by Sandra J. Russell, Duchwood Kennels, reg.
 The DESCRIPTION of PIEBALD in the proposed revision to the AKC STANDARD OF THE DACHSHUND by the Dachshund Club Of America failed to pass in July 2006.  However, the SENTENCE WHICH CURRENTLY ALLOWS PIEBALDS TO BE SHOWN TO THEIR BREED CHAMPIONSHIPS STILL REMAINS in the March 2007 revised standard:
 "Although base color is immaterial, certain patterns and basic colors predominate".
NOWHERE is there any PENALTY of any kind for excessive white - it is not listed as a minor fault, a serious fault or a disqualifying fault.  White can be considered a "base color", which is "immaterial" , or unimportant, according to the standard.

Myth: Piebalds are a recent pattern in the breed.

Fact: The piebald pattern was a legacy from the breeds that went into the creation of the Dachshund breed in the 1700s and 1800s, such as the various types of French bassets and Dachsbracke in Europe.  Several breeders in Europe and England bred and showed white and piebald dachshunds in the late 1800s-early 1900s,  and the pattern has been carried recessively ever since.  A couple of the first registered dachshunds in England were imported from Germany in 1869 and were listed as "red and white".  There were separate classes for "Whites, Dapples, and Piebalds" in England in 1900.   It seems likely that that since early Dachshunds closely resembled early Basset Hounds, Dachshund breeders chose to emphasize the solid colors to distinguish between the two breeds.

The first official AKC Standard of the Dachshund which was adopted by the Dachshund Club of America in 1935 was translated directly from the German Dachshund standard.  This standard remained in effect until 1992.  The color section read as follows: "Two-Colored Dachshund - These comprise deep black, chocolate, gray (blue), and white; each with tan markings etc.  . . ".  Under the Wirhaired Dachshund - "All colors are admissible". (emphasis is mine)

In the U.S., piebalds continued to show up and a show kennel in Alabama called Springdale in the 1940s had standard smooth piebalds which were descended from some of the old well-known lines of those times such as Wadelhausen, Kleetal, and Blue Key. A couple of show breeders in the U.S. had both standard and miniature smooth and longhaired piebalds as far back as the late 1960s.  Current show piebald breeders have traced at least 5 lines of piebalds back to German imports from the 1960s.

In 1992, the AKC standard of the Dachshund was revised.  Although white was dropped as a base color, the following key sentence was added to the beginning of the color section: "Although base color is immaterial, certain patterns and basic colors predominate." "Immaterial" mean unimportant, and "predominate" does not mean "to the exclusion of all other colors and patterns".  Additionally, "all colors are admissible" remained under the wirehaired description.  This was the standard under which the first smooth and wire piebald Dachshunds were shown in the U.S. and finished their championships.

In 1994, the first piebald, a miniature smooth bitch, Duchwood's Cornerstone MS, entered the U.S. show ring for the first time and won points.  She was then RWB at the Dachshund Club Of America's (DCA) National Specialty show in 1995 under noted breeder/judge Clara Jean Davis.  She finished her championship in September 1995.  She then went on to win an Award of Merit at DCA in 1998 under breeder/judge Barbara Dempsey Alderman, and went BOS at Westminster in 1999 under breeder/judge Howard Atlee.

Other piebald champions in both smooths and wires followed over the years (38 to date), including another RWD and Award of Merit at DCA National Specialty shows.  DCA added drawings of the piebald pattern to its "Ilustrated Standard of the Dachshund" in 1999 and piebalds were shown to judges at DCA judges' education seminars so they would recognize this pattern as acceptable.  No serious attempts were made to revise the AKC standard to either include or exclude piebalds until 2004, 10 years after the first piebald first entered the show ring.

In 2004, a few powerful DCA board members decided to specifically exclude piebalds from the standard.  Despite a "yes" recommendation from the DCA Board to the membership to vote to disqualify piebalds, this amendment failed to pass.

In 2006, these same board members took a different approach.  They added a description of piebald to the standard, but then sent out a recommendation to the membership to vote "no" for this particular description.  Interestingly, the "no" recommendation passed by only 1 vote amongst the DCA board members in September 2005, but this fact was not brought to light until a year later, September 2006, when the minutes for this board meeting appeared in the DCA Newsletter.  Normally, board meeting minutes appear in the very next DCA Newsletter following that meeting, but these minutes surfaced a year later, 3 months after the membership actually voted on this particular ballot.  The DCA Board and officers obviously did not want the memberhship to know how evenly divided they actually were on the piebald issue.

