slightly convex, giving a slight Roman nose when viewed from the side. The ears are set high on the sides of the skull and hang down in a rounded shape close to the sides of the head. They should not fold or come to a distinct point and should reach to a point of the neck below the lower jaw. The eyes are covered by a prominent brow bone and are almond shaped and of medium size. The eyes, except in the dapple coloration should be dark brown to almost a black color and the rims of the eyes should also be dark. Dapple colorations can have wall eyes, which are blue or parti-colored brown and blue. The lips are not loose but fit tight to the gums and the teeth should be strong, tight and held in a true scissors bite.
The chest of the Dachshund is deep and wide with a prominent breast bone that creates two dimples or depressions on either side of the center just even with the tops of the legs. The deepest part of the chest is between the front legs, which are solid and well placed to the outside of the body. The ribs are well sprung and give the dog a significant body shape that stays relatively flat across the abdomen with a slight upswing just before the hind legs. The topline is straight and the tail should continue on this straight line from the hips. The tail is wide at the base and tapers to a point. It may be slightly elevated when the dog is in action but should not be carried high.
The front legs are strong, short and straight without any knuckling over. They do turn in just slightly giving the impression of the Dachshund wraparound front. The feet are compact and thick and are either pointing straight forward to turning every so slightly to the outside.
The hindquarters of the Dachshund are muscular and balanced with right angles formed at the joints. The rear pasterns are very upright and give the dog the appearance of an instantly ability to spring into action. Like the front quarters they end in compact, thick padded feet that are slightly smaller than the front feet but still very balanced and well set to the outside of the dog for free, even movement.
There are three different coat variations possible with the Dachshund ranging from smooth to wirehaired and longhaired. All color acceptable variations are possible in any coat type and small amounts of white on the chest are possible in any coat and do not constitute a tri-color or parti-color description. Generally the colors include red, cream, black, dark brown (chocolate), Isabella (fawn), gray (blue) and wild boar, which can be red or blue in an agouti pattern. In addition two colored Dachshund will have these same color options but with tan or cream markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, breast, inside of the legs and around the rump. This is similar to the patterning on a Doberman Pinscher however the color options are much more numerous.
In addition there are dapples, which are like merle colorations with a lighter and darker irregularly patterned coat in the same tone. Sable is a pattern as well with a dark overcoat on a dog with a red base coat. Brindle, which is dark lines over a lighter base coat, is also acceptable. Brindle may not be seen in on the darker body areas and may only be visible in the tan or cream areas of the dog, however this is still considered a brindle.
Short coats are sleek, shiny and flat to the body with the tail and ears having the same uniform short coat. Wirehaired varieties have a shorter wiry overcoat with soft, short undercoat dispersed evenly along the body. These dogs also have distinctive eyebrows and beards and the hair on the ears is very short and close to the ear leather. The tail is likewise covered with short hair with no fringe or plume. The longhaired variety has a uniform long slightly wavy coat over the body with longer hair around the neck, on the ears and on the underside of the belly. The tail is well fringed and pendant shaped when viewed in profile and the ears should be covered with hair that is long and slightly wavy as well.
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