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Why the NMDC Standard Does Disservice to Our Breed
For the most part the NMDC breed standard is the same as the current AKC approved breed standard for dachshunds. However, there are two very important differences in the NMDC standard:
1. 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."
One of the arguments for separation by variety was to encourage breeders to breed “true miniatures” (11 pounds and under). Over the years the maximum weight for the miniature dachshund in the AKC standard has changed, but the current NMDC standard has no maximum weight. This changes the definition of the miniature dachshund, according to this particular breed standard. If a dachshund can be over the current prescribed 11 pounds, what is the difference between a small standard and an oversized miniature? Even worse, if there were to be two separate breeds, where would the 12 - 16 pound dachshund belong?
More than likely, in order to bring in more people to support the separation effort, the NMDC worded their breed standard to include those people who may have “tweenies” and feel disenfranchised from the AKC standard. But in actuality, there are already many small standards/oversized miniatures that are rewarded in the show ring for their attributes rather than being faulted for their size. This diminished focus on size will only dilute the “true” miniature and in fact could one day bring about the demise of the miniature in the United States. Just as we have seen the standard dachshunds increase in size over the years, we could very well expect to see the miniatures increase in size as well.
2. “Color – Coat color is immaterial. A black nose is preferred on red, cream and black and tan dogs; self-colored on others, darker preferred.”
Coat color immaterial” is in direct contradiction to the current AKC standard and is an attempt to find a way around the very controversial issue that has been discussed and argued in the dachshund community for the past several years. The DCA membership voted on this issue and agreed to disallow double dapples and piebalds. Much discussion over this subject was centered on potential health issues. (Please read the article “Double Dapple and Piebald Patterned Dachshund Health Issues” on this website.) The wording of this section of the NMDC standard has shown a blatant disregard for the premise that responsible breeders want to breed healthy dogs. As discussed in depth in the above-mentioned article, there are many studies on the health risks of these patterns.
Secondly, the disregard for coat color, specifically excessive white (found in both double dapples and piebalds) is another attempt to get more supporters for separation and include those breeders who breed “designer” or “rare” dachshunds for the pet market. There will certainly be breeders who will mix the various patterns (dapple x piebald, dapple x brindle, etc.) in an attempt to get even more ‘rare” colors and thus increase the cost of these dogs, with complete disregard for any potential health problems.
Are breed standards not meant to preserve breeds rather than to change them forever? The inclusion of all colors and patterns, would certainly forever change “breed type” as we know it.
In conclusion, the NMDC standard is merely a rewrite of the DCA Breed Standard with the exception of the dropping the ONE defining characteristic of the miniature dachshund – weight - and bringing back the double-dapple and piebald patterns in complete disregard for the both health issues and traditional breed type.