Dachshunds are popular family and companion dogs for their affectionate, friendly, and courageous natures. They’re also pretty versatile when it comes to appearance, with 12 standard coat colors recognized by the American Kennel Club.1 White is a notable exception, though white markings are accepted in piebald and standard dapple Dachshunds.
|Height:||8 – 9 inches|
|Weight:||11 – 32 pounds|
|Lifespan:||12 – 15 years|
|Colors:||Black, red, cream, brown, sable, pied, brindle, grey, fawn|
|Suitable for:||Companionship to singles or seniors; families with older kids|
|Temperament:||Feisty, willful, vocal, alert|
There are two instances in which a Dachshund may be completely white in color. One is that they’re albino, which is pretty rare in dogs. The other is that they’re a double dapple, which is a Dachshund with white markings or, in some cases, that is almost entirely white. Double dapples typically have white bands around their necks, and white on their paws, nose, and the tip of their tails.
Double dapple Dachshunds are born as a result of breeding two dapple Dachshunds—something strongly advised against due to the potential health issues that come along with double dapples. The equivalent in other breeds such as Collies or Australian Shepherds is the double merle gene.
The Earliest Records of White Dachshunds in History
We can’t be sure when the first white Dachshund came about due to a lack of historical photos of fully or partly white Dachshunds or records of them, but the Dachshund’s ancestors were likely around as far back as far as the 15th century.
By the 18th century, Dachshunds were being bred and developed by German hunters to form the perfect badger-hunting hound. This explains their sausage-like body shape which fits perfectly and allows them to navigate their way through burrows and holes. Their little barrel-like bodies earned them the nickname “sausage dog”.
When you look at the Dachshund we know today, it’s difficult to imagine that these sweet little dogs were bred to take on badgers—a dangerous animal in the right circumstances.
What helped Dachshunds survive these encounters was the shape of their bodies, extended rib cages which protected their vital organs and support the heart and lungs, and the bridge bone that protected their eyes. You’d also be surprised at just how strong a Dachshund’s jaw is.
How Dachshunds Gained Popularity
An increase in the rabbit population resulted in the development of the miniature Dachshund, bred specifically for hunting rabbits instead of the badgers their larger counterparts took care of. Several varieties of Dachshunds were being bred in the 18th century (smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired), which shows that they were already very much in demand at this time.
When hunting decreased in popularity, Dachshunds remained popular companion dogs thanks to their obedient, amicable temperaments and loyalty. They started to be imported to the British Isles at some point in the 18th century. They immigrated to the U.S. from the British Isles and Germany where they continued to grow in popularity.
It’s possible that the affinity of several celebrities throughout history for Dachshunds increased their popularity with the public. Famous Dachshund owners and admirers have included Queen Victoria, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Crawford.
Formal Recognition of White Dachshunds
Dachshunds were recognized by the AKC in 1885. White is not an American Kennel Club-recognized Dachshund color, though dapple and piebald are accepted as standard markings.
Dapple Dachshunds are distinct from double dapples in that they may have small white markings on their coats, but not large ones like double dapples. Piebald Dachshunds can also have white in their coats. The AKC lists double dapple as a non-standard color.
Top 3 Unique Facts About White Dachshunds
1. Breeding Double Dapple Dachshunds is Considered Irresponsible
Due to the health issues associated with double dapples, breeding them is not encouraged. Double dapples are prone to hearing loss and vision problems in particular. This can include missing eyes or “micro eyes”. This condition causes affected dogs to be born with unusually small eyes.
2. Double Dapple Dachshunds Typically Have Blue Eyes
Not in every case, though. Some double dapples are born with one dark eye or two dark eyes.
3. The Word “Dachshund” Translates to “Badger Dog”
In German, the word “dachs” means “badger” and “hund” means “dog”. Together, it translates to “badger dog”, a tribute to the breed’s working history.
Does a White Dachshund Make a Good Pet?
Definitely! Dachshunds of any color are generally fun-loving, loyal, and good-humored little dogs with a lot of love to give. As well as being loving towards their family members, Dachshunds are known for being friendly with strangers, other dogs, and sensible children. Dachshunds have a lifespan of between 12 and 16 years, which is another bonus.
There are certain things to be aware of if you’re considering adopting a Dachshund. One is that these dogs have a reputation for being vocal and are likely to communicate with you via barks, howls, and sometimes whines. This is because of their hunting background, as they would use vocalizations to communicate with human hunters and other dogs.
They’re also a little more prone to separation anxiety than some other breeds due to their affectionate and sometimes clingy natures. As mentioned above, double dapple Dachshunds in particular are prone to certain health issues like deafness and blindness, so if you are the parent of a double dapple Dachshund, it’s important to be aware of this. This doesn’t mean that your double dapple will be born with these conditions— just that it’s a possibility.
To sum up, a Dachshund may be white either due to albinism, though this is very rare, or, more likely, being born with double dapple genes. This causes Dachshunds to have white in their coats, sometimes to the extent that they appear almost entirely white.
Like other Dachshunds, they’re wonderful dogs with plenty to offer, but if you have one, you need to be aware of the potential health issues linked to double dapples. Luckily, some double dapples never encounter hearing or vision issues. Further, many blind and deaf dogs live long and happy lives if they’re in loving homes. If you have any concerns about your double dapple Dachshund, please consult your vet.