What Is A Dapple Dachshund?

I have always been intrigued by the tie and dye-like pattern of Dapple Dachshunds. As I looked into getting one, I realized just how little I knew about this beautiful and unique variant of the sausage dog. So it got me asking myself; what exactly is a Dapple Dachshund? And what is it that makes them so unique?

A Dapple Dachshund is a type of Dachshund dog with the merle gene. This results in a unique coat pattern. It manifests as a primary base and a secondary color in the form of patches or speckles over the base. Contrary to popular belief, the dapple variation does not affect the colors of the fur but instead touches more on the patterns on the coat. Other than the merle gene and its set of physical manifestations, the dapple is similar in build and biology to the traditional Doxie.

There is clearly a lot to unpack about the Dapple Dachshund from the different beautiful patterns to the ugly side of having the merle gene. In the sections below, we will take a look at all this and more so that you know exactly what to expect owning one of these rare beauties.

Are Dapple Dachshunds Purebred? What Causes A Dapple Dachshund?

According to the American Kennel Club and several other regional dog breeding regulators, the Dachshund breed in general is considered a purebred. They can be traced back several millennia where they were used in Europe as hunting dogs.

As a type of Dachshund only separated from the original by a genetic mutation, Dapple Doxies also enjoy the status of being purebred. They have the signature short legs and long body that the breed is known for, and stand out with their coat patterns and a few health issues here and there.

Contrary to popular belief, Dapple Dachshunds are not very rare. They exist as a result of the merle gene which is a dominant variant that may either be passed down or spontaneously appear. As a dominant gene, it means that only one parent needs to have it for there to be a dapple pup in the litter. It is for this reason that they are not as rare as people believe them to be.

The merle gene affects a number of things, including the coat pattern. It results in different colored patches appearing on primary coat colors. The patches could be cream, black, tan, blue, or even red. This variation leads to several dapple colors and patterns including:

  • Black And Tan Dapple
  • Black And Cream Dapple
  • Blue And Cream Dapple
  • Chocolate Dapple
  • Chocolate And Tan Dapple
  • Silver Dapple
  • Red Dapple
  • Wild Boar Dapple
  • Black And Tan Brindle Dapple
  • Blue And Tan Piebald Dapple

Something important to note is that Dapple Dachshunds are born with spots noticeable even as newborn puppies. If they appear later in life, it is likely to be something else like vitiligo.

Which Is The Rarest Dapple Dachshund Color? The Colors Of Dapple Dachshund

As earlier stated, the merle gene results in a variety of dapple patterns that may occur either at random or depending on the other color-determining genes in the dog. The rarest dapple pattern is the red dapple dachshund. Here is more about it and the other colors and coats:

Black And Tan Dapple

This is the most common Dapple Dachshund option there is with random tan spots on black coats. They are also known for having silky, smooth fur.

Black And Cream Dapple

Here, the patches are cream colored but the dog may have tan fur on their feet and chest area. it is also considered common.

Blue Dachshund

The blue fur in this case comes across as a very light and smokey shade of black. The patches or speckles may turn out to be cream or tan and occur all over the body. This variation is also sometimes associated with blue eyes.

Chocolate Dapple

These doxies are often compared to a glass of unmixed chocolate milk with the different shades and intensities of brown all over the place.

Silver Dapple Dachshund

The base coat with these dapples ranges from a dull grey to a shiny silver shade and features blue or black patches. They are also known for having long and smooth fur.

Red Dapple Dachshund

This is the rarest and most subtle form of dappling with sausage doggies. The fur is rusty and light brown and features black or tan speckling randomly strewn all over the dogโ€™s body.

Wild Boar Dapple

This Dachshund consists of wire hair coat that increases its resemblance to a wild boar with its dark grey or light black base coat and tan patches.

Blue And Tan Piebald Dapple

This one is also rare and features a recessive form of the merle gene. It presents as rare, large patches of different colors mainly cream, tan, black and blue.

And many more!

Are Dapple Dachshunds More Expensive?

Dapple Dachshunds are not the most expensive dogs but they are noticeably more expensive to purchase than their regular counterparts.

For perspective, a normal dachshund goes for $400 to $1,100 while the dapple variant can cost up to $1,500.

One of the main reasons for this is the belief that Dapple Dachshunds are rare and therefore more valuable although this is not always the case.

A Dapple Dachshundโ€™s worth goes beyond the initial cost which means they are not only more expensive to buy but also more costly to maintain. This is mainly because of the numerous health issues that this dog tends to suffer from.

They range from simple digestive issues to severe eye, ear, and bone conditions. You will therefore have to spend a lot of money to keep up with their special health needs which may sometimes include surgery and long-term medication.

We will get into the details of these common health problems plaguing Dachshunds. But first, here is a breakdown of the potential medical costs after combing through the Internet.

