miniature pinscher Q&A WITH LARRY & PENNY DEWEY, CHRISTINE SMITH AND JACQUELINE ZWIRN
13. What grooming tips or hints would you like to share? L&PD: Grooming is minimal. We use a dremel grinder for toenails. We trim muzzle and eyebrows, ears and some require grooming in the neck area. CS: Min Pins are “wash and wear”—not much to comment on there. JZ: Do their nails weekly, otherwise they are a very clean by nature breed and the short coat typically requires little care. A bath when necessary. 14. What makes this breed a great show dog as well as a companion? L&PD: Fearless attitude and unique movement. With most Min Pins you just hold on to the lead and they will take you there. We had a dog in the 80s who could do the pat- tern himself and he did once when the lead was dropped. Starbuck was a loyal companion and ultimate show dog. CS: Min Pins are self possessed. If you want a great show Min Pin, they have to be super animated with sound movement. As long as the puppies are well-socialized, they all make excellent companions. Again, this is a super smart breed. A must is keeping them entertained. JZ: This is a self possessing attitude dog—when socialized properly as a puppy (as all dogs should be) the Min Pin will “command attention” in the ring. They are not “wall flowers”. As a companion they will be your best friend, your comic relief and annoying brat all wrapped up in a pretty little package that will steal your bed pillow while you sleep. 15. What tips for advice would you offer the newcom- er? L&PD: Read the books available for the breed. Talk to sev- eral breeders. Newcomers are the future of our breed. A good breeder will talk to you and give you information on showing and caring for your dog no matter where you bought your dog. If they don’t, talk to another breeder. We still talk to other breeders and continue to learn. CS: The most important thing to get yourself a mentor. Someone who has had a lot of success, who is willing to work with you. Once you have that, the rest will fall into place. JZ: Research, ask questions—there is never a wrong ques- tion, listen and be patient. 16. How do you determine the stud dog you select to breed to your bitch? L&PD: You need to find a stud dog that compliments your bitch and her pedigree. We try to look at previous get. We try to find photos of some of the dogs in the pedigree, if we have not seen the dog. Study the pedigrees and talk to people who have seen some of the dogs in the pedigrees. CS: 50% genotype and 50% phenotype. JZ: I usually take three years to plan a breeding. I am always researching pedigrees. Health clearances are a primary factor for me—regardless of whether a puppy is a show
prospect or companion only, they must be healthy—there is absolutely no reason to breed a dog who is affected by serious/debilitating health issues. Yes it can get expen- sive to health test, but with clinics at shows the cost has come down significantly. Save the money from entering two weeks of shows and use that money to get your test- ing done. I look at how the dogs produce, as well as how their siblings produce, uncles, aunts etc and what lines they were bred to. I look at cross faulting/complimenting each other as well as whats in the pedigree. 17. If you were starting a kennel, would you buy a dog or a bitch first? L&PD: We got our foundation bitch from an outstanding breeder, Carol Garrison. We had seen her dogs. She had lovely type and outstanding reputation. Her guidance was invaluable. CS: The best of either that was available that was from a line with minimal disease genes. JZ: I’d start with a dog. I feel you need to show and really study the breed itself, develop an “eye” firsthand, for a few years before you take on the responsibility of breed- ing, whelping/raising puppies. After such time then buy the best bitch possible—do not settle for second best, third best, geographically closer etc and definitely don’t take one over another due to price, even if they are siblings. They may not produce the same. No one will ever know everything there is to know about their breed, heck after having this breed for 38 years I still see new things. 18. What three words best describe your breed? L&PD: Fearless, animated and unique movement. Sorry that is four. CS: Self-possessed, animated and fearless. JZ: Fearless, funny and loving 19. What is the single biggest misconception about your breed? L&PD: That they are miniature Dobermans. CS: That they were bred down from Dobermans. JZ: They are mean and biters by nature. 20. What is the most defining characteristic? L&PD: The hackney-like gait with head and tail carried high and a smooth-driving rear. CS: Hackney side profile gait. JZ: That is really a two part answer. Visually, without meet- ing one—they are the only breed that is supposed to have hackney like movement. Meeting one—the self possess- ing big dog attitude in a small package.
314 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2018
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