Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Dapple Dachshund: Facts, Origin & History

Cassidy Sutton

By Cassidy Sutton

Dapple Dachshund

Everyone knows about the Dachshund. You may know it better as the wiener dog, the hotdog with legs. But would you believe it’s a ferocious hunter? Most people don’t!

These dogs come in all kinds of patterns and colors. One of the most popular is dapple. This coat coloring features a light color such as white, silver, or gray dispersed on the top coat in splotches. It overlays a darker color underneath, usually black or brown. You can even find a double dapple Dachshund—a Dachshund puppy that results from two dapple Dachshunds mating.

Aside from their unique patterning, dapple Dachshunds are like any other Dachshund. They each come with hunting hotwired in their blood. Today, we’d like to introduce you to their history and why people bred this dog to hunt in the first place.

divider 9

The Earliest Records of the Dapple Dachshund

The word “Dachshund” is German for “badger dog,” so it shouldn’t surprise you that these dogs were specifically bred to hunt badgers.

Badgers look like giant ferrets or skunks, burrowing deep within the earth. A badger can excavate tunnels stretching up to 100 feet with multiple entrances. Maneuvering through these tunnels isn’t easy, and Europeans were looking for a hunting solution.

Dachshunds made their first appearance in 15th century Germany. Around the late 17th century, the Dachshund breed began to take shape. Its little legs and slender body allowed the Dachshund to scurry deep into badger burrows and claim its prey.

close up of a dapple dachshund
Image Credit: mjimages, Pixabay

How the Dapple Dachshund Gained Popularity

By the 18th century, people were crazy for Dachshunds. Everyone praised the breed for its wit, courageousness, and independence. Most importantly, hunters celebrated the breed’s physical traits. The feet, rib cage, shoulders, and even the skull all contributed to the Dachshund’s hunting success.

Around this time, we also see variances in the breed with size and coat patterns, including the dapple coat pattern.

By the 1880s, German and British Dachshunds were imported to America. German Dachshunds were the most popular up until WWI. Between 1930 and 1940, the Dachshund skyrocketed in popularity again, moving from the 28th most popular dog breed to the 6th most popular.

Formal Recognition of the Dapple Dachshund

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Dachshund in 1885, including dapple Dachshunds. However, double dapple Dachshunds aren’t deemed standard markings.

In 1895, the AKC started a parent organization called the Dachshund Club of America (DCA). It’s now the eighth oldest parent club connected to the AKC.

divider 10

Top 3 Unique Facts About the Dapple Dachshund

1. People called the Dachshund the “badger dog” during WWI.

The Dachshund was a popular dog breed in America up until the start of WWI in 1914. After that, people didn’t want to think about the Dachshund coming from Germany. Instead, they referred to the Dachshund by its translated name, “badger dog.”

2. The Dachshund came before the hotdog.

This breed is famously called the wiener dog because of its sausage-shaped body, but it’s actually the other way around. The hotdog was initially called the “Dachshund sausage.” It was later that everyone shortened the name to “hotdog.”

dapple dachshund
Image By: mjimages, Pixabay

3. The first dog in Britain to be cloned was a Dachshund.

In 2014, Britain announced its first dog ever to be cloned. Scientists took a skin sample from an old Dachshund named Winnie and successfully cloned a genetically identical Dachshund named Mini-Winnie.

Divider 3

Does the Dapple Dachshund Make a Good Pet?

Regardless of their color or pattern, Dachshunds make excellent pets if you know what you’re getting into.

Dachshunds are curious, affectionate, and usually eager to please. However, they’re not like Labrador Retrievers. Dachshunds aren’t built for speed, leaping, or laborious swimming, so don’t expect to take your Dachshund on rigorous activities. These can also be on high alert, causing them to become barking machines. The breed might not be a good fit for apartment dwellers.

Lastly, Dachshunds don’t have a lot of patience with young children. But if you teach your children how to handle a Dachshund properly, you should be fine.

Finding a dapple Dachshund can be tricky since it’s a rare pattern. Still, a reputable breeder can provide a dapple Dachshund or steer you in the right direction. As long as you agree to the terms and conditions, this dog breed will be your forever friend.

Divider 5


Most people don’t believe that the Dachshund is a hunting dog. How could such a small dog prove to be successful in the field? But their history shows us that the Dachshund is a prized hunting breed. Even as a lap dog, the Dachshund is a sought-out breed in America. If you want a Dachshund, you’ll have your pick of the litter. Adopting a dapple Dachshund can be challenging since it’s a rare pattern, so finding a trustworthy breeder is the best step to take.


Featured Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database