|The Miniature Pinscher is a bold, spirited and lively dog. Vigorous and alert, the Miniature Pinscher fulfills all the duties of a larger watchdog; as a smooth-coated toy, the Miniature Pinscher is easy to keep in the smallest apartment or house.|
The Miniature Pinscher is part of the larger Pinscher & Schnauzer family. Among the forebearers of the Min Pin is a small dog with a rounded head and a smooth coat. This type of dog is visible in paintings dating as early as the 15th century and is known, through the study of canine skeletons and skulls, to have existed during the Stone Age.
The Miniature Pinscher owes its development to breeders in Germany. For centuries there have been dogs in Western and Central Europe that were especially suitable to exterminate rats and mice and made good watchdogs as well. These dogs were called Rattler or Pinscher.
While the small dog of the 15th century was surely one of its ancestors, the Min Pin in its present form was probably developed by carefully crossing small Rattlers with Terriers and Dachshunds. The Pinschers and Schnauzers arose from the varieties that existed around 1850: The Schnauzers arose from the wire-haired types; The German Pinscher, Miniature Pinscher and the now extinct Harlequin Pinscher arose from the smooth-haired types. The red and stag-red color is said to have come from Dachshund crosses and lead to the term Reh Pinscher. The color white, which was sought after for the Harlequin Pinscher but has remained taboo for the other breeds, is theorized as having come from early Terrier / Italian Greyhound crossings. Chocolate was not officially registered as a permitted color until 1900 (again not allowed by now according to the FCI-standard). Although there are many similarities, it is not very likely that the German breeds originate from the English “Manchester Terrier” and “Black and Tan Toy Terrier” breeds, nor the other way around.
It’s most likely that in both countries, independently of each other, a similar type of dog arose. Later on there probably has been some mixture of breeds. Black & Tan Pinschers had clear markings; the English breeds had brown markings with black blended into it. The occurrence of unclear markings on Pinschers and the presence of clear markings on the English breeds reveal that there has been a mixture of the breeds.
In earlier days the Pinscher (Bentschur, Pincher, Pintscher) used to be described as being an active ratter that however was not very friendly towards strangers. In those days Pinschers and Schnauzers used to be found mostly on farms. Also businessmen that owned one or several horses kept this type of dog to keep the stable vermit free. The dogs felt very much at home in the warm stables. The bigger Pinscher variety did its job in the stable and on the farmyard. The smaller variety, or Miniature Pinscher, was mostly active inside the farmhouse. Because of the continuous contact with horses, stablemen and coachmen these dogs grew up to be stable, self-confident and robust dogs that besides that were very alert as well. These characteristics definitely contributed to the fact that these breeds took the hearts of many dog lovers and breeders by storm.
|"Although small in appearance, the Miniature Pinscher certainly is not small in character. They act towards large dogs as if they were just as big."|
In 1895 Josef Berta from Germany took the initiative to found a Pinscher Club (P.S.K.). During the founding period about 4000 Miniature Pinschers were registered. An official Miniature Pinscher breed standard didn’t exist at that time. After the foundation of the P.S.K. the Pinscher types were split up into different Pinscher and Schnauzer breeds.
There was a development where the Miniature Pinscher was only kept as a pet and therefore it was desirable for the dog to be as small as possible. The ladies wanted to be able to take along the dog in their muff (handwarmer). The gentlemen wanted the dog to fit into their coat pocket. This resulted into wrong selection and this originally strong miniature dog became a spoiled lap dog, that chattered and shivered at the smallest breeze. At that time only few people realized that these poor little things didn’t have good survival rates.
In 1904 German dog specialist Richard Strebel warned about the breeding of undersized Miniature Pinschers: The Miniature Pinscher needs to be a reduced image of the German Pinscher. If one tries to exaggerate the dwarfing then faults like round skulls, round bulging eyes, short muzzles and vulnerability to diseases, will always occur.
