Standard of the Dachshund
General Appearance: Low to ground, long in body and short of leg, with robust muscular
development; the skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling. Appearing neither
crippled, awkward, nor cramped in his capacity for movement, the Dachshund is well-balanced
with bold and confident head carriage and intelligent, alert facial expression. His hunting spirit,
good nose, loud tongue and distinctive build make him well-suited for below-ground work and
for beating the bush. His keen nose gives him an advantage over most other breeds for trailing.
NOTE: Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be
considered a fault.
Head: Viewed from above or from the side, the head tapers uniformly to the tip of the nose. The
eyes are of medium size, almond-shaped and dark-rimmed, with an energetic, pleasant
expression; not piercing; very dark in color. The bridge bones over the eyes are strongly
prominent. Wall eyes, except in the case of dappled dogs, are a serious fault. The ears are set
near the top of the head, not too far forward, of moderate length, rounded, not narrow, pointed,
or folded. Their carriage, when animated, is with the forward edge just touching the cheek so that
the ears frame the face. The skull is slightly arched, neither too broad nor too narrow, and slopes
gradually with little perceptible stop into the finely-formed, slightly arched muzzle, giving a
Roman appearance. Lips are tightly stretched, well covering the lower jaw. Nostrils well open.
Jaws opening wide and hinged well back of the eyes, with strongly developed bones and teeth.
Teeth – Powerful canine teeth; teeth fit closely together in a scissors bite. An even bite is a minor
fault. Any other deviation is a serious fault.
Neck: Long, muscular, clean-cut, without dewlap, slightly arched in the nape, flowing gracefully
into the shoulders without creating the impression of a right angle.
Trunk: The trunk is long and fully muscled. When viewed in profile, the back lies in the
straightest possible line between the withers and the short, very slightly arched loin. A body that
hangs loosely between the shoulders is a serious fault. Abdomen – Slightly drawn up.
Forequarters: For effective underground work, the front must be strong, deep, long and cleanly
muscled. Forequarters in detail: Chest – The breast-bone is strongly prominent in front so that on
either side a depression or dimple appears. When viewed from the front, the thorax appears oval
and extends downward to the mid-point of the forearm. The enclosing structure of the well
sprung ribs appears full and oval to allow, by its ample capacity, complete development of heart
and lungs. The keel merges gradually into the line of the abdomen and extends well beyond the
front legs. Viewed in profile, the lowest point of the breast line is covered by the front leg.
Shoulder blades – long, broad, well-laid back and firmly placed upon the fully developed thorax,
closely fitted at the withers, furnished with hard yet pliable muscles. Upper Arm – Ideally the
same length as the shoulder blade and at right angles to the latter, strong of bone and hard of
muscle, lying close to the ribs, with elbows close to the body, yet capable of free movement.
Forearm – Short; supplied with hard yet pliable muscles on the front and outside, with tightly
stretched tendons on the inside and at the back, slightly curved inwards. The joints between the
forearms and the feet (wrists) are closer together than the shoulder joints, so that the front does
not appear absolutely straight. The inclined shoulder blades, upper arms and curved forearms
form parentheses that enclose the ribcage, creating the correct “wraparound front.” Knuckling
over is a disqualifying fault. Feet – Front paws are full, tight, compact, with well-arched toes and
tough, thick pads. They may be equally inclined a trifle outward. There are five toes, four in use,
close together with a pronounced arch and strong, short nails. Front dewclaws may be removed.
Hindquarters: Strong and cleanly muscled. The pelvis, the thigh, the second thigh, and the rear
pastern are ideally the same length and give the appearance of a series of right angles. From the
rear, the thighs are strong and powerful. The legs turn neither in nor out. Rear pasterns – Short
and strong, perpendicular to the second thigh bone. When viewed from behind, they are upright
and parallel. Feet – Hind Paws – Smaller than the front paws with four compactly closed and
arched toes with tough, thick pads. The entire foot points straight ahead and is balanced equally
on the ball and not merely on the toes. Rear dewclaws should be removed. Croup – Long,
rounded and full, sinking slightly toward the tail. Tail – Set in continuation of the spine,
extending without kinks, twists, or pronounced curvature, and not carried too gaily. Gait: Fluid
and smooth. Forelegs reach well forward, without much lift, in unison with the driving action of
hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well-fitted elbows allow the long, free stride in
front. Viewed from the front, the legs do not move in exact parallel planes, but incline slightly
inward. Hind legs drive on a line with the forelegs, with hock joints and rear pasterns
(metatarsus) turning neither in nor out. The propulsion of the hind leg depends on the dog’s
ability to carry the hind leg to complete extension. Viewed in profile, the forward reach of the
hind leg equals the rear extension. The thrust of correct movement is seen when the rear pads are
clearly exposed during rear extension. Rear feet do not reach upward toward the abdomen and
there is no appearance of walking on the rear pasterns. Feet must travel parallel to the line of
motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over, or interfere with each other. Short, choppy
movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going are incorrect. The
Dachshund must have agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he
Temperament: The Dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness,
persevering in above- and below-ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display
of shyness is a serious fault.
Coat Varieties: The Dachshund is bred with three
varieties of coat: (1) Smooth; (2) Wirehaired; (3) Longhaired
There is also a fourth coat type not accepted by the AKC that occurs when wire and a long hair are bred together. This coat commonly referred to as silky or soft wire resembles something akin to Benji. While loveably cute this coat type does require more intensive care than the other three types.
Sizes: The two AKC accepted sizes are Miniature (11 pounds and under at 12
months of age and older) and Standard (between 16 and 32 pounds). This leaves a gap between 12-16 lbs which is commonly referred to as tweeny size by breeders.
It is our personal experience that dogs under 10 lbs tend to have more chihuahua type temperament (yippy and nippy), and conformation (more bulgy eyes and shorter backs) even when purebred. If you are looking for a calm yet active family dog or hiking buddy our suggestion is between 10-14 lb range. This is the range in which most our pups mature.
For more information on Dachshund colors, and markings feel free to visit our Colors/Patterns page as well.