Miniature Pinschers have sleek, sturdy and compact frames. Their narrow heads have flat skulls, strong muzzles, oval eyes and erect ears. They have arched necks that blend into the shoulders, well-muscled bodies, straight legs and erect tails. Their short, easily groomed coats usually come in brown, red and black & tan.
Miniature Pinschers are lively and vigorous dogs that need plenty of exercise and activity. Endlessly curious, they love to learn and can pick up commands quickly. To make up for their size, they often stand on their hind legs when trying to look at things through the fence or when greeting people.
Their intense curiosity can also encourage them to steal small objects and chew them. Give them toys that satisfy this inquisitiveness and they’ll be very grateful.
Min Pins, as their fanciers call them, are extremely loyal and protective of their households. They are very aware of outside movement and noise. Great watchdogs for their size, Miniature Pinschers will bark loudly if they sense danger. As they grow older, they can be somewhat territorial, but socialization and training can help.
Sometimes called a one-person dog, Miniature Pinschers will usually get along with the entire family, including children—but they can be somewhat defensive and proud, which is not a good mix with very small children who might tease them.
Miniature Pinschers don’t need an excessive amount of training, but they should not be spoiled. Too much pandering can make them bossy. A firm but loving hand is needed to keep their egos in check.
Apartment life suits them just fine, as long as they get daily walks. Young children and playful adults should be warned: Miniature Pinschers don’t like to be handled roughly. They will nip if they feel physically threatened or uncomfortable.
Miniature Pinschers are fairly easy to groom, since they keep themselves neat and have a low-maintenance coat. But be sure to protect them from the cold weather, and always keep them on a leash when they’re in public: They have a fearless, curious streak that could get them in a pickle.
A healthy Miniature Pinscher can live more than 15 years. They can sometimes develop eye problems and joint issues, but for the most part this is a healthy breed.
The Miniature Pinscher, in spite of its looks, is not a miniature version of the Doberman Pinscher—it is in fact the older breed. Their resemblance could come from the fact that both of these breeds were derived from the German Pinscher. Miniature Pinschers were developed hundreds of years ago to help farmers keep away rats. They were relatively unknown in the U.S. until 1925, when the AKC first registered them as a Toy. Their name was officially changed to Miniature Pinscher in 1972.