Let's talk Miniature Pinschers

The living embodiment of the maxim that “good things come in small packages”, the Miniature Pinscher is tiny but perfectly formed, a sleek little dog full of playfulness, energy and fun. These mini canines were originally bred to catch vermin but have long since left those working days behind them and nowadays make inquisitive, intelligent and energetic pets - always on the go, but just the right size for a cuddle in their moments of calm.

Official name: Miniature Pinscher

Other names: Zwergpinscher

Origins: Germany

Pinscher standing looking past camera in black and white

 

 Drooling tendencies  Very low  Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level  Medium  Suited to apartment living?  Very high
 Energy Level *  Medium  Family Pet? *  Medium
 Compatibility with other pets  Very high  Can stay alone? *  

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 

Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Miniature Pinscher
Male
26 - 31 cm Height
4 - 6 kg Weight
Female
26 - 31 cm Height
4 - 6 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 10 months
 Adult age  10 months to 2 years
 Mature age  8 to 12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

 

Close-up of man's face with three Miniature Pinschers

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Get to know the Miniature Pinscher

All you need to know about the breed

Miniature Pinschers – Min Pins to their friends, of which there are plenty – are compact little bundles of energy, with inquisitive, lively expressions and a big personality to match. With their smooth dense coats, in shades of black, red or tan, big brown eyes and supersize ears, they have all the physical characteristics of the larger German Pinscher in a charming but feisty micro-format.

Miniature Pinschers were originally bred to catch rats, and have retained their prey instinct, so they need to be exercised on the lead or let off in a safe enclosed space. Once trained, they should be fine with other dogs or cats in their own household.

Their small stature means Miniature Pinschers are ideally suited to living in an apartment, although they are energetic dogs and they do need to be taken out regularly for walks or play sessions. Miniature Pinschers have alpha personalities, so owners need to make sure they show them who is pack leader (FYI, that should be you) through early, patient and positive training.

Miniature Pinschers make eager, alert and fearless watchdogs, ready to let off a volley of barks if strangers approach their home. Just don’t tell them those strangers probably won’t be that scared by the diminutive barker.

Close-up of Miniature Pinscher looking away from camera

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2 facts about Miniature Pinschers

1. Burrowing instinct

Being able to dig down into rat holes used to be vital for their mission, so burrowing is second nature to Miniature Pinschers. Don’t be surprised if you find them digging into their beds or blankets. Another throwback to their early days as rat-hunters comes in the form of their propensity to chew their toys.

2. Hackney carriage

Miniature Pinschers are known for their high-stepping “hackney” gait, so-called because of its resemblance to a trotting Hackney horse, the breed that was developed to pull carriages and which is also known for its exaggerated step. Just on a slightly bigger scale.

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History of the breed

Miniature Pinschers may look like tiny Doberman Pinschers but in fact the two breeds are separate. They do share a common ancestor, the German Pinscher, but the Miniature Pinscher is the older breed.

The exact history of the Miniature Pinscher breed is unclear, but it is thought these dogs, sometimes known as “King of Toys”, are the result of crosses between German Pinschers, Italian Greyhounds and Miniature Dachshunds going back several hundred years. Whatever the breed ingredients, the Miniature Pinscher recipe was designed to create a small rat-hunter, able to dig and burrow into the earth to catch its prey.

Miniature Pinschers have left their vermin-catching days behind them, and their popularity as pets began to grow from the early part of the 20th century. Miniature Pinschers’ combination of dinky size – ideal for apartment-dwellers – and perky personality, means they’re still popular today.

Miniature Pinscher looking at camera in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Miniature Pinschers

1. Ears

Outsize ears, either standing up or neatly folded over.

2. Head

Elongated head and muzzle, big eyes and alert expression.

3. Body

Strong, sturdy muscular little legs and body.

4. Coat

Smooth, short coat in solid red or black and tan.

5. Tail

Mid-length tail, often curved.

Side view of Miniature Pinscher standing on wooden deck

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Pinscher running down sandy hill

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Caring for your Miniature Pinschers

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Miniature Pinschers, with their smooth, short coats, are easy to groom – just a weekly brush and they’re good to go. Like other small dogs, their teeth need to be looked after too: regular brushing with a special canine toothpaste will keep them healthy. They may be small, but they definitely need plenty of exercise: daily walks as well as regular chances to chase a ball or run around and play will keep them contented and healthy. Remember to equip them with a little canine coat if it’s cold; they don’t have very thick coats so they’re sensitive to cold temperatures. These diminutive dogs are intelligent and independent-minded so training needs to be consistent, positive and patient–and any treats need to be taken out of their daily rations. Puppy training classes can help with socialisation and ensure they grow up to be at ease around other animals and people.

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All about Miniature Pinschers

While we can’t speak for all of them, these little bundles of energy seem to enjoy a cuddle – if they can sit still long enough that is. One way to encourage this is through brushing from an early age. Even if their coats are pretty low maintenance, the ritual is good for bonding. And they’re just the right size to sit on their humans’ laps for a snuggle.

Because they are so small, Miniature Pinschers don’t thrive in families with very young children who might accidentally hurt them and certainly tower over them. And they’re a breed best avoided if you also have small pets such as hamsters – that chasing instinct runs deep. But once trained these dogs make a fun, lively and loyal addition to a family with older kids.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/