General appearance

Moderately long and low with no exaggeration, compact, well muscled body, with enough ground clearance to allow free movement. Height at the withers should be half the length of the body, measured from breastbone to the rear of thigh. Bold, defiant carriage of head and intelligent expression.

Exaggeration of any form is to be avoided. The Dachshund is not a breed where “more” is “better”. Exaggeration of length, lowness to ground, or too level a back can all lead to health problems (IVDD – slipped disc) and create a dog that is not fit for its original purpose.

The guidance on height to length ratio is intended to avoid having dogs that are either excessively long, or that are too low to ground. Dogs that are shorter than 2:1 are to be preferred over dogs longer than this ratio. Note that the FCI Standard calls for a ratio of between 1.7:1 and 1.8:1; i.e. rather shorter in body, or taller, than in the UK Standard.

This dog has the correct proportions

Low (to ground) means lowness from the withers, compared with other breeds, not a lack of ground clearance (See also “Body” below). There must be sufficient ground clearance to enable the dog to track over rough ground. “Not long and not low

Other writers (e.g. Robert Cole) have provided guidance on the optimum proportions of the Dachshund, such as:

One head length equals neck length; tail length, and body depth. And, three head lengths equal the length of the body from breastbone to hock.

While this might be useful in theory, in practice no judge has time to check out all these proportions and potentially it adds a level of complexity which is not helpful to the novice.

In revising the Breed Standard the Breed Council took the view that it was a “guideline” and not not meant to be a detailed “specification” of the Dachshund with every proportion, length and angle specified to the nth degree. So, the revisions only define the length to height ratio. Other proportions (which we shall come to later) need to be understood from publications such as Sayer and Daglish.

Both these dogs (ML & W) have the correct 2:1 proportions

When you stand back and look at a Dachshund, everything should “flow”: the neck should flow into the withers and and then the back; the underline should merge gradually into the abdomen. When you put your hands on a well-made Dachshund you should be able feel that flow. Sharp angles and “bones sticking out” are a sign of faulty construction.