Miniature Pinscher – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
You fancy Doberman Pincher, but you would love for this breed to be smaller in size? If that is the case you should check Miniature Pinscher - a breed often known as miniature Doberman.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
10 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder
8 to 11 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Miniature Pinscher is an ultimate smallish dog with a huge personality.

This miniature dog is also known as the Zwergpinscher, and Min Pin, and is a true representative of small breeds of pinches type who originated in Germany.

Dog fanciers claim that this breed is a mix of many breeds, including Italian greyhounds and Dachshunds. However, one is for sure – this is an old breed, dating a minimum of 200 years ago.

Many call this breed a ‘miniature Doberman’ and although they may have similarities at first, there are two separate breeds, and not only in their size.

This tiny breed was officially introduced into the AKC in 1929 when they were placed in the Toy group.

The AKC’s description, that the dog “must appear as a Doberman in miniature,” led to even today’s present belief that this is a miniature Doberman Pinscher.

The Miniature Pinscher is a well-built and strong small dog, that is naturally alert and well-groomed. They are huge people lovers and hate being left alone, even for a short time.

In fact, this breed is known for developing separation anxiety easily.

If you are serious about welcoming the Miniature Pinscher into your home, make sure that you have enough family members or time to keep this dog with someone all the time.

Otherwise, you will have to deal with the horrible consequences of having an anxious dog.

The coat is short and smooth, with no undercoat which makes grooming easy and fast. They may be tiny, but they are the best fit for experienced dog owners.

And remember: miniature size doesn’t mean a carefree dog.

Quick Facts

Real name: Miniature Pinscher
Other names: Zwergpinscher
Common nicknames: Min Pin, King of the Toys
Origin: Germany
Breed type: Companion Dogs
Weight: 8 to 11 pounds
Height: 10 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
Litter Size: 2 – 5 puppies
Color: Solid red, stag red, blue stag red, chocolate stag red, fawn
Coat: Short and sleek coat

Miniature Pinscher History

The Miniature Pinscher is an old breed.

Originally developed in Germany, this small dog was created several hundred years ago. His first duty was to kill rats in the house, stables, and around the house.

In their early years, these small dogs were known as the Ren Pinscher, because their appearance resembled small deer.

It’s common for people to believe that the Miniature Pinscher has developed as a mini Doberman. However, that’s not the case, although they seem similar.

The difference between these two is more than obvious, and their temperaments are more different.

Plus, the Miniature Pinscher is a far older breed when compared to Doberman.

Dog fanciers believe that this breed descended from the German Standard Pinscher, as did the Doberman Pinscher.

The first Pinscher Klub was formed in 1895 when the first standard of the breed was written. In 1900, the breed was first shown as the Stuttgart Dog Show.

It was common for many breeds to disappear or for their numbers to decline between the World Wars, but that wasn’t the case with this small dog. In fact, this small dog’s popularity only grew during World War I.

Still, breed’s lovers and breeders joined their forces across Germany and Scandinavia to improve the line.

As for the States, the first Miniature Pinscher was imported in 1919. The Miniature Pinscher Club of America was formed in 1929.

AKC officially recognized the breed in 1925.

Miniature Pinscher Physical Appearance

If asked, every Miniature Pinscher dog owner will tell you that this is a small and square-shaped dog similar to Doberman Pinschers.

They have high-set ears, and always alert look, and dark eyes, which only add to their soft personality and overall gentle look.

As for the size, both males and females stand 10 to 12.5 inches high and weigh 8 to 11 pounds.

When it comes to appearance there is no major difference between males and females.

Both sexes are well balanced and have compact bodies covered with a smooth coat.

Many would say that their coat looks super clean, like those in felines. These small size dogs are naturally well-groomed and alert. They are also fearless and highly spirited.

If there is something or someone that needs their help and protection they won’t think twice about standing in front of a twice bigger dog.

Legs in the Miniature Pinscher should be straight and proportioned to the body. Miniature Pinschers have naturally erect ears.

It is common for this breed to have a docked tail and cropped ears.

Is cropping mandatory? No, as for the AKC ear cropping is no longer mandatory for participating in dog shows.

Miniature Pinscher Personality And Training

Did you know that Miniature Pinschers are also called the King of Toys? They are confident and spirited and always ready to please their humans.

These dogs are highly curious and always ready for action. They may be small, but their energy levels are massive.

