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NMDC Standard of the Dachshund

Standard of the Miniature Dachshund

June 6, 2007

The Miniature Dachshund is a working scent hound bred primarily to hunt small game, particularly rabbits, and to go to ground after vermin to rid homes and farmyards of these pests. The Miniature Dachshund excels at both of the above; and because of his hunting abilities has become a great favorite in American Field Trials.

Bred to hunt, they are by nature high-spirited and independent. They have a keen intelligence and ability to think on their own. All varieties have their own brand of charm since they have slightly differing ancestry that helped in the development of the coats. Fiercely loyal to hearth and family, they are outstanding pets. Devoted to their family, they will voice loudly when strangers are near, yet generally accept that same stranger after an introductory period.

The distinctive build and personality of the Miniature Dachshund has kept him a favorite companion for many years with the public.

General Appearance & Characteristics – Low to ground, long in body and short of leg, with robust muscular development; the skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling. Appearing neither crippled, awkward, nor cramped in his capacity for movement, the Miniature Dachshund is well-balanced with bold and confident head carriage and intelligent, alert facial expression. The Miniature Dachshund was developed to hunt small game above and below ground. His keen nose gives him an advantage over most other breeds for trailing.

NOTE: Inasmuch as the Miniature Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault.

Size – The preferred weight of the Miniature Dachshund is between 8 and 11 pounds. Other points being equal the smaller the better, but mere diminutiveness must never take precedence over general type and soundness. Any appearance of weediness or toyishness is to be avoided at all costs.

Head – Viewed from above or from the side, the head tapers uniformly to the tip of the nose. The eyes are of medium size, almond-shaped and dark-rimmed, with an energetic, pleasant expression, not piercing, very dark in color. The bridge bones over the eyes are strongly prominent. Wall eyes, except in the case of dappled dogs, are a serious fault. The ears are set near the top of the head, not too far forward, of moderate length, rounded, not narrow, pointed or folded. Their carriage, when animated, is with the forward edge just touching the cheek so that the ears frame the face. The skull is slightly arched, neither too broad nor too narrow, and sloped gradually with little perceptible stop in the finely-formed, slightly arched muzzle. Lips are tightly stretched, well covering the lower jaw. Nostrils well open. Jaws opening wide and hinged well back of the eyes, with strongly developed bones and teeth. Teeth – Powerful canine teeth; teeth fit closely together in a scissors bite.

Neck – Long, muscular, clean-cut, without dewlap, lightly arched in the nape, flowing gracefully into the shoulders without creating the impression of a right angle.

Trunk – The trunk is long and full muscled. Height at shoulder should be half the length of the body measured from the breast bone to the base of the tail. When viewed in profile, the back lies in the straightest possible line between the withers and the short, very slightly arched loin. A body that hangs loosely between the shoulders is a serious fault. Abdomen – slightly drawn up.

Forequarters – For effective underground work, the front must be strong, deep, long and cleanly muscled. Forequarters in detail: Chest – The breast-bone is strongly prominent in front so that on either side a depression or dimple appears. When viewed from the front, the thorax appears oval and extends downward to the mid-point of the forearm. The enclosing structure of the well-sprung ribs appears full and oval to allow, by its ample capacity, complete development of heart and lungs. The keel merges gradually into the line of the abdomen and extends well beyond the front legs. Viewed in profile, the lowest point of the breast line is covered by the front leg. Shoulder blades – long, broad, well laid back and firmly placed upon the fully developed thorax, closely fitted at the withers, furnished with hard yet pliable muscles. Upper Arm – Ideally the same length as the shoulder blade and at right angles to the latter, strong of bone and hard of muscle, lying close to the ribs, with elbows close to the body, yet capable of free movement. Forearm – Short, supplied with hard yet pliable muscles on the front and outside, with tightly stretched tendons on the inside and at the back, slightly curved inwards. The joint between the forearms and the feet are closer together than the shoulder joint, so that the front does not appear absolutely straight. The inclined shoulder blades, upper arms and curved forearms form parentheses that enclose the ribcage, creating the correct “wraparound front.” Knuckling over is a disqualifying fault.

