A typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular with short stubby legs. Its front paws are disproportionately large, being paddle-shaped and particularly suitable for digging. Its skin is loose enough not to tear while tunneling in tight burrows to chase prey. The dachshund has a deep chest which provides appropriate lung capacity for stamina when hunting. Its snout is long. According to the AKC standards for the breed, “scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault” because the dachshund is a hunting dog.
There are three dachshund coat varieties: smooth coat (short hair), long-haired, and wire-haired. Longhaired dachshunds have a silky coat and short featherings on legs and ears. Wire-haired dachshunds are the least common coat variety in the United States (although it is the most common in Germany) and the most recent coat to appear in breeding standards. Dachshunds have a wide variety of colors and patterns, the most common one being red. Their base coloration can be single-colored (either red or cream), tan pointed (black and tan, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, or isabella and tan), and in wire-haired dogs, a color referred to as wildboar. Patterns such as dapple (merle), sable, brindle and piebald can also occur on any of the base colors. Dachshunds in the same litter may be born in different coat colors depending on the genetic makeup of the parents.
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