What Is a Dapple Dachshund? The Ultimate Guide

Dachshunds are popular companions that come in different coat types, colors, patterns, and markings. It’s hard to deny that dogs with a mottled look have an irresistible cute factor. If you’ve always imagined a future furry companion with a speckled coat, it’s natural to wonder, “What is a dapple Dachshund?”

A dapple Dachshund is a regular Dachshie with a unique coat pattern. The coat has patches of a lighter hue that seem randomly splashed onto the primary solid coat color(s).  Even dogs with a single dapple patch fall under the classification of dapple Dachshunds.

Read on as we take a deep dive into the dapple Dachshund to find out what it looks like. We’ll also highlight the differences between dapple, merle, and piebald Dachshies.

Let’s get started!

What Is Dapple in a Dog? 

A Dapple in a dog is a pattern that looks like a splashing or swirling of paint over the primary solid hue of a dog’s coat. Some dogs have more noticeable dappling marks on their bodies. Others only have tiny, more subtle patches of the dapple pattern, but both are considered dapple dogs.

Let’s explore further what a dapple is in a dog.

Dappling patterns have a unique visual appeal. They’re so random, and finding two dogs with the same pattern is hard, if not impossible.

While some dapple dogs have more noticeable spotted patches on their bodies, others only have a single dapple patch that is not as noticeable. A dapple is typically more pronounced when one of the base colors of a dog’s coat is black, tan, red, or chocolate.

Dapple dogs are relatively healthy and have the Merle gene responsible for the dapple pattern

Breeding two dapple dogs can have devastating repercussions, and puppies from a litter have a higher risk of:

  • Some degree of deafness
  • Blindness
  • Sunlight sensitivity

How Do You Know If Your Dachshund Is a Dapple?

What is a dapple dachshund

You can know if a Dachshund is a dapple if at least one of its parents was a dapple dog.  Another telltale sign is if the Dachsie has spots on its coat. Many dapple Dachshunds have noticeable freckles on their bodies, but even one spot is enough for a dog to be considered a dapple.

Read on for more hints on how to know if your furry friend is a dapple.

Dapple Dachshunds are similar to their non-dapple counterparts. They have the same temperaments and physical attributes—the only difference is the spotted pattern on their coats. Some dapple dogs may also have one blue eye or both.

Compared to regular Dachshies, dapple dogs are rare because they inherit the Merle gene. This gene is responsible for the genetic mutation that makes some dogs develop the visually appealing dappling coat pattern. 

The American Kennel Club first recognized the dappling pattern as a variation of the Dachshund in 1885.

Dapple Dachshunds cost more than their regular counterparts because breeders have to be extra careful not to pass two copies of the Merle gene to the puppies. A puppy can cost up to $3,000 on average because of the intensive genetic tests that ethical breeders perform on both parents.

What Happens If You Breed Two Dapple Dachshunds?

If you breed two dapple Dachshunds, you get a double dapple dog. Although some double dapples have unique and beautiful features, most are disfigured or are born with debilitating or lethal health problems. They range from vision and hearing problems to an increased risk of musculoskeletal issues.

Keep reading to know the devastating effects of breeding two dapple Dachshunds.

A dapple marking or a spotted pattern on a Dachshund is similar to the Merle pattern on breeds like the Collie, Great Dane, and Australian Shepherd. It’s aesthetically pleasing and gives the dog an almost mystical-looking coat. 

Although some double dapple Dachsies are gorgeous, the breeding process often has ugly side effects. They range from disfiguring birth defects to debilitating or lethal health consequences. 

Breeding double dapples amounts to animal cruelty because most puppies suffer irreversible health concerns that affect their life quality.

Double dapples can suffer from any of the following concerns:

  • Micro eyes
  • Missing eyes
  • Blindness or varying degrees of vision loss
  • Deafness or varying degrees of deafness
  • Sunlight sensitivity and increased risk of skin cancer

Dachshunds have long, low-slung bodies and short legs, making them susceptible to health problems directly related to their musculoskeletal systems. 

However, double-dapple Dachshunds typically suffer worse versions of these problems because of genetic abnormalities fueled by having two copies of the Merle gene.

These musculoskeletal issues include but are not limited to the following.

