Harlequin Pinscher

The Harlequin Pinscher (also known as Merle Miniature Pinscher, Merle/Piebald Miniature Pinscher, Piebald Miniature Pinscher, and/or Brindle Miniature Pinscher) is a small dog originating in Germany. The dog is in fact a Miniature Pinscher with a unique colouring. These dogs first came onto the scene in the late 19th century after the Miniature Pinscher were recognized as a separate breed in 1880 and first breed standard was established in 1895. The standard described the dog should have Red/Yellow, Gray-Yellow, blue/tan, Black, Gray like iron or Silver Gray, either one color or with yellow-brow or light red marking at the eyes, muzzle and legs. Of one color, blond, or dirty gray-white or white with black spots.

The Harlequin Pinscher (also known as was a piebald, Merle piebald, piebald variety of Miniature Pinscher. It is believed that these unique coloured dogs were the result of cross breeding of Miniature Pinscher with either some breed of merle hound or Merle herding dog but its exact ancestors are still unknown. These unique dogs not only differed in colouring with traditional Miniature Pinschers but also had different, more laid back kind of temperament. In 1920, the Harlequin colouring was declared a disqualification for Miniature Pinscher and removed from the German Breed Standards and was forced to start a new breed which became known as "Harlequin Pinscher". The Original Harlequin Pinscher breed standard established in 1923 called for it to be 12-14 inches tall being 22-26 pounds in weight. The color variations were Harlequin on a white, gray or black background having a black or self-colored nose according to coat. It has broad skull that tapers to the rather long muzzle. Eyes are brown, black, blue, green or bi coloured. Nose is black, brown or blue. This rare dog stands between 12-14 inches and weighs between 22-26 lbs.Due to lack of knowledge on breeders part, genetic defects caused a decline in the breed numbers.

This breed is very rare and efforts are underway to revive this unique colouring dog. Breeders are crossing standard Mini Pins with breeding stock with dominant merle gene to produce a more healthy Harlequin Pinscher. Currently, the Harlequin Pinscher is NOT recognized by AKC or any other major club.

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