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Miniature Pinscher

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Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Pinscher
Other namesZwergpinscher
Common nicknamesMin Pin, King of the Toys
Height 25–30 centimetres (9.8–11.8 in)
Weight 4–6 kilograms (8.8–13.2 lb)
Kennel club standards
VDH standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Miniature Pinscher, also known as the Zwergpinscher and Mini Pin, is a small breed of dog of the pinscher type originating in Germany. While the breed's visual similarities to the Toy Manchester Terrier, which somewhat resembles the Pinscher breeds, remain a matter of controversy, genetic research (published in 2017) has shown that the two breeds have shared, unique ancestry.[1] The ancestors of the Toy Manchester and Miniature Pinscher may have become geographically separated many centuries ago and retained similarities simply through breeding selection for the same traits; nevertheless, the 2017 research also showed that the two breeds remain more closely related to each other than to other breeds.[2] The breed's ancestors may also include the German Pinscher, Italian greyhounds and dachshunds.[3] The Miniature Pinscher's known origins are in Germany, where it was often referred to as the Zwerg Pinscher (Dwarf Pincher) in historical documents. German Kennel Club documents also refer to the Miniature Pinscher as the "reh" Pinscher, but this term is only used for a dog of stag-red color, "reh" referring to a small red deer formerly found in German forests. The Miniature Pinscher originated several centuries ago as an efficient barnyard ratter.

Historical artifacts and paintings place the Miniature Pinscher as a very old breed, but factual documentation began less than 200 years ago, leaving its actual origins to debate. Many historians and those who have researched the background of the breed agree that this heritage is most likely correct, adding the shorthaired German Pinscher to the family tree. The international kennel club, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, lists the Miniature Pinscher in Group 2, Section 1.1 Pinscher, along with the Dobermann, the German Pinscher, the Austrian Pinscher, and the other Toy Pinscher, the Affenpinscher.[4] Other kennel clubs list the Miniature Pinscher in the Toy Group or Companion Group.



The misconception that the Miniature Pinscher is a "miniature Doberman" occurred because the Doberman Pinscher (a breed developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann around 1890) was introduced to the U.S. before the Miniature Pinscher. In 1919, the Miniature Pinscher was introduced to the AKC show ring. At the time, not knowing that it was referred to officially in Germany as the Zwergpinscher (little biter), the AKC referred to the breed as simply "Pinscher" and listed it in the miscellaneous category. When the Miniature Pinscher Club of America (MPCA) was created in 1929 (the year of the breed's official introduction into the AKC), they petitioned for Miniature Pinschers to be placed in the Toy group. The AKC's description, that the dog "must appear as a Doberman in miniature," led to the misconception common today that this breed is a "Miniature Doberman Pinscher".

The original name for this breed in the U.S. was "Pinscher (Toy)" until 1972 when the name was officially changed to Miniature Pinscher.[5]


Drawing of a pinscher and a miniature pinscher by Jean Bungartz

Documentation of this breed begins less than 200 years ago.[3] They were used traditionally to hunt mice, lizards, small birds, rabbits, pests and vermin and were hunting dogs.There is a drawing by Jean Bungartz, published in 1888 comparing the Miniature Pinscher to the German Pinscher.



The Miniature Pinscher is structurally a well balanced, sturdy, compact, short-coupled, smooth-coated dog. They are naturally well groomed, vigorous and alert. Characteristic traits are their hackney-like action, fearless animation, complete self-possession, and spirited presence. Legs should be straight with no bending in or out. They are also known to have separation anxiety.[6] The Miniature Pinscher frequently has a docked tail and cropped ears, though the AKC no longer requires ear cropping for shows. They can also sometimes have natural erect ears.



According to the American Kennel Club, the Miniature Pinscher should be 10–12+12 inches (25–32 cm) high with most desirable height 11–11+12 inches (28–29 cm) at the highest point of the shoulder blades. Length is equal to height, though females may be slightly longer.[6] The ideal weight is 8–10 pounds (3.6–4.5 kg).[7] There are also Teacup Miniature Pinschers, which are about half the size of normal Miniature Pinschers.

