Miniature Pinscher Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
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Official Standard of the Miniature Pinscher General Appearance: The Miniature Pinscher is structurally a well balanced, sturdy, compact, short-coupled, smooth-coated dog. He naturally is well groomed, proud, vigorous and alert. Characteristic traits are his hackney-like action, fearless animation, complete self-possession, and his spirited presence. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - 10 to 12½ inches in height allowed, with desired height 11 to 11½ inches measured at highest point of the shoulder blades. Disqualification - Under 10 inches or over 12½ inches in height. Length of males equals height at withers. Females may be slightly longer. Head: In correct proportion to the body. Tapering, narrow with well fitted but not too prominent foreface which balances with the skull. No indication of coarseness. Eyes full, slightly oval, clear, bright and dark even to a true black, including eye rims, with the exception of chocolates, whose eye rims should be self-colored. Ears set high, standing erect from base to tip. May be cropped or uncropped. Skull appears flat, tapering forward toward the muzzle. Muzzle strong rather than fine and delicate, and in proportion to the head as a whole. Head well balanced with only a slight drop to the muzzle, which is parallel to the top of the skull. Nose black only, with the exception of chocolates which should have a self-colored nose. Lips and Cheeks small, taut and closely adherent to each other. Teeth meet in a scissors bite . Neck, Topline, Body: Neck proportioned to head and body, slightly arched, gracefully curved, blending into shoulders, muscular and free from suggestion of dewlap or throatiness. Topline - Back level or slightly sloping toward the rear both when standing and gaiting. Body compact, slightly wedge-shaped, muscular. Forechest well developed. Well-sprung ribs . Depth of brisket, the base line of which is level with points of the elbows. Belly moderately tucked up to denote grace of structural form. Short and strong in loin. Croup level with topline. Tail set high, held erect, docked in proportion to size of dog. Forequarters: Shoulders clean and sloping with moderate angulation coordinated to permit the hackney-like action. Elbows close to the body. Legs -Strong bone development and small clean joints. As viewed from the front, straight and upstanding. Pasterns strong, perpendicular. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet small, catlike, toes strong, well arched and closely knit with deep pads. Nails thick, blunt. Hindquarters: Well muscled quarters set wide enough apart to fit into a properly balanced body. As viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel. From the side, well angulated. Thighs well muscled. Stifles well defined. Hocks short, set well apart. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet small, catlike, toes strong, well arched and closely knit with deep pads. Nails thick, blunt. Coat: Smooth, hard and short, straight and lustrous, closely adhering to and uniformly covering the body. Color: Solid clear red. Stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs). Black with sharply defined rust-red markings on cheeks, lips, lower jaw, throat, twin spots above eyes and chest,
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lower half of forelegs, inside of hind legs and vent region, lower portion of hocks and feet. Black pencil stripes on toes. Chocolate with rust-red markings the same as specified for blacks, except brown pencil stripes on toes. In the solid red and stag red a rich vibrant medium to dark shade is preferred. Disqualifications - Any color other than listed. Thumb mark (patch of black hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg between the foot and the wrist; on chocolates, the patch is chocolate hair). White on any part of dog which exceeds ½ inch in its longest dimension. Gait: The forelegs and hind legs move parallel, with feet turning neither in nor out. The hackney-like action is a high-stepping, reaching, free and easy gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist. The dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear. The head and tail are carried high. Temperament: Fearless animation, complete self-possession, and spirited presence. Disqualifications: Under 10 inches or over 12½ inches in height. Any color other than listed. Thumb mark (patch of black hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg between the foot and the wrist; on chocolates, the patch is chocolate hair). White on any part of dog which exceeds ½ inch in its longest dimension.
Approved July 8, 1980 Reformatted February 21, 1990
THE MINIATURE PINSCHER JUDGING
BY PAMELA DEHETRE
I t is an honor to be asked to write about Miniature Pinschers, as they are one of my favorite breeds. My love of this breed began in the late 1960s and continues to this day. Their spirit and pres- ence captured me. Hopefully, some of you judges who are newer to this breed will understand the Min Pin better after reading this article. I’m hoping that some of you breeders out there will also benefit from my “words of wisdom.” However, my opinions are just that— my opinions. Judging the Miniature Pinscher can be challeng- ing as they are not shown stacked motionless like most other breeds. They are very animated, with complete self-possession and a spirited presence. If you have one in the ring without these characteristic traits, please do not reward it. I bought my first Miniature Pinscher in 1968. What an experience that was! She was fearless in my arms and fearless on the ground, but a real wimp on the table. Not being an experienced handler, I would get so embar- rassed every time my wonderful Min Pin would shrink from examination. I was told by those with more longev- ity in the breed to simply exclaim, “Oh my, I don’t know why she is doing that, she has never done that before!” Well, that worked fine until the day she won the Breed and then wimped on the table to the Group judge (same judge). Before I knew what I was saying, I declared, “Oh my, I don’t know why she is doing that, she has never done that before!” Well, needless to say, I learned my lesson to keep my mouth shut. So, in a further effort to learn about this breed, I actu- ally talked to people who really knew them. Mr. John McNamara of Jay-Mac fame was one. I spent quite a bit of time listening to him at the shows, and he graciously let me come to his home for more Min Pin education. Most are now better trained for the table than the dogs of old. New techniques and a concentrated effort can pro- duce stability on the table. However, they are big little dogs and should be examined on a table—and judged on the ground.