In July 2006, the DCA membership failed to pass the piebald description (the actual vote was about 50-50, but it takes a 2/3 majority to pass a standard amendment).  However, only that particular DESCRIPTION failed, not the piebald pattern itself.  There are NO penalties or faults of any kind  - minor, serious, or disqualifying - in the new standard regarding white spots or markings.  Additionally, the key sentence "Although base color is immaterial, certain patterns and basic colors predominate" remains.  Remember, although this standard revision went into effect March 2007, it was written and voted on BEFORE the AKC Guidelines for Writing Breed Standards was passed in November 2006.  Therefore, the Guideline rules for including all acceptable colors and patterns in breed standards do NOT apply to the current AKC Standard of the Dachshund.

Several DCA Board members have written letters/articles to the AKC Judges' Newsletter and the AKC Gazette attempting to interpret the revised standard for the judges and to apply the AKC Guidelines retroactively to the Dachshund standard revision.  This is incorrect and illegal and does a great injustice to U.S. breeders of show quality piebald Dachshunds, AND to AKC judges who should be able to read and apply the standard without whipping out pages of "interpretations" every time they judge a Dachshund.

Update:  June 2007

Several piebald Dachshunds have been awarded points since the revision went into effect in March.  A wire piebald finished its championship  with a major in May, a smooth piebald finished her championship with a major in June, and a smooth piebald received a 5-pt. major in June.  Several others have garnered single points.  A big THANK YOU to those judges who had the guts to apply the standard as written!  There are now 40 piebald Dachshund bench champions.

Update: July 2007

Four judges who happen to be DCA board members send yet another "letter" to AKC judges, this time telling them to EXCUSE all Piebalds and Double Dapples in blatant disregard of what the standard actually says.  Also included are a page of photos of horrible, puppy mill quality double dapples and piebalds.  No one in their right mind should pay attention to this latest attempt to discredit piebalds because 1) the "letter" is not on DCA letterhead nor did it arrive in a DCA envelope; 2) it is NOT signed by the 4 judges whose names are typed at the bottom of that page; 3) it is not dated; and 4) per DCA bylaws the club secretary is to handle all correspondence, so this so-called letter is not even a legal DCA document!  It is going beyond "interpretation" and entering the realm of telling judges HOW to judge.

Please judges, do not be intimidated - APPLY THE STANDARD as written.

Update:  August 2007

Two more smooth piebalds finish their championships with a major wins bringing the total count to 42 piebald AKC champions and 4 new piebald champions since the new revision went into effect.  Judges ARE applying the standard as written and ignoring the numerous attempts of 4 DCA members to impose their will on others.  Another piebald bitch also picked up her second major.

Update:  December 2007

A smooth piebald picks up her 3rd major!

Update:  February 2008

Another wire piebald finishes its championship with a 3 pt. major, bringing the total count to 43 piebald AKC champions!

Update:  March 2008

A smooth piebald finishes her championship with yet another specialty 4 pt. major, bringing the total to 44 piebald AKC champions!   Thanks to all the judges who refuse to be intimidated!

Update: December 2008

Two more piebalds close in on their championships, one with a 5 pt. major who needs another major to finish, and one needing only single points to finish.

Update:  August 2009

Two more piebalds (one wire, one smooth) finished their championships in Spring 2009, bringing the total U.S. piebald champions to 46.  Four more piebalds are closing in on their AKC championships this year - 2 smooths, one wire, and one longhair (this will be the first piebald longhair champion).  One smooth piebald bitch went BOS over the #1 Smooth Dachshund in the U.S. in August 2009.

Update:  January 2011

The first longhair piebald Dachshund (a female) to finish its championship did so earlier this year.  Another smooth piebald finished its championship in the summer, and several more have won championship points, including majors.  It has been rumoured that judges who put up piebalds are continuing to be intimidated by letters from DCA.  This has not yet been confirmed, but if true, should not be tolerated by the judging community.

Update:  September 2011

A smooth piebald bitch finished her championship this summer, and 2 males need majors to finish.  Another male smooth piebald picked up a major in August 2011.  Supposedly, a the DCA Board was reprimanded by AKC for sending out that illegal letter to the judges telling them to excuse piebalds and is being rewritten, as is the trifold brochure given out by judges at education seminars.  There will possibly be another standard revision vote for piebalds in 2012.

