(aka: Reh Pinscher, Zwergpinscher, Min Pin)
The Miniature Pinscher is a small but sturdy and athletic dog. He has a compact build, and an alert and inquisitive expression. The ears of the Miniature Pinscher can be folded, lending the dog a softer appearance, or may stand erect or cropped, which adds to his alert expression. His coat is closing fitting, short, and sleek.
The Miniature Pinscher is a dog that looks like a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher breed. However, the two breeds are unrelated, and, in fact, the Miniature Pinscher breed is older than the Doberman Pinscher. They are small muscular dogs with square proportions and docked tails. They have tapering narrow heads with a prominent foreface that balances with the skull. Their ears are set high on the head and stand erect; they are sometimes docked. Their eyes are oval and dark in color, with a clear and bright appearance. Their skulls are somewhat flat and taper into the strong looking muzzle. Their noses are always black, except in chocolates, which have self colored noses.
The Miniature Pinscher's gait is very high stepping. They run in a free and easy manner, with their forelegs and hind legs moving in parallel. They drive smoothly and strongly from the rear with their heads held high.
Miniature Pinscher Temperment
The Miniature Pinscher is an alert and fun loving dog, with courage, spirit, and enthusiasm for everything he does. These vibrant and lively dogs can be difficult to control and train, and are best suited to those with experience in dog ownership and training. The Miniature Pinscher will bark to raise an alarm and this makes him an effective watchdog. They are intelligent and quick to learn, but need an owner that is assertive and confident, with a positive training manner. Considering his small size, the Miniature Pinscher is very bold, and is also observant and inquisitive. They can be territorial and dominant, and many also tend to bark a lot. Housebreaking may prove very difficult with some Miniature Pinschers.
The Miniature Pinscher does love to play and exercise, and has very high energy levels, so he is not suited to families that are not very active. He can be quite clingy, and thrives on affection and attention, so he also needs a family with plenty of time to dedicate to a pet. These dogs do not like to be handled roughly, and therefore is best suited to families with gentle children. They are usually wary around strangers, and can be dominant with other pets or even chase smaller ones. You should ensure that the Miniature Pinscher has a safe and secured area to play and exercise in, as these dogs can easily escape and are very good at climbing. Early socialization is important to ensure a stable personality.
The Miniature Pinscher does not require much in the way of grooming, and an occasional brush and wipe over with a damp cloth will keep his coat sleek and shiny. These dogs are relatively low shedders, and therefore may be suited to those suffering from allergies.
The Miniature Pinscher is a German Breed, unrelated to the Doberman Pinscher, though they look nearly identical in features. The breed was developed from terrier breeds, including the German Pinscher and Italian Greyhound for the purpose of hunting rats in stables. The Dachshund was also used to help breed in the small size. (Pinscher means terrier in German.) In fact, the Doberman Pinscher was bred by Louis Doberman in 1890, and was designed to look like the Miniature Pinscher. For this reason, we know that the two breeds do share common ancestors, including the German Pinscher.
These dogs have been pictured in paintings for centuries, but actual documentation on the breed is only about 200 years old. Development of the breed outside of Germany began in 1895, when the German Pinscher Klub was formed and created the first breed standard. The Miniature Pinscher first came to the US in 1919, and was first registered with the AKC in 1929.
The Miniature Pinscher requires firm and consistent training, but once trained, they are a great companion dog. From an early age, they must understand that you are the "alpha dog", or they will be quite happy to run your household. Once they respect you as the alpha dog, they are very loyal and easy to please.
Miniature Pinschers like to amuse you. So, during the course of training, don't ever laugh when he misbehaves, or the behavior will be set for life. You must be firm and serious when correcting him to avoid sending mixed signals. And, while your corrections must be firm and consistent, they should not be overly harsh, or he'll become scared and skittish. Once your dog learns that training is no nonsense time, he'll likely enjoy it, since he will be eager to learn.
Miniature Pinschers require socialization at an early age, to prevent them from being wary of human strangers and to prevent them from being aggressive with other dogs. Puppy classes, where the puppies are introduced to each other and learn to share toys and water bowls would be perfect for this breed.
Crate training works well for housebreaking the Min Pin. Because this breed can be stubborn and dominant, and because their accidents are easy to miss due to their size, it's important to be very persistent in house breaking them. If they have an accident that goes unnoticed, they will believe that going to the bathroom in the house is acceptable, and the habit will be nearly impossible to break. Keeping your puppy in his crate unless you are actively interacting with him will help ensure that there are no accidents. Puppies should not be allowed to roam the house unsupervised until they are consistently house trained. It's wise to leave your Min Pin in his crate when you leave the house even after he's house trained, to prevent him from getting into something that could be dangerous for him.
Some owners of the Miniature Pinscher choose to paper train their dogs. Since they are not good in extreme temperatures, paper training prevents the dog from having to go outdoors when it is very cold or hot.
This breed likes to bark, so part of your early training should include teaching them when barking is appropriate and when it is not. They are also great escape artists, prone to digging under fences or jumping over them. Training in this area will be helpful, but your best bet is just to ensure that your fence is very secure and not to leave them outdoors unsupervised for long periods of time.
This is a relatively healthy and robust breed, but there are some health problems to look out for, including: luxating patella, Legg Perthes, skin problems, cataracts, and PRA. The parents of the Miniature Pinscher puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.