“JUDGING THE MINIATURE PINSCHER CAN BE CHALLENGING AS THEY ARE NOT SHOWN STACKED MOTIONLESS LIKE MOST OTHER BREEDS. THEY ARE VERY ANIMATED, WITH COMPLETE SELF- POSSESSION AND A SPIRITED PRESENCE. IF YOU HAVE ONE IN THE RING WITHOUT THESE CHARACTERISTIC
TRAITS, PLEASE DO NOT REWARD IT.”
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JUDGING THE MINIATURE PINSCHER
“WHEN EXAMINING THE BREED ON THE TABLE, JUST WALK RIGHT UP TO THEM. YOU CAN HAVE THE HANDLER SHOW THE BITE OR YOU CAN GENTLY DO IT YOURSELF.”
Some advice for you breeders is to get a grooming table and put your puppies on it (one at a time, of course) on a leash, and play with them using some bait and toys. You could even take it a step further and feed them on the table. If they are com- fortable on the table at home, you have a much better chance of them being happy on the table in the ring. Take the time to do this even if you have to put the table in front of your couch or chair and do it while you are watching TV. I know I don’t have to mention this, but I will anyway: Never leave a Min Pin alone on the table. Other breeds you can leave alone on a table, but NOT a Min Pin! Mr. McNamara used to pay the kids a dollar a dog to take his extra dogs in the ring. My daughter, Angela, was so thrilled when she became one of them. At one of her first shows as a “handler” for Mr. McNamara, she came out of the ring with a reserve ribbon—so proud of her accom- plishment! She actually got the dog to stand still. However, when I casually men- tioned that she got the Reserve because there were only two in the ring (of course, the one Mr. McNamara took in got WD) her reply was, “The judge didn’t have to give it to me.” Nothing was going to dis- turb her happiness with that Reserve and, of course, her dollar. Back in the early ‘70s, you could actually purchase something with a dollar. She was correct, the judge did not have to give her the Reserve. Since that time, I have bred some cham- pion Miniature Pinschers. However, most of my accomplishments with them came as a handler. I finished many and won some Groups. My grandson, Seth, traveled with me quite a bit. When he was about 8 or 9 years old, we were showing a Min Pin bitch that did not take to strangers too easily. I was awarded WB with her. I had a spe- cial, however, so I made a snap decision to let my grandson take her back in for the Breed. Even though he was not an experi- enced handler, the bitch knew and loved him. So, I thought she would look better for him than with a stranger. I was right. He won Best of Breed! One of the things to realize when judging this breed is that they are totally devoted to their people. They are
great show dogs whenever they are com- fortable with the person on the other end of their leash. Many years ago, we were training sev- eral puppy Min Pins for a client and decid- ed to take them to a fun match. I got a youngster to practice with them and take them in the ring. They, of course, walked quite nicely outside the ring, but in the ring… walk a step, spin, walk another step, spin twice, walk another step, jump, another step, jump twice. Get the picture? The judge said, “Why don’t you train your dogs?” My little handler’s response was, “They are Min Pins.” That explains it! So, in judging them, there are times when you will need patience and the ability to look beyond the spinning and jumping. They can be walking along perfectly and, quick as a blink, they can do a total spin around and then walk perfectly again. When examining the breed on the table, just walk right up to them. You can have the handler show the bite or you can gently do it yourself. As a judge, I do pre- fer to do it myself because, sometimes, the handlers are inexperienced and they let go of the dog to show the bite. This causes the dog to move, and time is lost waiting for the handler to get the dog back under control so that you can finish the examina- tion. It is more beneficial to use the time watching the dog move than waiting for the handler to restack it. Min Pins should be shown on a loose lead. They should not be stacked on the ground, but should stand and either focus on something off in the distance (only they know what fascinates them so much), be baited, or they can stand and look at each other. They can flit from one position to another from one second to the next. Please don’t penalize this type of behavior, for to do so would be overlooking the very essence of this breed. The trick is to catch them being still enough to look at them. Of course, I understand you can’t put up a dog that doesn’t stand still long enough for you to see it, but don’t expect them to be still the entire time they are in the ring. As an interesting aside, since I have lived with many Min Pins, they are great pets. My first went to dog shows with me all her
life, and she lived to the wonderful old age of 17-1/2. Min Pins love their owners and friends. The flighty attitude that you see at the dog shows is not there at home. They are totally devoted and focused on you at home, but at the shows they see imaginary objects that demand their attention, caus- ing them to flit from one position to the other rather quickly. One of the most important attributes to look for in judging the Min Pin is its hackney-like action. Without its hackney- like gait, it is NOT a Min Pin. From the standard: “The hackney-like action is a high-stepping, reaching, free and easy gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist.” This gait, combined with “cor- rect temperament of fearless animation, com- plete self-possession and spirited presence,” is very important. These characteristics set this breed apart from all others. I would like to go a bit further to explain that the true hackney-like action is one of reach and break. This is very hard to get, but should definitely be rewarded when found. Many will break in front of their nose, but will not reach out at all. And then you have those with plenty of reach, but absolutely no break whatsoever. If faced with two exhibits that are equal in all other aspects, I would choose the one that does have break, thus making it a Min Pin. No hackney? It’s not a Min Pin!! Simple as that. Also, this is a powerful, confident breed that struts its stuff—the tail should be up. After examination and after your exhibits have been moved, you may have a few dogs that, in your opinion, look equal. Move these around the ring (not down and back) and look for the true hackney as a decision maker. Remember, head and tail carried high, high-stepping, reaching, free and easy, with a bend at the wrist. The Miniature Pinscher is a compact dog with a level or slightly sloping topline and a tail set high, and held erect. The whole package is one of confidence, author- ity, and presence. The breed has an unmis- takable take-charge attitude. He’s a remark- able little guy, full of energy and drive. This breed is the “King of Toys.”
