THE MINIATURE PINSCHER

The Miniature Pinscher has been around for hundreds of years and is even older than the Doberman, though not related. It is believed that the Min-Pin was originally breed to be a ratter, but quickly became one of Europe’s favorite Toy dog breeds. Their quirky natures also make them very popular in the U.S.

Brief History

The Miniature Pinscher was bred around 1895 and is a part of the AKC/UKC, Toy Dog Group. Historians believe that the Min-Pin is a cross of the Dachshund and the Italian Greyhound. The German Pinscher was also crossed in at some point, though WWI slowed its development. Once the war concluded, German dog breeders and dog fanciers continued breeding the Miniature Pinscher. The Min-Pin arrived in the U.S in the 1920’s. Although the Min-Pin is a small dog breed, they make highly capable watch dogs.

Physical Features

The Min-Pin is a well-balanced, sturdy, and small dog breed. This dog breed has a compact and muscular wedge-shaped body. With a narrow, tapering head and a flat skull, the Min-Pin has a strong muzzle. Their heads are well-balanced with a black nose. Chocolate-colored Min-Pins typically have a brown nose to match. This pup’s eyes are alert, oval-shaped and so brown that they’re almost black. Ears may be cropped or natural. The Min-Pin has a short, smooth and straight coat. Coloring is either red, stag red (red with black mixed in), black with rust markings, or chocolate with rust markings.

The Min-Pin always looks well-groomed. This dog breed has a hackney-type movement that is high-reaching, and a free and easy gait. The tail and head are always carried high. The Min-Pin has total self-confidence, and is also a fearless, athletic dog breed.

Average Height:

10-12 inches

Average Weight:

8-10 pounds

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

miniature pinscher

Temperament

The vigorous and fearless Miniature Pinscher is a proud, alert, and well-groomed breed. They typically are extremely confident with tremendous spirit and may seem arrogant to other dogs. This breed may be wary of strangers and is sometimes aggressive with other dogs.

The Min-Pin will be combative if provoked. This dog breed does well with positive dog training and socialization starting at puppyhood. That said, dog parents need to protect this super confident little guy from larger dogs.

The Min-Pin does well with apartment living. Additionally, this spirited dog breed enjoys being indulged, and is very popular when visiting bookstores and cafes. The Min-Pin does well with all the attention he gets when out and about. They make spirited, loyal family additions.

Special Needs

The Min-Pin makes a wonderful active and alert companion dog, but definitely needs plenty of socialization starting the first four weeks of puppyhood. They may occasionally have aggressive tendencies towards strangers and other animals, so the sooner this breed starts with socialization and positive training, the better. Although you may think that because this dog breed is small, this is a laid back dog breed, keep in mind that the Min-Pin’s original purpose was for ratting. This dog breed is amenable to city living, but must have daily walks and trips to the local dog park. The Min-Pin often makes for a wonderful travel companion. This breed should always be supervised around children, as they tend to be short-tempered.

Min-Pin pups that have been socialized early tend to be more relaxed later on in life in different environmental situations. They also are more tolerant of children, other animals, and people. The more socialization and positive training your Min-Pin gets, the nicer they’ll be.

Children should also learn not to disturb the Min-Pin when eating, not to carry him around or be aggressive. This dog breed generally prefers adults to children and does well with a relaxed environment. That said, the Min-Pin is prone to separation anxiety when left alone. This breed may also be difficult to housetrain, especially male Min-Pins.

The Min-Pin has a high prey drive and may be possessive over food and dog toys. They love affection and benefit from a lot of TLC.

Possible Health Concerns

  • Cervical Dry Disk: This is a common neurological problem found in Min-Pins. Cervical disk disease results in the loss of flexibility in the intervertebral disk. The discs no longer act as shock absorbers. Symptoms include stiff head and neck, severe muscle spasms and possible paralysis.
  • Patellar Luxation: This is typically congenital in Toy breeds like the Min-Pin, and may occur at the same time as other limb abnormalities. It is caused by the abnormal development of the kneecap(patella). X-rays will aid in seeing the severity of the displacement. 
  • Legg-Calve- Perthes Disease: This is the deterioration of the top of the femur (femoral head), and is seen in Toy and smaller dog breeds. It is characterized by a lack of blood supply, and the destruction of blood vessels of the bone. Some symptoms may include hindlimb lameness, loss of muscle in the thighs, and pain when moving the hip joint. Treatment involves surgery.
  • Epilepsy: This is an inherited disease that causes seizures. 
  • Hypothyroidism a deficiency of the thyroid hormone and can cause weight gain in dogs, as well as constipation and cold sensitivity. Treatment typically involves thyroid hormone supplementation.
  • Canine Mucopolysaccaridoses: The Min-Pin is especially prone to this. It is a group of metabolic disorders that are caused by an accumulation of glycosaminoglycans or mucopolysaccharides. Symptoms may include severe bone disease, dwarfism, degenerative joint disease, and eye cloudiness. 

Exercise

The Miniature Pinscher is a sturdy and headstrong little fellow and needs to be walked regularly to avoid cabin fever. This breed tends to bark a lot, and will become demanding if he’s left alone too often. That said, this breed learns very fast, so don’t let bad habits set in. The Min-Pin does well with frequent visits to the dog park and running off leash.

If this breed is not exercised properly, it may become aggressive and very rowdy. Long hikes, walks, canine surfing, and obedience classes are great for this loyal and alert pup. The Mini-Pin wants nothing more than to be with their pet parent.

Nutrition

The Min-Pin does well on a high-quality dog food. If you’re opting for home-prepared dog food, consult with your veterinarian first. All dog food diets should have the approval of a veterinarian. Smaller dog breeds tend to pick up weight easily and are prone to being overweight.

The Lagotto Romagnolo

Grooming

The Min-Pin is a low maintenance dog breed with minimal grooming required. Daily combing with a soft brush is all that’s needed. Consult with your veterinarian as to the healthiest flea and tick products. Your Min-Pin will need to be bathed weekly. With so many natural dog shampoos and conditioners available today, make sure that you use one that is appropriate for your Min-Pin’s skin and coat. Tearless shampoos work well. Some sensitive Min-Pin’s may not do well with scented products and may only be able to tolerate hypoallergenic products.

Min-Pin’s require monthly pedicures. If you’re not comfortable doing this, consult with a professional dog groomer or veterinarian. The Min-Pin’s ears also need to be regularly cleaned. This can be done by wiping a cotton ball or canine wipe, moistened with a canine ear cleaner, inside the ear. To prevent chronic gum disease, brush your Min-Pin’s teeth every morning. Professional dental cleanings are recommended twice a year.

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