Dachshund stacked

Breed Standard

Breed standards are written so that dogs bred today are healthy and can still perform the functions that they were bred to do many years ago. The Dachshund standard is set by the Dachshund Club of America (DCA). The Dachshund was bred for his scenting ability, small size, determination to dig and his courage to confront the badger. Standard-sized dachshunds were bred to track down badgers and other vermin and hold them at bay until the hunter arrived.  The miniature dachshund was bred to track down and either hold small vermin at bay or kill them for the hunter. The Dachshund must have agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he was developed. Conformation dog shows use these standards to compare each dog to the breed standard (not to each other). Click below to see the detailed standards used today.

  • Long in body; short of leg with robust muscular development
  • Skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling
  • Hunting spirit, good nose, loud tongue and distinctive build make him well suited for below ground work and beating the bush
  • Keen nose gives him advantage over most other breeds for trailing
  • Head tapers uniformly to the tip of the nose
  • Eyes are medium sized, almond shaped, dark rimmed, and very dark in color
  • Ears set near the top of the head, not too far forward, of moderate length, rounded, not narrow, pointed or folded
  • Skull is slightly arched, neither too broad nor too narrow, sloping gradually into finely formed, slightly arched muzzle
  • Black is preferred color of nose
  • Lips are tightly stretch, well covering the lower jaw
  • Jaws opening wide and hinged well back of the eyes with strongly developed bones and teeth
  • Powerful canine teeth
  • Teeth fit closely together in a scissors bite
  • An even bite is a minor flaw; any other deviation is a serious fault
  • Long, muscular, clean cut, without dewlap
  • Slightly arched in the nape, flowing gracefully into the shoulders
  • Trunk is long, fully muscled
  • When viewed in profile, the back lies in the straightest possible line between the withers and the short, very arched loin
  • A body that hangs loosely between the shoulders is a serious fault
  • Slightly drawn up
  • For effective underground work, the front must be strong, deep, long and cleanly muscled
  • 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
  • Enclosing structure of the well-sprung ribs appear full and oval to allow complete development of heart and lungs
  • Keel mergers 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
  • Elbows close to the body, yet capable of free movement
  • Short, supplied with hard yet pliable muscles on the front and outside
  • Tightly stretched tendons on the inside at the back, slightly curved inwards
  • Joints between the forearms and fee (wrists) are closer together than the shoulder joints so that the front does not appear absolutely straight
  • Knuckling over is a disqualifying fault
  • Front paws are full, tight, compact, with well-arched toes and tough, thick pads
  • May be equally inclined a trifle outward
  • There are 5 toes, four in use, close together with a pronounced arch and strong, short nails
  • Front dewclaws may be removed
  • Hind paws are smaller than front paws with 4 compactly closed and arched toes and thick pads
  • Hind foot points straight ahead and is balanced equally on the ball and not merely on the toes
  • Rear dewclaws should be removed
  • Strong and clean muscled.
  • The pelvis, thigh, second thigh and the metatarsus are ideally the same length and form a series of right angles.
  • From the rear, the thighs are strong and powerful.
  • Then legs turn neither in nor out.
  • Short and strong, perpendicular to the second thigh bone.
  • When viewed from behind, they are upright and parallel.
  • Long, rounded and full, sinking slightly toward the tail.
  • Tail is set in continuation of the spine, extending without kinks, twists, or pronounced curvature, and not carried too gaily.
  • 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 to compensate for shortness of leg and width of check.
  • Hind legs drive on a line with the forelegs, with hocks 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.
  • 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 comin or going are incorrect.
  • 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


The Dachshund breed has three varieties; the smooth, the longhaired, and the wirehaired. Each variety has additional standards set by the DCA.

Smooth Variety
  • Coat – Short, smooth and shining and should be neither too long nor too thick
  • Ears not leathery
  • Tail – gradually tapered to a point, well but not too richly haired; long sleek bristles on the underside are considered a patch of strong growing hair, not a fault; A brush tail is a fault, as is also a partly or wholly hairless
  • Hair color – although base color is immaterial, certain patterns and basic colors predominate; One-colored Dachshunds include red and cream; A small amount of white on the chest is acceptable, but not desirable
  • Nose and nails – in the case of black dogs, black; for chocolate and all other colors, dark brown, but self colored is acceptable.
  • Two colored Dachshunds include black, chocolate, wild boar, gray (blue) and fawn (Isabella), each with tan markings over the eyes, on the sides of the jaw and underlip, on the inner edge of the ear, front, breast, inside and behind the front legs, on the paws and around the anus, and from there to about one-third to one-half of the length of the tail on the underside. Undue prominence or extreme lightness of tan markings is undesirable. A small amount of white on the chest is acceptable, but not desirable.
  • Dappled dachshunds – The “single” dapple pattern is expressed as lighter-colored areas contrasting with the darker base color, which may be any acceptable color. Neither the light nor the dark color should predominate. Nose nad nails are the same as for one and two-colored Dachshunds. Partial or wholly blue (wall) eyes are as acceptable as dark eyes. A large area of white on the chest of a dapple is permissible. A “double” dapple is one in which varying amounts of white coloring occur over the body in addition to the dapple pattern. Nose and nails: as for one and two-color Dachshunds, partially or wholly self-colored is permissible
  • Brindle is a pattern (as opposed to a color) in which black or dark stripes occur over the entire body although in some specimens the pattern may be visible only in the tan parts.
Longhaired Variety
  • Coat – Sleek, glistening, often slightly wavy hair is longer under the neck and on the forechest, the underside of the body, the ears and behind the legs; coat gives an elegant appearance; short hair on the ear is undesirable. Too profuse a coat masks type, equally long hair over the whole body, a curly coat or a pronounced parting on the back are faults.
  • Tail – carried gracefully in prolongation of the spine; the hair attains its greatest length here and forms a veritable flag.
  • Hair color – same as smooth
  • Nose and nails – same as smooth
Wirehaired Variety
  • Coat – With exception of the jaw, eyebrows, and ears, the whole body is covered with a uniform tight, short, thick, rough, hard, outer coat but with finer, somewhat softer hairs (undercoat) everywhere distributed between the coarser hairs. Absence of an undercoat is a fault. Distinctive facial furnishings include a beard and eyebrows. On the ears, the hair is shorter than on the body.
  • Tail – Robust, thickly haired, gradually tapering to a point. A flag tail is a fault.
  • Hair color – While the most common colors are wild boar, black and tan, and various shades of red, all colors are admissible. A small amount of white on the chest, although acceptable, is not desirable.
  • Nose and nails – same as smooth