Josef Berta also watched this development with great concern. In 1906 he published his ideal breed type in a magazine. He wanted a Miniature Pinscher with an elegant head, square build with a straight front, slightly angulated hindquarters and a muscled neck. In short: a harmonious total image. He definitely didn’t want apple shaped heads with pug eyes and a beak-like muzzle that looked like it was attached to the head, instead he wanted a head with a strongly developed muzzle. Josef Berta was the first judge that wanted Miniature Pinschers to be placed on the ground when they were shown at dog shows instead of being judged in their owners arms. He judged the dog in standing position, its topline and its movement. This way he easily found the weaknesses of the lap dogs. In spite of hostile reactions from breeders, who didn’t want to admit that those small denigrated poor souls didn’t really provide an aesthetic appearance, Josef Berta continued his chosen path with farsightedness. Typical draw-backs of a dwarfed appearance like round skulls, short pointed muzzles, big bulging eyes, etc. were just as undesirable as anxious characters.
|"At dog shows the Miniature Pinscher should show itself off naturally and not, as is common with many Terrier breeds, be stacked by the exhibitor."|
IN OUR CENTURY
Breeders Ernst Kniss from Leipzig and Georg Mohr were the first to copy Berta’s breeding goal and bred, out of dogs that were selected with an expert’s view, several excellent dogs. In a short space of time kennel "Klein Paris" of Kniss stood on top with beautiful Black & Tan Miniature Pinschers. Kennel "Rheingold" of Mohr bred deer red Miniature Pinschers of high quality.
At the beginning of the 1920s the Miniature Pinscher became extremely popular: in Germany between 1200 and 1300 Miniature Pinschers were registered each year. As a result of the breed becoming too popular, the average quality strongly decreased. Of course also excellent Miniature Pinschers were born in the 1920s and 1930s. They are mostly descendants of the old "stars". Particularly the excellently heriting red-colored "Stern van Affentor" (born in 1921, breeder Schott) and his famous son "Maingolds Diamant" are of great influence.
After 1925 the popularity also dropped gradually. In the 1950s about 300 Miniature Pinschers per year were bred in Germany. Until 1970, that number doubled, but since 1970 the number of registered Miniature Pinschers drops steadily. And again, it appears that a decline in popularity entails advances in quality. In the course of the 1980s, the quality of the Miniature Pinscher in Germany improved considerably. Unfortunately, that was only the case with the reddish-brown colored ones. With cross-breeding between different colors of the breed, it happens that reddish-brown Miniature Pinschers with an unclear color are born. The German breeders found that very undesirable so they stopped applying such crossings. Unfortunately, because of this a significant difference in types emerged. Many Black & Tan Miniature Pinschers still had bad heads and bulging eyes. The body structure also left much to be desired. Meanwhile this gradually begins to change. If we currently see a beautiful Black & Tan Miniature Pinscher at a German dog show, then it usually originates from The Netherlands or Belgium. In case it is a top quality German bred Black & Tan Miniature Pinscher, then the dog almost always has reddish-brown ancestors.
|"For the Miniature Pinscher is doesn’t matter where he goes. Whether this is participating in dog shows, attending obedience classes or going for a walk in the woods, matters little to him as long as the time involved is spent with his owner."|
In 1919 the “Vereniging van Fokkers en Liefhebbers van gladharige Dwergpinschers” (V.F.L.D.) was founded in The Netherlands. Unfortunately, during the war, the entire archive of the club has been lost in a fire. It is known that particularly judge Schwiep, who has been the clubs secretary for years, bred high quality Miniature Pinschers under the kennel name "v. Ukkie's Heim". Most notably in the 1920s and 1930s, he was active as a breeder and he did not hesitate to pay large amounts of money for German top dogs. In his kennel stayed several offspring of the aforementioned "Stern van Affentor", like "Afra v. Kinzdorf", "Rickes Goldnes Mainz", "Maingold's Brilliant" and especially "Erlkönig Heinzelmännchen" which made a big mark on the Miniature Pinscher population in the Netherlands in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Also the efforts of Mrs. F. Visser van Beek, who bred under the kennel name "Dotje's", certainly haven’t been without merit. She regularly made use of the German import males from Mr. Schwiep.
In the 1930s and also during the war, and the subsequent years up to about 1950, there were still Miniature Pinschers bred in our country that emerged from the aforementioned top dogs. Well known kennel names were: "Vita Nova" (H. Handels), "v. Adelheim" (J.C. vd. Laak), "v. Charlois" (Mrs. G. Vrijenhoek), "Stockton" (J. Rijnbende), "Mignon's" (J. Scheepers), "v. Hügelicht" (F. Elshout), "Eigenheim" (A. Lestrade), "v.d. Heydenpark" (J. Burgemeester) en "v.d. Trouwe Vriendjes" (fam. Massink).
