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Miniature Pinscher


The Miniature Pinscher, also at times called the Reh Pinscher, Zwergpinscher, Min Pin and Minpin, is known as the "King of Toys" – a nickname that aptly describes its bold, gregarious disposition. As is true with many tiny breeds, the pocket-sized Min Pin apparently believes that it is a fully-grown wolf - ferocious, fearless and always fighting-fit. It looks like a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher, and it does have the carriage and character of a much larger dog. However, the Min Pin actually is closely related to the German Pinscher, and not to the Doberman. The word "pinscher" describes a dog's way of working, not his ancestry; it refers to the way the dog jumps on and bites – or "pinches" – its prey. The Miniature Pinscher was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925 and achieved full AKC eligibility as a member of the Toy Group in 1930.

The average Min Pin stands 10 to 12½ inches at the withers, with the ideal height being 11 to 11½ inches. Dogs outside of this range are subject to disqualification under the American breed standard. Min Pins typically weigh less than 10 pounds. Their short, slick coat requires little attention and can be solid clear red, stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs), black with rust-red points or chocolate with rust-red markings. They also come in blue with tan markings and fawn with rust-red markings, although these colors are not acceptable in the American show ring. The Min Pin's ears may be cropped or left natural, and its tail is typically docked shortly after birth. This breed can be difficult to housebreak.

History & Health


The Miniature Pinscher originated in Germany, where it has been used for several hundred years as a formidable ratter, a trusted watchdog and a cherished companion. It also has been bred for many years in Scandinavia, where it remains highly popular to this day. While the precise ancestry of the breed is unknown, the Miniature Pinscher most likely is a direct descendent of its larger cousin, the German Pinscher. Other contributors are thought to include assorted terriers, the Dachshund and the Italian Greyhound. The Min Pin is often mistaken for a miniature Doberman Pinscher, but it has no direct relation to that breed – other than that both the Miniature Pinscher and the Doberman may share the German Pinscher as a common ancestor. There is no Doberman blood in any Miniature Piinscher.
The German Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub (Club) was formed in 1895, marking the real start of the development of the Miniature Pinscher. Min Pins were first exhibited in Germany at the Stuttgart Dog Show in 1900; they were virtually unknown outside of Germany and the Scandinavian countries at that time. Miniature Pinschers improved steadily in type and popularity from that point until the advent of the First World War, which disrupted the progress of almost everything. Starting in or around 1919, breed fanciers abroad revived their efforts to advance the Miniature Pinscher, which rapidly caught the attention of dog lovers everywhere. The breed did not make much headway in the United States until the mid-1920s. The Min Pin was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925 as a "Pinscher – Toy", showing in the Miscellaneous Class. The Miniature Pinscher Club of America was formed in 1929 and became a member of the American Kennel Club the following year. The Min Pin became fully accepted into the Toy Group in 1930. Its name was officially changed to Miniature Pinscher in 1972. A specialized breed club was not established in England until the 1950s.
Today's Miniature Pinscher is an exceptional watchdog, with keen hearing and a sharp voice that he does not hesitate to use. The Min Pin also excels in the show ring, where he seemingly was born to show off his animated, high-stepping gait. Miniature Pinschers are extremely devoted to their owners and make wonderful household companions. They have ranked among the top breeds in popularity in the United States for several decades. The Min Pin is the top toy breed in Denmark, Holland and Italy.


The Miniature Pinscher is long-lived breed, with an average life expectancy of 15 years or more. Breed health concerns may include intervertebral disk disease, epilepsy, chronic superficial keratitis (pannus), glaucoma, cataracts, generalized progressive retinal atrophy, cystine urolithiasis, hypothyroidism, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, shoulder luxation and patellar luxation. The Min Pin is prone to obesity if not regularly exercised and is particularly sensitive to cold temperatures.

Temperament & Personality


Contrary to popular belief, the Miniature Pinscher was not developed by breeding Doberman Pinschers down to size. In fact, Min Pins are actually a much olde breed than the Doberman. Nicknamed the "King of the Toys," your Min Pin will also rule as King or Queen of your house. Breeders and owners agree, these little dogs believe they are the center of the universe and expect everyone to cater to their whims. They have a unique high-step manner of walking which has been likened to a prance, and they ooze confidence wherever they may go. Min Pins are cuddle bugs who will find their way to your lap the instant you sit on the couch. They do love to run, however, and will sometimes tear through the house for no apparent reason. Min Pins make excellent watchdogs, sizing up everyone who approaches his kingdom, and requiring all guests earn his trust.

Activity Requirements

Min Pins are tiny, which makes them excellent for apartment and condo life, but they should be taken for daily walks and allowed to run once or twice per week. Min Pins are often high-strung to begin with, so allowing them to burn off as much energy as possible can keep their temperaments in check.
A good activity to engage in with a Min Pin is agility. Once leadership is established, Min Pins are highly trainable, and take well to the agility course. He will enjoy the exercise, appreciate the opportunity to use his mental prowess, and more importantly, he will eat up the time spent with his favorite person.


