The miniature pinscher is a small dog with a huge personality. They were first bred to hunt rats and other vermin, and while they still have a bit of a prey drive, today, they're better known as a goofy, faithful companion. They grow to about 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and weight between 8 and 11 pounds. Some people assume that miniature pinschers resulted from breeding Dobermans to get progressively smaller, but the min pin is an entirely separate breed.
Miniature pinschers are known as the King of Toys, a nickname they have most certainly earned. These small dogs are fearless and have non-stop energy. Their curiosity often gets the better of them, and their owners have to watch them closely so they don't get into trouble. These spirited dogs are compared to toddlers, and they require constant supervision.
Miniature pinschers are affectionate and loving. They crave attention and will do whatever they have to do to get it, whether it's acting like the class clown or dashing out the front door. These dogs are also skilled escape artists and will find a way out of a fenced-in yard.
This breed can easily be injured by a younger child who doesn't know any better and are best for kids ages 10 and older. As far as other pets go, miniature pinschers are not a good fit for a home with small animals, like rabbits and hamsters. They get along with other dogs, but they can be bossy and try to maintain top-dog status.
This breed is not a good choice for first-time dog owners. Miniature pinschers are full of energy and prone to getting in trouble. They need a lot of attention and structured training. Without proper training, supervision, and attention, min pins can become little tyrants who attempt to take over the household.
Miniature pinschers are pretty adaptable, and their small size makes them suitable for an apartment. While they do need a lot of exercise to burn some of their boundless energy, vigorous indoor play a couple of times a day does the trick, too. Min pins can live in any climate, but they don't have a lot of fur, so they need a warm sweater or coat in the winter.
This is a healthy breed that can live anywhere from 10 to 14 years. That said, miniature pinschers are prone to some health conditions, like retinal atrophy, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, dislocated knee caps, and diseases of the hip joint. To avoid these conditions, make sure you get your dog from a reputable breeder.
Miniature pinschers are often equated with toddlers, and just like with a human child, you have to babyproof your home for your min pin. Keep small objects, like keys and coins, out of reach and put away bottles of medication after every use. Make sure window screens are secure and examine your backyard carefully to make sure there aren't any holes or openings along the fence.
Miniature pinschers like to be in charge, but if you let them, they will take over the household. Even some experienced dog owners have trouble with min pins if they don't know what to expect from the breed. Early obedience training is necessary, and while you don't have to rule like a tyrant, it is important to show a min pin who's in charge.
Miniature pinschers are an active breed and should eat about 1/2 cup of high-quality dog food twice a day. This breed is not prone to overeating or weight problems, but some min pins may gain weight as they get older and they lose a bit of their energy. It's important to monitor their weight because some of the health problems common to this breed, like knee and hip problems, are exacerbated by carrying extra weight.
Miniature pinschers are very regal looking dogs with short, dark coats in red, black, rust, or chocolate. They only need brushing every few days, and shedding is mild. Frequent baths can dry out a min pin's skin, so some owners use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe the coat clean when needed.
Get your paws on the latest animal news and information