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JUDGING THE MINIATURE PINSCHER
By Madeline K. Miller JEC, Miniature Pinscher Club of America
o you want to Judge Min- iature Pinschers!? Many believe that “Hackney” is the only thing to know about Min Pins. Th ey also think Min Pins are ditzy
nicely arched neck blending smoothly into the shoulders, the level or slightly sloping topline, with level croup and high tailset in a muscular, wedge shaped body combine to form a beautiful picture. Equally important are alertness, spirited presence, and self-possession. Th e head must fi t the body. From the front, the head appears narrow and taper- ing. Th e skull is fl at. Th e foreface is strong with a slight but de fi nite stop. Th ere is a de fi nite underjaw. Eyes are full, slightly oval, clear bright and dark. Nose is black, except in chocolates. Th e teeth meet in a scissors bite. One or two teeth slightly out of line should not be penalized if the bite is otherwise correct. Th ese little livewires often don’t stand like statues on the table or the ground. Never judge them on the table. Judge them on the ground, and use the table only for a quick examination to check bite, testicles on males, eye color, and for disquali fi ca- tions. As this is a short-haired, single coat- ed breed, their physical traits and condition are easy to evaluate with a bare minimum of touching, prodding and poking. What you see is what you get! Dogs and handlers
and hyperactive! Th ey are high energy, but that’s not the same as “hyper”. Successful Breeder-Judges like me will tell you there’s a great deal more to this remarkable breed! By the way, they are not bred down Dober- mans but, in fact, a much older breed from the German Pinscher family. Th e most important factor in judging the breed is the overall package. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Breed type includes out- line, balance, movement, correct structure and soundness. Th e all-important proper temperament combined with breed type make the Min Pin a unique, wonderful breed. Hackney-like gait is signi fi cant and a hallmark, but is not the only consider- ation in judging, as some think. Min Pins are the “King of Toys”. In the ring, they must look and act like aris- tocrats. A well-balanced, smart, sleek, square dog, all parts gracefully fl ow together; the well-proportioned head,
Black & Rust
“THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN JUDGING THE BREED IS THE OVERALL PACKAGE. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.”
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“VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT FORCE THE SINGLE ENTRY RIGHT UP ON THE TABLE!”
are grateful if table time is kept brief! Don’t fault Min Pins for moving or wiggling on the table. Standing still on the table (or not) has nothing to do with quality and should not in fl uence your placements. Very important: DO NOT FORCE THE SINGLE ENTRY RIGHT UP ON THE TABLE! Just as you send a class of fi ve around the ring once before tabling, the singleton should be granted the same courtesy. Th is is only fair, relaxes the dog and, contrary to what some believe, takes no extra time. On the ground many Min Pins are eas- ily distracted and don’t stand still for long.
I don’t care if they stand perfectly in a row like little toy soldiers facing the same direction. However, I want to see them “show o ff ”. Th ey may do this by baiting for the handler, watching a dog in the next ring, watching a bird or butter fl y at an outdoor show, or whatever else catches their eye!! Th ey are active and curious, but tend to have a short attention span. Not knowing what they will do next is part of their charm. Don’t be annoyed by their behavior; relax and learn to enjoy their antics! Also remember Min Pins are not hand stacked on the ground, they should be taught to show themselves. If handlers
are down and hand stacking, ask them to stand and allow the dog to show o ff . Min Pins often stop and shake at least once when moving. Th ey should gait with head and tail up. Ears do not have to be up while moving. Some exhibitors string up the dog tightly in an e ff ort to hide a poor front or in the mistaken belief that the dog will have better front action. Don’t hesitate to ask for a loose lead. A Min Pin moving out smartly ahead of the handler is delightful, but this is “icing on the cake” and not all of them can or will do this. A Min Pin who “slinks” around the ring or moves with tail down should
“They are active and curious, but tend to have a short attention span. NOT KNOWING WHAT THEY WILL DO NEXT IS PART OF THEIR CHARM.”
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“Puppies may be a little unsure of themselves, but never fearful. ADULTS MUST HAVE THAT ‘LOOK AT ME’ ATTITUDE.”
gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist. Th e dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear.” Th is is a good description. Note: the Standard does not call for extremely high leg lift. In fact, dogs with exaggerated front action, usually exhibit unacceptable traits when seen straight on, such as out at the elbow, crossing over or “mix-masters”. Th e high-stepping front action occurs because of the moderately angled front and slightly more angulated rear of a properly built Min Pin. Th e pasterns are fl exible enough to allow the wrist to bend. Th e Hackney-like action is described for FRONT legs only. Th e rear should not lift. Th e Standard states: “the dog drives smooth- ly and strongly from the rear”. Th e side gait is correct if the dog moves in a straight line with good rear drive, front reach and exten- sion with the pastern bending before the foot comes down. Th e amount of lift and bend may vary greatly from dog to dog. Lift and bend are called for, but there is no requirement as to how high the lift or how much bend! Remember, if the leg lifts and
bends, it is correct. Th e degree or amount of lift and bend is unimportant. While fl ashy front movement may be dazzling, it’s NOT ENOUGH. Min Pins must also have breed type, be sound com- ing and going, and have strong rear drive. Th e Min Pin must be between 10 and 12 ½ inches at the highest point of the shoulder, with disquali fi cations under and over these limits. All dogs within this height range should be judged equally. If a10 inch dog or a 12 ½ inch bitch have the best conformation and movement, they should be rewarded. Th e Standard makes no distinction between genders, except that bitches may be slightly lon- ger than dogs. Height and muscle do not di ff er for dogs and bitches. If there is any question about height, please measure the dog. Th e exhibitors will appreciate this far more than putting a dog at the end of the line because you “think” it looks too big or too small. All colors must be judged equally. Min Pins may be solid clear red, ranging from dark mahogany to light red. Stag is a red base coat with an intermingling or overlay
A lovely Min Pin
NEVER be rewarded. Th is is an indica- tion of poor temperament and must be discouraged. Remember, the Standard calls for “fearless animation” and “com- plete self-possession”. Puppies may be a little unsure of themselves, but never fearful. Adults MUST have that “Look at Me” attitude. Th e correct hackney-like action causes a lot of confusion. Th e Standard describes it as a “high stepping, reaching, free and easy
“While flashy front movement may be dazzling, it’s NOT ENOUGH. MIN PINS MUST ALSO HAVE BREED TYPE, BE SOUND COMING AND GOING, AND HAVE STRONG REAR DRIVE.”
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of black hairs. Amount and placement of black hairs is not important. Red Min Pins may have lighter shading or “bisking” on the neck, over the shoulder blades and near the vent region. Th is is perfectly acceptable and should not be penalized. Black with rust-red markings and Chocolate with rust-red markings are often at a disadvan- tage because the broken colors create an optical illusion and may make the dogs APPEAR to be built di ff erently than their red counterparts. You must be careful to examine and assess them fairly. Th e Stan- dard describes correct markings and states a preference for rich, vibrant medium to dark shades on the Reds. However, color and/or markings must never take prece- dence over conformation and soundness. About “man-made” faults: Min Pins may be shown with natural or cropped ears as long as the ears are erect. Give equal consideration to both. Some ear crops are unattractive; i.e., short and wide, uneven lengths. Th is is man-made and should not be used to fault the dog. Th is is true for tails docked too short or too long. Tail set and carriage are important, length is not. White exceeding ½ -inch in its longest dimension is a disquali fi cation, but a scat- tering of white hairs or “frost” on the chest is a deviation, not a DQ. Th umb marks, a patch or island of black (or chocolate) hair, completely sur- rounded by rust-red on the front of the foreleg is a DQ. In summary, judge the WHOLE dog, reward the virtues, penalize faults to the extent of the deviation from ideal and don’t make Min Pins one-dimensional by looking only at side gait! BIO Growing up, my family always had purebred dogs, mostly Boxers. Attend- ing my first dog show in 1968 and show- ing a Doberman the following year, I became “hooked” and began showing and breeding Dobes. I acquired my first Min Pin in 1974, intending it to be a “fun” diversion but soon became more and more involved with Min Pins and less so with Dobes. I bred the first “Madric” litter in 1976. I no lon- ger actively breed and show, but in 20 plus
Side Gait 1
Side Gait 3
Side Gait 2
“About ‘man-made’ faults: MIN PINS MAY BE SHOWN WITH NATURAL OR CROPPED EARS AS LONG AS THE EARS ARE ERECT. Give equal consideration to both.”
years bred and owned over 75 Champions in three di ff erent countries (U.S., Canada, & Philippines) including a U.S. all-breed Best in Show winner, Group winners and two Westminster Breed winners. I started judging in 1995 and am pres- ently approved for Best in Show, the Toy Group, 12 Working breeds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Poodles. I’ve judged a num- ber of Toy and Working breed Specialties. I became the Judges Education Chair for the Miniature Pinscher Club of Amer- ica after being an approved mentor and
member of the Judges Education Commit- tee for many years. I was Awards Chair for over 20 years and served on the Board for four years. I’m a founding and charter member of the Motor City Miniature Pin- scher Club, a member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, the American Dog Show Judges and the Michigan Dog Show Judges. In my non dog show life, I’m a Senior Tax Advisor for H&R Block. I currently share my home with a rescue Doberman and an 18 year old Min Pin.