  • Brittle bones
  • Intervertebral disk disease
  • Kneecap displacement

Responsible breeders are more concerned with protecting the health and welfare of the puppies they produce. They’re committed to adhering to the set breeding standards instead of experimenting to create “rare” colored Dachshunds. 

Find Out: Why Is My Dachshund Whining? 9 Reasons and What to Do

What Is a Double Dapple Dachshund?

Double Dapple Dachshund

A double dapple Dachshund is a dog bred from mating two dapple parents. The spotted markings are typically whiter and larger, and the dogs could have one lighter-colored eye or both. 

Breeding double-dapple Dachshies is irresponsible because of the lethal genes associated with the coat pattern.

Dapple dogs have a dominant merle gene. If a Dachshie is a dapple, breeding it with another dapple dog can have devastating consequences. 

The merle gene remains dominant even in dogs whose dappling fades over time. Even dogs with a single, tiny dappled patch should be registered as dapple dogs and not mated with other dogs with the merle gene. 

While single-dapple dogs have no lethal health concerns, double-dapple dogs have numerous health issues that can deprive them of the best quality of life.

The reasons behind breeding double-dapple Dachshunds are often profit related. 

Breeders who breed two dapple dogs are either ignorant of the possible side effects of the process or simply don’t care. Their sole focus is reaping profits from puppies with unique coat patterns and eye colors.

Breeding double-dapple Dachshunds amounts to animal cruelty. Reputable organizations, including the American Kennel Club, have condemned the hurtful breeding practice and even deemed the double dapples unacceptable.

What Is the Difference Between Dapple and Merle?

There is no major difference between Dapple and Merle, only that Merle dogs typically have a spotted pattern of a darker color splashed onto a lighter background. On the contrary, Dapple Dachshunds have a freckled pattern of a lighter color splattered onto a darker background.

Keep reading if it piques your interest to know more about the difference between dapple and merle dogs.

Merle dogs have a distinctive spotted pattern on their coats. However, these patterns come in a range of darker colors splashed onto the dog’s solid hues of a lighter shade. 

Like the dapple pattern, the merle pattern is also caused by a genetic mutation that causes the coat to have a distinctive marbled look.

On the other hand, the dapple pattern comes in lighter shades splashed onto a dog’s solid coat colors that are typically darker. 

Both merle and dapple dogs can have a lighter eye color, and the pattern can appear on any part of their bodies.

The merle gene variant is dominant, meaning it only takes breeding a merle and non-merle dog to get a litter of merle puppies. Unfortunately, breeding two merle dogs causes the puppies to inherit potentially lethal genes caused by having two copies of the merle gene.

Some of the health concerns that affect double merle dogs include but are not limited to the following.

  • Lack of pigment on the coat (puppies can be predominantly white)
  • Total or partial deafness
  • Total or partial blindness

What Is the Difference Between Dapple and Piebald?

Difference between dapple and piebald

The difference between Dapple and Piebald is that the dappling pattern features small spots of a lighter hue on a darker background. On the other hand, Piebald Dachsies have larger, symmetrical white patches. 

Dapple and piebald are coat color variants common in purebred Dachshund dogs and their mixes.

In this section, we’ll dive into detail about the main differences between dapple and piebald Dachshunds. Keep reading!

Piebald Dachshies look almost similar to double dapples because they have large, white patches on their coats. However, you can tell the difference between the two by looking at the shapes and alignment of the patches. 

While piebald dogs have symmetrical white patches, the dappling pattern is almost always asymmetrical.

Like the dapple coat pattern, the American Kennel Club also recognizes the piebald and brindle as acceptable coat patterns of a Dachshund. 

You must ensure both parents have the recessive piebald gene to create piebald puppies. The result is a litter of generally healthy puppies, although any of the dogs that lack pigment on their ears are more prone to congenital deafness. The concern causes premature deterioration of the inner ear and typically strikes within the first few weeks of life.

Final Thoughts

If you were itching to know what is a dapple Dachshund, I hope this post provides comprehensive answers.  

Generally, the dapple dogs are just regular Dachsies but with a unique coat pattern. They’re as adorable as their non-dapple counterparts and make endearing furry companions. 

Moreover, their gorgeous coats only give them an added cute factor but don’t warrant any special care.

Have you always fancied adopting a spotted Dachshund?

Before you do, remember that while dapple Dachshies are healthy, their double-dapple counterparts are double trouble. Therefore, ensure you don’t confuse the two.

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