Coat and color


The coat is short and smooth, with no undercoat. Available colors include solid red, stag red, blue stag red, chocolate stag red, fawn stag red, as well as black, grey, chocolate, blue, and fawn with tan points or rust points. For showing in the United States, the AKC disqualifies all colors but the solid or stag red and the black or chocolate with rust points.[8] The Pinscher-Schnauzer Club, which maintains the standard for showing in Germany, has the same restrictions.[9] In the UK, blue with rust points is allowed in the show ring.[10] White spots larger than half an inch or black spots on the points are disqualifications for showing in most countries. Merle is not an accepted coloring of the breed.



Grooming is easy, as the smooth, short-haired coat requires little attention, needing only occasional brushing and shampooing.[6] Care must be taken in cold weather. Sweaters or baby blankets can help keep a Miniature Pinscher from getting too cold.[11] Miniature Pinschers are an active breed and need access to a fenced yard, or be given a daily walk.[12] Some Miniature Pinschers are prone to becoming overweight, so it is necessary to watch calorie consumption and weight level.[13] Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity.[13]



Miniature Pinschers are for experienced dog owners. Many people underestimate the care, time, and effort needed in order to raise a Miniature Pinscher. The Miniature Pinscher is an assertive, outgoing, active, and independent breed.[12] Miniature pinschers are energetic and need a fenced yard to run in; they make great agility dogs. They are great escape artists and some recommend having a kennel with a lid on it for them to run around in.[12] They are good watchdogs, as they are alert and wary of strangers.[6][14] They can easily alert their owners of someone's presence, their happiness or their loneliness with their frequent high-pitched bark.[15] It is recommended that adults and teenagers, rather than young children, play with a Miniature Pinscher as younger children play rough.[citation needed] Miniature Pinschers are a stubborn breed when it comes to training, but once trained they will obey commands well.



A 2024 UK study found a life expectancy of 13.7 years for the breed compared to an average of 12.7 for purebreeds and 12 for crossbreeds.[16] A 2024 Italian study found a life expectancy of 11 years for the breed compared to 10 years overall.[17]

See also



  1. ^ https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(17)30456-4
  2. ^ Hence the Miniature Pinscher is not a "scaled-down" version of the much larger Doberman Pinscher, although both may share some recent ancestry. Genetic research therefore excludes significant relationships between the Miniature Pinscher and breeds such as the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound, previously suggested by historians and other researchers of the breed (American Kennel Club)
  3. ^ a b "Miniature Pinscher History". American Kennel Club. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Zwergpinscher". Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Miniature Pinscher History". Miniature Pinscher Club of America. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d "Miniature Pinscher Breed Standard". American Kennel Club. Archived from the original on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Ideal Weight Ranges". Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Miniature Pinscher - Colors and Markings". American Kennel Club. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Zwergpinscher Standard" (PDF). Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub (in German). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Kennel Club UK Miniature Pinscher Breed Standard". Kennel Club UK. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Miniature Pinscher". Animal-World. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  12. ^ a b c Sandhorst, Cindy. "Miniature Pinscher Breed Profile". Rescue Every Dog. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Miniature Pinscher". American Kennel Club. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Miniature Pinscher - Did you know?". American Kennel Club. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Do Miniature Pinschers Bark A Lot? - Miniature Pinscher Barking Problems - Pet Net ID". 2020-11-21. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  16. ^ McMillan, Kirsten M.; Bielby, Jon; Williams, Carys L.; Upjohn, Melissa M.; Casey, Rachel A.; Christley, Robert M. (2024-02-01). "Longevity of companion dog breeds: those at risk from early death". Scientific Reports. 14 (1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1038/s41598-023-50458-w. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 10834484.
  17. ^ Roccaro, Mariana; Salini, Romolo; Pietra, Marco; Sgorbini, Micaela; Gori, Eleonora; Dondi, Maurizio; Crisi, Paolo E.; Conte, Annamaria; Dalla Villa, Paolo; Podaliri, Michele; Ciaramella, Paolo; Di Palma, Cristina; Passantino, Annamaria; Porciello, Francesco; Gianella, Paola; Guglielmini, Carlo; Alborali, Giovanni L.; Rota Nodari, Sara; Sabatelli, Sonia; Peli, Angelo (2024). "Factors related to longevity and mortality of dogs in Italy". Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 225: 106155. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2024.106155. hdl:11585/961937.