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The Blues, Blessing or Curse

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~ Blue Miniature Pinschers in History ~

Blues, and fawns are by no means rare, they have been noted in our history from the first breed standard, and earliest writings with early blue Champions noted as early as 1900-1905. Blues also where not noted to have had skin problems on entry to the German Stud books in, 1880, as found through documented history of the breed. Noted by, " The Complete Miniature Pinscher " by Viva Leona Ricketts, copyright, 1957, "Blues, and chocolates, where said to be exotic and preferred in show". I don't expect many bald, skin diseased dogs would have been called exotic, and beautiful, nor preferred for show. "The breed's early high point in Germany was from 1900~1914. The Reh Pinscher was said to have found favor as no other toy breed in the day. A great dog show took place in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1912, with more then a thousand dogs at show. The Reh Pinscher was so great in numbers it was said to be marveled at". The respected responsible breeders of that day began to warn breeders to not put so much emphasis on, numbers, smallness, a delicate body, soft coat, as well as, color. But, pay more attention to body, well~shaped head, good temperament, harmony, and last, but not least, gait. Just as they are today. It wasn't until later, problems of poor coats of all the colors are noted, when the breed as a whole was thrown out of the German stud books for poor breeding due to popular fad by public demand, producing only pet quality. Thus over breeding of unfit specimens of all the colors, breeding just for color, or size, by some very unethical greedy breeders, many of which had no ethics in protecting any breed but their pocket. A handful of the dedicated responsible, true to love of the breed, gathered select quality Miniature Pinschers, of all colors. Culling strictly to standard,, and by keeping the lines pure, they brought the breed back from it's fallen state of grace to once again be accepted into the German Stud books, officially again in 1926. At that time they where also found in Switzerland, where they resembled the Great Dane in coloring, but markings were smaller, and the chief color of the harlequins was not the pure white, ( telling one there was also a few pure white spotted Miniature Pinschers as well ), but was of a bluish cast, more of a blue-gray. Information taken from, (The Complete Miniature Pinscher, Viva Leone Ricketts, copy right, 1957 ). I find this interesting, as, records show, that the Reh Pinscher was shown for the very first time in 1882, in, Aarburg, Switzerland. Thus, all the colors coming full circle sort to speak, in the breed's rightful return to the German Stud Books. More notes, and thoughts from "The Complete Miniature Pinscher" by Viva Leona Ricketts, copyright, 1957

*quote* "The first official dog shows were started as a sport in Germany in the year 1876, the German Pinscher Club was organized in 1895. At that time, the history of the Miniatures was illy kept, because, although all who love the breed will be loath to confess, the breed did not stand very high in public favor. The Miniature Pinscher was coarse; he came in all sizes, and mixtures of colors; he refused to act like the gentleman he is today, preferring odorous stables and rats and mice to the silken cushion in the great house of his owners ".

In German books, the breed is mentioned for the first time by name by Dr. H.G. Reinchenback, who in 1836 stated that the color was most often black, and that he believed the breed to be either the offspring of the Pug and Dachshund, or perhaps of the Italian Greyhound and Dachshund. (pg #9) *end quote*

In 1880 the breed was recognized officially and an official standard was included in the German studbook. In many respects the official German Standard of today is as it was then, especially as it states:

*quote* "The behavior is curious and bold like that of the Smooth Haired Terrier. He is always watchful, but avoiding useless noise. The head shows a stop to the nose, the eyes middle great, round, with sharp expression. The back is a little bit vault, the hair shall be as much as possible hard, the ears short and with soft hairs. Colors: Red-yellow, or gray-yellow; head, feet, and beneath the body lighter gray-white colored. Black, gray like iron or silver-gray, either one color or with yellow-brown or light-red markings at the eyes, muzzle, and legs, like it is on the Dachshund to be seen"

"They are also of one color, blond or dirty gray-white or white with black spots. Faults are: Muzzles which are like that of the Great Dane in shape, too edgeless, or to pointed" (pg #10-11)*end quote*

Blue Miniature Pinschers, & CDA (color dilute alopecia)

Though at this time inheritance is unclear. The condition CDA, is thought to be due to the interaction of different factors at the gene position for color. It is not determined by the genes at that locus, because not all dogs with color dilution develop coat problems. Also noted in recent studies, % occurrence, varies from breed to breed, species to species. Study is forth coming as to why, some breeds have more incidence in dilutes, while other breeds do not. Weimeraners as a breed are dd, all individuals are dilute, yet the disease is noted as having no incidence in the breed. Using Dobermans as an example, who are high for CDA (50-80%) is not a good reference for Miniature Pinschers as we are not related to the Doberman. The Doberman was bred later. However the incidence of CDA in the Dachshund (blue), and Italian Greyhound (blue) who we are noted to be related to, while it occurs in both those breeds, it is noted as occurring only rarely. The incidence of CDA in IG's is around 7% of the dilute population, as opposed to the 50-80% of affected dilute Dobermans. Recent studies now indicate dogs with lighter blue or fawn hair coats with CDA, usually start to show changes if they are, by 6 months of age, while in dogs with a darker steel blue coat, the changes may not be evident until 2 or 3 years of age. In general, if no changes are evident at 6 months, there is a less likely-hood it will ever occur at all. If a blue Miniature Pinscher displays something as simple as puppy-pimples, a rash, allergy or shot reaction, common to any one color of this breed, it is immediately often thought of as being CDA, when in truth, the animal in question is being falsely identified, and diagnosed. Once treated for the health problem, the coat returns. Over the years, responsible breeders with blue genes documented in their lines, are, and have been culling to clear the Miniature Pinscher CDA breed flaws in their lines, producing vibrant healthy fully coated blues/fawns, dilutes, and dominate colors,,,, blacks and reds. While some breeders of other colors displaying as well as passing on genetic CDA markers, has not. Producing dogs which can be shown, are seen in conformation classes with a weak coat, CDA genetic markers. I'm sure one of the long-time founders of The Miniature Pinscher Club of America, (MPCA), Hertha Von Der Kammer-Brugger, would find it a very sad time for the breed/Club. She was also the only, and best breeder of blues, and harlequins at the time. The kennel name was, Cinderella. With our advances in science we can continuously be educated to become a better breed then ever before. All ethical show breeders, lovers of the breed, must learn to sit down peacefully at the round table of discussions, while continuously, protecting, educating, and being educated on the best interest of our beloved breed. Removing anything forever, such as the blues, should never be done in haste, as the history of our earth has shown us. Removing anything permanently, forever, is far easier, then returning it to it's former place of grace.

There is a comment from the above mentioned book which sticks in my mind. She noted concerning this breeds history, as technology improved, she wondered what old pictures and new information would surface. We've technically come a long way. Who knows what wondrous mysteries of our past will one day be un-locked by the dedicated breed history treasure hunters of our future.

Kimberley Elmore Petross copyright 1999

To discover breed facts, care, training, history, and information on blue/dilute, founding Miniature Pinschers as well the breed today as a whole please visit,
 
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