Choosing a Miniature Pinscher

Choosing a Miniature Pinscher

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The miniature pinscher is a big dog inside a little dog's body. He is energetic, entertaining and intelligent and is not a smaller version of the Doberman pinscher.

History and Origin

The miniature pinscher originated in Germany several centuries ago, and even though he looks like a small Doberman pinscher, he is not related. The miniature pinscher is actually older than the Doberman pinscher. The min pin was developed from various breeds including the Italian greyhound, German pinscher and dachshund and was originally used to hunt rats in stables.

The popularity of the miniature pinscher became high in Germany in the late 1800s and early 1900s. By 1920, the miniature pinschers appeal had reached the United States when the dog was imported. By 1925, the miniature pinscher was accepted into the American Kennel Club as a member of the toy group.

Appearance and Size

The miniature pinscher is a small compact dog, looking like a smaller version of the Doberman pinscher. The muzzle is straight and the ears are set high. They may be cropped or not. The tail is set high and docked and the feet are small and cat-like.

The hair coat is short and sleek and can be red, black and tan or chocolate.

The adult miniature pinscher stands around 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 8 to 10 pounds.


The miniature pinscher is a lively and smart dog. He is very playful and fearless but can be headstrong. He tends to bark a lot, especially when strangers approach. The min pin is thought to be a big dog in a little dog's body.

Home and Family Relations

The miniature pinscher is a good dog for apartment dwellers. They are quite active inside but don't require a large yard, leash walks will do. If left alone in the fenced yard, make sure it is secure since the min pin may try to escape to rejoin his family.

This pinscher loves his family and wants to be in the thick of things and join in on family activities. He is loyal and quite possessive of his family, making him a good watchdog. The breed can be aggressive toward strangers if not properly socialized as a puppy.


The miniature pinscher is intelligent and easy to train with patience and persistence. If not obedience trained, the min pin can become stubborn and have a problem with dominance.

Special Concerns

The min pin does not like to be left alone with nothing to do. They are intelligent dogs and need mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors. Because of their small size and short hair coat, the min pin should be protected from the cold.

Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the miniature pinscher is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
  • Progressive retinal degeneration (PRA) is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
  • Corneal dystrophy is a primary, inherited, bilateral (both sides), symmetrical condition of the cornea that is not accompanied by corneal inflammation or systemic disease.
  • Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that develops when the pressure within the eye increases which can lead to blindness.
  • Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. You may see a cloudy, white color in the pupil, which is normally black. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
  • Pannus is a disease of the eye resulting in inflammation.
  • Legg-Calve Perthes a disease of the hip joints that leads to lameness.
  • Cervical disc disease is a disease of the disks of the neck leading to significant pain.
  • Diabetes mellitus, is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.
  • Urolithiasis is a condition affecting the urinary tract resulting in the formation of bladder stones.
  • Shoulder luxation is a the luxation of the shoulder joint.

    The miniature pinscher is also prone to epilepsy, loose kneecaps and deafness.

    Life Span

    The average life span of the miniature pinscher is over 15 years.

    We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.

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