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Judging the Min Pin

Judging the Min Pin

Judging the Min Pin dog breed should not be very difficult if you can understand several key points.

It is a real treat to see a dog or bitch that moves with the proper gait and an outgoing personality. Keep in mind the traits mentioned at the beginning of the standard, which are: hackney-like action, fearless animation and complete self-possession.

The gait seems to be the misunderstood trait. The Miniature Pinscher Club of America describe the movement like this: “The forelegs and hind legs move parallel, with feet turning neither in or out. The action is a high-stepping, reaching, free and easy gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body, the foot bends at the wrist. The dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear.

The head and tail are carried high.” I feel the gait is compromised when the gait has a high lift; but elbows are out and feet are crossing. Many times the dogs are held back to show off the lift and the dog goes nowhere, showing no smooth driving rear.

Some judges believe that since the Min Pin is the only breed with the hackney-like action that if they lift and break at the wrist, they should be rewarded even if they are not sound. I believe that you go with soundness even if the lift and break are moderate.

Fearless animation and complete self-possession. Never reward shyness such a tail and ears down. Ears sometimes are laid back while gaiting which is not unusual. The Min Pin comes from a terrier background and should be alert at all times, which sometimes makes for a very short attention span. Loud noises may distract and startle them, but they should recover almost immediately, except for puppies and they should be allowed some latitude. It is normal for them to bounce or jump over tapes. They should not be expected to maintain gait. To keep this animation, breeder’s try not to correct puppies too often in the ring.

Correct balance is very important in the Min Pin. The Head should be in proportion to the body with no indication of coarseness. The bite must be scissor. Eyes should be full, slightly oval, clear and dark even to true black, including eye rims, chocolates should be self colored. Ears set high, standing erect base to tip, cropped or uncropped and should be judged equally. Too short a neck is a problem in our breed. It really affects balance.

The top line can be level to slightly sloping with the croup level with top line and the tail set high and
held erect.

If you need to re-examine a dog, have the handler place it back on the table. Do not touch the dog on the floor.

The disqualifications for a Min Pin are: size—under 10 inches or over 12 1/2 inches. If you are in doubt, please measure them. Color—Any color other than: Black/Rust, Chocolate/Rust, Red and Stag Red. White hair on any part of the dog which exceeds 1/2 inch in its longest dimension. Thumb prints—many times Judges are confused by the thumb print. It must be a patch of black or chocolate hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg. An extension of the black or chocolate from the upper leg to the wrist or foot is a miss mark not a disqualification.

Problems I see in the Min Pin breed right now are: length of neck, soft top lines, low tail sets, large feet, lack of reach and drive and shyness.

Traditionally, the Min Pin is shown standing free. A correct self-possessed Min Pin needs no help from the handler when standing free.

To sum up you are looking for a well balanced, sturdy, compact, short-coupled smooth-coated dog with fearless temperament and a hackney-like action, truly the king of Toys.

Judging the Min Pin
Miniature Pinschers, aka the “King of Toys”.

Photos taken from