Breed Type:  Toy
Country of Origin: Germany
Size:  Small
Also known as:  Min Pin, Zwergpinscher, Dwarf Biter
Males: Height: 25-30 cm Weight: 4-5 kg
Females: Height: 25-28 cm Weight: 4 kg
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 13-15 Years
Best Suited as: Family Pet for more experienced dog owner

Although they might look like a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher, Miniature Pinschers are far from it. This regal looking dog has been named the King of the Toy Dogs and was originally used to hunt small rodents.

The Miniature Pinscher is a small, compact, sleek breed with a high stepping gait. He is an elegant dog with an arched neck and well-muscled body. With dark, oval eyes full of mischief, it is easy to fall in love with these charming dogs. Traditionally the Min Pins tail are docked and their ears are either high cropped or left floppy.  They have cat like feet and their front legs are straight.

Smooth and short in appearance, their hard coat lays close to their body. Their coat colors are red, black and rust, or charcoal and rust. Some Min Pins sport a small white patch on their neck or breast area.

If you are looking for a dog full of personality and fearless animation, you have met your match. The Miniature Pincher is playful, social, active and intelligent.  Rightfully called the “King of Toys”, the Min Pin can easily assume he is the leader of the pack without proper training. The Min Pin can also be overly confident with other dogs and many develop “small dog syndrome”.

Very bright and curious, the Min Pin can easily outwit any inexperienced dog owner. They are known for being escape artists and can easily wiggle their way out of a yard through a small hole in a fence.  Hold tightly onto her leash – she may run quickly away from you when you are not paying attention. Stubbornness and selective hearing may also encourage you want to keep a close eye on your headstrong pet.

When properly socialized and trained, the Min Pin can quickly become your best friend. He is an extremely loyal companion and a humorous playmate. While able to bond well with the entire family, the Min Pin often selects one family member as his favorite. While loving and devoted to you, the Min Pin is often cautious around strangers and will bark loudly to warn you of an approaching stranger. As they age, they may become territorial.

The Min Pin is very active and often does well with agility training. They love to chase, play with toys, and chew things.

The Miniature Pinscher is a descendant of the German Pinscher, Dachshund, and Italian Greyhound. Originally found in Germany, they were given the name “Pinscher” because it means “Terrier” in German. Their earliest ancestors, found in the 15th Century, were used as barnyard ratters to keep the population down in the stables they visited. The Min Pin was first called the Reh Pinscher because of their similarity to the “reh”, or small deer, which lived in German forests.

In 1895, the German Pinscher Club came into being. The Miniature Pinscher first appeared on a German stage at the Stuttgart Dog Show in Germany in 1900. Their popularity increased and the Min Pin became one of the most competitive and popular show dogs in Germany before World War I.  Due to the toll the war took on the country, the breed nearly became extinct in Germany. Min Pins had been exported to other countries and their popularity in countries like the United States helped keep the breed in existence.  The Min Pin was registered as a Pinscher with the AKC in 1925, and the breeds name was changed to Miniature Pinscher in 1972.  The Min Pin is still one of the most popular breeds in the United States.

Care and Grooming
With its sleek, hard, short coat, the Min Pin is easy to groom and only needs an occasional bath. A comb or brush with a firm bristle can be used to groom her. Some owners recommend getting rid of loose hair by wiping down their dogs with a warm washcloth. They are average shedders and this will keep not only your dog from looking good, but your furniture as well.

Despite their small size, the Miniature Pinscher needs a lot of exercise to be happy. Either a daily walk or a romp in the yard will suffice.  Without proper exercise, your pet is more likely to display behavior problems.

Although the Min Pin is an active, sturdy looking breed, they have small bones that tend to be brittle. Care should be taken not to roughhouse with this guy and an owner should not allow him to jump off high surfaces due to potential wrist fractures.This breed can suffer from joint and eye problems.

Overall, Min Pins are generally healthy. Some potential health concerns include: Progressive Retinal Atrophy (gradual deterioration of the retina), Leff-Calve-Perthes Disease (hip joint disease), Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism (thyroid gland issue) and Patellar Luxation (dislocation of the kneecap).

Suitability as a Pet
If you cannot find your Min Pin, check under the blankets. This guy loves to burrow and is happiest curled up under the blankets with you.  They make wonderful companions for most people but need a good deal of exercise. They do best with an active owner who will devote hours of playtime to them.

Due to their independent nature and leader of the pack mentality, it is important to show your dominating Min Pin who is really boss, early on. Train your Min Pin to respect boundaries and limitations  and socialize your pet with all members of the family and other family pets as a puppy. If raised with small pets including birds and cats from puppyhood, they will generally do well with them.

Min Pins do well in lots of living situations, including apartments, as long as they get ample exercise.  Natural watchdogs, train your dog to treat visitors with respect.  When bored, their curiosity may get them into trouble at home. Take care to baby proof your home much like you would for a toddler. Because Min Pins love to chew on toys, they can easily choke on small parts and other small objects left around the house.

The same can be said about the outside of your home. Check your fence to make sure there are no spots your Min Pin can escape from.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.