Hindquarters – Strong and cleanly muscled. The pelvis, the thigh, the second thigh, and the rear pastern are ideally the same length and give the appearance of a series of right angles. From the rear, the thighs are strong and powerful. The legs turn neither in nor out.

Rear pasterns – Short and strong, perpendicular to the second thigh bone. When viewed from behind, they are upright and parallel. Croup – Long, rounded and full, sinking slightly toward the tail. Tail – Robust, set in continuation of the spine, extending without kinks, twists, not too long, tapering and without too marked a curve. The tail should never curl over the back. Feet – Broad and large in proportion to the size of the dog. The hind smaller than the fore. Front paws are full, tight, compact, with well-arched toes and tough thick pads. They may be equally inclined a trifle outward. Nails strong. The dog must stand equally on all parts of the foot. Although front dewclaws may be removed, rear ones should be.

Gait – Fluid and smooth. Forelegs reach well forward, without much lift, in unison with the driving action of hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well-fitted elbows allow the long, free stride in front. Viewed from the front, the legs do not move in exact parallel planes, but incline slightly inward. Hind legs drive on a line with the forelegs, with hock joints and rear pasterns (metatarsus) turning neither in nor out. The propulsion of the hind leg depends on the dog’s ability to carry the hind leg to complete extension. Viewed in profile, the forward reach of the hind leg equals the rear extension. The thrust of correct movement is seen when the rear pads are clearly exposed during rear extension. Rear feet do not reach upward toward the abdomen and there is no appearance of walking on the rear pasterns. Feet must travel parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over, or interfere with each other. Short, choppy movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going are incorrect. The Miniature Dachshund must have agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he was developed.

Temperament – The Miniature Dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well developed.

Color – Coat color is immaterial. A black nose is preferred on red, cream, and black and tan dogs; self-colored on others, the darker the better.

Special characteristics of the three coat varieties – The Miniature Dachshund is bred with three varieties of coat: (1) Smooth; (2) Wirehaired; (3) Longhaired. All three varieties must conform to the characteristics already specified. The following features are applicable for each variety:

Smooth Miniature Dachshund – Coat – short, smooth and shining. Should be neither too long nor too thick. Ears not leathery. Tail – Gradually tapered to a point, well but not too richly haired. Long brush tail is a fault, as is also a partly or wholly hairless tail.

Wirehaired Miniature Dachshund – Coat – With the exception of jaw, eyebrows, and ears, the whole body is covered with a uniform tight, short, thick, rough, hard, outer coat but with finer, somewhat softer, shorter hairs (undercoat) evenly distributed between the coarser hairs. The absence of an undercoat is a fault. The distinctive facial furnishings include a beard and eyebrows. On the ears the hair is shorter than on the body, almost smooth. The general arrangement of the hair is such that the wirehaired Miniature Dachshund, when viewed from a distance, resembles the smooth. Any soft hair in the outer coat, wherever found on the body, is a fault. The same is true of long, curly or wavy hair, or hair that sticks out irregularly in all directions. Tail –Thickly haired gradually tapering to a point. A flag tail is a fault.

Longhaired Miniature Dachshund – Coat – The sleek, glistening, often slightly wavy hair is longer under the neck and on forechest, the underside of the body, the ears and behind the legs. The coat gives the dog an elegant appearance. Short hair on the ear is not desirable. Too profuse a coat which masks type, equally long hair over the whole body, a curly coat, or a pronounced parting on the back are faults. Too sparse a coat is also undesirable. Tail – The hair attains its greatest length here and forms a veritable flag.

The foregoing description is that of the ideal Miniature Dachshund. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation keeping in mind the importance of the contribution of the various features toward the basic original purpose of the breed.

Disqualification: Knuckling over of front legs.