From about 1950, in a period in which the Miniature Pinscher was not very popular in Germany, a true Miniature Pinscher craze occurred in our country. The Miniature Pinscher became extremely popular; the number of registrations per year (in particular of the reddish-brown colored ones) rose spectacularly. In 1950 there were only 149 Miniature Pinscher registrations added to the Dutch Stud Book (NHSB), this number rose to 406 in 1955 and to more than 1100 in 1960 and 1961. As with any breed that suddenly becomes popular, growth in quantity and loss of quality went hand in hand. There were still a number of motivated breeders that bred excellent dogs, but unfortunately at that time the following could be said about a large number of Miniature Pinschers: Small, fat and highly dangerous. Many of those aggressive dogs had the appearance that German judge Berta already despised so much at the beginning of the century.
Ads where Miniature Pinschers were offered that weren’t even twenty centimeters tall, were no exception. Sometimes it was stated that shipment of the puppy could happen in a cigar box...
From 1962 on, the number of registrations dropped (partly due to the ban on cropping that was introduced in 1963) until 1971 (408 registrations). In 1972 there was a one-time revival and about 800 Miniature Pinschers were registered again. Since that time, the number of registrations decreased ever further. In 1997 only 73 Miniature Pinschers were added to the NHSB. It’s remarkable that, over the years, the Miniature Pinscher craze has had less effect on the popularity of the Black & Tan colored ones than on the popularity of the reddish-brown colored ones.
In the mid-1970s the average quality in our country was far from good. In the late 1970s and early 1980s there has been a significant improvement in quality under the influence of imports from England and Sweden. In the mid-1980s a large number of imports from Germany and Israel followed. At this time the registered Miniature Pinschers in our country are of an averagely good quality. In the population of reddish-brown Miniature Pinschers you can find a great influence from particularly Germany and Israel. Under the current population of Black & Tan Miniature Pinschers the Israeli influence is much smaller, while the English and Swedish influences are more present.
Much to the grief of the serious breeders there seems to emerge another craze at this moment, in which people are looking for the tiny Miniature Pinschers with all the associated draw-backs of a dwarfed appearance. We regularly see those kind of dogs on the street. It must be said that these are always dogs without a pedigree.
While Miniature Pinschers have been documented as arriving in the United States with German immigrants in the early 1900s, it was not until March 1925 that the first Miniature Pinscher was registered in the United States with the American Kennel Club. This dog, a black and rust colored female, was known as Asta von Sandreuth. The breeder was J. Bauer, of whom later another four Miniature Pinschers (one male and three females) went to the United States. Two were registered as being wolf-gray, one was pepper and salt, and the fourth was black and rust. As the breed increased in popularity, in 1929 the Miniature Pinscher Club of America was founded. Unlike the German club, the MPCA was solely dedicated to the Miniature Pinscher. The German standard was used as a guideline. At dog shows the breed was first designated as a member of the Terrier group.
Later it was reclassified as a Toy breed (small companion dogs).
The breed standard used by breeders during the early 1930s was adapted from a translation of the German standard. The initial truly American standard was not adapted until 1935 and was on some points significantly different from the original German standard. A remarkable difference is, that the American standard made mention of the Miniature Pinscher being a smaller variety of the Doberman Pinscher. This certainly wasn’t true, but was described this way because of the popularity of the Doberman. From 1950 on, all mention of a likeness with the Doberman was eliminated from the standard.
The coat colorations permitted under the first standard reflect the acceptance of solid yellow and blue. After 1950 these colors were considered a fault. From 1950 on, the Manchester Terrier “thumb marks” were not accepted anymore. Also added to the standard was that white spots on feet or forechest were not to exceed one-half inch in diameter (1 inch = 2,54 cm).
The Miniature Pinscher standard defines with words, as clearly as possible, the structure of the breed. It is up to the breeders to try to breed dogs to fit that standard. However, as with most standards there are allowances for different interpretations of breed type. Some American breeders believe the breed should be sturdy and chunky, while others desire a sleekness of body. The sleek Miniature Pinscher is the type usually seen in the United States. Sometimes, if you have two different types in the ring, they almost look like two different breeds. The middle way is often the best interpretation of the standard. Definition of head style is also subject to various interpretations. How full should the muzzle be? How wide may the skull be?