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JUDGING & MENTORING A TEAM EFFORT
by KIM BYRD
A s you learned to train your dog and yourself for the moment you both would enter the show ring—whether it is for confor- mation or performance—you were guided by one or two mentors. Th ey provided you with information on the procedures required to enter and show in the ring. Th ey provided you with the information to train yourself and your dog. Th ey spent hours talking to you about fine tuning and what was needed to work to the level of competition you wished for yourself. You learned and learned and learned from your mentors. When you decided you had the strength and fortitude to begin breeding, your men- tors were right there with you. Th e hours driving to and from the shows were spent reciting and learning the health statis- tics, structure, coat color and movement of important pedigrees. Th e recitations a ff orded you the chance to work the pedi- grees of the dogs you have become to love and protect and know where to take them to breed. Mentors gave that gift to you. Mentors worked hard to push your own breeding program to the best it can be. Now it’s your turn to give some of that gift of guidance and education to our judges and folks new to our breed. Our judges go through a great deal of seminars, training sessions and provisional judging periods, judges new and comfort- able to miniature pinschers would certain- ly benefit from a small hands-on session. Being able to touch a small variety in type after a dog show, would provide an oppor- tunity to hone skills without the pressure to keep within judging time frames. Mentors, wait until the end of a provi- sional judge’s assignment and politely say I am a Miniature Pinscher Club of America mentor and I did not have a dog in your ring (if you didn’t); however, if you’d like to discuss the breed’s fine points or go over
some di ff erent Miniature Pinschers at a lei- surely pace I’d be more than happy to do so. Be respectful. If you are asked to wait until after their entire assignment, do so. During your private discussion, start with what they did right and discuss the fine points of the breed. It’s your responsibil- ity as a mentor to teach others about the details our breed and sharing information to update or improve a judges’ education is imperative. When mentoring ringside, discuss the good and bad parts of the dogs for exam- ple, that’s a nice head with flat planes and a strong muzzle with lovely eyes, a moderate rear, or his rear is a bit straight, but outline is lovely. Be critical, but not mean. Folks don’t like hearing you have trashed their dog, but when you discuss parts, that’s di ff erent. A flat foot is a flat foot. A level topline is a level topline. Dark eyes are dark eyes, as well as light eyes are light, cross- ing over in the front is not parallel move- ment. Discuss how the movement of the Miniature Pinscher is sometimes di ffi cult to judge. As our standard states side gait is hackney like, but we must not forget it also requires parallel movement coming and going and a driving rear. Judges, when approached by a breed mentor, try make time to use the knowl- edge being shared with you. Mentors can be nervous to talk to you, but really do wish to share good knowledge. Going over dogs when you aren’t pressed for time and able to discuss the finer points of our breed; i.e., size (2 ½ inches is a big di ff er- ence in height from the shortest to the tallest), movement, coat, with an expert makes for a great opportunity. As a Miniature Pinscher Club of America certified mentor, you may be con- tacted by a judge who isn’t judging Min- iature Pinschers that day and wishes you to spend the time mentoring them. Just as your mentor has taught you, it is now your
responsibility to pay it forward and teach others. Be a mentor, share the information you have learned! 30 years of unbelievable fun has gone by so fast for me being involved with Min Pins and I admit they have changed a little, but basically their structure and outline remain the same because of our standard and great breeders. Mentors must help our judges’ education folks educate judges at the shows where we go as exhibi- tors. Mentors and judges are the forward team to judges’ education and we must work together. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kim Byrd breeds and shows Miniature Pin- schers and Basenjis under the KISA Kennel name and is an AKC Breeder of Merit. She has been breeding and showing for close to 30 years and has won All Breed Best In Shows, all breed group competition, the National Specialty and several Best in Specialty Shows. She was honored with the MPCA Good Sportsmanship Award and believes wholeheartedly in the AKC Mentoring Program.
238 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2015
The Miniature Pinscher A Beautiful Picture of a Profile Breed in Motion
T he Miniature Pinscher is a profile breed. In my opinion, this means they should be judged with the most emphasis put on the picture you see when they are moving. From this view, you can easily assess overall balance: How do they look going around the ring? How do they use themselves? Do they move with smoothness and effortless coordination? It’s a pretty picture when you see this combination—it really catches your eye. The Min Pin is called the King of Toys; they show that they know this by their active and spirited demeanor. Anything less than an attitude of dynamic self-posses- sion should not be rewarded. The Min Pin must always stand (though standing still is not really in their vocabulary), move freely with defined lift and wrist bend, and bait with head held high. They have the regal presence of a king. As a judge, he or she individually examines each dog on the table, most notably checking bite, and testicles, and perhaps, feel for smoothness of shoulders. It is inap- propriate for judges to run their hands all over this small, smooth-coated breed. The judge can see the Min Pin’s expression, head, eye color, neck length, and length of leg, together with seeing the rear angles, depth of thigh, flat croup, and tail set— without ever touching the dog. One can see overall balance and quality. A beautiful Min Pin has a well-angulated stifle, together with a well-angulated rear end. This proper structure will be seen in the profile movement. Of course, soundness on the down and back must be given adequate consideration. The topline should be level or slightly sloping while standing and moving. The Min Pin, according to the standard, does not have
BY KATIE WINTERS PHOTO COURTESY OF GODOGPHOTOS
equal angles in the front and rear. The standard calls for a moderately angled shoulder and a well-angulated rear. It is my opinion that these differing front and rear angles allow for movement with a lot of lift, reach, bend of wrist in the front, and strong drive in the rear. So much of the cor- rect movement is determined by foot timing. (And in the Min Pin’s case, there is a strong genetic component.) By virtue of this high lift in front, the strong driving rear has time to move for- ward without overtaking the front legs in a relatively short-bodied, square dog. The front has a lot of reach with no up-and-down hack- ney-like movement (which goes nowhere) and the rear covers ground without piston-like up- and-down movement (also going nowhere). For a balanced Min Pin, therefore,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Katie has been breeding and showing since 1970, first with a champion Weimaraner bitch, then with many winning champion Whippets and Miniature Pinschers. She is a judge of Whippets and Min Pins.
it would call for a high-reach- ing, wrist-bending front movement, together with a strong driving rear, to propel the body forward—this is the beautiful picture.
