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If you're considering a Dachshund, get to know the breed standards as established by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC Dachshund breed standard is divided into a few specific categories, such as appearance and coat types.

Appearance standards

The (AKC) standard specifies that a Dachshund should be low to ground, long in body and short of leg. He should be robust and well-balanced with a confident and intelligent manner. The gait should be fluid and smooth, and the forelegs should reach well forward. The breed standard places far more emphasis on exactly how specific parts of the Dachshund's body should appear.

  • Size: Dachshunds come in two sizes: Standard (between 16 and 32 pounds) and Miniature (11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older).

  • Head: The Dachsie has a small, uniformly tapered head that is slightly flat on top and not too round. The skull should slopes gradually into the muzzle.

    More dachshund standards:

    • The ears should be near the top of the head, not too far forward, narrow, or folded.

    • The eyes should be medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes with prominent brows and an energetic, pleasant expression.

    • The muzzle should have open nostrils and tightly stretched lips.

    • The teeth should fit closely together in a scissor bite.

  • Neck: The long, slightly arched and muscular neck should flow gracefully into the shoulders.

  • Body: A long muscular body with a straight back and a slightly drawn up abdomen. It should have a prominent breastbone with a slight dimple on either side. In profile, it should appear as though the lowest point of the breast line is covered by the front leg.

  • Forequarters: The front must be strong, deep, long, and cleanly muscled.

  • Legs: The curved forearms should form parentheses that enclose the ribcage. The upper arms should be the same length as the shoulder blades. The joints between the forearms and the feet (wrists) are closer together than the shoulder joints, so that there is a visible curve from the front. The hind legs should neither turn in nor out.

  • Feet: Front paws are full and compact, with well-arched toes and tough, thick pads. Dewclaws must be removed from the back legs and are optional in front. Hind Paws are smaller than the front paws.

Coat types

There are three acceptable coats for Dachshunds: smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired.

  • Smooth Dachshunds have a short, smooth and shining coat.

    More smooth standards

    • Color: Can be solid red or cream with a black nose. Other acceptable colors are dappled, brindle, sable, and two-color dachshunds including black, chocolate, wild boar, blue, and Isabella.

    • Nails: Black nails for dogs that are black, red, or cream and dark brown for all others.

    • Ears: Not leathery.

    • Tail: Neither too hairy nor hairless. Gradually tapered to a point.

  • Wirehaired Dachshunds have a uniformly short, thick, and rough coat that looks smooth from a distance. They should have a visible beard and eyebrows.

    More wirehaired standards

    • Color: The most common colors are wild boar, black and tan, and various shades of red, all colors and patterns listed above are admissible.

    • Nails: Black nails for dogs that are black, red, or cream and dark brown for all others.

    • Ears: Should have smooth hair on the ears.

    • Tail: Thickly haired, gradually tapering to a point.

  • Longhaired Dachshunds should have slightly wavy hair that is longer under the neck, fore chest, the underside of the body, ears, and behind the legs.

    More longhaired standards

    • Color: The same as for smooth.

    • Nails: The same as for smooth.

    • Ears: Should not have short hair on the ears.

    • Tail: Long hair that forms a veritable flag.


Appearance defects

The standard also discusses how judges should rate the less-than-perfect Dachshund. For example, if the front legs knuckle over, the Dachshund will be disqualified. Aside from this there are other defects that will cause a judge deduct points in the show ring, such as

  • Knuckling over of the front legs is a disqualifying fault.

  • The presence of wall eyes, except in the case of dappled dogs

  • An even bite is a minor fault. Any other deviation in jaw alignment is a serious fault.

  • Presence of a dewlap

    Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault.

  • A body that hangs loosely between the shoulders

  • A brush tail on a smooth dachshund

  • The absence of an undercoat on a wirehaired dachshund

  • Any sort of soft hair in the outer coat of a wirehaired dachshund

  • Long, curly, or wavy hair on a wirehaired dachshund

  • Hair that sticks out irregularly in all directions on a wirehaired dachshund

  • A flag tail on wirehaired is fault

If you plan to show your Dachsie, check with the AKC for more information and to see if your Dachshund qualifies.

If you are just looking for a pet, the most important things to remember when buying a Dachshund are temperament and health. But, if you're interested in showing your dog, it is crucial to have a dog that falls into the breed standard. A dog that deviates from the AKC standard will not be competitive regardless of how cute or sweet he is.

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