ShowSight Presents The Miniature Pinscher


Let’s Talk Breed Education!


LARRY & PENNY DEWEY Ruffian Min Pins came to be when we were looking for a small, smooth-coated breed in 1978. Our mentor, Carol Garri- son of Carlee Kennels in Florida, sent us her best bitch puppy in her current lit- ter. Ch. Carlee Love Unlimited HOF. With Carol’s guidance, we bred and handled the #1 dog in 1984, ABIS BISS Ch. Ruf- fian’s Starbuck HOF. Since then, we have continued to breed on a small scale, ABIS, BISS and Group Winners. Larry is now an AKC Judge and we have three Min Pins. We still show our dogs ourselves. Ruffian Min Pins is located in Katy, Texas, west of Houston. CHRISTINE SMITH My name is Chris Smith and my kennel is Aztex Min Pins. My partner is Dan Bayless, who co-owns and co-breeds with me.

Terrier, Pomeranian, just to name a few. I have shown and bred Miniature Pinschers since 1980. I am the Miniature Pinscher Club of America/AKC Breeder Referral, Vice President of The Miniature Pinscher Club of Northern California, member of the Pacific Northwest Minia- ture Pinscher Club, Board of Director of Del Valle Dog Club, and a member of Nor-Cal Toy Dog Fanciers. I also am active in Miniature Pinscher Rescue, Senior Dog Rescue as well as various other rescues. I am working towards obtaining my Judges License in a few breeds. Dogs are my passion. 1. When and where did you first become interested in your breed? L&PD: We were at the Astroworld Series of Dog Shows in Houston and fell in love with the Miniature Pinscher in 1978. CS: I got my first Min Pin in the early 90s in New York as a wedding gift. JZ: 1980. 2. What attracted you to the breed? L&PD: We loved the unpredictability, attitude, smooth coat and unique movement. CS: I loved their intelligence and beauty pretty much from day one. JZ: Attitude and ease of care. 3. Do you inbreed, linebreed or outcross? Why? L&PD: We have usually linebred with an occasional out- cross. We look at dog and bitch and try to focus on type and soundness. If you are breeding for the hackney-like action, you must include a sound driving rear. CS: Linebreeding to maintain the aspects that I cherish in the breed and outcross to try and improve aspects that are missing in my current lines. JZ: I linebreed with an outcross periodically. Linebreed- ing stamps type/traits etc, but you need an outcross to enhance, contribute qualities and to keep from inbreed- ing. When I outcross, that outcross is linebred to itself but not my dogs. 4. How do you house your dogs? L&PD: Our dogs live in our office in our home with access to our covered patio and backyard. Usually we have not more than six dogs and at this time, we only have three. CS: In my home with individual crates for feeding and sleep- ing at night.


I am a multi-generation dog show breeder/exhibitor and retired from the medical field. I have shown many breeds, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Basset Hound, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, Maltese, Chihuahua, Yorkshire



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.



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.




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.





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.



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



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Head Black

Head Red


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.”

Natural Ears

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


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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 NATU RAL 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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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.

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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.



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.”



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




Brushing frequently is important and scaling which is not easy as none of my Min Pins succumb to it peacefully. 12. What do you enjoy most about owning this breed? I enjoy the complete package of the Min Pin, in looks and character. Th ey’re more terrier-like than anything, clowns, feisty, showy, self-possessed, highly ani- mated, fearless. Least enjoyable is their tendency to be excessive barkers! 13. What grooming tips or hints would you like to share? Grooming for the show is important and really minimal, compared to most other breeds. Th ere’s trimming of whiskers and guard hairs around the face, ear edges and ear base, neck line, tail, underline and of course making sure teeth are clean, as well as the dog. 14. What makes this breed a great show dogs as well as a companion? A good specimen of the breed in looks, movement and character is a formidable contender in the ring because of the Min Pin self-possessed “King Of Toys” attitude that demands attention. Th ere’s nothing

prettier than a Min Pin, self-stacked at attention in the middle of the ring claim- ing its turf. It is these attributes and traits that make the Min Pin a great companion for people who understand and love what the breed is all about. 15. What tips or advice would you o ff er the newcomer? Most important for a show newcomer is to seek a mentor who has had success in the breed, who would o ff er objective advice, guidance and impart knowledge so the newcomer can develop his/her own vision and goals in due time. Watching and asking successful breeders/owners/ handlers questions and really listening are a must for the serious newcomer. Sometimes I see so-called mentors whose goal is to tell the newcomer what to do, when and where, with lots of strings attached, which basically is not condu- cive to imparting knowledge and deci- sion making capabilities. 16. How do you determine the stud dog you will select to breed to your bitch? The stud dog must be of excel- lent type, with virtues to compliment

the bitch of excellent type as well and avoid doubling up on faults. If a prov- en stud dog, analyze his get. Don’t let the pedigree or win record wag the dog’s tail. 17. If you were starting a kennel would you buy a bitch fi rst or a dog? Starting out, I would buy the very best specimen I could get, regardless of sex. 18. What three words best describe your breed? Self-possessed, square, hackney-like. 19. What is the single biggest miscon- ception about your breed? Th e biggest misconception from the general public is that the Min Pin is a bred down version of the Doberman. 20. What is the most de fi ning charac- teristic of your breed? It is the only breed with a unique desired gait, i.e., hackney-like. High stepping with bend at the wrist, with reach and drive, forelegs and hind legs move parallel soundly.



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