Fall is good time to adopt a pet

October 15, 2003

According to the Humane Society of the United States, October is "Adopt a Shelter Dog Month." So if you are considering getting a dog for the family, or replacing your beloved pet that has just expired, check the various animal shelters or breed rescue groups before searching for a breeder. You will probably save a life and still get just what you had in mind.

There is a new breed recognized in the United States by the American Kennel Club. Actually, it is a well-known breed in Europe, but wasn't imported to this country until 1982. It is the German pinscher.

The breed's column in the AKC Gazette, October issue, describes this dog as "an ancient breed of high energy that is very intelligent." It was established from the standard schnauzer stock and "is considered the schnauzer's 'uncoated' version."

However, the description of the coat color is different. Whereas the standard schnauzer can be pepper and salt or solid black, the German pinscher has four acceptable colors: black with red/tan; all shades of red; blue with red/tan; and Isabella (fawn).


Both breeds are similar in size, (17 to 20 inches at the shoulder); both breeds are noted as good family dogs, vivacious with lots of energy. Standard schnauzers are not considered "roamers" in that, if they get out of their pen or yard, they usually don't go far and will come back at a whistle. There is no such notation concerning the German pinscher in this respect. Both breeds are listed as natural protectors of home and family, but are easily trained to quiet down on command. Both breeds are referred to as outstanding performance dogs.

However, standard schnauzers are considered easily trained, whereas the German pinscher's description states: "Obedience training is a must. If the owner is too casual about training, the strong willed, highly intelligent, independent German pinscher will not be a good choice as a family dog."

Both breeds compete in conformation, obedience, agility and tracking, and both have representatives with advanced titles in these sports. Standard schnauzers are earning herding titles as well.

Since I own standard schnauzers, I am most interested in this new addition, especially since the breed is smooth coated like a Doberman pinscher or a miniature pinscher, a real plus as far as grooming time is concerned.

Talking of grooming, the Giant Schnauzers column in the same issue of the AKC Gazette is titled "Happy Paws." It covers the proper foot care that any dog needs from its owners. It is important to keep the nails clipped or filed short so the toes will not splay outward because the nails have no other place to go. (Sometimes the nails will curl under and pierce the bottom of the foot if they are not cared for.)

I find that keeping the hair trimmed between the pads helps keep mud and snow balls from being tracked into the house. Also, watch for excessive licking of the feet, it may be an injury or an infection that needs attention.|10/12/03***

Central Kentucky News Articles