All About Miniature Pinschers

About This Breed

The Miniature Pinscher originated in 18th century Germany. They were popular ratters and were used by farmers for controlling vermin in and around the barn. Although in appearance they look like a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher —giving them their name as a result —they are not related. The Min-Pin, as they are often called, is more likely descended from a cross between the Italian greyhound and Dachshund.

Physical Characteristics

The Miniature Pinscher is a small bodied dog with a sturdy, compact, muscled body. They have straight short legs and a deep chest that is proportionate for their size. The head is triangle shaped with wide set eyes. The natural ears are semi-erect (with the tops of the ears slightly folded over), though it is common to see them with their ears docked (surgically shortened and reshaped) to stand fully erect, just as is done with Dobermans. The natural is long and skinny, but again, just as with the Doberman, the tail is often docked.

COLORS

Miniature Pinschers are most commonly seen black with tan markings. They can also be seen in red or stag red with tan markings.

COAT

The Miniature Pinscher’s coat is short and close to the body.

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL IN MINIATURE PINSCHERS

Moderate to high

POSITIVES

The Miniature Pinscher is full of energy and extremely bright, fearless, and on alert all the time. The Min-Pin is a small dog with a big dog attitude. They love to play and are very loyal to their families. They also make good watchdogs, as they will bark and growl at approaching strangers.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Miniature Pinschers need to be trained from very early on. They can be overprotective and aggressive toward dogs, strangers, and children. They are not a good choice for families with young children. This breed can be stubborn and needs to have an experienced dog owner-handler that can meet the challenge.

*This breed is not a good choice for the first time dog owner.

Care

IDEAL LIVING SITUATION FOR MINIATURE PINSCHERS

Miniature Pinschers do well in the country or city as long as it is given daily exercise and opportunities for agility, such as running and agility courses.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Miniature Pinschers need to have training or they are unmanageable. Because of their short hair, they tend to become cold. This is a breed that requires clothing during cool and cold weather.

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Miniature Pinschers:

  • Legg-Perthes disease
  • Skin problems
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

History and Background

Evidence supporting the origin of the Miniature Pinscher is very sparse. However, it is known that the breed is not a miniaturized version of the Doberman Pinscher. In fact, there is evidence that the Min Pin is older than its standard-sized cousin. It has been speculated that a dog found in a 17th-century painting of a cat-sized red dog is an early Min Pin.

The Miniature Pinscher probably descended from the crossing of the German Pinscher, Italian Greyhound, and Dachshund breeds.

As such, the modern Min Pin has several traits of these earlier breeds. The black and tan color, liveliness, and strong body of the German Pinscher; the lithe movement, playfulness, and elegance of the Italian Greyhound; and the red coloration and bravery of the Dachshund.

However, the Miniature Pinscher is not the sum of all these traits. It is its own dog, and is highly regarded as one of the most energetic and lively breeds in the dog world.

In the early 19th century these little German dogs were developed to form the "reh pinscher," a breed that looked similar to small German red deers named "roe" or "reh." "Pinscher," meanwhile, is German for terrier. In the late 1800s the tiniest specimens were bred, resulting in frail and unattractive dogs. By 1900 this pattern was reversed and the focus was on sound health and elegance of appearance.

Before World War I, the breed was a popular and competitive show dog in Germany, but the breed numbers waned during the post-war period. The remaining dogs were exported throughout Europe and to the United States.

In 1929 the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. Today the Min Pin, or the "king of toys," as it is affectionately called, is among the most loved toy breeds in the U.S.