ALL ABOUT THE MINIATURE PINSCHER
by SHELLEY ERDMAN
D o you remember blowing bubbles on a breezy spring day when you were a kid? You would giggle with delight as the bubbles bounced along with the wind, rising high and plung- ing low, swirling and dancing and chas- ing each other as the current swept them along. Just as you reached for one it would dart off in another direction, alluding your grasp. Sometimes the sunlight and the bubble crossed paths at just the right moment and the bubble took on a special glow. The instant I stepped outside at my very first Minia- ture Pinscher Club of America National Specialty and saw the ex-pens filled with Miniature Pinschers I giggled with that same delight! I went from pen
to pen wanting to reach in and touch them as they bounced and wiggled and swirled as only Min Pins can do. Some- thing about Miniature Pinschers makes people smile and giggle and feel young and energized. If you don’t believe me just watch the faces of spectators, both young and old, when they approach the Min Pin ring at any show. Min Pins are sometimes mistaken for a small version of the Doberman. In fact, a co-worker saw me out with my Dobe and my Min Pin and asked how we got some of them to stay so small. I jokingly mentioned something about a special potion when they were a few days old but realized she was serious, so quickly recanted and offered her cor- rect information. Miniature Pinschers
are definitely not a small, scaled-down Dobe. While both breeds originate in Germany, Min Pins are an older breed, likely coming from crossing German Pinschers, Italian Greyhounds and Dachshunds. The Min Pin ancestors provide our wonderful breed with feistiness, fearlessness, speed, grace and tenacity. Min Pins require little grooming for their short, straight, lustrous coat. They need bathing and brushing to keep their coat free of loose hair and dirt. Nails need regular trimming to keep them at the proper length. Teeth need regular brushing or cleaning by a professional in order to keep the Min Pin’s mouth healthy and prevent issues from bacteria.
“MINIATURE PINSCHERS ARE DEFINITELY NOT A SMALL, SCALED-DOWN DOBE. WHILE BOTH BREEDS ORIGINATE IN GERMANY, MIN PINS ARE AN OLDER BREED, LIKELY COMING FROM CROSSING GERMAN PINSCHERS, ITALIAN GREYHOUNDS AND DACHSHUNDS.”
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“MIN PINS REQUIRE EARLY AND CONSISTENT SOCIALIZATION AND TRAINING.
THEY NEED OPPORTUNITIES TO GREET THE WORLD AND SEE, HEAR AND SMELL ALL IT HOLDS.”
of humor with the antics of puppies learning to show. There are few things prettier or more thrilling to a Min Pin fanatic as a properly moving dog with his head up and neck arched cruising around the ring. Comments heard around the ring from spectators typically include “look at that dog that trots like a pony.” That simile maybe helpful to those unfamiliar with the standard but it is incorrect. Miniature Pinschers are well- known for their hackney-like gait; the key part of the statement is hackney- like. The MPCA standard defines the gait as “high-stepping, reaching, free and easy with the front legs moving straight forward in front of the body and the foot bending at the wrist; the dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear. The hackney-like action in a Min Pin only refers to the front move- ment; whereas a hackney pony displays the hackney gait in the front and rear with what appears to be little forward movement. The idea of ‘more is better’ is not necessarily true regarding the amount of lift a Min Pin has. Extreme lift in the front is inefficient, choppy and does not propel the dog forward. The Miniature Pinscher Club of Amer- ica provides excellent video examples of correct front and rear movement in the presentation developed for mentors and judges’ education. The presenta- tion is available on the AKC website, at judges’ education seminars, and on request from the MPCA for judges and judge applicants. Min Pins are like the Duct tape of dog breeds—versatile and appropriate for many things. They can be trained to participate in rally and obedience trials, scentwork, lure coursing, track- ing, dock diving, agility and confor- mation. I have certified Min Pins to be therapy dogs for visits to hospitals, senior centers, schools and librar- ies. They make excellent companion dogs for those who seek an energetic,
intelligent, loving, loyal dog, that quick- ly finds its way into your heart and under your blankets. Min Pins are square, short-backed, bundles of energy with a level or slight- ly-sloping topline. Tradition calls for self-stacking in the ring to allow their self-possessed personalities to shine through. They stand and move proudly with their head held high, their neck arched, maintaining their topline and always, always, always with their tail up. Their energy, animation and keen expression are enormous parts of their charm. Min Pins with their unique gait and proud carriage announce to all who are present that they are indeed the “King of Toys”.
Min Pins require early and consistent socialization and training. They need opportunities to greet the world and see, hear and smell all it holds. Expos- ing Min Pins in a safe, non-threatening manner to the world around them will help ensure they grow up confident and comfortable in all kinds of situations. Min Pins are highly-intelligent and respond best to patient, positive train- ing methods. Sometimes their enthusi- asm and knack for getting into things can be challenging but meeting those challenges with patience will end bet- ter for the dog and the human. Training is an absolute must for Min Pins. Min Pins are a relatively healthy breed, living an average of twelve-fif- teen years. If you are considering pur- chasing a Miniature Pinscher please take the time to speak with reputable breeders. A good breeder can provide you with information regarding health concerns and specific information regarding any health testing they have obtained for their dogs. The MPCA (Miniature Pinscher Club of America) provides breeder referral information on their website. The Miniature Pinscher is nothing short of a perpetual motion machine. That in itself is motivation enough for judges to go over them briefly on the table and then let them move. I am always grateful to judges who do the three T’s and then let my dogs strut their stuff because the floor is where the magic truly happens. Miniature Pinschers are energetic and bold. They strut around the ring as if time has stopped and all eyes are on them. This can be an advantage if you have a wonderful special, or a full day’s entertainment in only two minutes if you happen to be showing an active puppy. Try to get a mental picture of “Flight of the Bumblebee” and you can easily picture a Min Pin puppy. Exhibi- tors and judges have to maintain a sense
ABOUT THE AUTHOR I have been loving, living with, owned by, and exhibiting Miniature Pin- schers for about nine years. My dogs have been awarded Top Twenty and Top Ten medallions, multiple group placements, Reserve Best in Show, multiple owner-handled group place- ments, and multiple Bests in Special- ty Show. I teach obedience classes, behavior modification and conforma- tion classes. I am currently a board member and the chairperson for pub- lic education for the MPCA.
