Information about the Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher (Zwergpinscher, Min Pin) is a small breed of dog, originating from Germany. The breed’s earliest ancestors were a mix of Italian Greyhounds and Dachshunds. The international kennel club, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, lists the Miniature Pinscher in Group 2, Section 1.1 Pinscher, along with the Dobermann, the German Pinscher, the Austrian Pinscher, and the other toy pinscher, the Affenpinscher. Other kennel clubs list the Miniature Pinscher in the Toy Group or Companion Group. The Miniature Pinscher is colloquially known as the “King of the Toys”

The misconception that the Miniature Pinscher is a “miniature doberman” occurred because the Doberman Pinscher was introduced to the US before the Miniature Pinscher. In 1919 the Miniature Pinscher was introduced to the AKC show ring. At the time, not knowing that it was referred to officially in Germany as the Zwergpinscher (dwarfpinscher), the AKC referred to the breed as simply “Pinscher” and listed it in the miscellaneous category. When the Miniature Pinscher Club of America (MPCA) was created in 1929 (the year of the breed’s official introduction into the AKC), they petitioned for Miniature Pinschers to be placed in the Toy group. The AKC’s description, that the dog “must appear as a Doberman in miniature”, led to the misconception common today that this breed is a “Miniature Doberman Pinscher”. The original name for this breed in the US was “Pinscher” until 1972 when the name was officially changed to Miniature Pinscher.

Historical artifacts and paintings indicate that the Min Pin is a very old breed, but factual documentation begins less than 200 years ago, which leaves the breed’s actual origins open to debate.

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. Legs should be straight with no bending in or out. The Miniature Pinscher frequently has a docked tail and cropped ears, though the AKC no longer requires ear cropping for shows.

Miniature Pinscher breed standard calls for 10 inches to 12½ inches in height allowed, with desired height 11 inches to 11½ inches measured at highest point of the shoulder blades. Females may be longer. The ideal weight for a Miniature Pinscher is 8-10 pounds.

The coat is short and smooth, and the colors that are allowed by the AKC are solid red, stag red, blue stag red, chocolate stag red, fawn stag red, and black, chocolate, blue, and fawn with tan points and rust tan points.

The Miniature Pinscher will on occasion carry a small white patch generally located on neck or breast area. The Miniature Pinscher once came in harlequin like that is found in the Great Dane. The harlequin gene is part of the makeup of this breed; though breeders for years have worked to eliminate this gene, but breeders have recently been breeding to bring the color back by mixing the Rat Terrier into the Miniature Pinscher, though they are merle and not harlequin because they do not have the harlequin modifier or any white besides the small white patch on the breast area.

Miniature Pinschers are for experienced dog owners. The Miniature Pinscher is an assertive, outgoing, active and independent breed. Miniature Pinschers are energetic and need a fenced in yard to run in, they make great agility dogs. They are great escape artists and some recommend having a kennel with a lid on it for them to run around in. They are good watch dogs, are alert and wary of strangers. It is recommended that adults and teenagers play with a Miniature Pinscher and not young children as younger children play rough.

Grooming is easy, as the smooth, short-haired coat requires little attention, needing only occasional brushing and shampooing. Care must be taken in cold weather, sweaters or baby blankets for a Miniature Pinscher keep it from getting too cold. Miniature Pinschers are an active breed and will need access to a fenced yard, or a daily walk will suffice.