Miniature Pinscher

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Is the Miniature Pinscher right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Min Pin; Min-Pin; Minpin; Zwergpinscher

The basics:
The Miniature Pinscher is the classic case of a big dog in a small dog's body. This small breed is regarded as a toy in the US and the UK, but it's a terrier in continental Europe. They're both right. Originally developed as a true working breed in Germany to pursue digging vermin, the Min Pin had to be independent and utterly fearless-- the kind of dog that could be left alone in a barn to patrol for rats. This breed is for the confident owner who likes an active, alert smaller watchdog that can hold its own. It probably isn't right for the family with other pets that might tempt the Min Pin to chase and dominate.

As an added twist, the Min Pin may look like a miniature Doberman Pinscher, but it isn't. The DNA of the the Miniature Pinscher includes the smooth-coated Dachshund (also considered a fine ratter) and the Italian Greyhound, chosen to create a faster dog capable of chasing down rodents.

Appearance / health:
The Min Pin has a refined and elegant appearance. The strong, slightly arched neck, sleek, well-muscled body endows this little dog with strength and grace in contrast to its size. Min Pin ears are usually cropped like those of the Doberman Pinscher but may be left natural too, since the AKC no longer requires cropping for shows. The tail is likewise usually docked.

The Min Pin coat stays relatively clean and sheds an average amount of hair. A brisk brushing and a wipe-down with a warm, damp washcloth (without soap), beginning with the face (with particular attention to the area under the eyes), and back towards the tail every few days is essential to maintain a clean, shiny coat. Frequent bathing is discouraged, as it tends to dry out the fur and skin. Always make sure your dog is completely dry before a trip outside if the weather is cold. As with all dogs, their teeth have to be kept clean and nails trimmed at regular intervals.

It is essential due to the high energy level of this breed that a secure fenced yard is provided. Miniature Pinschers need regular exercise, and as mentioned previously, should always be on a harness and lead when outside of their fenced area. A daily walk is not sufficient for this energetic little dog.

In spite of its small stature and fine bones, the Min Pin is a hardy, healthy dog with few genetic problems. He is susceptible to generalized progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic eye abnormality that eventually leads to blindness. Other conditions seen in this breed include patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes (a hip malformation), epilepsy, thyroid issues and heart defects.

It is of the utmost importance to keep potential choking hazards away from the curious Min Pin, and to guard against rough play by children, which could cause severe injuries.

Behavior / temperament:
The compact size of Miniature Pinschers and their lively spirit may seem to make the Min Pin a good choice for an apartment or house dog, but the Min Pin has a strong, independent streak. Exploring spaces in and around the house is one of their favorite activities. They can easily climb on furniture and it is very likely that any small item found in these ventures will be stolen and stashed away.

When left unsupervised, Min Pins need to be kept in a secure area, preferably a room that has essentially been “childproofed.” Min Pins are territorial, so they should be provided with their own place to sleep in this secure area, although they will commonly stake a claim to on/under/behind a particular piece of furniture or curtain on their own. They prefer to sleep on soft objects, as well as under soft objects, so a small blanket is essential for their comfort. Miniature Pinschers will jump onto beds and crawl under the covers to sleep with their owners at night. Unless the owner is happy to sharing his/her bed, bedroom doors must be kept closed at night. If the bed is being shared, care should be taken not to accidentally injure the dog while they are sleeping under blankets.

The Min Pin is an energetic, spirited, stubborn, and very curious. Min Pins are not by nature timid, calm lapdogs, but can become a loving and devoted pet that enjoys being close to its owner. They are playful and friendly with their owner(s) and thrive on that interaction. These are typically categorized as "a one or two person dog", but with socialization, they can be integrated into families, and are able get along with other dogs, pets, and children. They can be aloof around people they have never been introduced to, and are very protective of their owners. This protective instinct will manifest as barking and bold posturing. Despite their small size they are also excellent watchdogs, barking at all things they deem a threat. Min Pins are fearless, suspicious, and intolerant of strangers.

Min Pins can be very stubborn, but their desire to please will enable them be trained in obedience at a very young age. Consistent, firm, and gentle training is most suitable for Min Pins. It is recommended that trainings take place prior to mealtimes.

Miniature Pinschers tend to bark excessively when unfamiliar people or animals are in their territory. They are excellent watchdogs and will challenge threats vociferously.


cuddling, amazing watchdog, cute lapdog, great family dogs, happy energetic personality, SUPER LOVING


hyper-active dogs, major attitude, stubborn streak, perpetual motion dogs, potty training


strong hunting drive, kill rats, fragile legs, Big Dog Syndrome, speeding rocket, light bone structure

Miniature Pinscher Health Tip

Miniature Pinscher

From 162 days ago

/ 5

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