The piebald Dachshund pattern is growing in popularity. They have a white or cream coat with patches and spots in another, darker color.
Dogs with this pattern are similar to all other Dachshunds in terms of size and physical traits.
Some piebald Dachshund dogs may suffer from hereditary deafness, which studies have linked to white fur. So, choosing a reputable breeder is very important if your heart is set on this puppy.
What is a Piebald Dachshund?
The Dachshund is a German breed originally used to hunt badgers alongside human companions. For this role, Dachshunds had to be courageous, loyal, and independent.
These traits, alongside their long bodies and short legs, are still found in modern Dachshunds! Although they are more common as family pets these days.
Dachshund dogs and puppies come in a wide range of colors and patterns. One of these patterns is the popular piebald.
Piebald Dachshunds appear to have darker spots or patches over a lighter base color. This base is often white or cream.
All piebald Dachshunds look quite distinct, as their pattern placement is not perfectly predictable. And the exact shades of their coloring vary.
What Does a Piebald Dachshund Look Like?
Other than their fur pattern, a piebald Dachshund looks a lot like any other Dachshund. Their fur can be short and smooth, long-haired, or wire-haired.
They appear to have dark patches on a lighter base color. But at a genetic level, in fact the reverse is true.
Piebald Doxies carry the white spotting gene. The white spotting gene overlays white patches on top of a dog’s base color.
The white spotting gene can work on top a variety of different colors. So, the darker fur can be anything from fawn, tan, or cream, to darker browns, and even black.
Some Piebald Doxies, like the handsome chap above, also carry the ticking gene. The ticking gene has the effect of punching little holes in a dog’s white spots, so their base color shows through again.
Piebald Dachshunds are the same size as Dachshunds with other patterns and shades.
Standard piebald Dachshunds grow from 8 to 9 inches tall, weighing anywhere from 16 to 32 pounds. Piebald mini Dachshunds are smaller, often only reaching 6 inches tall, and weighing up to 11 pounds.
Are Piebald Dachshunds Rare?
Trends in coat colors and patterns tend to come and go.
Since piebald markings depend upon inheriting the white spotting gene, it is relatively straight forward for breeders to plan for piebald litters, or specifically avoid them.
Since they are currently growing in popularity, many breeders are specifically trying to get puppies with this pattern.
Waiting lists may be a little longer due to the popularity of this color. But, it will depend on your location.
Be wary of breeders charging inflated prices for piebald litters on the basis of them being rare. This is untrue and cynical marketing, usually employed by puppy farmers.
Are Piebald Dachshunds Healthy?
Sadly, the piebald pattern is linked to certain health complications that can impact a Dachshund’s quality of life.
For instance, piebald dogs with a very high proportion of white in their coat are more prone to deafness and other hearing problems.
Of course, this isn’t fatal, but affected dogs will have significantly different care needs to a regular dog. This may involve completely new training techniques, and extra care when taking your dog out – particularly if you ever let them off leash.
On top of this, piebald Dachshunds are prone to all of the same health issues as any other Dachshund. Including the severe conformation-related issues they can face.
Owners should be aware of the following health issues before bringing home a Dachshund of any color:
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Lafora disease
- Pes Varus
Piebald vs Dapple Dachshunds
If you’ve heard of piebald Dachshunds, it’s likely you have also heard of dapple Dachshunds. Dapple is a similar pattern, and is hugely popular with Doxie lovers.
Dapple coloring is caused by a dominant gene called the merle gene. It is distinct from the white spotting and ticking genes.
On a piebald Doxie, color patches follow a somewhat predictable pattern of spread. But dapple Dachshunds have a random light patches of color dispersed across their body.
In addition, the merle/dapple gene affects eumelanin (black pigment). So, the lighter color can range from browns to blues, instead of being white! Dapple dachshunds may also have blue eyes or a pink nose, but piebalds do not have this.
Breeding Piebald Dachshunds
In general, it’s not a good idea to breed puppies for a certain appearance. This makes it much more likely that health issues can be passed on, as it restricts the breeding pool to a very small number of dogs – those with the desirable pattern.
And, since piebald coloring is often linked to deafness, breeding two piebald Dachshunds together isn’t a great idea.
Ideally, you should always choose a breeder who prioritises health over coat color, or any other appearance trait. Especially given the number of health issues that can affect this breed.
So, how do you go about finding and choosing a reputable breeder?
Piebald Dachshund Puppies
Piebald coloring is increasingly popular with Dachshund lovers. This has both a positive and negative impact on your chance of finding puppies.
Because it’s a popular shade, many breeders will try to breed for piebald coloring. Meaning piebald Dachshund puppies are a lot more common and often have shorter waiting lists than in the past.
However, breeding for a certain trait can increase the chance of health problems, like the deafness linked to piebald coloring. Plus, dog breed trends often lead to a rise in puppy mills and bad breeders looking for a quick profit.
Puppies from these places are less healthy and poorly taken care of before they’re sold. It’s important to avoid these places and only choose a reputable breeder that breeds from dogs with a clear health check.
On average, Dachshund puppies can range anywhere from $700 to $2000. But, prices can vary depending on location, demand, and the quality of your pup’s parents, among other things.
Do You Love the Piebald Dachshund?
Many people have fallen in love with the piebald Dachshund pattern. But, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder to try and avoid the health issues linked to this coloring.
Do you have a piebald Dachshund puppy at home? Or are you thinking about bringing one into your family?
References and Resources
- Strain, G. ‘Deafness Prevalence and Pigmentation and Gender Associations in Dog Breeds at Risk’, The Veterinary Journal (2004)
- Hayward, J. (et al), ‘A Genome-Wide Association Study of Deafness in Three Canine Breeds’, Plos One (2020)
- Saif, R. (et al), ‘Dog Coat Color Genetics: A Review’, Advancements in Life Sciences (2020)
- Sponenberg, D. & Rothschild, M., ‘Genetics of Coat Color and Hair Texture’. The Genetics of the Dog (2001)
- ‘S Series White Spotting’, Dog Genetics
- ‘Current Breed Council Health Priorities’, Dachshund Health UK