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HEY! IS THAT A MINIATURE DOBERMAN?
By Kim Byrd
or those of us who live and play with Miniature Pin- schers, our first inclina- tion is to holler a great big emphatic “No!”, but we don’t. We gently smile and
creatures). Th eir size, 10 to 12 ½ inches, and speed enabled them to get close to the home threats and keep the pests from eating food and destroying man’s home. Th e Miniature Pinscher is a square- proportioned, well-balanced little dog with a level topline. He has a hackney-like gait, with head and tail held high. Th e Miniature Pinscher Club of America and the Ameri- can Kennel Club have accepted the colors Red, Stag Red, Black and Rust, Black and Tan, and Chocolate and Rust, in a short, straight and lustrous coat. Miniature Pinschers are versatile and can adapt to just about any situation you put them in. Th ey are small enough to be a portable companion that is able to be a part of your life no matter what you do. For short we call him the Min Pin, but in reality he is the King of Toys. He is fearless, feisty, quick to run after the ball or rabbit. He can be trained to sit quietly in a travel crate, walk politely on the leash and cuddle with chil- dren and friends. Th en with a smart bark and jump he is o ff to investigate anything that moves, be it leaf or critter in his yard. Th e Min Pin is a great dog for small homes and apartments. Although, he requires exer- cise to keep his energy level down or long walks in the park work just as well.
say, “No, this is a Miniature Pinscher. He is a totally di ff erent breed from the Dober- man.” Now let me explain why. History tells us the Miniature Pinscher breed originated in the far away country of Germany. Th e first appears in a 17th century painting showing a picture of a cat-sized dog resembling the Miniature Pinscher of today. Th e Miniature Pinscher is in fact an older breed than the Dober- man pinscher which doesn’t come into play until the late 1800s. Th e breed was developed in Germany and agreement among dog historians tells us the Miniature Pinscher breed comes from genetic crosses of the German Pin- scher, the Dachshund and the Italian Grey- hound. From these ancestors the Min Pin (as we lovingly call him) gets his feistiness, fearlessness and his playful speed and grace. By the 19th century, the Reh Pinscher, as he was called in Germany, was developed. Th e feisty and quick little dogs were used as vermin hunters (rats, mice, moles and such
Th ey are protective and will loudly announce company either good or bad. Until the company has thoroughly been inspected, sni ff ed, bumped with a quick hop, sni ff ed again, barked at again, they are then allowed to stay. Th e greatest gift you can give your dog is the gift of socialization. Take him everywhere as a puppy. Let him hear cars, horns, trucks, banging pans, loud noises, smell his environment. Have every stranger you meet, touch him and pet him. Be sure to hold him o ff the ground so he is not intimidated. He has to know the world won’t hurt him and he really is the toughest kid on the block.
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You’ll be doing very little grooming to keep him tidy. A good brushing to remove loose hair and a bath on occasion. Be aware he does not like to be cold and some will bury themselves under the blanket even in the warmest weather. Do you need a fenced in yard? Abso- lutely! A four-foot fence is not too high for a Min Pin looking for adventure. Th ey are a curious little dog and will try something new just to see if they can do it. Chewing is a game that needs watching, as they can choke on small objects that they find in the house or yard. When training a Min Pin, you must be extremely patient and be able to teach them using a firm, but gentle hand. Th ey bore easily and can be distracted. You must be able to guide them back into their lessons and keep them focused. Once focus is lost, time to do something else! Many who are owned by a Min Pin will tell you they are flexible and can learn how to do many things. Th ey are excel- lent at obedience competition at all levels and will thrill those watching them work through agility. Go ahead! Train basic obedience and earn your CGC title. Th is title will help getting permission for the both of you to go into senior homes and hospitals to visit with folks that just want to hug your Min Pin. Oh, did you say you wanted to show your Min Pin in the conformation ring? Standing on his own in the ring and show- ing o ff is how it’s done. Don’t get down on your knees to stack or pose, he is only stacked on the table. Th at’s the rule and we old-timers will tell you right o ff . Th e Min Pin is not a one dimensional breed, breed type and sound typical hackney-like move- ment is paramount. Go to the shows, whether it be for obe- dience, agility or conformation and meet
the folks standing around the ring. Ask questions and watch every dog in the ring. Outside the ring you are interested in will be a person that will be your mentor. Ask questions, spend the time researching, and watch, watch, watch. Learning from a men- tor is the best way to get involved in the competitions. A mentor will give you the tool kit to start you on the way to achieving your goal with your Min Pin. Miniature Pinschers are a pretty healthy breed. Th eir life span is 12-15 years. When you bring your puppy home, have a bowl for food, bucket for fresh water, good hard puppy kibble, sturdy collar and leash, warm blanket and crate ready. Remember training begins as soon as you bring him home. Major issues are patellar luxation, cer- vical (dry) disc, legg-calve perthes, epi- lepsy, thyroid, heart defects and eye prob- lems. Talk to your breeder and ask them what health issues are in the pedigree of your puppy. Keeping your Min Pin in shape and not overweight will help him live a long and busy life. Mentoring is a very important to this sport and part of the enjoyment of being a mentor is being involved in stories such as this story…he stood outside the ring and watched the dogs move around the ring with their handlers. I could do that he thought. He had been to many shows with his breeder, but had never thought about entering into the ring himself. She excitedly came out of the ring with a handful of ribbons and breathlessly said he could do this! Look how much fun we are having. Th e next day, she called and said she needed his help and it was time he stepped up to the plate and showed his own little dog. He basically understood the workings of the ring, but was he ready? Did he have the “right stu ff ”? Th e training?
