Facts About Miniature Pinscher Dogs

By Tammy Dray

Despite the breed's name and a common misconception, the miniature pinscher is not a direct relative of the Doberman pinscher. A feisty, fun breed who loves human company, the mini pinscher can do well in an apartment setting.

History of the Breed

While the miniature pinscher is not a diminutive version of the much larger Doberman pinscher, it's likely both have a common ancestor: the German standard pinscher. Mainly an European breed until the early 1900s, the miniature pinscher wasn't officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1925. The miniature pinscher belongs to the toy group -- the same group as Chihuahuas and other tiny breeds.

Physical Characteristics

The miniature pinscher comes in six standard colors and a number of additional variations and combinations, including two types of markings: self-colored noses -- meaning noses that are the same color as the coat -- and white markings. A compact dog with a smooth coat, the miniature pinscher can measure between 10 and 12.5 inches in height, with males slightly larger. A healthy min pin weighs between 8 and 10 pounds. The miniature pinscher has erect ears set high on the head and often has a cropped tail that stands up or arcs back.

Temperament and Personality

The miniature pinscher is a fun, highly intelligent dog who gets very attached his human family. The min pin gets along with children and other pets. The min pin is not a dog who does well alone. Miniature pinschers make great watchdogs, but they are stubborn and can be difficult to train. You will need patience and skill -- and potentially the help of a trainer -- to make a mini pinscher wholly obedient.

Health Problems

Miniature pinschers are relatively healthy dogs, with few genetic conditions except for luxating patella, a condition in which the knee gets pushed out of position. Dogs of the breed suffer from other genetic conditions, including Legg-Calve-Perthes disease -- a hip disease -- and a rare condition called mucopolysaccharidosis, which affects the way the body process sugar molecules. Miniature pinschers live 12 to 15 years.