Dachshund Colors and Patterns
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I have been asked to write this for the list's web page. It is being written for the average pet owner who wants to know exactly what color dachsie they have and what colors and patterns are available. For those who want to get deeper into colors and patterns, you really have to do some research into genetics and the inheritance of color and pattern. There are some books available on this if you are interested; the best ones being The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs by Clarence C. Little, Sc.D., and Genetics of the Dog by Malcolm B. Willis.
There is no brown dachshund. If it looks brown to you and has tan points, then it is chocolate. A red can range in shade from brownish to very light red, almost a strawberry blond. It can and often does have a black overlay, either all over or a stripe down the back or ear fringes and tail fringe (longhairs especially).
Black and tan:
Just that. Black and tan. Sometimes (very rare) there is so little tan that the dog looks entirely black. It's possible, but not
desirable (as per AKC). Also, no truth to the old wives tale that there should (or should not) be a black dot in the tan points on the dog's paws. Some have them, others don't.
Chocolate and tan:
Unwrap a Hershey bar. That's the desired color. With tan points, just like the black and tan.
Blue and tan:
Can be anything from a charcoal gray to an almost sky blue. With tan points, of course. Prone to coat problems, especially in longhaired dachsies, but every once in a while there is one that has an outstanding coat.
Fawn (Isabella) and tan:
Kind of a mouse color. Brownish gray. With the usual tan points. Kind of the color of a new-born deer fawn less the dots. Can have the same kind of coat problems as the Blue due to defective dilute genes.
The lighter the better. Should have the darkest possible eyes, nose, and nails. Color ranges from champagne to beige. Can have black overlay, especially on ears and tail.
Usually found on wirehaired dachsies. A very light red, ranging to strawberry blond, but usually lighter. Can be found in smooths, if there is wire in the background somewhere.
Another wire color. Kind of black and brown and gray mixed. A grizzled color. Also found in smooths with wire in the background. Actually, I believe it is the color most people associate with wires.
A third, fairly rare wire color. Mostly red, but with black and brown and gray mixed in. Cheryl Newberry has one, a real beauty.
DACHSHUND COAT PATTERNS:
Stripes. Usually (but not always) black. Can be blue or isabella or chocolate. The best brindles are striped all over the body, but even if there are only one or two stripes on the feet, the dog should be registered as brindle.
Spots where some of the color has been lightened or removed. Most common in black and tans, but can occur in ANY color. I have a blue dapple, and have had an Isabella dapple. I have bred red dapples. I would love to have a longhaired chocolate dapple. The color is usually lighter
than the base color, kind of a silvery shade. Sometimes in reds, the dappling is darker. If the dappling occurs in the eyes, the eyes are blue.
Only occurs when both parents are dapples. Areas of white
on the body, mixed with mostly the dapple color discussed above. There is a danger with a double dapple of blindness or deafness if the double dappling occurs in the eyes or ears. White areas may be quite small or quite large, depending. Depending on what you ask? Just depending.
Only occurs when both parents are piebald or carry it. Areas of full color on a white background as seen in beagles, foxhounds or basenjis. They may also have ticking; small spots of color in the white field. This
may just be a few little spots on the toes and muzzle, or heavy -- like a flea-bitten mare. THERE IS NO DAPPLING ON A PIEBALD! If you think you can't tell the difference between them, just get two of them together and you'll be able to see the difference. This is probably the only way we will ever get a white dachshund; breed for larger and larger areas of white on a piebald until there is no base color left. Most color breeders don't think cream is the way to go for a totally white dachsie. It's possible to get lighter and lighter cream, but not white. There is also a piebald/dapple cross, but that's a little too much to go into right now. Talk about genetic mix-ups! And pattern mix-ups! Why would anyone do it? In that case, there MIGHT be dappling on a piebald. Hmmm.........
Probably the most misunderstood of all the patterns. Refers to black hairs mixing with other colors (usually red). Therefore, if you have a red dachsie with any black hairs on it, you have a sable. (?) I have talked to a lot of people about this in the last few weeks, and no one can
really come up with anything else. Generally, however, a sable refers to a red with a black overlay. More easily seen in longhaired dachsies. If you part the hairs, you can see red down at skin level, and as they grow longer, they turn darker and darker. Now I know what you are saying. Sables are confusing. And they are. The previous discussion sounds like I am talking about two different patterns; one with red hairs and black hairs mixed, and one with red and black on the same hair. And I am. That's the trouble. No one has explained exactly which one is really sable. Maybe they both are.
I hope this helps. If you need more information, wait until DCA comes out with their color standards, which should be posted somewhere on their website. (They are going to have trouble coming to some sort of understanding on dachsie colors, however.) Or, get one of the books that have been mentioned and try to research it for yourself.