Mini Madness

Miniature Pinscher Dog Breed


The Miniature Pinscher, also at times called the Reh Pinscher, Zwergpinscher, Min Pin and Minpin, is known as the “King of Toys” – a nickname that aptly describes its bold, gregarious disposition. As is true with many tiny breeds, the pocket-sized Min Pin apparently believes that it is a fully-grown wolf – ferocious, fearless and always fighting-fit. It looks like a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher, and it does have the carriage and character of a much larger dog. However, the Min Pin actually is closely related to the German Pinscher, and not to the Doberman. The word “pinscher” describes a dog’s way of working, not his ancestry; it refers to the way the dog jumps on and bites – or “pinches” – its prey. The Miniature Pinscher was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925 and achieved full AKC eligibility as a member of the Toy Group in 1930.

The average Min Pin stands 10 to 12½ inches at the withers, with the ideal height being 11 to 11½ inches. Dogs outside of this range are subject to disqualification under the American breed standard. Min Pins typically weigh less than 10 pounds. Their short, slick coat requires little attention and can be solid clear red, stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs), black with rust-red points or chocolate with rust-red markings. They also come in blue with tan markings and fawn with rust-red markings, although these colors are not acceptable in the American show ring. The Min Pin’s ears may be cropped or left natural, and its tail is typically docked shortly after birth. This breed can be difficult to housebreak.


The Miniature Pinscher is a small, muscular, sleek dog with bright, oval eyes and a spirited demeanor. The front legs are straight and dewclaws should be removed. The feet are cat-like and small. The muzzle is strong, the nose is black, and the teeth should ideally meet in a scissors bite. The ears may or may not be cropped, but the tail is always docked in the United States. In Europe, docking and cropping are outlawed in many places. The coat is short and easy to maintain, and comes in variations of red, black and tan or chocolate.

Size and Weight

The ideal height for an adult Miniature Pinscher is 11 to 11.5 inches at the highest point of the shoulder blade. They tend to span in height, however from 10 to 12.5 inches. Males are square in proportion, that is, they are as long as they are tall, but females may be slightly longer. Min Pins typically weigh between 8 and 10 pounds.

Coat and Color

The Miniature Pinscher sports a short, sleek coat that comes in colors of red, black and rust, and chocolate and rust. The hair should be smooth, hard, and lay close to the body.

Grooming Needs

Grooming a Min Pin is a breeze. They are average shedders and need to be brushed every few days to remove loose hair and keep the coat shiny. They only require bathing as needed, and bathing can be almost completely avoided if the dog is rubbed down with a warm, wet washcloth several times per week.

Check the Min Pin’s ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog’s ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.

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