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Autumn Breeze Dachshunds

Double Dapples

Autumn Breeze Dachshunds

Autumn Breeze Dachshunds will never breed for "Double Dapple" dachshunds. Our breeding program understands the importance of separation of certain male from females during their heat cycle. Autumn Breeze Dachshunds utilizes genetic testing and follows the current genetic research relating to the dachshund breed. Our breeding program will be in accordance with the Breed Standard and our primary concern will be for the health and welfare of the puppies we produce.  

What is dappling:

When answering what is dappling on Dachshund dogs, we can start by telling you what it is not. It is not a particular color or even a rigid pattern. The coloration can be any mixture of a Dachshund's coloring, sometimes black, often tan, but also including some white, brown, sable and other colors. Their type of coat can also vary wildly as there are smooth coated, wire coated and long haired Dachshunds available.

The term dappling has also crossed over into the world of painting. As you might dab a canvas with a sponge to provide a dapples effect, the same occurs naturally in a dog's coat. The color isn't piebald, as in large patches of differently colored fur. Instead, it has some patches of color which are then spread out into another, giving a sort of speckled and patchy effect. In double dappled Dachshunds you will get a mixture of these patterns. There will be the piebald patches of block patterned fur as well as the dappled pattern.

Similar to how calico-cats can have tabby patterns on them also, the pattern of the dappled or double dappled Dachshund cannot be predicted. 

How does dappling occur:

The genetics of dogs have been closely studied. However, as with the genetics of humans, as much as we know, there are still some mysteries of nature which cannot be quite figured. What we do know is that with both humans and Dachshunds, there are dominant and recessive genes. A dominant gene is the one which wins at the creation of the individual cell, leading to certain characteristics. They come from the Dachshund's parentage, the male being the sire the female being the dam.

The dapple or merle gene for Dachshunds is dominant. This means if a Dachshund puppy is dappled, at least one of the parents must have also been dappled. There is no cause for concern breeding a dappled dog with a non-dappled dog. However, if both dogs are dappled, then problems can arise. The dapple gene is written as ‘M’ in scientific terms with the non-dappled gene written as a lower case ‘m’. The combinations of these genes can be as follows:

  • ‘Mm’ - the dominant dappled gene is activated and the recessive non-dapple gene is not. This results in a dappled dog and will be more likely than a non-dappled.

  • ‘mm’ - dominant genes are helpful in predicting the probability of certain genetic traits. However, even though they are dominant, it doesn't mean they will be the activated allele (the variant form of a gene) in each cell. The ‘mm’ combination means that the recessive non-dappled alleles win out and you will have a non-dappled Dachshund in the litter, although these are more uncommon.

  • ‘MM’ - each puppy in a double dappled litter has a 25% chance of having the dapple gene activated in both dominant and recessive alleles, resulting in a double dapple pattern.

Unfortunately, it is not just the beautiful double dapple pattern which occurs in Dachshunds which have the ‘MM’ coding. For some reason, when these two dominant genes are combined, they result in abnormalities. Many of them have the wall eyed look which you can see in the long haired double dappled Dachshund below.

Complications of double dappling:

Like we said above, if you breed two dappled Dachshunds together you can have healthy puppies. However, if they are double dappled, then this can result in a variety of problems. They can really affect the Dachshund's quality of life. These include:

  • Born blind in one or both eyes (particularly one with white patch covering them)

  • Born with only one or no eyes altogether

  • Born deaf in one or both ears

These problems can be lethal and, if not, will drastically reduce their quality of life. While scientists aren't completely sure why these genetic deformities happen, we do know that they do not occur in single dappled dachshunds.

Another problem with double dapple breeds is that Dachshunds are already susceptible to certain health problems. These health problems can be exacerbated in double dapples. They include:

  • Spinal problems like intervertebral disk disease are common in Dachshunds thanks to their long body yet short rib cage. This gives the Dachshund its typical gait and is exacerbated by exercise.

  • Other bone issues such as kneecap displacement, especially later in life.

  • Brittle bones.

  • Cushing's syndrome resulting in lumps and ailments.

  • Thyroid problems.

Double dapple breeds which have genetic abnormalities only add to these pre-existing propensities. Consciously breeding double dapples involves taking a risk which simply isn't worth the potential pain and abuse which is passed on to the litter.

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