Miniature Pinschers

Miniature Pinschers

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Breed Notes:

The Miniature Pinscher is not a dwarf Doberman Pinscher but an ancient breed that developed in Germany over 350 years ago. He was created in the Rhineland region of Germany to kill rats in and around stables. He was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1929. In Germany he is also called the Zwerg (dwarf) pinscher (terrier). He is considered a toy dog due to his size but his temperament resembles the terrier more.
Although not generally used as a ratter today, the MinPin is very energetic and an excellent alarm dog. He is active, cheerful, spirited and makes a good family pet. Due to his high energy, he needs daily walks or short hours of free exercise in a safe area.
The MinPin is a well balanced, sturdy, compact, smooth-coated dog. His head tapers from a flat skull to the nose. The eyes are slightly oval and dark. The ears are set high and erect. Cropping of ears is optional. The muzzle is strong and parallel to the top of the skull. The nose is black, except in chocolate coated dogs when the nose is self colored. The neck is slightly arched and muscular. The body is compact, slightly wedge-shaped and muscular with a level topline. The tail is set high and held erect. It is docked in proportion to the size of the dog. The legs are well muscled and straight. The feet are cat-like with well arched toes. The gait is a high-stepping, parallel stride. The coat is smooth, hard, and short. Colors of coat include black and tan, chocolate and tan, or stag red. Height at the withers ranges from ten to twelve-and-one-half inches. Weight ranges from eight to ten pounds. of New Jersey writes:

Once you own a Min Pin, you will never go back.
I have had Miniature Pinschers in my life now for six years. They are the most loving little dogs in the world. A true lap companion that will follow you to the ends of the earth, sometimes into the bathroom, always into the bedroom. I show my Min Pins so I can keep my breeding program to the AKC standard. Too much backyard breeding is being done which will hurt any breed. Genetics, soundness and temperament are big factors when breeding any type of dog seriously. Socializing these little guys is very important because of the big Napoleon syndrome that they have. They should have big fearless temperaments on little high-stepping bodies. All I can say is that I will be owned by a Miniature Pinscher until the day I die. I cannot picture not having one in my life. The rewards are too plentiful. of Birmingham, AL writes:

Wonderful pet, but requires a lot of time and attention.
I love my Min Pin. She is very smart and learned "sit" in about 30 minutes. She knows a lot of commands. I would advise anyone thinking of getting one to know they need A LOT of time, attention, and love. This is not a dog to lock in a room for hours on end, and they are quite the escape artists. They need space to play and lots of toys. Also they are very sensitive to cold. Mine demands attention from everyone who comes to our house and will jump up in front of them until they acknowledge and pet her. She only barks when she sees or hears people outside of our house or hears her "daddy's" car. I wouldn't trade her for a million dollars. She's a full-grown six-pound dog with a big dog attitude.

Name withheld by request of New Orleans writes:

Great dogs.
I have a fourteen-year-old Min Pin. She fits the description of the Min Pin: comical, a jester, a jokester, and has the cutest facial expressions. She is stubborn and persistent. When she wants what she wants, she will stand there until I give it to her. But she is the most lovable, sweetest dog, and very protective of me. She thinks she owns me. She still has a lot of energy.

Name withheld by request of New Jersey writes:

Patience, patience, patience!
How can you resist those big brown eyes and that little wrinkled forehead? It depends on whether the little monkey that owns them has just escaped confinement, is rooting through the garbage and burying its newly found treasures or just wants to cuddle. Min Pins are without a doubt the most unique, agile, fun-loving breed that I've encountered thus far. But if you're considering one, there are a few things that you should know!
Be firm: I always tell people that there's a reason my Min Pin is so cute (otherwise she would constantly be in trouble!). Most of these dogs are crafty and don't need to learn something twice, but they are just as stubborn. This means that they will learn to sit, but they'll only do it if they want to. If you're planning on owning a Min Pin, you have to resolve to be firm about the do's and don'ts of your house long before they come in to take over (and they will).
Be sensitive: Min Pins do not react to yelling. It is usually seen as a challenge and can invite a barking festival. The best way to deal with one is to observe it and start anticipating its actions. Don't forget that they can climb, dig, jump very high, and fit into small spaces. My Min Pin, for instance, loves to eat anything, so if the pantry door is slightly cracked, I know she's going to be in it. If there is a bag on the countertop with any hint of food in it, she'll find a way to jump up to retrieve it. I am always on the lookout for "items of interest" and making sure that they cannot be obtained. Knowing your dog will make it better for you and him/her.
Be patient: Have a sense of humor. If you really love your house, or if you're really attached to your stuff, Min Pins probably aren't for you. It is best to look at owning a Min Pin as having a two-year-old. If you have small children, you're adding another one and it usually adds too much stress. If you want a dog that makes a friend in every stranger, you'll be mortified when you have guests. There is no peace and quiet, because to these little dogs, there is always something going on that requires barking.
All this said, owning a Min Pin can be an amazing experience, when you're prepared for the worst and if you're up for the challenge. They are little fireballs, but they also really like curling up in your lap. They're very affectionate and once they get to know you, they'll never forget you. You can get them to do almost anything once with a little bit of food! They are so much fun to watch and can be so striking in countenance. The challenging aspects of their personality are also the things that make you fall in love with them. Mine loves to climb, especially into the bathtub for some splash time. When you give her something she really likes, she immediately disappears to go bury it in the couch or under a blanket. It's always time to play. The great thing about Min Pins is that you get lots of dog in a little package.
If you're still sold on Min Pins, don't rush into buying one. It's difficult, but a good practice of patience. Find a breeder you trust who will help you find the right temperament for you. Sometimes you have to wait for the right one (because litters are small), but it's worthwhile! Pay them a visit and see what their other dogs are like. Remember, a good breeder will always take your Min Pin back if you can't handle it. of Texas writes:

Wonderful companions, consistency is the key.
I have a twelve-month-old female who is adorable! These are wonderful companion dogs if you can handle their energy and intelligence. First of all, as pups, they have unlimited energy it seems. Ours was very easy to housebreak. At first we had a little trouble until we placed a litterbox with litter in her pen and then voila! she was housebroken. It took her a long time before she could hold it for very long, I think mostly because Min Pins are very impulsive, meaning they DO NOT think ahead. When she was ready, however, she started going outside on her own and now only uses the litter pan rarely when she can't get outside. Consistency is the key to training. I know this because she would do everything my husband said to do, but she'd only do it half the time for me until I started making her. I know it's hard &shyp; they are so cute. The first time you let them not do something you tell them, the wheels in those same cute little heads start turning and they think hmm ... maybe I don't have to do it next time. Ours is fairly well obedience trained. Again, remember that they are impulsive and to build up to things. If you tell her to stay, she does so perfectly for about 30 seconds, then suddenly she sees something else she wants to do and takes off merrily. When you correct her she looks at you with a very surprised look on her face as though she totally forgot what she was doing. If you are strict (consistent not abusive) these can be well-trained obedient dogs and make great pets for adults or older children. of U.S. writes:

A great breed, but not for everyone.
As many articles on this breed say, Miniature Pinschers are not for everyone. Min Pins are very lovable, but they need to feel that it is their idea to hop up on your lap for a cuddle. Min Pins, are very strong-willed, but respond very well to praise when being trained and are very intelligent. Wary of strangers, but with time will accept most people. Excellent with children; obviously, dogs and children need to be supervised carefully when around each other, and I explain because of their small size and bone structure that they cannot be roughhoused with like a large dog. In conclusion, I wouldn't have thought to choose this breed, but now that I have one, I would definitely own another one. I would recommend that buyers make their decision carefully if they have the time, energy, and safe environment to devote to this breed. of Des Moines, IA writes:

I have always owned large breed dogs. Old English Sheepdogs being my dog of choice. A friend gave me a Min Pin puppy two years ago. On the second visit to the vet I thought I might have to have the dog put to sleep because of rage. My vet reassured me to be patient, reminding me I have a Min Pin puppy. I'm glad I heeded his advice. I now have six. They are so special. My oldest rageful baby falls asleep in a hypnotic state just by my rubbing him behind the ears, I am guaranteed at least a large yawn when I touch the back of his ears. As much heart and spunk as any large dog I have ever owned. They are wonderful pets, once you adjust to them. of Jacksonville, FL writes:

The greatest!
I own a two-year-old Min Pin that is the sweetest thing you have ever seen. She has really stolen my heart. She was kind of hard to potty train, but now she is great and loves her crate. You don't see too many Min Pins so when you do it is a treat. I really love the breed and look forward to owning them the rest of my life. One thing you must have with this breed is patience, but they are an all-around loving breed. of Wisconsin writes:

I love my Mini Pinscher.
I adopted a Min Pin from a rescue organization. He is ten years old. His original owners died. I chose him off the net because he was older. We are older and my hubby has a dog that is seven and I thought he would fit in here perfect. My hubby thought I was nuts, but he let me go and boy was it worth it. I could have not found a dog that fit in here that would have been better. Even at ten he still has plenty of energy, I wish I had some of it. He bonded to me like he was suppose to, he guards the house and is friendly with the rest of the members of the household. But we have to watch him when when we get visitors. He is exceptionally well behaved. I expected him to be more of a challenge but I am extremely pleased that he has responded so well. I thought it would be harder being that he is ten. The key is you must treat him like you would a newborn baby. He is frightened of thunderstorms. We have had two that were all-nighters in the two weeks he has been here. He barks at the thunder and lightning. So I just held him, loved him through the whole thing and that created a very tight bonding.
It can't get better then this, but everyday he does something new to surprise me. Yes, they are fiesty little buggers and they are not for everyone. But I am retired and I do not have anything better to do and I focus all my attention on him. In fact, that is why I wanted my own baby, because I didn't care if I got up or even moved. I have a lot of bad days that I am on the couch a lot and now he is there with me and he keeps me going and moving more too. This dog will be with me until one of us goes down for the count. I wouldn't trade him for a million dollars.

Name withheld by request of the U.S. writes:

Not good learners.
I have lived with a Min Pin for two years. I will say she is a nice dog, but I think Min Pins are just impossible to train or basically get anything across to them. I love this dog, but she isn't that smart at all. True, a lot of training is about the owner too, but Min Pins are just not "train-friendly" dogs. They may be an OK dog for someone who has all day and night to try and teach them. of Michigan writes:

Miniature Pinschers are the most loveable dogs.
When I first got my Miniature Pinscher I was skeptical because the dog has so much energy. Only after a few hours I realized I was wrong. My Min Pin will let me hold him for hours and hours. He is very loveable and great with little kids. He seems very gentle with them yet, he can get rough with the older ones. I never in my life thought a puppy could be so conscious of his surroundings.

Name withheld by request of Canada writes on 2/18/01:

Very spunky intelligent happy little dogs.
We have 2 Miniature Pinschers. After always having Labs and Dobermans we were not sure of everything to expect. These dogs are very friendly and outgoing. One is shown by my daughter in obedience and has done extremely well, scores of 190-193. They are now in the open division and doing well. Both dogs are in agility and love that sport. For there size they are full of energy and sometimes I wish the batteries could be taken out. The larger of the 2 likes to cross country ski with me. We chose a Min Pin as my daughter could not keep up on course with the fast dobes so she chose the min pin,she now runs just as fast.At night they curl up on your lap and and love to be petted. Our dogs get on well with all other breeds as they are raised with a dobe and don't fear big dogs. One thing I find with them is they tend to be leary of small children as most kids want to automatically pick them up. If the kids let the dog go to them there is no problem,the dogs will play with the kids. Very good for guard dogs (as in to bark) they are the first to hear anything. This breed is easy to groom and keep clean. We are certainly happy with these entertaining little dogs. of Atlanta, GA writes on 12/29/99:

The most perfect dog.
I have always adopted dogs - big, old, loveable. When I lost the last one, I decided that as much as I care for and just love to be around dogs, I needed to pick a specific breed that was just right for me and my lifestyle. I researched all of the breeds that I thought were interesting for one whole year before making the big descision, and bought my first Minpin 1.5 years ago. A stunning in every way blk/rust female. She has bowled over me and mine, and changed our whole outlook on dogs forever. For Christmas, we finally found the chocolate stud we have been looking for. He came home today! We are so thrilled about the new additions to the family and could never, ever ask for more in any breed of dog than the Mini Pins have given us. They are more family to us than most of our family. of El Paso, TX writes on 10/14/99:

