Miniature Pinscher Breed Guide

Miniature Pinschers are a small, smooth-coated breed with a coat that comes in chocolate with tan markings, black with rust markings, red, and stag red. The coat is hard, short and very lustrous and lies close to the body. These dogs have dark, oval eyes and high-set ears. Their muzzles are strong and their body is compact and well balanced. Miniature Pinschers measure 10 to 12.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 8 to 11 pounds.

If they are allowed to run the house, they will. Consistent rules and a firm but gentle hand is necessary to keep their big egos in check and prevent bossiness.

These dogs are lively and curious and they make excellent family companions. They do very well in apartments, get along great with children, and are easy to groom. Miniature Pinschers are smart and stubborn and strongly believe themselves to be standard-sized dogs. This attitude can, and often does, get them into trouble.

Although Miniature Pinschers look a lot like Doberman Pinschers, they are not smaller versions of the Doberman. They are, however, closely related breeds, and the Doberman is probably an ancestor of the Miniature.

Miniature Pinschers are lively, active dogs that need a lot of exercise and enjoy receiving plenty of attention. They are naturally curious dogs and love to learn and explore. Their curious nature can also get them into trouble, though, when they chew or taste something they shouldn't or when they wander away from home. Healthy chew toys and a securely fenced yard will help.

A naturally protective breed, Miniature Pinschers are very loyal and devoted to their human families. They are also very aware of outside activity and will bark loudly if they sense any sort of threat. They make great watchdogs, especially with training.

Miniature Pinschers enjoy children, but they may not be the best choice for families with toddlers who may chase or tease them. These little dogs are proud and defensive and may become annoyed if they feel they are being bullied or picked on. These dogs, like all dogs, should be supervised when around small kids.

Miniature Pinschers are generally healthy and active breeds, but they are known to suffer from certain health conditions that can limit mobility or shorten life. Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, elbow luxation, and patellar luxation can all negatively affect mobility, and conditions such as diabetes can severely interfere with quality of life.

The breed is also at risk for a condition called Mucopolysaccharidosis VI, or MPSVI, which is a genetic defect in the processing of certain molecules inside the body. Congenital deafness and certain eye diseases, including progressive retinal atrophy, optic nerve hypoplasia, and glaucoma, are also more common in Miniature Pinschers than in some other breeds.

With routine veterinary care, plenty of daily exercise, a healthy diet, and standard canine vaccinations, Miniature Pinschers generally live up to 15 years.

Intelligent and eager to learn, Miniature Pinschers generally respond well to training. However, like other toy breeds, these dogs can be difficult to housetrain. Starting early, being consistent, and resisting the impulse to harshly criticize mistakes will help.

Miniature Pinschers don't generally require a lot of training, but care must be taken not to spoil the breed. If they are allowed to run the house, they will. Consistent rules and a firm but gentle hand is necessary to keep their big egos in check and prevent bossiness.

Most negative behaviors are manageable with increased exercise. These dogs have a lot of energy, and if they don't have a positive outlet for it, they will seek out fun (and sometimes destructive) ways of burning it off. This being said, this breed is known for their ability to escape from yards and must be supervised when outdoors if there's any possibility of them wandering off. It's also important to check fences daily for holes.

Miniature Pinschers are relatively easy to groom. They tend to keep themselves neat and clean and their coat is very low maintenance. A quick brushing with a bristle brush once or twice weekly is usually enough to keep the coat healthy and prevent shed hairs from building up.

These dogs can be bathed as often as weekly with a pH-balanced dog shampoo, but they rarely need bathing more than once every couple of months. If the Miniature Pinscher rolls around in something toxic, it's important to clean the coat right away. The natural instinct of these dogs to clean themselves can result in accidental ingestion of whatever is on their coat.

Dental problems are a significant concern in this breed, just like in other Toy breeds. The teeth should be brushed daily with a canine toothpaste, and dental treats should be used whenever brushing is not possible. The nails need clipping about twice monthly, and the ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection or excess ear wax. Redness, odor, discharge, and other signs of infection should be reported to a veterinarian right away.

Miniature Pinschers originated in Germany several centuries ago and were used primarily as barnyard ratters. They were likely created from combining the Dachshund with German Pinschers and Italian Greyhounds.

During the late 1800s, breeders began manipulating the breed to produce the tiniest dogs possible, but this resulted in numbers of unattractive and crippled dogs. Fortunately, this practice did not last long, and by the turn of the century, breeders were once again focusing on health and elegance. The breed hit a high in popularity in its native Germany approaching World War I, but its numbers fell significantly after the war.

Fortunately, some of the dogs had already made their way to America and other countries, which helped keep the breed's overall numbers up. However, they did not become well known in the United States until recognized by the AKC. Once word got out, however, their popularity increased and Miniature Pinschers are now beloved family companions and remain one of the most popular Toy breeds in America.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Miniature Pinscher in 1925.