Min Pins like to be in charge, so training them can be a challenge. Because they are so tiny and lovable, many owners find it difficult to set boundaries with their Min Pin. This is a huge mistake. Min Pins have a reputation for being high strung, but if trained properly with a consistent leader, they can be very obedient animals. Training should be conducted in small spurts, to keep your Min Pin interested and to ensure your patience-level is always at its highest. Positive reinforcement and treats are the best method for training, and they will not respond well to discipline or harsh treatment.
Just when yo think your Min Pin has things down pat, he will start to test your boundaries. Consistency is of the utmost importance in raising a well-behaved Miniature Pinscher. If you give these little dogs an inch, they will absolutely take a mile.

Behavioral Traits

Min Pins were originally used to chase and kill vermin, and the modern breed still has a very strong desire to chase and hunt small animals. Cats or rodents should never be introduced into a Min Pin's home. They should also always be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard when outdoors, as they will not obey commands if they take off after another animal. It can also be difficult to introduce other dogs into a Min Pin's territory. They are territorial dogs and are often the aggressors in dog fights.
This breed is not well suited for families with small children. Min Pins won't respond well to a toddler stealing his toys, approaching him while eating, or touching him when he doesn't want to be touched. It is best that children be old enough to understand how to handle a dog and to respect a dog's boundaries before adopting a Miniature Pinscher.

Breed Standard

General Appearance
The Miniature Pinscher is structurally a well balanced, sturdy, compact, short-coupled, smooth-coated dog. He naturally is well groomed, proud, vigorous and alert. Characteristic traits are his hackney-like action, fearless animation, complete self-possession, and his spirited presence.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Size -10 inches to 12½ inches in height allowed, with desired height 11 inches to 11½ inches measured at highest point of the shoulder blades. Disqualification -Under 10 inches or over 12½ inches in height. Length of males equals height at withers. Females may be slightly longer.

In correct proportion to the body. Tapering, narrow with well fitted but not too prominent foreface which balances with the skull. No indication of coarseness. Eyes full, slightly oval, clear, bright and dark even to a true black, including eye rims, with the exception of chocolates, whose eye rims should be self-colored. Ears set high, standing erect from base to tip. May be cropped or uncropped. Skull appears flat, tapering forward toward the muzzle. Muzzle strong rather than fine and delicate, and in proportion to the head as a whole. Head well balanced with only a slight drop to the muzzle, which is parallel to the top of the skull. Nose black only, with the exception of chocolates which should have a self-colored nose. Lips and Cheeks small, taut and closely adherent to each other. Teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Neck, Topline, Body
Neck proportioned to head and body, slightly arched, gracefully curved, blending into shoulders, muscular and free from suggestion of dewlap or throatiness. Topline -Back level or slightly sloping toward the rear both when standing and gaiting. Body compact, slightly wedge-shaped, muscular. Forechest well developed. Well-sprung ribs . Depth of brisket, the base line of which is level with points of the elbows. Belly moderately tucked up to denote grace of structural form. Short and strong in loin. Croup level with topline. Tail set high, held erect, docked in proportion to size of dog.

Shoulders clean and sloping with moderate angulation coordinated to permit the hackney-like action. Elbows close to the body. Legs -Strong bone development and small clean joints. As viewed from the front, straight and upstanding. Pasterns strong, perpendicular. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet small, catlike, toes strong, well arched and closely knit with deep pads. Nails thick, blunt.

Well muscled quarters set wide enough apart to fit into a properly balanced body. As viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel. From the side, well angulated. Thighs well muscled. Stifles well defined. Hocks short, set well apart. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet small, catlike, toes strong, well arched and closely knit with deep pads. Nails thick, blunt.

Smooth, hard and short, straight and lustrous, closely adhering to and uniformly covering the body.

Solid clear red. Stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs). Black with sharply defined rust-red markings on cheeks, lips, lower jaw, throat, twin spots above eyes and chest, lower half of forelegs, inside of hind legs and vent region, lower portion of hocks and feet. Black pencil stripes on toes. Chocolate with rust-red markings the same as specified for blacks, except brown pencil stripes on toes. In the solid red and stag red a rich vibrant medium to dark shade is preferred. Disqualifications -Any color other than listed. Thumb mark (patch of black hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg between the foot and the wrist; on chocolates, the patch is chocolate hair). White on any part of dog which exceeds one-half inch in its longest dimension.

The forelegs and hind legs move parallel, with feet turning neither in nor out. The hackney-like action is a high-stepping, reaching, free and easy gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist. The dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear. The head and tail are carried high.

Fearless animation, complete self-possession, and spirited presence.

Under 10 inches or over 12½ inches in height.
Any color other than listed. Thumb mark (patch of black hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg between the foot and the wrist; on chocolates, the patch is chocolate hair). White on any part of dog which exceeds one-half (½) inch in its longest dimension.

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Sources: American Kennel Club


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