Breed of the Month–the DEVO mix.

1October 2014

For this month’s Breed of the Month, I wanted to highlight our new puppy, DEVO, who is a mix of Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua.  Although both of these breeds have been in previous posts, I felt the need to redo them with a fresh reminder of the breeds in my own home.  DEVO is currently 5 months old.

DEVO definitely has the Miniature Pinscher coloring, but his legs and eyes have more of a Chihuahua look.  As some of you may know, I am a HUGE fan of mutts!  Even though we do the Breed of the Month focusing on Purebred Breeds, I highly recommend adopting a mutt of several breeds for your next dog.  Why?  The fact is…ONE IN FOUR purebred dogs will have some sort of genetic health problem.  Mutts tend to be healthier over all, and usually also tend to have less behavioral problems.  So I present to you, our newest pack member, DEVO…

Since he looks most like the Miniature Pinscher, let’s start with that…


Miniature Pinscher

Color:  Black with rust markings, stage red, solid red, chocolate or fawn with rust markings.
Height:  10-12.5 inches
Weight:  9-13 lbs
Life Span:  15 years or more

Breed Health Concerns:  Epilepsy, heart problems, patellar lunation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, eye problems, cervical disk problems.

Coat:  Dense, close, smooth, shiny, straight, short
Country of Origin:  Germany

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

Although this breed looks like a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher, the two breeds are actually not related.  The Miniature Pinscher comes from breeds including:  Italian Greyhounds, terriers, Dachshunds.  The breed comes from the word “pinscher,” which refers to the way the dogs actually attack vermin.  The dog literally pinches his prey.  The “Min Pin” is the top toy breed in Italy, Holland, and Denmark.

It is important to properly socialize this breed and to not allow him to get too spoiled.  The Min Pin is a fun-loving, self-assured dog that bonds very quickly with his family.  This breed does enjoy using his voice and can become a real behavior problem if not properly trained and managed.

The Miniature Pinscher enjoys getting exercise by accompanying his owners anywhere, as much as possible.  He also enjoys draining mental and physical energy with obedience and agility.  A short walk each day will be enough exercise for this toy breed.

Because DEVO is still a puppy, he has plenty of energy and still needs lots of exercise (usually followed by a nap).  DEVO definitely has the characteristics of following me around.  He is always on my heel following me around the house or out on the leash.  DEVO has also learned to enjoy car rides and meeting new people and dogs wherever we are.  He is a very social dog.

The Min Pin coat is easily cared for with occasional brushing and rub downs.  Keep the face clean.
DEVO does shed, but brushing does very little to help the process at this point.  This is typically true of most puppies of any breed.  We are currently brushing him to get him used to the process of being groomed so that when the brush will actually do some good, he is already used to it and sits well.

This little dog is athletic and able; he does not need to be carried around everywhere he goes.  In fact, it is better for the dog to walk alongside his owner than to be carried by him.  Socialization is important and training from puppyhood is key.  Short, reward-based, and motivational training sessions are best.
As is stats above, you should let your puppy walk, not carry them.  This is very important for small dogs.  Many small dogs can easily develop fear or anxious behaviors (its hard to be small and have everyone under the sun come right up to your face).  Dogs must learn how to be without being constantly coddled or protected by their owners.

DEVO is very good in training.  He is very food motivated and will do anything for that reward.  We have kept his training sessions short and sweet, and DEVO has already learned all of Level One dog training items.

Now the other half…Chihuahua…

Color:  Any color, short coat any color, long coat solid-colored markings/ solid color
Height:  6-9 inches
Weight:  Up to 6 lbs
Life Span:  15 years or more

Breed Health Concerns:  eye problems, patellar lunation, seizure, collapsing trachea, hypoglycemia, pulmonary stenosis. 

Coat:  Long and short coat types, both types can be double or single coat…smooth, soft, silky
Country of Origin:  Mexico

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

The Chihuahua is the smallest and oldest breed on the American continent.  It is believed that travelers from Spain brought the beginnings of this breed, mixing them with hairless breeds, making the Chihuahua of today.  The Chihuahua is one of the most popular toy breeds today. 

The Chihuahua is affectionate, lively, playful, and alert.  He will bond quickly with his family and must be properly socialized so strangers will not intimidate and frighten him. 

Small and easy to transport, the Chihuahua is a favorite choice for many Americans.  It is important that even these small dogs still learn rules, boundaries, and basic manners.  Many people let these little dogs get away with a lot of bad behaviors because they think it looks cute or funny coming from such a small little dog.  It’s not cute, and it’s not funny!  It is very important to teach these dogs proper manners and socialization.  I have also found this breed to be very susceptible to anxiety.  The Chihuahua owner would do well to create a nice calm home life and give their dog plenty of regular exercise to keep this from becoming a problem.

The Chihuahua can be prone to short little bursts of energy.  An easy daily walk and following his owners around are usually enough exercise for this breed.  It is important to give the Chihuahua several little play sessions each day.

DEVO enjoys following us and the other dogs around and loves to play (then take a nap).

The shorthaired Chihuahua is easily kept clean with regular brushing and bathing.  The longhaired version needs more attention, including trimming.  All Chihuahuas must be kept clean around their eyes and ears.
DEVO has Chihuahua eyes and we must be sure to keep them clean and free from gunk.  

Positive, fun, upbeat training is necessary to keep the Chihuahua’a attention.  This breed can be difficult to potty training.  Never use punishment or harsh tones with this breed.  Socialization is especially important to keep the Chihuahua comfortable in all situations throughout his lifetime.

Although we are doing well with potty training, we have had some set-backs with DEVO.  But we are continuing to be consistent in taking him out and rewarding for proper elimination.  He is doing very well overall and I expect to be fully potty trained very soon.