“The Head, Neck and Trunk”


Next on the agenda is looking at the Head, the Neck and the Trunk and see exactly where things can go wrong with them. I will go over what the Standard says (in BOLD) and then give my explanations afterwards.


Head – Viewed from above or from the side, the head tapers uniformly to the tip of the nose.

This paragraph describes the head and explains that it narrows down from the top of the head to the tip of the nose. It means there are no blocky heads and the Standard is pretty specific about what it wants in this instance and that is a gradually sloping head, narrowing from the ears to the muzzle.


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.

Medium-sized eyes are almond-shaped and dark-rimmed with a pleasant, not piercing, expression and are very dark in color. This makes it pretty easy to know what we are looking for and to keep the eyes as the Standard says and exactly how we want them. The bridge bones around the eyes are strongly prominent and make the eyes stand out on the face of the dog. Wall eyes are a serious fault except  in dappled dogs and are not something that most people breed for. Far too many people ignore Wall Eyes, but, please remember, they are not something we want in our Breed and are something we should all try to stay away from as they 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 ears do help the look of the face when the dog is animated, being set near the top of the head and give a semi-Egyptian frame to that head. They are carried high, when animated, and really look nice when the ears are at attention. Many people fault ears ‘carried too low’, but , in looking at them, they are usually carried low when playing, but are normally up and at attention when the dog is in the Ring. The ears are a small thing, to me, and I normally don’t place a lot of attention on them until the Dachshund Breed’s body structure gets a whole lot better than it is today.


The skull is slightly arched, neither too broad nor too narrow, and slopes gradually with little perceptible stop into the finely-formed, slightly arched muzzle, giving a Roman appearance.

The skull is slightly arched and it has a finely-formed arched muzzle which the Standard says ‘gives a Roman appearance’ to the head. Personally, this seems to me a mistake as the Breed used to have a Ram’s nose in our Standard which was a softer arched look at the tip of the nose and made the head appear to have that finish to it. A Roman appearance, to me, means the whole head is arching from ears to muzzle instead of that Ram’s nose which means the head ‘ends’ in an arched appearance. That Ram’s nose is just a much better look that I try to see when I am judging.


Lips are tightly stretched, well covering the lower jaw. Nostrils well open.

The lips do have tightly stretched jaws which cover the lower jaw. This is not loose skin, but is rather close to the bone and very closely attached to the mouth. The nostrils are well open meaning the dog can breathe easily, standing or moving.


Jaws opening wide and hinged well back of the eyes, with strongly developed bones and teeth.

The jaw is hinged well back of the eyes and opens wide. It has nicely developed bones and teeth which means a strong underjaw and a mouth full of amazing teeth. Again, this just means this is a hunting dog with a mouth that is going to be a great friend to its owner and will always be ready to protect itself from prey and other animals.


Teeth – Powerful canine teeth; teeth fit closely together in a scissors bite. An even bite is a minor fault. Any other deviation is a serious fault.

The mouth does have a scissors bite with an even bite being a minor fault and everything else, tooth-wise, being a serious  fault. The Standard did change here, but the faults did not change anything we look for in Breed ring.


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

The neck is long and muscular and clean-cut, showing that style and length without dewlap or anything rough around the throat and is arched at the nape of the neck. The neck flows gracefully into the shoulders without creating the impression of a right angle. The neckset should have a very laidback shoulder which would give room for the neck to be placed quite far back on the body and, to my mind, coming up and out of the back at a nice angle. That is what I am looking for when I examine a well-stacked Dachshund with a great set on of neck and head.


Trunk – The trunk is long and fully muscled.When viewed in profile, the back lies in the straightest possible line between the withers and the short, very slightly arched loin.

This long and fully muscled trunk has a very straight topline between the withers and the short, slightly-arched loin. This should be one long sweep from the forechest, through the withers and neckset to that great, short loin. There is a slightly arched look to the loin which is normally there, but does not show up in the photographs, and, in feeling that loin, it is present and is prepared to be flexible in a moving Dachshund. That arched loin gives a lot of strength to the back and really helps the dog move around the ring or the field.

Many people complain about the length with a bad topline making a poor mover, but many things contribute to that poor movement and that confirmation might be part of it, but there are many pieces that need help with that bad structure and many of those things would probably help hindering the great movement we want in a Dachshund.


A body that hangs loosely between the shoulders is a serious fault.

There are times that the body hangs loosely between the shoulders where the shape of the body and the shoulders are not as tight as they should be and that, again, results in some faulty movement in front with the shoulders not moving as they should. The shoulder blades are not tight and then the body does not quite connect with the shoulder blades as it should. That is where the bad structure comes in to make the  movement not quite what we are expecting.


Abdomen – Slightly drawn up.

The abdomen, being slightly drawn up, means there is a thinner waist behind the deeper part of the breast bone so that you can see the different parts of the trunk. That kind of narrowing gives a slightly smaller waist to the dog and shows the outline we are going for in the Breed.

008This section really tries to show what the Dachshund needs to show off the correct structure and the conformation we want to see in a smooth-moving Dachshund. It starts with a narrowing head with nice, dark eyes and well set on ears. The skull has a Roman appearance, but many of us prefer the Ram’s nose which was what the earlier Standard called for and the general look of that finish to the nose. The lips are closely attached to the mouth area with well set on jaws and great teeth with a nice scissors bite. The neck and trunk are long and nicely shaped with a slightly tucked-up abdomen.

These are the things we look for in this Breed and are what we want in a great looking and great moving Dachshund. Follow the Standard and you will get there!