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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

Origin: Germany

AKC Group: Toy

Height: 10 - 12 inches (Male)

Weight: 9 - 10 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
10 - 12 inches
Male weight: 
9 - 10 pounds
Short and hard. Tail is docked; ears can be cropped or left alone.
Usually red, but sometimes black with rust marking above the eyes, on the cheeks, lower jaw, throat, chest legs, feet and under the tail. Narrow black stripes on the toes. More rare is chocolate with rust markings. Eyes are dark, and nose color varies with coat color.

The Miniature Pinscher, or "Min Pin," has been bred for several hundred years. While many assume he is related to the Doberman Pinscher, due to the similar coat color and appearance, he is actually a direct descendent of his larger cousin, the German Pinscher. Until the mid-1800s, the family of German Pinscher dogs included all sizes. It was then that breeders began making efforts to define and distinguish the varieties. It's possible that Terriers, Dachshunds, and Italian Greyhounds were introduced to the smallest German Pinschers to obtain the Min Pin's diminutive size and hunting abilities, for they were originally used as ratters. Min Pin's are often called the "Reh Pinscher" because of their resemblance to the small roe deer found in Rhineland forests in Germany, from whence the breed originated. For a time, the objective of Miniature Pinscher breeders was to produce ever-tinier dogs, which had a negative effect on their soundness and health. By World War II, the breed had regained its soundness and was back on the ground, showing off its trademark: the high-prancing gait. The Min Pin was first shown in American dog shows in the 1920s and has gained steadily in popularity ever since. In Germany, Min Pins are considered working dogs, not companion animals, as the American Kennel Club's (AKC) "Toy" group classification designates.

His nickname is "The King of Toys," and when you get to know a Miniature Pinscher, it's clear why. He is a self-assured, gregarious showman who can light up a room. Curious and fearless, there is not much that the Min Pin misses - or allows himself to miss. He bonds steadfastly to his family and wants to be with them always and everywhere. He is not shy about communicating and uses his voice freely. Overall, he is a fun-loving dog and a charming little dynamo.
At home: 
Min Pins are a great pet for any type of environment, from the city to the country, as long as they get their daily fill of exercise. Also, they are very curious, so homes must be dog-proofed carefully. Backyards must be securely fenced because when their prey drive kicks in, they can run off in a flash. The similarity to the larger pinschers goes beyond mere looks, as their guarding instincts make them capable of biting an intruder - on the ankle.
The Min Pin is full of vigor and so needs daily exercise. He is up for anything and can get active by accompanying his family on errands, in addition to daily walks and several play sessions. He is energetic enough to fit into a lively adult home but is also happy to be a lap warmer for elderly folks, as long as a short walk is provided.
When it comes to feeding a Miniature Pinscher, it's helpful to remember that he is used to getting his way. This attitude often carries over to the food bowl, and it can be challenging to provide a Min Pin with food that's best for him. Feed small amounts of a high-quality, age-appropriate food.
Because of his tendency to become overly pampered and proud, it's important to keep the Min Pin's paws firmly on the floor, so to speak. Treat him like the able and athletic dog that he is, socialize him frequently from puppyhood on, and begin training him with short, motivational sessions right from the start. Although he can be stubborn at times, the Min Pin really does want to please. Being rewarded for doing what you want instead of being spoiled when he doesn't will result in a Min Pin who will be beloved by all.
A happy and sociable fellow, the Min Pin is good with children, but care must be taken to teach children how to properly handle a small dog. The breed will often try to be "top dog" in a home with other dogs - no matter what their size - so care must be taken to properly introduce new dogs. The Min Pin can do well with other pets, although he may see smaller animals as prey.
The average life span of the Miniature Pinscher is 15 years or more. Health problems seen in the breed include cervical (dry) disc; epilepsy; heart defects; Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; patellar luxation; thyroid problems; and some eye problems.
Fun fact: 

The Min Pin is the top toy breed in Denmark, Holland, and Italy.

Grooming blurb: 
The Miniature Pinscher's coat is very simple to care for. He is easily groomed with minimal brushing and attention to the face.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.