Dachshund – Comprehending Breed Standard

Dachshund breed standard


Always keep in mind that the breed standard is a verbal description of the perfect Dachshund. Trying to form a visual image of the ideal Dachshund by reading words is rather difficult. The situation is further complicated by the fact that each person who reads this verbal description will form a somewhat different visual image in his mind.


Let’s leave dogs for a moment and think about verbal descriptions and their interpretation in general. For example, an author may write a wonderfully detailed description of a beach. Each person who reads that description will visualize that beach in his own way. Although the images may be similar, no two images will be exactly the same. And so it is with trying to visualize what is correct for a Dachshund by reading the breed standard; no two people will interpret it or visualize it in exactly the same way.

It is designed to be a written guide of what is desired and what is not desirable in a Dachshund. To apply that guide to individual Dachshunds takes study, mentoring, and a great deal of experience. Remember that the standard is a written description of a visual image, and as such, it leaves plenty of room for different perceptions.

Realizing that interpreting breed standards is not an easy task, many parent clubs have developed an illustrated standard, and the Dachshund Club of America is one of them. The illustrated standard enhances the written standard by providing drawings that illustrate the various details pertaining to the Dachshund as it is presented in the written standard.

If you have had no experience with Dachshunds, it is likely that you will have no better idea of how adequately a particular dog compares to the breed standard than before you read it. Just reading the standard and trying to apply it to a living Dachshund is almost impossible. Drawings and photographs are very helpful in interpreting what the written word is intended to convey; however, the only way toreally understand what this document is saying is to look at many, many, many Dachshunds and make comparisons.

Some aspects of the standard are easy to comprehend. Features such as bites, feet, toplines, eye color, and tail carriage are easy to assess. Proper angulation, overall balance, type, and movement require experience and an educated eye.

Much of the breed standard is devoted to a description of parts, but it is the overall appearance of the Dachshund that is imperative. A core principle of Gestalt psychology is that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and so it is with the Dachshund. A Dachshund may have many parts that are essentially correct as described by the standard, but when these parts are put together, they may not produce the overall type that is the essence of the Dachshund. Added to correct parts must be balance, style, and the Dachshund personality which personifies boldness, courage, perseverance, stamina, alertness, stubbornness, cleverness, intelligence, and independence.



Are you looking for a Dachshund puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.

Want to help rescue and re-home a Dachshund?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing here.

Dachshund Dog Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the friendly Dachshund Dog Breed with articles and information in our Dachshund Breed Magazine.


Dachshund Breed Magazine - Showsight



  • Ann Gordon acquired her first Dachshund in 1957 and has been involved with the breed ever since. Not long after she became involved in Dachshunds, Ann became a member of the Dachshund Club of America. Over the many years that she has been a member, she has served as Second Vice President, First Vice President, and as a member of the Board of Directors for many years. For over twenty years, she bred and showed Standard Smooth Dachshunds under the kennel name of Ravenridge. In 1969, Ann was licensed by the American Kennel Club to judge Dachshunds. She has judged throughout the United States and Canada as well as in the countries of Australia and Japan. Over the years, she has had the honor to judge at seven of the Dachshund Club of America’s National Specialty Shows. She is also licensed to judge Basset Hounds. Ann was the Dachshund Breed Columnist for the AKC Gazette for about twenty-five years and has written two books: The Dachshund: A Dog for Town and Country; and Dachshund, Your Happy Healthy Pet. Ann presently lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with “Aimee,” her black and tan Smooth Standard Dachshund.

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