ConditionCosts Of Diagnosis And Treatment
Patellar Luxation$1,500 to $3,000
Corneal Dystrophy$300 to $3,000
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat)$1,500 to $7,500
Cushingโ€™s Disease$3,000 to $10,000
Panniculitis$1,000 to $3,000

Worrying about the high medical costs? Fret not! Please check out pet insurance alternatives, like Pawp, if you would like to find peace of mind. In addition to all these expenses, you will have to factor in training costs.

Dapple Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to train. This means that whether you choose to go with a professional or you choose to do it yourself, housebreaking will be another investment altogether. This means buying treats, toys, training accessories and so much more just to make sure they are proper house pets.

Clearly, it is not cheap to own a Dapple Dachshund.

However, their value is difficult to ignore. They are super cute, loving, and generally fantastic pets to have in the house. And with a little patience and tender loving care, you might not even have to spend as much as you anticipated.

Do Dapple Dachshunds Have Health Problems?

Dapple Dachshunds live between 12 to 16 years which is a relatively long lifespan. However, their survival to this impressive age depends heavily on their health status. This is because the merle gene is associated with specific health problems.

Eye Problems

These are numerous and include dry eye syndrome, cataracts, glaucoma, optic nerve hypoplasia, blindness, and missing eyes. While there is no way to prevent them, you could use vision improvement supplements like Ocu-GLO PB Vision Supplement to help the little one. This one contains Lutein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and grape seed extract that promote the development and functioning of the eye.

Hearing Problems

The most common in this case are full or partial deafness, and misshapen or absent ears.

Back Problems

Intervertebral disc disease is a regular complaint for dogs with the merle gene and is associated with vertebral fractures and spinal cord herniation. This manifests in extreme pain and even paralysis.

In addition to the merle-linked illnesses, Dapple Dachshunds also suffer from regular diseases that affect simple doxies. Here are some of the most common ones:

Other Bone Diseases

Patellar luxation and brittle bone disease are frequent with doxies due to their build and nutritional deficiency in bone-building compounds.


This form of epilepsy is often hereditary and usually significantly reduces the lifespan of the sausage dog.

Hormonal Imbalances

They range from Cushingโ€™s disease to thyroid disease and often have very vague initial symptoms. Fortunately, they are often easy to manage.

Do Dapple Dachshunds Shed? Grooming Needs Of A Dapple Dachshund?

Dapple Dachshunds are a shedding breed. However, they are considered moderate shedder which makes grooming easier. As is expected, long haired dapples like the black and tan tend to shed more and therefore need a bit more care to prevent matting and buildup of dander.

To help you out, here is how you take care of a Dapple Dachshund:

Weekly Brushing And Deshedding

Brushing your doggyโ€™s hair at least once or twice every week will make the world of a difference in the health and appearance of their coats. It helps to detangle any matted clumps while also getting rid of shed pieces.

The Hertzko Pet Deshedding Tool is a fantastic investment in this case. It features an effective stainless steel blade, with a quick fur release mechanism for easy cleaning.

Trimming Every 2 To 3 Months

This is the case particularly for dapple types where the fur tends to grow fast, long, and thick. Regular trimming makes it a lot easier to manage during washing and deshedding.

A Bath Every Week Or Two

These dogs are known to suffer from a variety of skin allergies as well as dandruff and dander accumulation. Having a bath every week or two makes sure that the skin is kept clean without irritating it with too much contact. It also helps to prevent development of odors which is a common issue with Dapple Dachshunds.

Donโ€™t Forget Dental Health

Dental health is crucial for the health and survival of these doxies. They frequently suffer from issues like tartar formation and cavities. You could help them clean their teeth by getting them chew toys that mechanically clean the mouth. Dental water additives for fresh breath and killing germs are also a good idea.

Do All Dapple Dachshunds Have Blue Eyes? The blue eye color phenotype is not very common with Dapple Dachshunds although some like the Blue Dapple variety tend to exhibit it. Instead, it is common in dogs with the double dapple merle gene variation. In this case, all dogs with the double merle gene have either one or 2 blue eyes.

What Is The Difference Between Merle And Dapple? Merle is the gene responsible for a variety of physical traits including the coat pattern as well as the development of the eye and ears. Dapple, on the other hand, refers to the specific coat pattern that results from the presence of the merle gene and features patches of one color on a different colored base coat.

What Is The Difference Between Piebald And Dapple Dachshunds? Piebald is a type of dappling coat pattern that includes a number of colors appearing as large patches all over the dogโ€™s body. It is unique from the common dapple patterns in that its genetic basis is a recessive variant. This means that both parents have to have the gene for the coat pattern to appear. With dapple, on the other hand, the patches are usually of the same color and the genetic basis is a dominant gene.

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Pete Decker