The movement, which should be hackney-like according to the American standard, also makes a lot of confusion. The description can also be interpreted in various ways. The hackney-like front action of the American Miniature Pinscher could be the result of crossings with Italian Greyhounds.
In 1949, Lionel Hamilton-Renwick, one of the earliest English supporters of the breed, imported two females from Continental Europe. Later he also bought three reddish-brown Miniature Pinscher females, that were mated and would be whelping in the quarantine period. Unfortunately the youngest female already died before the litter was born. The other two females both had a miscarriage. One of these females lost an eye in quarantine, which set up an infection from which she died. The male "Birling Tommy van Charlois" that had won several championships in Belgium and The Netherlands, was transferred to England. This male became the ancestor of most English Miniature Pinschers.
After Lionel Hamilton-Renwick, soon several other enthusiasts imported Miniature Pinschers from both Continental Europe and the United States.
From England several Miniature Pinschers were exported to Australia. As with England, soon other Miniature Pinschers were imported from the United States, England and Germany. Because the breed was very popular in Australia in the 1970s, many new imports were coming from England; fineness of bone was creeping into the breed and also faulty temperament was becoming evident in some lines.
A brood female was imported from Germany. This female, who was excellent in both temperament and strength of bone, mated an Australian-bred champion. The breeding results appeared to be of top quality. The descendants of the German line also seemed to be better capable of whelping and raising their puppies, than the Australians were used to from their Miniature Pinschers.
The development of the breed in Israel is based on the blending of lines from more than one country. The Miniature Pinscher from Germany had an excellent head, strong bones, a good bite and an attractive color, but the body was too long. In 1980 Israeli breeders imported a male and female from the United States. These had a short body, but their heads, color and especially their bite caused breeding problems. Several other dogs were imported from Germany. A second try to blend the German and American lines resulted in the development of good-looking dogs with excellent bodies and good heads. However, in each litter there were still puppies born with a large range of sizes.
|"Although they have a short coat without undercoat, they can keep themselves reasonably warm in the winter. As long as it is not extremely cold, they love to go outside to walk or play."|
Nowadays, breeders can easily import and export dogs. Planes are fast and therefore very suitable for the transportation of live cargo. However, it is also important to know the different standards that exist because, if one starts breeding with an imported dog, it is important to realize how differences between those standards may effect the breeding program.
In the Netherlands, we adhere to the FCI standard that was set by Germany. The American Kennel Club and The Kennel Club (England) each have their own breed standard that differs in some respects from the FCI standard.
General Appearance: The breed standard desires a robust, lively dog with a height at withers of 25 to 30 cm, that is the exact replica in miniature of the Old German Standard Pinscher. The Miniature Pinscher must show none of the shortcomings and faults commonly found in other toy breeds. The temperament of the Miniature Pinscher corresponds also to that of the Old German Standard Pinscher, perhaps even more animated and spirited. Vigorous and alert, the Miniature Pinscher fulfills all the duties of a larger watchdog; as a smooth-coated toy, the Miniature Pinscher is easy to keep in the smallest apartment or house.
US / GB: There is no reference in the American or English standard to the, in these countries rare, Old German Standard Pinscher; also no mention of the uses of the breed. The American standard mentions that the Miniature Pinscher has hackney-like action.
The English standard mentions a “precise hackney gait”.
Head: The head is strong and elongated, without having a pronounced occiput. The overall length (tip of the nose to the occiput) and length of back (from the withers to tail) should be 1:2 in ratio. The bridge of the nose, running parallel to a line extrapolated from the unwrinkled, smooth, flat forehead, possesses a very slight but distinct stop. The jaw musculature must be strong, but the cheeks should not be prominent. The deep muzzle ends in a blunt wedge. The nose is full and black. The lips are dark and tight-fitting to the jaw.
US / GB: Head in correct proportion to the body. It’s not mentioned what the correct proportion should be.
Teeth: The complete scissors bite is strong and firmly closing. The teeth must be pure, sparkling white.
US / GB: The English standard doesn’t mention white teeth. The American standard only mentions a scissors bite.
