Top Notch Toys - March 2020

LIVING WITH MIN PINS by Gretchen Hofheins-Wackerfuss

I grew up showing American Sad- dlebred horses, a high stepping and powerful horse that had a lot of excitement. At that time owned a Yorkshire Terrier that I showed in Obedience. I wanted a second dog that didn’t require as much grooming and had a lot of zip. The Miniature Pinscher has a lot of the same attri- butes as the American Saddlebred, with their high stepping free and easy gait, so I was immediately attracted to them. I acquired my first Min Pin after much research, in 1987, from a breeder in Tucson, Arizona, Dee Stutts. She had quite a few dogs that had done well in obedience. I have been captivated by them ever since. They are the most loving and mis- chievous dogs I have ever met. It is like having a big dog in a small pack- age. They are ferocious watch dogs and amusing little clowns. Their in- telligence makes them very trainable, but that intelligence also can get them into trouble. I recall once at my home I was work- ing in my office, I heard a commotion in the kitchen. I came in to find a cou- ple dogs on the floor barking at one of my dogs, Sylvia, who was on the coun- ter with the cupboard open, pulling food, flour and such on to the floor. I have no idea how she got up there, but it must have taken a lot of will. Her cohorts below were egging her on! I never laughed so hard. That is but one story of many. The breed originated

in Germany, and as many people think, they are NOT bred down from the Doberman Pinscher, but a sepa- rate breed, which is much older than the Doberman. They were used as ‘ratters’ on farms, and that prey drive still exists. I recall chasing one of my dogs around the yard with a pooper scooper trying to get her to drop the chipmunk she had caught. Owning a Min Pin is like having an eternal toddler. You must be alert all the time for what mischief they can get into. The dogs that I have owned must ‘earn’ their right to be free in the house. Even then they need su- pervision. One of my dogs I have now, Edgar, he will get into anything that has the slightest scent of food. My husband brings a canvas bag to work. If there is anything such as gum or mints in it, Edgar gets into it and brings his little ‘prize’ into his dog bed and eats it, leaving just the wrapping or container. They also do love to snuggle. It is not uncommon to find a Min Pin on the sofa, burrowed under a blanket. My house dogs sleep in bed, yes, under the covers. We have an array of ‘fleece sleeping bags’ around the house for them and they are happiest in one of these, even on a hot day. They do get along with other breeds of dogs and cats. I caution you to su- pervise their play, especially if their housemate is a larger breed, as the play session can be rambunctious >

40 • T op N otch T oys , M arch 2020

Powered by