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Breed group: Toy Group dogs
Other name(s): Min Pin; Min-Pin; Minpin; Zwergpinscher
Country / place of origin: Germany
History: The Miniature Pinscher was developed in Germany and was originally bred to hunt vermin, especially rats. In German, “Pinscher,” translates as “biter”, and “Zwerg” means dwarf. The Miniature Pinscher is considered a toy breed in the U.S. and U.K.. In continental Europe it is listed as a terrier. Although Miniature Pinschers are very similar in appearance to the Doberman Pinscher, the Min Pin, is not a "Miniature Doberman.” This is a very common misconception. The only relationship between these two dogs is that both could have descended from the German Pinscher. (The German or Standard Pinscher is one of the foundation breeds that were used to create the Doberman.) Min Pins are a much older breed than the German Pinscher, as is evidenced by the appearance of Min Pins in art from several centuries ago. However, factual documentation on this breed is less than 200 years old and is well documented. Speculation that genetics from the Italian Greyhound and the Dachshund contributed to the development of the Min Pin breed was confirmed in 1836. After years of study a doctor in Germany determined that the Miniature Pinscher was derived from crossing a smooth coated Dachshund (a favorite German breed with excellent ratting skills) with an Italian Greyhound. The origin of the breed was a pure accident when, in the 1700's, when wirehaired standard Schnauzers started whelping smooth-coated pups. Including the Italian Greyhound’s genetics made a swifter ratter as this breed was primarily used on farms where open fields required a faster dog to chase down rats and mice. The original Miniature Pinscher was not a true house pet but a working breed left to the barn with minimal human contact, much like barn cats on farms today. This created the unique trait of independence in the breed that is still found today. In Germany in 1895, the Pinscher-Schnauzer-Klub was formed and gave the breed its first standard. The Miniature Pinscher was seen in the US in 1919 and was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1929.
Details: The Min Pin has a refined and elegant appearance. The strong, slightly arched neck, sleek, well-muscled body endows this little dog with strength and grace in contrast to its size. Min Pin ears are usually cropped like those of the Doberman Pinscher but may be left natural too, since the AKC no longer requires cropping for shows. The tail is likewise usually docked.
Average height and weight (mature size and weight): 10-12 inches, 8-12 pounds
Color / coat variations: The coat is typically short and smooth. The coat colors, according to most breed standards, are red, stag-red, fawn, and black or chocolate with tan markings. Sometimes Min Pins have a silvery black coat referred to as “blue.”
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Litter size: 3-4 puppies
Grooming and shedding: The Min Pin coat stays relatively clean and sheds an average amount of hair. A brisk brushing and a wipe-down with a warm, damp washcloth (without soap), beginning with the face (with particular attention to the area under the eyes), and back towards the tail every few days is essential to maintain a clean, shiny coat. Frequent bathing is discouraged, as it tends to dry out the fur and skin. Always make sure your dog is completely dry before a trip outside if the weather is cold. As with all dogs, their teeth have to be kept clean and nails trimmed at regular intervals.
Food habits: Min Pins may be suited to a diet consisting of fresh chicken, turkey, beef, raw vegetables, and fruits. Brown rice, oatmeal, fresh yogurt, eggs, and cottage cheese may also be included in the diet. Min Pins are known to be prone to overeating, and may require their diets to be monitored to prevent obesity.
Climate and environment: Special care of Min Pins in cold weather (coats and booties) is necessary, since their coat provides virtually no protection from the cold.
Behavioral aspects: The compact size of Miniature Pinschers and their lively spirit may seem to make the Min Pin a good choice for an apartment or house dog, but the Min Pin has a strong, independent streak. Exploring spaces in and around the house is one of their favorite activities. They can easily climb on furniture and it is very likely that any small item found in these ventures will be stolen and stashed away.When left unsupervised, Min Pins need to be kept in a secure area, preferably a room that has essentially been “childproofed.” Min Pins are territorial, so they should be provided with their own place to sleep in this secure area, although they will commonly stake a claim to on/under/behind a particular piece of furniture or curtain on their own. They prefer to sleep on soft objects, as well as under soft objects, so a small blanket is essential for their comfort. Miniature Pinschers will jump onto beds and crawl under the covers to sleep with their owners at night. Unless the owner is happy to sharing his/her bed, bedroom doors must be kept closed at night. If the bed is being shared, care should be taken not to accidentally injure the dog while they are sleeping under blankets.The Min Pin is an energetic, spirited, stubborn, and very curious. Min Pins are not by nature timid, calm lapdogs, but can become a loving and devoted pet that enjoys being close to its owner. They are playful and friendly with their owner(s) and thrive on that interaction. These are typically categorized as "a one or two person dog", but with socialization, they can be integrated into families, and are able get along with other dogs, pets, and children. They can be aloof around people they have never been introduced to, and are very protective of their owners. This protective instinct will manifest as barking and bold posturing. Despite their small size they are also excellent watchdogs, barking at all things they deem a threat. Min Pins are fearless, suspicious, and intolerant of
With children: They get easily annoyed around young children and other animals without proper socialization beginning before they turn three months of age. Min Pins require careful handling. Rough play can be too much for this breed and they can be hurt easily. Children must be encouraged and properly educated to act gently and responsibly around the Min Pin to avoid injury for both parties.
With other dogs and animals: Socialization as puppies will help ensure they can co-exist and interact with other dogs as adults. Min Pins can become hostile to other dogs. Hence, extensive socialization is an important aspect in their upbringing. The small size of the Min Pins combined with their curiosity and fearlessness could pose problems with larger dogs and human guests.
Training and learning rate: Min Pins can be very stubborn, but their desire to please will enable them be trained in obedience at a very young age. Consistent, firm, and gentle training is most suitable for Min Pins. It is recommended that trainings take place prior to mealtimes.
Agility: Min Pins are excellent agility dogs due to their high energy levels. They do not tire easily like most toy breeds.
Affinity to water: The Min Pin was not bred as a water dog. Some will enter the water tenuously, while others will avoid water altogether.
How noisy are they: Miniature Pinschers tend to bark excessively when unfamiliar people or animals are in their territory. They are excellent watchdogs and will challenge threats vociferously
Exercise: It is essential due to the high energy level of this breed that a secure fenced yard is provided. Miniature Pinschers need regular exercise, and as mentioned previously, should always be on a harness and lead when outside of their fenced area. A daily walk is not sufficient for this energetic little dog.
Health issues: In spite of its small stature and fine bones, the Min Pin is a hardy, healthy dog with few genetic problems. He is susceptible to generalized progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic eye abnormality that eventually leads to blindness. Other conditions seen in this breed include patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes (a hip malformation), epilepsy, thyroid issues and heart defects.It is of the utmost importance to keep potential choking hazards away from the curious Min Pin, and to guard against rough play by children, which could cause severe injuries.
|I am incredibly happy with my dog||3.5|
|My dog is exactly the right dog for me||2.8|
|I love my dog||4.3|
|I am very attached to my dog||3.9|
|Quick to learn and train||3.4|
|Doesn't bark a lot||1.0|
|Easy to groom||3.8|
|Safe with small pets||3.3|
|Great guard dog||2.4|
|Great watch dog||4.1|