Believer it or not, Miniature Pinschers (or “Min Pins,” as their fans call them) are not mini-Doberman Pinschers. They're actually an older breed — the Germans who bred them called them “dwarf-biters” because they're small and chased rats, not because they chomped Gimli or his cousins.
This tiny toughie has a regal bearing and a prancing gait. The Miniature Pinscher is a dynamic dog you can't help but notice when she walks down the street. This breed is eager and always up for a challenge. Min Pins were originally bred as hunting dogs, which still shows in their poise and fearlessness. These days, though, Miniature Pinschers are primarily boisterous and beloved canine companions.
Originally from Germany, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 8-10 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 19
FAMILY terrier, pinscher
AREA OF ORIGIN Germany
DATE OF ORIGIN 1600s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION small-vermin hunting
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 10-12.5 Weight: 8-10
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 10-12.5 Weight: 8-10
OTHER NAME reh pinscher, zwergpinscher
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Somewhat affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Shy
Friendliness toward other pets Shy
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A MINIATURE PINSCHER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
The Miniature Pinscher is the Queen of Toy Breeds, but unlike some Toys, she's not especially cuddly. She is loyal and tenacious, though. Min Pins are also curious and very playful. They get along well with just about everyone. They often like kids, though their small size means you should supervise play with your little ones. Many are friendly toward other pets. Remember that “pinscher” is just German for “terrier”: Miniature Pinschers retain their prey drive no matter how small they are and some might chase or bully smaller dogs or pets.
WHAT IS MINIATURE PINSCHER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
No amount of exercise is ever going to seem like enough for your Miniature Pinscher — they have more energy than just about any other breed. She's always up for one more walk or one more game. These athletic, active dogs will need daily exercise and lots of opportunities to run around.
Miniature Pinschers are also dexterous and love to dig, so don't leave this dog unsupervised in your backyard unless you share her landscaping vision. Hint: it involves a lot of holes and might spell doom for your begonias.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A MINIATURE PINSCHER?
Miniature Pinschers are trainable, but you'll need a lot of patience and consistency while you're working with this dog. They are fast learners, but they also lose interest quickly. Vary those training exercises up and keep them short to keep her interested. Early socialization with kids is essential. They respond well to game or treat rewards.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO MINIATURE PINSCHERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Miniature Pinschers are the easiest pinscher to groom. Their short coats are hard and smooth, and they will only need weekly brushing and an occasional bath. They're moderate to infrequent shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO MINIATURE PINSCHERS HAVE?
As a breed, Miniature Pinschers are generally healthy. Some develop orthopedic conditions (including slipping kneecaps), bone degeneration, and sensitivities related suppressed immune systems.
It's important to feed your Min Pin puppy frequently to avoid hypoglycemia. Their small bones tend toward brittleness; be sure to supervise play with children. This breed also tends toward overeating, so be conscientious about meals and snacks.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE MINIATURE PINSCHERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Miniature Pinschers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Miniature Pinscher! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A MINIATURE PINSCHER'S BEST DAY?
A Miniature Pinscher's best day involves a lot of running around, time with you and bossing just about everyone around. Give her space to stretch her tiny legs, room to explore and be sure any other animals are ok with her being Queen — she'll be in dog-heaven.
SHOULD I ADOPT A MINIATURE PINSCHER?
This breed is well-suited to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise. Their thin coats don't provide them with much protection from cold temperatures, but they don't mind the heat. If you think you can keep up with her and your home has room for a large-and-in-charge personality, the Miniature Pinscher is a scrappy and sweet canine companion.
Have you decided that a Miniature Pinscher is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue!Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.