A one person dog for the active and patient individual or family.
Miniature Pinschers are very similar to potato chips, it's pretty difficult to have just one. If attitude, aptitude and ability to learn are the prerequites for you then you are half way there as far as owning a Min Pin goes. The King of Toys has it all. They are agile and aggressive dogs that love to play. Agility and obedience are great sports for this fun loving dog. Wrestling on the den floor or snuggling on the sofa they perform nonstop for the owner who is willing and able to take control. Not for the faint of heart they can be true escape artists who will slip out of the front door in less than the blink of an eye. Ever alert they can become excessive barkers if boundries are not set by the owner.
The min pin motto is, "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine!" They are thieves who will not only steal your heart but your wallet, keys, tissues, eye glasses, and anything else you own and hide it in places you didn't know exist. Be forewarned. They can be wary of strangers but the home visitor who is instructed to just ignore the dog will soon find that the Min Pin will become a friend in a very short time. They want to please so a general obedience class is a truly good idea. The bonding that occurs between owner and dog during this process is a reward that both owner and dog will enjoy throughout the dogs life.
The fact remains that many owners are not truly educated enough about the breed prior to purchase and bring this sweet little darling into their home only to discover that they are now owned by a whirling dirvish that is all over the place and into everything. Many go through some very difficult stages in the first year of their lives. Digging (they do have some terrior background) in corners and at doorways, barking at everything in sight, chasing any small creature that moves, getting into everything imaginable and probably the worse problem for any dog owner, housebreaking problems. Because of their aggressive and independant nature plus their inate intelligence they will attempt to decide when and where they do their duty. Good crate training, monitoring of food and water intake, and some disipline on the part of the owner will generally resolve this problem.
Min Pins love to travel and make great companions wherever you go. They like attention and a well bred and trained min pin on the end of a lead is truly an attention getter. The gait, or hackney, of a well bred min pin is a show stopper. Because of the leg structure of the breed small children must be supervised when handling the dog. A min pin will readily adapt to being a family dog but small children are a danger to most any toy dog and strong parental guidance is required because of the dogs agility, intelligence and attitude. Primarily a very healthy breed, leggs perthe and patellar luxation are issues which must be discussed with the breeder prior to purchase. Demodectic mange is not unusual in the breed but if treatment is done in a timely manner generally is not a major problem.

Name withheld by request of Ann Arbor, MI writes on 10/10/99:

As a breeder and owner, I want new owners to really know the breed they are getting into.
I owned one Min Pin at three months old and wanted to return her at four months, five months and again at six months of age. Why, because she was more hyper than I was used to seeing in my Shetland Sheepdogs. If I were to go upstairs, this little speed-o would beat me to the top, but should I change my mind half way up, she would be at the bottom before I had time to turn around. If I told my Sheltie to go and lie down, she would walk away two steps and lie down. When you tell a Min Pin to do the same, it's like 'where do you want me to lie down, here on the rug, or maybe here on this chair, or how about over here on the sofa.' You have to shake your head at times.
The Min Pin is a super agile little dog of average weight between six and ten pounds. they take up very little space except in your bed, when they want all the space, and it is very easy to have more than one. At the time I wanted to send my first one back, the breeder encouraged me to keep trying. She meant to try and not let the little devil run my life, something they are quite good at. By the time she was six months old, I thought I had her figured out, and knew how to handle this fun loving dog. They are like children who feel they always have to be touching you, sitting on you, or even make certain that you know they are there if you want them. They are sunworshippers, despise the rain, and would prefer to hibernate for the winter, rather than walk in that white stuff. They are the greatest watchdogs, but they do bark. Some of their first training should be to teach these little smart alecs to "speak", so that you can tell them to be quiet, and know that they will. They enjoy obedience work, along with agility,and flyball.
Being a small breed, the Min Pin does not have a way to outwardly show they can protect themselves,
xcept by being aggressive. They are not vicious, but who is to know that, (except another Min Pin
owner), when a single Min Pin , or a herd of Min Pins see a stranger coming, they will erupt with the fury of Mt. St. Helens, and run up to the stranger like the stanger was going to be eaten alive, but then, a foot away from the stranger, the Min Pin(s) will stop and walk away with the attitude of " Boy , did I tell them a thing or two." I often tell visitors, who haven't been scared off at this point, to completely ignore the dogs, and within five to ten minutes, they have Min Pins crawling all over them. It is unbelievable, this transformation, but most dogs know a 'friendly' from an 'enemy', and I trust my dogs instincts.
I don't think Min Pins are for everyone, that is why I rated them only at a four. They are not for very young children, as they are very fast, and can be hurt or snap if they feel threatened or anticipate pain somehow. Because of their speed, they may not be very good for the very elderly, who would not be able to chase them around a neighborhood if they slipped out a doorway by chance. They need a firm voice/hand to keep them under control, because they can be very trying at times, and exasperating at others. They have ideas of their own on how they wish to be lived with. I now own six Min Pins, but have had as many as twelve. They are a 'wash & wear' type dog, in that they need very little grooming, but an occasional bath in the kitchen sink is all that is needed, and nails are a "must do" every three to four weeks. Many people call them the 'apartment size Doberman', but they are a sweet and loving toy breed that only wants to worship the ground you, his god, stands on.

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