He dressed in a nice shirt, tie and slacks, bathed his dog and headed to the show. He was a bit on edge and so was his dog, but into the ring they stepped. It was so exciting! He listened to the judge intently, and followed his instructions to the letter… as they started to go around the ring, the lead slipped o ff his dog’s head! He bent down, called his dog to him and slipped the lead back on. Th ey finished going around and he hid in the corner for them to relax. To his surprise the judge was calling him to the front of the line! He was in the fourth spot! What did that mean? He and his dog were Select Dog! He definitely would have to talk to his mentor, where was she? At the end of the line? Oh this is really good. Remember, a mentor can help you understand the competition you wish to begin. Th ey will teach you how to train, enter the show, and share ideas how to succeed and enjoy yourself. So you say, ‘What makes us want to believe what you just wrote?’ 25 years of experience handling, showing, breeding, playing and just living with Miniature Pin- schers. Currently, I write for the American Kennel Club Gazette and prose many other articles for di ff erent magazines. I have been honored with many cham- pions who have competed to Best In Show, Best in Specialty Show, National Specialty winner, and have shown all over the world. Most of all breeding and show- ing has allowed me to meet wonderful people, enjoy some great times, and most of all live with some great dogs that will remain in my heart forever. Join us! For more information on this amazing little breed, please check out the Miniature Pinscher Club of America website, www. minpin.org.
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BREEDER’S FORUM MINIATURE PINSCHER
ARMANDO ANGELBELLO Marlex Miniature Pinschers A rmando and Xio Angelbello founded Marlex Min Pins in 1986. Th eir dedication to the breed and the sport have brought years of enjoyment and recogni- tion. Some of the highlights are: • Breeding and exhibiting Multiple All-Breed Best In Show winners • Top AKC ranked dogs at all confor- mation levels of competition • 9 National Specialty Breed wins • Awards of Top Producing Sires and Dams Of the Year • Recipient of awards from the Miniature Pinscher Club of America for contributions to the breed and good sportsmanship • Awards for Owner-Handler Of Th e Year (Winkie ’11), AKC Toy Breeder Of Th e Year (’13), Nominated for Breeder Of Th e Year (Winkie ’14) • A point of special note and pride, their co-owned bitch, GCh Marlex Classic Red Glare (Classie), not only broke a 50 year old record for the breed, but went on to become the All- Time Best In Show winning Toy Dog in history. Classie was awarded her 132nd Best In Show in April, 2014, followed by her 3rd National Special- ty win, where she retired from active competition and to the whelping box “THEIR DEDICATION TO THE BREED AND THE SPORT HAVE BROUGHT YEARS OF ENJOYMENT AND RECOGNITION.”
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“IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE MIN PIN IS AN OLDER BREED THAN THE DOBERMAN AND NOT DIRECTLY RELATED.”
di ff erent environments, noises and people as early as possible. I start table training informally and sporadically at 8-10 weeks, focused on making them feel comfortable, enticing them with food or toy. Lead train- ing usually around 12-14 weeks, making it fun, with help of treats, toys and experi- enced buddy along. 9. Do you think your current standard is adequate? If not, what changes would improve it? Current breed standard is adequate and no changes necessary. 10. What is the greatest health concern to breeders today? In general, the Min Pin is a healthy breed, but patellar luxation and Legg- Calvé-Perthes would be health issues to watch out for, as in most toy breeds. 11. Is dental care important? Aside from Veterinarian dental clean- ing, the dreaded dental care is a neces- sity, otherwise tartar and plaque will build up very quickly in Min Pins.
1. When and where did you fi rst become interested in your breed? In 1985, via Dr. Boshell’s book Your Miniature Pinscher , while researching purebreds for a family pet. 2. What attracted you to the breed? Th e fact that the Min Pin resembled the look of a Doberman in miniature, a breed I admired. It’s important to note that the Min Pin is an older breed than the Doberman and not directly related. 3. Do you inbreed, linebreed or outcross? Why? I have not done any inbreeding, but will never say never. My original focus was line- breeding. Once I had the desired consis- tency of type, I shifted focus to phenotype (type to type breeding of well bred dogs), whether on the surface it was linebreeding or outcross. In the decision making process, first I must like the dog and/or what he’s producing and secondly, I look at pedigree. Invariably, the breeding decision turns out to be a close or distant linebreeding, but have had very successful outcrosses too.
4. How do you house your dogs? We have a dog room in the house, each one has his/her own bed, with easy access to a secure dog yard where they run and play together. Th ey also take turns spend- ing time on the couch or running around safe rooms in the house. 5. Do you feed supplements? No supplements. We feed Purina® Pro- Plan® Performance/Sport. 6. Where to you whelp your bitches? Whelping takes place in my o ffi ce room (man cave). 7. How and when do you determine a show quality puppy? Evaluation is ongoing from the time they’re 8 weeks old, however, I wait until the show prospects are at least 5 months old to ascertain show quality. 8. At what age do you begin training? Please share training tips. Training varies, but most important is to build the foundation of exposure to
“LEAD TRAINING USUALLY AROUND 12-14 WEEKS, MAKING IT FUN, WITH HELP OF TREATS, TOYS AND EXPERIENCED BUDDY ALONG.”
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