Historical references:

From Milo G. Denlinger, The Complete Dachshund, 1961:
"In his work, Georgica Curiosa, about 1700, Holberg describes a dog in such a way that for the first time one feels that here is a true ancestor of the Dachshund.  He referred to badger dogs which the French called Bassets because of their low stature (bas meaning "low") and which had a long slender body, and stated that these dogs may occur in all sorts of colors."
"In 1793 the celebrated French authority on natural history, Buffon, mentioned that there were straight- and crooked-legged Dachshunds and they occurred in a variety of colors including white and dapple."

From Clifford Hubbard, The Dachshund Handbook, 1954: "Whites are rare but crop up occasionally.  In 1907, Mr. E. Castlereagh of Oakham advertised a white German-bred dog with black ears, of a winning strain, for sale at 10 pounds.  Over thirty years ago a British brace of whites did quite a bit of winning, and in Germany a strain of pure whites was once kept.  These were Smooth-haireds, as was also one bred in Norway in 1936, for whom a fairly high price was refused.  Pure whites can come about in all coats, and there have in fact been several born since the Second World War both in Britain and in Germany and Switzerland (one Swiss kennel actually specialises in white-and-chocolate Wirehaireds, for private use)."
Grayce Greenburg, The Dachshund, 1950, pg.19: "Dapples and the colors were always favored in England.  In an old stud book dated 1898, recording all registered Dachshunds up to and including December , 1896, there are shown as many as five different colors on one page - many were listed as "spotted" dogs."  She also quotes E. Fitch Daglish as follows on the origin of dachshunds:
"The modern show Basset and the present-day Dachshund are, admittedly, distinguished the one from the other by many striking differences of conformation and proportion, but about 75 years ago the two resembled one another very closely.  Some of the Bassets of those days were little or no larger than contemporary Dachshunds, which were a good deal bigger and heavier than now, and, though the majority were white in ground color, a number were wholly red or black-and-tan save for white patches on the chest and feet."

Elizabeth Heesom, 1991, Dachshunds - An Owner's Companion.  Writing about early imports from Germany in England and early dog shows: "At Alexandra Palace in 1900 there were classes for ‘White, Dappled, Brindle, and Piebald'.

Page 20:  One of the early breeders in England, the Rev. G.F. Lovell of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, "became a great authority on the breed.  His first two Dachshunds registered at the Kennel Club were Satan (previously owned by a Mr. Forbes, and imported from Stuttgart) and a prize winner in 1869, and Mouse, born in 1872.  Both are described as red and ‘white'."

Page 21: "At the Crystal Palace in 1873 (a four-day show), there were the first separate classes for Dachshunds. " Satan was 3rd in his class. "By 1874, there were many shows at which colours were separated."

What happened to these piebalds?  Page 22: "The First World War caused the collapse of the British Dachshunds." The number of registered dachshunds in England was 12 in 1917, and 9 in 1918, and none in 1919.
From Leonore L. Adler, This Is The Dachshund, 1975:
"There are no other hunting dog breeds to which Dachshunds are most closely related to than the Bloodhounds".   (Note - the author is referring to the small mountain bloodhounds of the1800s - the Gebirgsschweisshunden).  "One of the best connoissuers of the Dachshund and light Mountain Bloodhound, Chief Forestry Administrator Volkmar, of Pfunz (Bavaria), stated: "Mountain people were never exacting: Dachshund, Bloodhound, Niederlaufhund, etc., they mixed the blood frequently, and just took things in their stride."
"A beginner of the Dachshund breed must consider this fact, so that he knows the causes of the variability within the breed . . ."
"Different coat varieties, body shapes, and long forgotten colors, as white paws, half-white legs, white blaze on the forehead, and white spots on the chest and throat, like one sometimes finds on Dachsbracken, are liable to appear."
"Nothing, however, would be more interesting genetically than to raise these "chance products" and then to mate them with related dogs.  In this way one could study the essence of the breed and its origin (or better, its origins).  One would surely achieve the most remarkable results by the fourth or fifth generation."

From Leonore L. Adler, This Is The Dachshund, 1966:
"Brindled or white Dachshunds were completely missing from the 1895 studbook.  Yet in 1895 Barnewitz owned a typical white bitch: "Berolina-Wanda", whose breeder and pedigree were not known.  This bitch won repeatedly.  In 1888, W. Muller, of Stendahl, owned a white bitch with pure white offspring.  Also, Hampe, of Braunschweig, devoted some time to white Dachshunds around 1900.  His "Sylva-Brunonia", registration number 5618 . . . was well known."
" . ..white Dachshunds were not at all rare in the old days."

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