Dapple Dachshund Facts

Dapple Dachshunds can come in almost any color.
Dapple Dachshunds can come in almost any color. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

With more than 300 varieties, including many different coat colors and patterns, the dachshund is one of the most diversified breeds of dog in existence, according to Dachshund.org. Dapple coloring, which involves a mottled coat of two or more colors, is just one of these coat varieties. Dappling, known as merle in other breeds of dog, is a dominant gene, and dapple Dachshunds can come in almost any color.

Dapple Dachshund Colors And Patterns

Dapple Dachshunds come in all different colors, including chocolate and tan, black and tan, blueand tan, black and cream, red and many others. Longhaired, smooth-haired and wire-haired Dachshunds can all have dappling. These dogs usually have lighter base colors with darker mottled spots appearing across the coat. With some colors, such as red, the dappling can be difficult to see and may fade away as the dog becomes an adult. For this reason, it is always important to have your Dachshund's genes checked if you plan to breed it.

Genetics of Dappling

Hundreds of different genes contribute to the coat color of a Dachshund. Though dappling is a dominant gene, it is impossible to tell how it will manifest itself on the puppy. A mother with dappling all over her body may produce a puppy with dappling only on the tail, or very little dappling at all. That puppy could then produce fully dappled offspring. Even if there is no visible dappling, the puppy still may have inherited the dapple gene.

Dapple Dachshunds' Eyes

Sometimes with red dapples and other colors where the dappling is too faint to notice, the only clue that a Dachshund might be a dapple is its eyes. According to the Starlight Kennel, a blue-eyed Dachshund is always a dapple. Even a single blue eye along with a brown eye is always a dapple. However, not all dapples have blue eyes. Brown is the most common color in dachshunds both dappled and single-colored; however, some red dogs may have hazel eyes if their red genes have been diluted.

The Double Dapple

When two dapple Dachshunds are bred together, both of the dominant dapple genes manifest themselves on the puppy, often resulting in white spots where the two types of dappling cancel each other out. For reasons unknown, the double dapple genes can be fatal or disfiguring to puppies. Some double dappleDdachshund puppies are born blind or deaf, and others are stillborn. Though double dapple is a pattern recognized by the AKC, it is a dangerous pattern to breed.

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