Ears: Set on high, V-shaped, folded down close to the head or ears must be small and erect whereby both ears must be held uniformly erect.
US / GB: The American standard only allows erect ears (cropped or uncropped). Cropped ears are not allowed in England.
Eyes: Dark, medium sized, oval and directed forward. The lower eyelids are tight, so that the conjunctiva are not visible.
US / GB: The English standard doesn’t mention that the eyes should be oval. Neither of the two standards mentions the conjunctiva.
Neck: Strong with beautiful arch. Should be neither too short nor too thick. The skin around the throat is tight with no sags, wrinkles or folds.
US / GB: The English standard mentions the neck should be graceful; the American standard desires a muscular neck.
Body: Chest is moderately wide with flat ribs and oval cross-section. Brisket extends to the elbows. The forechest is formed by the sternum, which extends beyond the joint of the shoulder blade and upper arm. The underbody rises gradually towards the rear with a moderate truck up at the loin. The short distance from the last pair of ribs to the hip bone gives the dog a compact appearance. The total length of body is approximately the same as the height at the withers. The back is short and slightly sloping. The topline is not straight, but shows a very slight curve from the strong, first vertebra of the withers, over the back to a slightly rounded croup and base of the tail.
US / GB: The English standard mentions a straight back. The American standard mentions that females may be slightly longer.
Tail: The tail set is high and is held erect. Must be docked to first three vertebral joints.
US / GB: United States: Length in proportion to size of body. England: Short.
Forequarters: Slanted shoulder blades and upper arms are well angulated and flat, but well muscled. Forelegs are straight when viewed from the side. Elbows close to the body.
US / GB: Moderately angulated forequarters to permit the desired hackney movement in these countries. The American standard mentions that declaws should be removed from both front and hind legs.
Hindquarters: Thighs are well-muscled; hocks are markedly angulated.
US / GB: England desires medium bone.
Feet: Small, round and closely knit, arched toes (cat-like paws) with dark toenails and tough, hard pads.
US / GB: No real difference.
Coat: Smooth, short, dense and lustrous, closely adhering to the body without any bald spots.
US / GB: England mentions that hair forming ridge on any part of head, body or legs is highly undesirable.
Color: Self colored (solid red in various shades to stag red) or bi-colored (black with red, respectively brown markings). Dark, rich, sharply defined markings, the so-called tan, are desirable for bi-colored dogs. The markings are evenly distributed as follows: at the cheeks, lips, lower jaw, above both eyes, at the throat, on the sternum as two triangular-shaped twin spots, on the lower half of the forelegs, the feet, inside the hindlegs and the vent region.
US / GB: The stag red color (red with intermingling of black hairs) is allowed in the United States. Chocolate color with rust-red markings is also allowed. In England, the colors blue with tan and chocolate with tan are also allowed. In the United States, white on any part of the dog is allowed as long as the spot doesn’t exceed one-half inch (1,3 cm) in its longest dimension. In England, slight white on the chest is permissible but undesirable.
Size: Height at withers is 25 to 30 cm.
US / GB: In England, the size is the same. In the United States, Miniature Pinschers are allowed to be up to 32 cm tall.
Faults: Clumsy or light in build, too low or too high on leg, underline tucked up, heavy or round skull, sparrow head, apple head, wrinkles on forehead, ears set low or badly cropped, light, too small or too large eyes, too prominent cheekbones, throatiness. Over- or undershot, short, pointed or narrow muzzle, too long, tucked up or soft back, roach back, croup falling away, elbows turning out, hocks turning out, straight or open hocked hindlegs, long feet, pacing movement, thin coat, roans; black trace on the back, dark saddle and lightened or pale coat.
US / GB: The American standard allows roans, a dark saddle and/or a black trace on the back. The English standard allows a lightened or pale coat (blue).
The most significant differences are found in the color, but especially in the movement. The in the United States and England so desired hackney movement is considered a fault according to the FCI standard.
Since the colors that are permitted by the breed standard may differ per country, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the effects of color genetics in a breeding program.
The following conclusions come from scientific studies:
The mating of two black and tan Miniature Pinschers would produce a litter in which all pups would be black and tan. If both parents carry the gene for chocolate and tan, one chocolate and tan pup could be expected (according to the law of averages). If both parents carry the gene for blue and tan, one blue and tan pup could be expected.
