The Miniature Pinscher is a small, assertive, muscular, independent ball of energy. Ranging from 10 to 12 1/2-inches in height and 8 to 10 pounds in weight, these little spitfires make up for their toy stature with their fearless personality. They are part of the Terrier grouping and considered a Toy breed.
Often referred to as a “Min Pin”, these dogs have a smooth, coarse, straight, short coat. The most popular color is a black and tan combination. However, they may also be red or a chocolate and rust combination. They are average shedders and require little grooming.
Purebred Miniature Pinschers typically have their ears cropped and their tail docked. When walked, they have a graceful high-stepping gait reminiscent of a Clydesdale horse.
Though a Min Pin may look much like a tiny version of a Doberman Pinscher, they are definitely not miniature Dobermans. Miniature Pinschers are actually the older of the two breeds. Originating in Germany hundreds of years ago, the Min Pin is most likely related to the German Pinscher family and bred down from a cross between the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound. The Min Pin was initially used to keep farms free of mice and rats.
The first Miniature Pinscher was brought to the U.S. in 1919. At that time, the Miniature Pinscher was called the “Reh Pinscher”. This was a reference to the breed’s rusty red coat, which was the common color at that time. The AKC (American Kennel Club) registered the Reh Pinscher as a Toy breed in 1925. In 1972, the name was officially changed to Miniature Pinscher.
The word “Pinscher”, in German, means “biter” and likely derives from the breed’s tendency toward jumping on and biting its prey. Similar to the terms “Hound” and “Setter”, Pinscher denotes the breed’s method of working rather than its heritage.
While the Min Pin may be a toy breed, he is not a typical lap dog. He is loving and affectionate but also spirited, curious, and leery of strangers. His fierce independence can make him somewhat difficult to train, particularly if spoiled or allowed too much freedom. Gentle, consistent discipline is a requirement with this breed. Harsh correction can lead to aggression and lack of correction will allow his mischievous tendency to flourish.
Miniature Pinschers can be expert escape artists. Their curiosity and active nature can sometimes get them into trouble when left unsupervised. This breed loves to jump and does it well. They will often bound from one piece of furniture to another. They are also able to jump baby gates and low fences. The safest way to keep them in place when necessary is a good-sized crate.
The Min Pin’s intense curiosity also extends to small toys and household items, such as pens and lipstick tubes. Be sure to supply your min pin with plenty of small toys safe for dogs to play with.
A Miniature Pinscher will be good with children, providing the child is old enough to be taught not to tease, poke or prod. This type of behavior, as well as sudden moves and rough play, will often be met with a defensive and aggressive response. Min Pin’s will nip if they feel physically threatened.
Min Pin’s love to play and thrive on lots of exercise. They will adjust well to apartment life, providing they are taken for a daily walk.
Miniature Pinscher’s are incredibly loyal and protective of their home and family. Despite their small size, Min Pins make great watchdogs. They are acutely aware of outside movement and sound. If they sense danger, they will sound the alarm with loud, fierce barking.
Miniature Pinschers have few genetic health problems. The one concern the breed is susceptible to is generalized progressive retinal atrophy, an inherited eye abnormality that leads to blindness. A healthy Min Pin has a lifespan of 15 years or more.