Critter Culture
The Dapper Dapple Dachshund

The Dapper Dapple Dachshund

Critter Culture Staff



This patterned dog breed originated in Germany in the 17th century. The dapple dachshund is a uniquely tenacious dog due to the prey it was intended to hunt; the formidable badger. Not only are they feisty in a pinch, but they are comedians, and love to make you laugh. They make excellent watchdogs and love to join in family activities. A dapple dachshund is more than a dog, they're a fiercely loyal friend.


All about the dapple effect

Portrait of a dapple dachshun dog sitting on a fluffy white bed

The dapple dachshund can have one of three types of coat: smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired. They are unique from other dachshunds because their coat is bred specifically for the dapple effect. There are three color sets your dapple can come in: black and tan, red, and chocolate and tan. The dapple coloring is a merle pattern, and only one spot needs to be present to be considered dapple. Other than their coloring, they're just like any other dachshund.


Your dapple dachshund's personality

Silver dapple dachshund running in the sun

The dapple dachshund has a very powerful personality. They have a high prey drive, but they're not built for distance running. They will play hard and chase, but not for very long.

This dog is ever watchful and very protective of their family. Their bouncy and playful personality has made the whole world fall in love with them. Dapple dachshunds have high intelligence and love to have mental stimulation toys around the home.


Training your dapple dachshund

Reward-based training and positive reinforcement are the means to success with training this dog. These dogs tend to be very stubborn, so sign them up for training classes to ensure proper instruction. Basic training for barking and biting is important. Obedience training will help your dachshund listen and come when called, and give them security if a stranger comes to the door. Trainers suggest consistent training throughout their lives so the good habits stick.

Dapple dachshund with a blue eye foras05 / Getty Images


Friendliness and compatibility

Dapple dachshund puppy sitting on a grey chair

Dachshunds are rated very high on friendliness by breeders and trainers. They can be very open and welcoming to children and other pets. It's important to socialize these dogs to unlock that friendly attitude, however. As with all pets, it's important to train your children how to handle your dog. Don't let children or strangers force themselves into your dog's personal space or be rough with them. They will bite and bark if provoked.


Size and weight expectations

The dachshund was initially bred to follow badgers into their tunnels. Their barks had to be loud enough to be heard underground so their hunters could locate them in tunnels.

There are two weight sizes in this breed: they grow up to 9 inches tall and can weigh up to either 11 pounds, or 32 pounds. Dapple dachshunds have a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years.

Domestic pets of different breed and species Dmitry Kuznetsov / Getty Images


Health issues to watch out for

This dog is actually bred with a form of dwarfism that gives them their unique stocky legs and low body. They are susceptible to health concerns often seen in small breeds but are more prone to invertebrate disc disease.

The prized dappled coat variation of this breed is connected to specific health issues. These dogs may be born deaf, blind, or missing eyes. Get your dog checked regularly for hearing and vision loss, and for back issues.

cute white piebald dachshund puppy dog laying relaxed on the bed on a beautiful morning waking up. Denise Erickson / Getty Images


Adaptability of the dapple dachshund

Longhaired Dappled Dachshund sleeping on couch.

A dapple dachshund is very friendly and will get along well with strangers. If they're introduced to other pets early on in life, the dachshund will consider them family as well.

These dogs don't need a lot of exercise and are very content to be lapdogs, so they can easily live in a small apartment. They do get separation anxiety, however, and can become destructive if left alone for too long during the day.


Energy levels and exercising tips

Elder dapple dachshund walking on leash on urban sidewalk with vintage bicycle & parked cars in the background in natural day light

These dogs have bursts of energy, and periods of lounging. They enjoy walks and short games of fetch. Keep in mind that they have a high prey drive, which means they will chase anything that moves. This is a dog that must be leash trained. Studies have shown that this breed is healthiest when exercised for at least an hour a day. Get steps for the couch or bed to minimize back injuries.


A dapple dachshund's bond

Longhaired Dapple Miniature Dachshund Puppy Laying On Dog Bed With Toy

Dapple dachshunds get extremely bonded to their owner and become very protective of them. They need to be socialized early on in life or they will get territorial and unfriendly toward strangers. This can also lead to separation anxiety if left alone during the workday. Giving your dachshund lots of love and attention, coupled with crate training will help mitigate destructive behavior. Some owners find that two dachshunds in one home also reduce these anxieties.


Best companions for your dapple dachshund

Three dachshund dogs lying on the grass together

When properly trained, these dogs are very comfortable with kids and other dogs. Cats are similar in temperament to dachshunds, and they get along well with each other. They are very fond of other dachshunds and prefer to have a sibling to play with.

Certain creatures like rodents, birds, and reptiles are not the best companions, due to the dachshund's high prey drive. They may not be able to tell that they are pets.


What Is Cushing's Disease in Dogs?

What Is Cushing's Disease in Dogs?

Get your paws on the latest animal news and information