A little history regarding the "White" and "Parti" colors
The earliest records surrounding development of the Miniature Schnauzer in Germany come from the late 1800s. They were originally bred to be farm dogs in Germany, to keep the rats and other vermin out of the barn. In the breed's earliest stages, several small breeds were employed in crosses to bring down the size of the well-established Standard Schnauzer, with the goal of creating a duplicate in miniature. Crossing to other breeds, such as the Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher, had the side effect of introducing colors that were not considered acceptable to the ultimate goal — and as breeders worked towards the stabilization of the gene pool, mismarked particolors and white puppies were removed from breeding programs.
The earliest recorded Miniature Schnauzer was in 1888, and the first exhibition was in 1899. With their bold courage, the Miniature Schnauzer was originally used for guarding herds, small farms, and families. As time passed, they were also used to hunt rats, because they appeared to have a knack for it, and its small size was perfect to get into tight places to catch them.
The White Miniature Schnauzer:
White Miniature Schnauzers have been in existence for over 100 years ever since the breed's early beginnings in the late 1800s. They were not "re-introduced" by crossing to Westies as some people state, but are simply a product of the early cross breedings of the Standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds such as the Poodle, Miniature Pinscher, or Affenpinscher and to bring the size down on the Standard Schnauzer, hence the "Miniature" Schnauzer.
Any time one established breed is crossed with another, for whatever reason, part of that breed's characteristics are inherited through the DNA structure, whether it be color, structure, working ability, temperament, disease, or any other inherited trait. The only way to prove whether a dog carries a certain inherited breed trait is by DNA testing.
From pedigree research the "white" (gelb or "yellow" as it was called in early German records) gene was introduced into the Miniature Schnauzer breed mainly through a German black Champion Miniature Schnauzer named Peter V Westerberg (PZ604), born in November 1902. Peter was obviously carrying one "e" gene because it is recorded that he was bred to a female named Gretel VD Werneburg (PZ1530) (color unknown) and produced a "yellow" female pup named Mucki VD Werneburg (PSZ 8) born October 1914. Mucki was bred to a grandson of Peter named Pucki VD Werneburg, a dark S&P PSZ12 who produced the black German Champion Peterle VD Werneburg, PSZ11 born June 2, 1916, who also had to have the "e" gene since his dam was yellow. Peter V Westerburg or his grandson, For example, if you trace every ancestor in the 5th generation of Dorem Display, you will find every dog goes back to Peter Von Westerberg. With so many linebred crosses, it is statistically impossible to eradicate the "white" "e" gene by visual appearance alone. Those former claims that the "white" gene has been eradicated from the Miniature Schnauzer lines could not be proven, because the DNA test was not available until 2006.
After testing several unrelated white dogs from around the world, it has been recently proven by DNA testing that the genotype for the White Miniature Schnauzer is "e/e" at MC1r (commonly referred to as the "E" locus). "E", normal extension of black, allows the A-series alleles to show through, and "e", recessive red/yellow, overrides whatever gene is present at the A locus to produce a dog which shows only phaeomelanin pigment in the coat. Skin and eye color show apparently normal eumelanin, although some "e,e" dogs appear to show reduced pigment on the nose, especially in winter (snow nose), but after sunbathing in warm weather, they regain the black pigment on their noses, much like humans getting a tan in summer. Most white Miniature Schnauzers with correct harsh coats will have a yellowish streak on their backs and head when their hair is hand stripped and the ends become blown or dead. It is assumed this is why they were originally called "yellow" in German records.
There are two forms of melanin (pigment) in mammals' hair coats. The first is called eumelanin. The base form of eumelanin is black. Eumelanin can also appear brown (often called liver in dogs) or blue-gray. The second pigment, which varies from pale cream through shades of yellow, tan, and orange/red is called phaeomelanin.
All dogs have alleles at every locus. Not all proposed alleles have been proven to exist. The generally recognized color loci in dogs are referred to as: A (agouti), B (brown), C (albino series), D (blue dilution) E (extension), G (graying), M (merle), R (roaning), S (white spotting) and T (ticking.) There may be more, unrecognized gene series, and in a given breed, modifying factors may drastically affect the actual appearance. The newest proposed locus is the K locus for dominant black in certain breeds, including the Miniature Schnauzer.
White Miniature Schnauzers do not possess the "d" allele, which is commonly known as the Dilution gene responsible for diluting both eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigment. This stands to reason because true white Miniature Schnauzers have black skin pigment and dark eyes.
White Schnauzer Rumors:
Some of the early breeders of Miniature Schnauzers thought the white puppies were albino because when they are first born, they have pink skin and noses. Many early breeders destroyed them at birth mistakenly thinking they were albino and therefore defective. Those who did not destroy them found that within a few hours and days their skin pigment turned to black on their noses, around the mouth and eyes and the pads of their feet and bellies.
Through rumors circulated that the white minis carried defective or lethal genes similar to the blue merle dogs or white boxers and that the white miniature schnauzers have medical problems and deafness, the truth is the white minis have no different health problems than their colored counterparts. In fact, many owners claim they are healthier and less susceptible to skin allergies than the colored minis.
Another rumor that has spread throughout North America is that the White Miniature Schnauzers were fraudulently bred up from West Highland White Terriers to get the white coat color. The white coat color more likely came from the original crosses with the Miniature Poodles who also have the "e,e" coat gene for white. That is why you will many times see wavy or curly coats on the Miniature Schnauzers of every color when their hair is long.
The White Miniature Schnauzer Today:
Germany is the country of origin of the Miniature Schnauzer. The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) abides by the breed standards set forth by the countries of breed origins. Germany's Pinscher Schnauzer Klub (PSK), the original parent breed club, includes the White Miniature Schnauzer as an acceptable 4th color for breeding and for show. Although the Canadian Kennel Club is recognized worldwide, the Canadian Miniature Schnauzer Clubs in North America decided to establish their own breed standards for judging the Miniature Schnauzer which does not recognize the White Miniature Schnauzer for conformation shows. The White Miniature Schnauzer may, however, compete in any other registered sanctioned events such as agility, Canine Good Citizen, Obedience, or Earthdog trials.
The White Miniature Schnauzer may be shown in conformation events in the USA in international dog shows sanctioned by the IABCA (International All Breed Canine Association). White Miniature Schnauzers are still considered a "rare" breed in the U.S. and may also be shown in the rare breed classes in IABCA.
Throughout most of the rest of the world, the White Miniature Schnauzer may be shown in Conformations shows sanctioned by the FCI in International competitions. The White Miniature Schnauzer is becoming very popular in Europe as a show dog. The White Miniature Schnauzer Initiative was established in 2006 in Germany for friends and breeders of the White Miniature Schnauzers worldwide to promote interest and provide an informative network for sharing ideas and information and to give breeders the opportunity to exchange and expand the gene pool of the white Miniature Schnauzers worldwide.
* Coat Color Inheritance in the White Miniature Schnauzer by Karin N. Rice, March 2006
* The Complete Miniature Schnauzer book by Anne Paramore Eskridge
*The Miniature Schnauzer by Linda Peck
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Kennel inspection 12/2018. Georgia Deptartment of Agriculture License No. 3700114
Kennel inspection 12/2018. Georgia Deptartment of Agriculture License No. 3700114
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