As such they are intelligent and vigorous. If you are looking for a small size dog who has great watching skills, this is the breed to consider having.

They want to explore every time, and sniff every corner of the house and outdoors. This can even put them into some kind of trouble if not handled right.

Living with this breed is like living with an energetic toddler who demands your attention all the time.

Don’t miss training and socialization, or you may expect your Miniature Pinscher to develop a small dog syndrome.

As a true family dog, the Miniature Pinscher is affectionate and loving toward his family members. He will also do his best to entertain his people, and will often clown around.

Miniature Pinscher With Children And Other Pets

If raised with children from puppyhood, the Miniature Pinscher should be a great playmate.

Children need to know how to behave around dogs, and for dogs to follow house dog rules.

Children shouldn’t pull a dog’s ears or tails. They shouldn’t be rough toward dogs, or disturb them while they are resting, eating, sleeping, or drinking water.

Dogs should have their own space and when they are resting in their crate they should be left alone. They are best suited for children age 10 or older.

Any interaction between dogs and children should be supervised, no matter how well they get along. This is how accidents are prevented.

The Miniature Pinscher should get along with other dogs of both sexes just fine.

As for the other pets, especially smaller pets, they will have instincts to chase, which doesn’t make them well suited to homes with small mammals.

Miniature Pinscher Grooming

Don’t be tricked that small size dog comes with low or no grooming needs.

No matter how small or big a dog might be he still needs proper grooming practice.

Grooming a smaller size dog isn’t much easier than grooming a larger size dog.

To keep his coat shiny and clean you should use a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt. These two tools are mandatory if you want your Min Pin to look his finest at all times.

Choose to use a washcloth instead of frequent bathing. If you have to bathe your Min Pin make use of that you use shampoo specially created for dogs.

Dogs have different skin opposite to humans and they don’t need frequent bathing as humans do. Their ears should be cleaned regularly.

If you are not sure how to clean a dog’s ears and then check this article. Trim or grind nails monthly.

Long nails can cause many health-related issues in dogs of any size. If this is too much for you, you can always take your Fido to a professional groomer. This may be pricey but it will save you both time and energy. The Min Pin isn’t much of a shredder.

Still, he may shed a bit more during the shedding season. If this is your first dog, make sure that you know how to protect your carpets.

To support the Min Pin’s health provide the following:

  • Check gums and eyes weekly
  • Provide the right food
  • Be mindful of nutrition in dogs: know how much you should feed your Min Pin and when
  • Brush him weekly
  • Stick to the vaccination schedule
  • Provide regular parasite control

Miniature Pinscher Health

Miniature Pinschers are healthy dogs, as long as you provide proper care and a safe environment.

Dogs who eat high-quality food will have far better teeth than dogs who are given poor-quality meals regularly.

You don’t have to buy the most expensive food. After all, no one can guarantee that a higher price means better quality.

The only thing that can guarantee that you have chosen a good food, is if you know how to read dog food labels.

Get to know what makes a dog food great and why gluten can cause disturbance in some dogs.

On the other hand, no matter how well care you provide, dogs may still be affected by various conditions. This doesn’t mean that your Min Pin will get sick, it just means that you should provide regular veterinarian check-ups and learn more about certain conditions to prevent them.

That being said, Miniature Pinschers are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. They may get parvo, rabies, and distemper.

These are conditions that may appear in any dog and in any breed. Luckily, these conditions are preventable through vaccination.

Some of the health conditions that may appear in this breed include:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) VI
  • Heart defects

If you want a really healthy Miniature Pinscher you should deal with responsible dog breeders only.

This way you will know for sure the exact condition of your Min Pin.

Responsible dog breeders will follow breed’s standards, screen puppies for most common issues, and present you medical documentation on the puppy.

They will also let you meet the bitch, and show you the facilities. Very often an interview with a reputable breeder may feel like a job interview: this is the case because they are questioning you if you are the right fit for their puppy.

Responsible god breeders will give puppies only to those who they see fit as a dog owners.

On top of that, they will help you choose the right puppy based on your lifestyle, needs, and temperament, give you inputs on training, feeding, and any possible health issues in the future.

Is Miniature Pinscher For You?

The Miniature Pinscher is for you if you want a dog who is small in size, energetic, has impressive watching skills and is far from being a lap dog.

Plus, if you want a dog who looks like Doberman but is much smaller, then a Miniature Pinscher should be a breed that you could live with.

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