Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I have a "thing" for miniature pinschers. My own dog, Taco, was adopted from a Rescue in Belle Chasse, Louisiana in 2001. I currently volunteer at the Montgomery County Texas Animal Shelter, and my addiction to these funny, energetic little dogs is well-known.
So far I've fostered three min-pins--all red! Dancer was oversized and skittish, while Pudge was very typey but as round as a Tootsie Roll. Rusty, my current boy, could be Taco's long lost brother, except he's bigger.
Miniature Pinschers are great little dogs. They are NOT related to Doberman Pinschers, though. The American standard dictates that they stand no shorter than 10 inches and no more than 12 inches at the shoulder and weigh no more than 12 pounds. Three of these dogs (Taco, Rusty and Dancer) violate the 12-12 rule. They are shown in America with cropped ears and docked tails.
Min-pins can have red, stag red (red with black hairs), chocolate brown, or black coats, with black or beige leg markings and eye-brow kissy-spots. White markings are not permitted. When you see min-pins in the Shelter, docked tails indicate that the dog came from a breeder. Cropped ears are required on show dogs, but many pet-quality min-pins have natural ears.
Min-pins are busy-bodies with a sly sense of humor. Some can be nippy, but most are big cuddle-bugs. Most love to sleep with their people. They are confident beyond reason, so you have to be consistent with training or they will run your life. Bred in Germany, miniature pinschers are among one of the older breeds. Originally, they were used in stables and kitchens as a vermin dog ("pinscher" is German for terrier). My dog, Taco, has a very high prey drive and kills rats and moles. He spends a lot of time in our back yard hunting.
Min-pins are great travelers and do well in multiples (they are sort of like Lay's Potato Chips). They are wicked-smart escape artists and can run like blitzen. The smaller ones need to be watched around little children--min-pins don't hestitate to snap if roughly handled. However, they are great clowns and will make up their own tricks to entertain you, especially if treats are involved. If you've never been owned by a min-pin, you're missing out on a world of jumpy, barky fun.