The mating of two reddish-brown Pinschers, whereby both dogs carry the gene for black and tan, would produce a litter in which approximately one black and tan pup could be expected. If one of the reddish-brown parents doesn’t carry the gene for black and tan, then all pups would be reddish-brown. The mating of a reddish-brown Miniature Pinscher and a black and tan would produce a litter of reddish-brown pups; however, if the reddish-brown parent carried the gene for black and tan, then this dog, when mated with a black and tan dog, would produce a litter in which half of the pups would be reddish-brown and the other half would be black and tan (according to the law of averages).
In Germany, ear cropping became illegal effective January 1, 1987. In our country it has been disallowed since the 1960s. In England and Australia, no cropped dog is allowed to compete at a show under Kennel Club rules. These rules also eliminate cropped import dogs from competing at shows. In a number of countries, including the United States, cropping is still allowed. A number of American breeders would probably not crop ears if the American standard would allow V-shaped ears that fold over. In practice, it appears to be hard in the United States to reach the top with an uncropped dog. The judges are more used to the image of the cropped Pinscher and therefore prefer cropped dogs over dogs with natural ears. We also had these problems for several years in The Netherlands.
Fortunately, this has changed in the last years, although there are still judges who are not yet used to natural ears or simply do not want to get used to it.
Although small in appearance, the Miniature Pinscher certainly is not small in character. They act towards large dogs as if they were just as big.
In the past, Miniature Pinschers and Great Danes were often depicted together. Dog club “Canida" (Venlo and surroundings) still uses this combination of dogs in their club logo.
The Miniature Pinscher is eager to learn and intelligent by nature. At dog shows the Miniature Pinscher should show itself off naturally and not, as is common with many Terrier breeds, be stacked by the exhibitor. A Miniature Pinscher can be both a delight and challenge to show. Often they do whatever they want, whenever they want to.
The Miniature Pinscher does make a good, loving pet; with or without a show career. For the Miniature Pinscher it doesn’t matter where he goes. Whether this is participating in dog shows, attending obedience classes or going for a walk in the woods, matters little to him as long as the time involved is spent with his owner.
Always observant, the Miniature Pinscher closely watches all actions of his beloved people. His eagerness to be liked is amusing. Especially after he has played a naughty trick, he will do his best to let the storm pass by. If he has the feeling however that his people don’t give him enough attention and love, then he can be extremely offended and therefore isolate himself from his people until they have convinced him that he is very important.
His big ideal is to watch over everything that he loves; it doesn’t matter whether that be the house, the car, the cat or the children of the family. He challenges one and all who wish to enter his kingdom on any terms other than his own. If the Miniature Pinscher is brought up well however, then this will be limited to a warning and he will tolerate the stranger and maybe even greet him friendly, when ordered to.
Because of his small size and playful character, the Miniature Pinscher is an ideal play pal for children. He loves to cuddle and play. In a family with small children it is necessary that the Miniature Pinscher has a place to pull back to, that he can call his own and where he can play with his own toys without being disturbed. Towards strange children he most often will adopt a reserved attitude.
If a Miniature Pinscher isn’t socialized properly and has almost no contact with other people, then there is a risk that he becomes very suspicious towards strangers. If a Miniature Pinscher lives with a single who doesn’t have much contact with other people, he often may start to exhibit overprotective behaviour and won’t allow anyone to touch his master. In this case a Miniature Pinscher can get so attached to one person that, if this beloved person dies, he can die out of grief.
Miniature Pinschers generally are strong, robust dogs. Usually they have a good appetite and lots of energy. They are easy to take care for. They shed very little and, because of their short hair, the Miniature Pinscher is easy to groom. Brushing is hardly needed; polishing the Miniature Pinscher’s coat with a rough cloth (Terry towel) is sufficient. The Pinscher only needs to take a bath if he made himself extremely dirty, or to prevent skin parasites. Although they have a short coat without undercoat, they can keep themselves reasonably warm in the winter. As long as it is not extremely cold, they love to go outside to walk or play.
|Source: December 1998 issue of "Onze Hond"; article written by Mrs. P.M.P. Hartgers-Wagener; translated by John de Vugt.|