Double Dapple Dachshunds: Appearance & Potential Problems

A double dapple Dachshund with white on neck and muzzle and green grass in the background.

Double dapple Dachshunds are beautiful and special. Their unique coat patterns make them popular among fanciers who appreciate this specific coat pattern.

As attractive as they are, double dapple Dachshunds also face some challenges. It’s important to understand where these dogs come from and what their double dapple gene means for them.

What is a double dapple Dachshund? A double dapple Dachshund results when a puppy inherits two copies of the dapple, or merle, gene. This combination often proves fatal and is associated with several health issues, such as deafness and disformed eyes. These dogs are typically mostly white with irregular dapple patches.

If you are considering purchasing a double dapple Dachshund, you need to understand what types of care these dogs require and the common health problems that can affect them.

Double dapple Dachshunds are not the best option when there are so many other colors and patterns from which to choose. 

In the following you’ll learn more about double dapple Dachshunds and what they require.

Double Dapple Dachshunds

Double dapple Dachshunds are Dachshunds that have a specific coat pattern resulting from two copies of the dappling gene. The pattern is also called merle in other dog breeds.

Dogs get this pattern from their genetics, and it usually appears to be patchy, spotty, or dotted. It can cover the entire coat or just a portion of it.

This type of coat pattern is considered rare, and many breeders strive to achieve it in their puppies.

What Makes a Dachshund a Double Dapple

A double dapple Dachshund has a mostly white coat with small patches of merle or spotted patterns.

They are the result of the breeding of two dapple Dachshunds (a practice that is severely frowned upon by breed clubs).

While the color is unique, double Dachshund dogs can be prone to some health problems.

Double Dapple Dachshund Appearance

Not all spotted or patch-patterned dogs are double dapple Dachshunds. Here’s what to look for if you are trying to identify one.

Coat Markings

Double dapple dachshunds are mostly white and have small patches of brown, gray, and black spots. The patches may be random, or they could be opposite of each other and split down the middle.

The majority of the dachshunds will be mostly white, and they may have light paw pads, noses, tail tips, neck bands, and eyes as well.

The merle patches appear throughout the coat, usually on the torso, tail, and legs.

Colors

Double dapple Dachshunds can be white, brown, black, gray, and tan. Some dogs have all these colors on their coats, and others may only have one or two different colors.

They always have some type of white on their coat, and it should be the largest portion of color on the dog.

Eye Color

The eye color of double Dachshunds can be normal or light brown, light green, or light blue if there are white patches around the eyes. Some can even have eyes that are two different colors.

Their light eye color is a result of low pigment.

Sadly, this can also cause other problems associated with their eyes, including blindness, deformed eyes, and even missing eyes. 

The Controversy Surrounding Double Dapple Dachshunds

While double dapple Dachshunds are definitely eye-catching and unique, there is some controversy that surrounds them.

The same genetics that give them their unique appearance can also cause health problems. Let me explain.

The gene that produces the dapple pattern is known as the merle gene, and when both parents pass the dominant merle gene onto puppies, resulting in double dapple (aka double merle), the results are often lethal.

For this reason and the numerous health issues associated with double merle dogs who survive, intentionally breeding two dapple dogs together is considered unethical at worse and poor breeding practices at best.

Potential Health Issues for Double Dapple Dachshunds

A double dapple Dachshund with heavy spotting on the head and a white-and-pink sweater.

Double dapple Dachshunds are prone to a variety of health problems. Their genetics can cause them to be born with deformities and health problems.

Most breeders do not consider the risk of health problems worth the unique coat pattern and will not purposely breed double dapple Dachshunds.

Some common health problems include: 

  • Micro eyes.
  • Blindness.
  • Deafness.
  • Missing or deformed eyes.
  • Missing or deformed ears.
  • Congenital eye disorders.

Double Dapple Dachshund Life Expectancy

Healthy double dapple dachshunds have the same life expectancy as any other Dachshund, which is between 12 and 16 years.

Because double dapple Dachshunds are prone to health problems, they may have a reduced quality of life as well as a shorter lifespan if these health problems are severe.

How Much Are Double Dapple Dachshunds?

Double dachshunds are considered rare, so they can be slightly pricier than those with standard coats. You can expect to pay between $400 and $2,000 for a double dapple Dachshund.

Be very wary of any breeder who attempts to sell a “rare” double dapple at a high price as this points to unethical breeding and selling practices. 

How To Differentiate Between a Dapple and Double Dapple Dachshund

One way to differentiate between a dapple and a double Dapple is to look at the puppy’s parents. A dapple Dachshund will have one parent with a merle gene and one without it.

The parents of a double dapple will both have the merle gene, but be aware that the merle markings can be “hidden,” so a quick glance at the parents is not a guaranteed method.

Double dapple Dachshunds are also distinguishable by their coats, which are mostly white with small amounts of merle or dapple patches.

Are Double Dapple Dachshunds Rare?

Double dapples are rare because so many are likely to be born with severe defects that can be fatal.

Many puppies do not survive long after birth, and some dogs may not even carry their double dapple puppies to full term.

In addition, reputable breeders would never consider breeding two dapple Dachshunds to produce a double.

Can You Breed a Double Dapple Dachshund

Double dapple dachshunds can be bred, but many breeders find it unethical.

Double dapple dachshunds can pass on their health defects and congenital problems to their puppies, which can lead to more sickly puppies and dogs.

How Can I Tell for Sure If My Dachshund Is a Double Dapple?

The best way to know for sure that your Dachshund is a double dapple is to check for large white patches of fur along with small merle or spotted patches and light-colored eyes.

You can also ask to see the parents. If both parents are dapple or merle, then there’s a good chance their offspring are too.

Keep in mind that some Dachshunds can carry the merle gene and not display the characteristics. 

Are All Blue-Eyed Dachshunds Double Dapple?

Some Dachshunds that are not double dapple can have blue eyes. These Dachshunds still carry the dapple gene.

Most Dachshunds have dark eyes, but double dapple Dachshunds lack pigment that gives color to their eyes. This can result in vision problems.

Related Questions: 

What Is a Piebald Dachshund?

Piebald dachshunds are a rare type of Dachshund that has a white coat with black and brown specks as well as large areas of black and brown around the head and ears.

Piebald Dachshunds are not the same as dapple Dachshunds, and they do not have the same health problems.

What Is a Reverse Dapple Dachshund?

A reverse dapple Dachshund is a Dachshund that has a unique coat pattern of gray, brown, and black.

The reverse effect means there are more white or lighter colors on the body than darker ones. The lighter colors are the most prominent.

Conclusion 

Double dapple Dachshunds have a unique look that attracts many people. While some are born healthy and can live a normal life, many are born with health problems that reduce their quality of life.

It’s always a good idea to consider the risks of purchasing a double dapple Dachshund before doing so.

Understanding this unique coat pattern and the challenges that come with raising these dogs can help you enjoy pet ownership more and ensure your dog lives a happy and healthy life.