“General Appearance of the Dachshund”



The Dachshund Standard begins with a couple of paragraphs describing the dog’s general appearance and is a great way to begin looking at the long, level and low Dachshund. I will print the Standard (in bold) and then describe what the sentences say about the animal.

General Appearance – Low to ground, long in body and short of leg, with robust muscular development; the skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling.

This dog was long and low and level and was very muscular with the skin being elastic and pliable, yet being relatively wrinkle-free. We do not want pockets of wrinkled skin around the dog’s legs and the neck and we also want it be wrinkle-free around the neck and shoulder. The whole body should also be smooth without wrinkles and this clean method makes the dog very hard to grab by anything it is chasing and makes it a great animal to be on the trail of game with.The ‘without excessive wrinkling’ means that the skin is smooth and pliant with the body and there is  nothing that can be grabbed by its prey.


Appearing neither crippled, awkward, nor cramped in his capacity for movement, the Dachshund is well balanced with bold and confident head carriage and intelligent, alert facial expression.

The Dachshund moves and is not crippled, awkward or cramped when engaging the legs and body to go around the circle of the show ring and the field. The Dachshund is bold and confident and carries its head up in a very beautiful head carriage. They have to look as courageous as the Standard describes and this head carriage is a fantatstic wa y to show this. This proud, bold stance gives the dog confidence and the ability to show what it has to have to be a great hunter. “Courageous to the point of rashness”is what this all means to many of us old-timers.


His hunting spirit, good nose, loud tongue and distinctive build make him well-suited for below-ground work and for beating the bush.

This phrase is sort of hard to use in the current way we show dogs as the ‘good nose and loud tongue’ are not really on display in our current Show Ring. The hunting spirit translates to high confidence and the distinctive low, level and long build , however, does mean he is built for this type work in the field.


His keen nose gives him an advantage over most other breeds for trailing. NOTE: Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault.

Being a hunting dog, his keen nose does give him an advantage, although how, we, as Judges, recognize this also makes me wonder (just a little) . No scars from honorable wounds are held against a Dachshund showing, although it would create a little wonderment in the crowd if a limping dog was a big winner that day.


Size, Proportion, Substance – Bred and shown in two sizes, standard and miniature; miniatures are not a separate classification but compete in a class division for “11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older.” 

The Dachshund is shown in two sizes: Standard and Miniature and there are no standards set for any weight being better or more correct than any other size. The Open, Miniature class calls for a dog under eleven pounds and we do have to keep that in mind when judging, but, in any other class, they can be as big or small as they can be. Personally, I showed both Standards and Miniatures and never even knew how big they were, because it did not matter to me. I wanted them to be my style of Dachshund and size never even entered into what my style of Dachshund was. I had some big ones and I had some small ones, but they had to have what I considered important as Dachshunds or they did not stay here.


Weight of the standard size is usually between 16 and 32 pounds.

This phrase seems to drive a lot of Dachshund people crazy, but, in my mind, it just states that most standards are between sixteen and thirty-two pounds. End of story. It does not say that ALL standards have to be between those numbers, just that MOST standards are usually between those numbers. That’s it. Nothing given or taken away, just an area that being a standard-sized dog falls into. Did I care whether the dog or bitch was eight pounds or twenty-eight pounds? No, I just wanted a dog that was set under itself, had a big forechest and a great neckset,  topline and underline, great croup and beautiful rear. Size did not and still does not register with me. If the dogs in my ring get too big, I will take notice, but, so far, they are usually not to be seen when I am judging as I would comment on it if it happened.

These paragraphs on General Appearance seem to be describing the same things for everyone who wants to see them. We want no wrinkles (without telling us WHY we need less wrinkles). I want the dog to be long and low and level, yet muscular and cleanly muscled. The dog is confident and carries himself well and looks very full of himself. He is a hunting dog with many things thrown into the mix that the Judge can do little to detect, but must assume are there. The Dachshund is shown as a Standard or Miniature (in the open Miniature Class) but no weight limits are discussed except the sixteen to thirty-two pound one that many Standards fall into. As a Judge, I prefer not to think about size and assume they all will be within the limits of the Standard. Nothing controversial here as far as we are concerned.

I presume that these paragraphs cover the Dachshund’s General Appearance and that we can move on from here to the Head.

Dan Harrison

January 2014