Miniature Pinscher

Fondly known as the King of Toys, the Miniature Pinscher is a small dog breed from Germany. This dog looks like a Doberman but is a distinct older breed. With dignified good looks and a confident attitude, this Min Pin is a tough little dog and a delight to be with. 


Bred in Germany to hunt vermin, like rats in the homes and horse stables, the Min Pin has also been called Zwergpinscher which means a dwarf dog that is bred to hunt vermin or be a guardian. 

Though this dog is thought to be an ancient breed, reliable historical documentation of his existence dates back several centuries. His first name was Reh Pinscher because he was similar to the small deer found in the forests of Germany. 

German breeders formed the Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub in 1895 where they developed the first breed standard for the Min Pin. The first public showing was in the Stuttgart Dog Show in 1900.

Popular in his homeland, this small dog breed was imported to Scandinavian countries and the United States. In 1929, the Miniature Pinscher Club of America was formed. The dog was first classified in the Terrier Group by the American Kennel Club but was later reclassified as Toys in 1930. 

Physical Characteristics

This small dog looks like a mini version of a Doberman. He is well-muscled with an elegant body structure and a beautiful arched neck.

The Min Pin resembles the Manchester Terrier but there is no relation between them. 

The dog’s ears are usually cropped and the tail docked. He has a high-stepping gait and a sleek short coat that comes in the following colors:

  • Red
  • Black
  • Rust
  • Chocolate 


When fully grown, the Min Pin weighs a dainty 8 to 11 pounds (3 to 5kg) and stands up to 12 inches (32cm). 

Character & abilities

The Min Pin is fearless and alert with a dynamite personality. When given the chance, he will rule over the entire household. This dog needs an owner who is willing and able to be a pack leader with strength and kindness. 

This small dog is full of vigor and highly inquisitive. He loves to investigate everything, especially for its edible value. He can get into trouble putting things in his mouth that he shouldn’t and should be closely watched. 

He is a clown, loves entertaining and being the center of attention. He doesn’t like to lie around and prefers to keep busy being active around his loved ones.

Quite the handful, this dog’s energy and intelligence can be disarming and is not recommended for novice dog owners. 

He is suspicious of strangers and makes a great watchdog. He is brave when faced with any threat. Because of his small size, he cannot withstand any roughhousing and is better suited as a playmate for older children. 

Trainability & Intelligence

Obedience training and early socialization are essential for the Min Pin to prevent him from becoming a tyrant in the home. 

This breed has been likened to being like a toddler who needs constant supervision. When unable to supervise the Min Pin, crate training is recommended to keep him out of trouble. 

Exercise Needs & Nutrition

This spirited toy dog is a bundle of energy that is always ready for action and needs plenty of exercise. Regular walks and play sessions can help keep him active and well mannered.

An adult Min Pin can eat ½ to 1 cup of dry dog food a day, depending on his size, build, metabolism and level of activity. When unsure, consult the dog’s vet or animal nutritionist. 


This toy dog doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. To keep his short coat shiny, a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt is sufficient. Too many baths can dry out the dog’s skin and can be limited to when the dog gets dirty or smelly. For regular cleaning, a wet warm washcloth can be used to wipe the coat. 

Regular brushing of the teeth removes bacteria and prevents the buildup of plaque, gum disease and bad breath. Once or twice a month, the nails need trimming to prevent tears and other injuries. If the Min Pin isn’t well adjusted to grooming from an early age, a professional groomer can assist. 

Living Conditions & Adaptability

Even though the Miniature Pinscher is highly energetic, he can adapt to apartment living as long as he gets regular physical and mental exercise. 

Puppy proofing the home is essential to protect the curious dog from getting into trouble. This involves keeping small objects and medications out of his reach.

This small dog is a skilled escape artist and should be monitored when opening the front door. He should be walked outside on the leash to keep him from running off and chasing small animals. In a home with a yard, he needs to be supervised so he doesn’t find weak places in the fence.

All the fencing should be checked for holes or openings and should be fixed immediately. Doors and windows should be secure and sturdy. 

The Min Pin gets along well with dogs that he is socialized with from an early age. 


Generally, a healthy breed, this toy dog is prone to health conditions like:

  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Legg-Perthes disease
  • Patellar luxation

This dog doesn’t have a lot of fur and is sensitive to the cold. He should be in a dog sweater or coat when walking in cold weather. 

The Miniature Pinscher has a lifespan of 10 to 14 years.


The Miniature Pinscher needs a strong pack leader. Even an experienced dog owner might need the help of a professional dog trainer to make sure this vivacious breed doesn’t get the upper hand. When properly socialized and trained, this toy dog makes a loving family member. 

The team at All The Small Dog Breeds is passionate about providing a clear understanding of what it means to be a responsible dog owner. Our small dog breed descriptions are here to guide you in the search for the ideal furry friend to suit your home and lifestyle. We recommend adopting your next best friend from your local animal shelter or reputable breeder.


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