What is dapple?
Dapple is a color pattern in dachshunds, not a breed. It can be described as an intertwined mixture of the colors in a dachshund. The dapple pattern does not have to be all over the body for a dachshund to be considered dapple; some dogs only have small sections of dappling on their coat. Some of the common dapple patterns in dachshunds include; red, black and tan, chocolate and tan, and double dapple.
This color pattern is also referred to as merle in other breeds including; australian shepherds, shelties, and border collies
The interesting thing about red dapple dachshunds is that the pattern becomes less visible as the dog ages. One way to tell if an older dachshund is a red dapple is by the eye color; dapples are almost always blue-eyed. A dachshund with blue eyes is always considered a dapple, but may have additional patterns as well.
Black & Tan Dapple
Today, silver dapples are known as black and tan dapples; in fact, AKC registrations also name the pattern as black and tan dapple. The coat of a black and tan dapple can be best described of as a “silvery” color.
Chocolate & Tan Dapple
Chocolate and tan dapples have a lighter chocolate base than the standard chocolate dachshund color. The coat is a mixture of tan and chocolate colors with darker spots of chocolate as well.
Double dapple dachshunds are a result of a cross between; two dapple dachshunds, a dapple and a double dapple, or two double dapples. When a dapple and double dapple are crossed, dapple puppies as well as double dapple dachshunds are produced. Breeding two double dapples can only produce double dapples, whereas a cross between two dapples can produce three varieties; double dapple, dapple, and solid.
Double dapple dachshunds closely resemble the coat pattern of a collie dog. They will usually have white spots on the neck, tail, nose, and paws. Also, most double dapples are born with blue eyes or at least one blue eye.
** Caution – Unlike dapples, double dapple dachshunds have a high risk for serious genetic health problems. While not all double dapple dachshunds are unhealthy, many are born deaf, blind, or both. In many cases, people opt. to obtain double dapples that have been produced by a cross between a normal dog and a double dapple dachshund. This way if the double dapple carries the lethal traits they will not be passed on to the puppies.
Baumhover, A. P. (1999). Dapple Talk. Starlight Kennel. Retrieved June 26, 2012, from http://www.starlightkennel.com/Dapple.html
(2006). Dapple Dachshund Coat Patterns that are Unusual. Dachshund Owner Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2012, from http://www.dachshund-owner-guide.com/dapple-dachshund.html
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