Dog Health & More
The Miniature Pinscher dog breed was originally bred in Germany to hunt vermin, primarily rats, in homes and stables. Many people think that the Miniature Pinscher was developed by breeding Dobermans to progressively smaller sizes, and indeed, the Miniature Pinscher looks similar to a Doberman. However, the Min Pin is a distinct and much older breed. Known as the "King of Toys" for his stately appearance and self-assured attitude, the Miniature Pinscher is a fearless, energetic, and alert companion dog who enjoys the company of his family.
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"Min Pins rule" — that's the attitude you'll discover when you get acquainted with the Miniature Pinscher, a small, elegant dog with an arched neck and well-muscled body. Weighing in at a dainty 8 to 11 pounds, this toy breed is a tough little dog with a lot of attitude.
While the Min Pin looks like a smaller version of a Doberman, he's a completely separate breed. It's speculated that both the Min Pin and the Doberman descended from the German Pinscher, but that the Doberman's other ancestors were dogs such as the Rottweiler, while the Min Pin's were Dachshunds and Italian Greyhounds.
Another misconception is that the Min Pin is related to the Manchester Terrier. While these two breeds resemble each other, there is no relation between them.
First bred to hunt rats, this breed is called Zwergpinscher in Germany, his country of origin. In German, pinscher refers to dogs who were bred as guardians or to hunt vermin, and zwerg means "dwarf" or "midget."
Although he's a rather delicate-looking toy breed, the Min Pin is a sturdy dog with a dynamite personality. If given the chance, this King of Toys will rule you and your household. If you're considering owning one, you must be willing and able to be a strong yet kind pack leader. Training and socialization are essential. It's safe to say the Min Pin is his own dog, both in breeding and attitude.
The Min Pin is also an elegant-looking dog. His arched neck and muscular body gives him a confident air. His sleek, easy-care coat of red, black and rust, or chocolate and rust glistens. Min Pin ears often are cropped, but they can be left natural; the tail is usually docked. He is known for his high-stepping gait.
The diminutive Min Pin is a bundle of energy, full of vigor. He's highly curious and tends to investigate — and possibly eat — everything. He must be watched closely so he doesn't get into something he shouldn't. He's a skilled escape artist and should never be outside off-leash — in fact, you'll have to make sure he doesn't dart out whenever you answer the front door.
For these reasons, the Min Pin is not the dog for everyone, especially first-time dog owners. His energy and intelligence can catch his owner off guard. Without proper training and supervision, he can quickly become a tyrant in the household.
Not surprisingly, the self-assured Min Pin is a great watchdog. He's suspicious of strangers and is typically fearless when faced with a threat, be it real or imagined.
As tough and active as a Min Pin is, he's not big or sturdy enough to withstand the accidental rough handling associated with very small children. He's an excellent pet for older children (ages 10 and up) who know how to treat a small dog with respect and care.
The Min Pin's small size makes him a good pet for apartment dwellers. If socialized with other dogs from an early age, he gets along well with other canines in the household, and with other types of pets.
Because of his energy and tendency to escape, it's important that you enroll your Min Pin in training classes. Don't be surprised, however, if he becomes the class clown. He loves attention and may act up to elicit a response. Training should be persistent, positive, and gentle.
If you have a good sense of humor, appreciate an elegant-looking dog with attitude, and are willing to be the "alpha" dog in your household, the Miniature Pinscher may be the dog for you.