Breed Info

Breed Profile

Min Pins love to snuggle with their people. They will burrow under covers to go to sleep. They are great for active adult homes. Older Pins love to be lap warmers for elderly folks. They thrive on human interaction: obedience, lap sitting, agility, walks, anything that keeps them near their people. Min Pins are not dogs that do well left alone for long periods of time. Hopefully the information provided here will enable you to decide if the “King of Toys” is meant to “Rule” in your home – and act as the resident “Court Jester” more often than not.

About the Breed

The Miniature Pinscher dog or Min Pin was developed in Germany from small German Pinschers crossed to Italian Greyhounds and Smooth Dachshunds. From the three, it inherits its traits, and qualities. Pinscher means terrier. It’s no wonder it is frisky, feisty and with prey instincts, courageous like a Dachshund, playful and nimble with its charming high-stepping “hackney” gait verifying Italian Greyhound genes. It became a distinct breed in the early 1800s, known as the “Reh Pinscher” after a small Rhineland deer which, it was said, it resembled. This breed development predates the Doberman Pinscher by about 100 years, and therefore cannot be considered a miniature Doberman Pinscher. The Minpin was a very popular show dog in Germany before WWI, but its numbers declined severely afterwards. Fortunately, many had been exported to other countries of Europe and to North America, where it flourished, gaining AKC recognition in 1929, and by the CKC in 1937-38.

The Miniature Pinscher is a hardy, intelligent, fun loving, small dog breed with high self esteem, one good reason it does well at shows. Some claim it is the most energetic of all breeds. The Minpin is terrier like, not caring for other pets or dogs, and will chase small animals. Reserved with strangers, it makes an excellent watchdog, keener than a dog twice its size, but inclined to be rather noisy. A Miniature Pinscher puppy makes a good pet for older, responsible children who understand that toy breeds have delicate bones, easily broken. Playing ball in a backyard with an adult Miniature Pinscher or a Miniature Pinscher puppy is a sure way to break bones.

The close, slick coat of the Minpin requires scant grooming. It is always neat and clean, ready for business. Although its activity level is high, daily exercise needs are minimal. The Min Pin appears fragile, but in fact, it’s a sturdy dog, rugged for his size. The erect ears are usually cropped, but may be natural. A Min Pin puppy needs early, persistent housebreaking, especially the males.

  • Height: 10 – 12½ in. (25.4 – 31.7 cm).
  • Preferred: 11 – 11½ in. (27.9 – 29.2 cm).
  • Weight: 8 – 10 lbs. (3.6 – 4.5 kg).
  • Watchdog: Excellent.
  • Names: Reh Pinscher; Zwergpinscher.
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years.


Is this breed good with children?

Children and dogs should never be left alone and unattended, even for a moment. Young children do not have proper dog etiquette, and dogs do not understand a child’s behavior. This can result in tragedy with any breed of dog. Like children, each dog is different in personality, energy and patience levels. So, each dog and child relationship should be considered individually.

Some Miniature Pinchers can be good with children, if the children are mature enough to be good with dogs! While this is a Toy breed, they are not toys. While Miniature Pinchers will tolerate a certain amount of attention from a child, grabbing, pinching, sudden moves and aggressiveness will be met with defensive reactions. If the Miniature Pincher is raised around children who treat them in a gentle way and are taught responsible dog ownership, they will adore children. However, if children are allowed to grab at them, hit them or treat them roughly in any way, the Min Pin will run from or bite a child. It is important to realize that even as a full grown adult, the Miniature Pincher is a very small dog. The wrong type of play and handling can easily result in broken bones and worse. Even though the Min Pin is a bundle of energy and will bounce from sofa to chair to floor to bed…dropping one from that same sofa can easily result in unnecessary injury. Always let the Min Pin approach the child, not the other way around and you should have a wonderful companion. Patience, love and good old common sense make a great recipe for raising a Miniature Pinscher with children or adults.

Miniature Pinscher Breed Standard

General Appearance The Miniature Pinscher is structurally a well balanced, sturdy, compact, short-coupled, smooth-coated dog. He naturally is well groomed, proud, vigorous and alert. Characteristic traits are his hackney-like action, fearless animation, complete self-possession, and his spirited presence.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Size -10 inches to 12½ inches in height allowed, with desired height 11 inches to 11½ inches measured at highest point of the shoulder blades. Disqualification -Under 10 inches or over 12½ inches in height. Length of males equals height at withers. Females may be slightly longer.

In correct proportion to the body. Tapering, narrow with well fitted but not too prominent foreface which balances with the skull. No indication of coarseness. Eyes full, slightly oval, clear, bright and dark even to a true black, including eye rims, with the exception of chocolates, whose eye rims should be self-colored. Ears set high, standing erect from base to tip. May be cropped or uncropped. Skull appears flat, tapering forward toward the muzzle. Muzzle strong rather than fine and delicate, and in proportion to the head as a whole. Head well balanced with only a slight drop to the muzzle, which is parallel to the top of the skull. Nose black only, with the exception of chocolates which should have a self-colored nose. Lips and Cheeks small, taut and closely adherent to each other. Teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Neck, Topline, Body
Neck proportioned to head and body, slightly arched, gracefully curved, blending into shoulders, muscular and free from suggestion of dewlap or throatiness. Topline -Back level or slightly sloping toward the rear both when standing and gaiting. Body compact, slightly wedge-shaped, muscular. Forechest well developed. Well-sprung ribs . Depth of brisket, the base line of which is level with points of the elbows. Belly moderately tucked up to denote grace of structural form. Short and strong in loin. Croup level with topline. Tail set high, held erect, docked in proportion to size of dog.

Shoulders clean and sloping with moderate angulation coordinated to permit the hackney-like action. Elbows close to the body. Legs -Strong bone development and small clean joints. As viewed from the front, straight and upstanding. Pasterns strong, perpendicular. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet small, catlike, toes strong, well arched and closely knit with deep pads. Nails thick, blunt.

Well muscled quarters set wide enough apart to fit into a properly balanced body. As viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel. From the side, well angulated. Thighs well muscled. Stifles well defined. Hocks short, set well apart. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet small, catlike, toes strong, well arched and closely knit with deep pads. Nails thick, blunt.

Smooth, hard and short, straight and lustrous, closely adhering to and uniformly covering the body.

Solid clear red. Stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs). Black with sharply defined rust-red markings on cheeks, lips, lower jaw, throat, twin spots above eyes and chest, lower half of forelegs, inside of hind legs and vent region, lower portion of hocks and feet. Black pencil stripes on toes. Chocolate with rust-red markings the same as specified for blacks, except brown pencil stripes on toes. In the solid red and stag red a rich vibrant medium to dark shade is preferred. Disqualifications -Any color other than listed. Thumb mark (patch of black hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg between the foot and the wrist; on chocolates, the patch is chocolate hair). White on any part of dog which exceeds one-half inch in its longest dimension.

The forelegs and hind legs move parallel, with feet turning neither in nor out. The hackney-like action is a high-stepping, reaching, free and easy gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist. The dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear. The head and tail are carried high.

Fearless animation, complete self-possession, and spirited presence.

Under 10 inches or over 12½ inches in height.
Any color other than listed. Thumb mark (patch of black hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg between the foot and the wrist; on chocolates, the patch is chocolate hair). White on any part of dog which exceeds one-half (½) inch in its longest dimension.

Approved July 8, 1980
Reformatted February 21, 1990

*As taken from the AKC Website