ShowSight Presents The Miniature Pinscher

miniature pinscher Q&A WITH LARRY & PENNY DEWEY, CHRISTINE SMITH AND JACQUELINE ZWIRN

JZ: My dogs are house pets. They are crated when we are not home, but that is usually only for six hours maxi- mum. We rotate a different pair of dogs to sleep in bed with us every night and the rest are in crates. 5. Do you feed supplements? L&PD: We feed a high quality dry dog food. Supplements are not usually necessary. CS: Vitamins only. JZ: No. 6. Where do you whelp your bitches? L&PD: Puppies are whelped in our office or in our bedroom. CS: My bedroom usually. I set up an enclosure that I can sit inside of along with a large round bed, that the dam can get in and out of as she needs to but the puppies cannot get out of until they are old enough. JZ: My bitches are whelped in my bedroom and they remain there until the puppies are two weeks old, then they are all moved to the main part of the house to develop sensory skills. 7. How and when do you determine a show quality puppy? L&PD: We usually determine a show puppy at six months of age, but there is that occasional precocious puppy that will catch your eye at 12 weeks. You watch and study their movement from six weeks on. CS: I pick out the best structure starting around eight weeks. I watch and video by 12 weeks, when cropping is required. Then finally I assess their movement around four months. Those that meet all of my requirements become show dogs. JZ: I start evaluating at birth, looking for any DQs, if there aren’t any then I watch them daily, taking pictures weekly. I typically know by six-eight weeks on my line- bred litters. If I am working with a new outcross I make my final decision by 12-14 weeks. 8. At what age do you begin training? L&PD: At six weeks we start on the table for about ten seconds and then play. We increase the time on the table as they mature. There are some Min Pins that will never stand very long on the table. Judges who know and like the breed will not expect them to be statues and will judge them on the floor. We have had some who were rock solid on the table. Leash breaking starts at six weeks. Some love the lead and respond to toys and food. Others is a long battle. You just repeat and repeat. Be patient. CS: As soon as the puppies are old enough to get around, say two weeks of age, I start stacking them, strengthing their little legs into a stack pose. By eight weeks, they are well stack trained. I usually don’t start lead training until their ears are healed. I use soft lead on the neck and only work them for five-ten minutes at any one time. I usually use

bait to get them to go along and to reward. If you mean potty train, I use cat box and pine pellet litter and the puppies are potty trained by six weeks of age. JZ: I start basic table work as soon as they can stand, by using “the puppy drop”. I start using my in ring words for bait when I start weaning and other words when they are babies so they associate these words/commands as “good, fun stuff”. I start crate training at five weeks old. I start litter box training when they get their first taste of mush and the housebreaking starts as soon as they start to run with adults—supervised of course, at six weeks old. I do not push my puppies for ring training per say because they are puppies and need to be puppies—its all integrated as play. 9. Do you think your current standard is adequate? L&PD: Our standard is fine. Breed to it. CS: Absolutely. JZ: Yes. 10. What is the greatest health concern to breeders today? L&PD: Min Pins are the healthiest toy breed. If we have an issue, we spay and neuter and place as pets. We have an active health and research committee and there are usually research grants that are taking place constantly. There are stifle problems, leg perths and some demodex. CS: in the Min Pin, I think number one is the lack of willing- ness of breeders to publically share their issues, for the betterment of all. Number two is that markers have not been discovered for most of our disease genes, so with- out open communication, its Russian roulette. JZ: LCP—Legg Calve Perths. 11. Is dental care important? L&PD: Dental care is important, especially with toy breeds. We are fortunate in that until recently, we had an excel- lent dental vet in the area. CS: It’s very important and its very difficult to maintain— small breed dentals are dangerous (from being over anaesthetized) and extremely expensive. JZ: Yes, Min Pins tend to inhale food as opposed to chewing it. The chewing action helps scrape daily build up from the teeth; as a result their teeth tend to need cleaning more often. 12. What do you enjoy most about owning this breed? L&PD: It is like living with a two-year-old. Keep them safe because they will find a way to get in trouble; but you laugh a lot. CS: I love the affection they give and the joy of seeing truly beautiful creatures running around JZ: Their personalities, they are curious and into everything. They are so charismatic and loving, its never a dull moment living with them.

310 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2018

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