Miniature Pinscher Overview

Dog Breed:
Miniature Pinscher
Breed Group:
Fearless, fun, elegant, energetic and curious
10-12.5 inches
8-10 pounds
Life Span:
12-16 years
Coat Colors:
Red, chocolate and rust, or black and rust
Area of Origin:
Best For:
Adult families/Lovers of independent dogs/Homes with well-fenced yards
Adult Food:
Best Dog Food for Miniature Pinschers
Puppy Food:
Best Puppy Food for Miniature Pinschers
Mixed Breeds:

Miniature Pinscher Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Miniature Pinscher

  • Small and elegant toy dog

  • Active and full of energy

  • Training essential to become a well-mannered family member.

The Miniature Pinscher is a small and elegant dog with a high walking trot. But don’t let their small size deceive you; even though they are in the Toy Group of dogs, this is a breed that is full of attitude and presence. That independent and free-thinking nature may be attractive to some prospective owners, but if you’re looking for a docile lap warmer, this is not the right choice for you!

Although they do look like a smaller version of the Doberman, they’re actually a totally different breed originally developed in Germany. Bred to keep the home and farm free from rodents, that feisty nature still exists in today’s dogs.

The Min Pin, as their name is abbreviated to, is an energetic breed who will need a good run every day combined with some games and training to then allow them to settle in the home. They have a bit of a reputation for being an escape artist, so careful checking of fence lines is needed.

Training is essential to allow owners to develop a strong relationship with their dog and to ensure the Min Pin has some rules and boundaries to live by. After all, every dog needs to learn some basic manners to be a well-behaved member of the family.

Miniature Pinscher Breed History

  • Originated from Germany

  • Kept to reduce rodent levels in the barns

  • Arrived in the US in 1919


The Miniature Pinscher originated in Germany several centuries ago, where its primary role was to keep the rodent levels down within the barns.

Even though the Min Pin has been pictured within old paintings, there is little documented history beyond the last 200 years or so. Historians believe that they came from a cross between smaller smooth haired Pinschers, the Dachshund, and the Italian Greyhound. By the 1800s, there were attempts to define and separate the different varieties of the German Pinscher family, which included various sizes and coat types.

By 1895 there were four different and distinct types:

  1. The rough-haired German Pinscher
  2. The rough-haired dwarf Pinscher
  3. The smooth-haired German Pinscher
  4. The short-haired dwarf Pinscher.

The last variety, the short-haired dwarf Pinscher, is the one which went on to become the Miniature Pinscher. The breed’s popularity grew in Germany in the 1800s, reaching a peak in the early 1900s. The Min Pin was, however, relatively unknown outside of their home country, and it was 1919 when the first one arrived in the United States.

The first registration with the American Kennel Club was in 1925 under the breed name of Pinscher (Toy). To begin with, the Min Pin was considered to be a terrier but then moved to the Toy group in 1930. The change of name to Miniature Pinscher didn’t happen until 1972.

Miniature Pinscher Size & Weight

  • Height of 10-12 inches

  • Weight of 8 to 10 pounds

  • Females are generally at the lower end of the size range


The breed standard states that the Min Pin should be between 10 to 12½ inches in height, measured at the highest point of the shoulder blades. They do, though, also state that the desired height is 11 to 11½ inches. The correct height is so important that any dog under 10 inches or over 121/2 inches is disqualified from the show ring.

On weight well, that should be between 8 and 10 pounds, with females being at the lower end of the scale and males at the upper end.

Miniature Pinscher Personality & Temperament

  • Confident and spirited

  • Can adapt to apartment living

  • Hates cold weather


The Min Pin has the nickname of the ”King of Toys.” and this is where his previous categorization as a terrier comes shining through. Confident and spirited, they are fearless and always ready for action. An excellent watchdog, little will get past them without the alarm being sounded.

Many owners explain that living with a Min Pin is a little like having a lifelong toddler. In to everything and needing constant supervision so that they don’t get themselves into trouble.

The Miniature Pinscher can live happily with children, although, with their small frame, careful supervision is needed against heavy-handed petting. They can also get along well with other dogs and cats, but the success of this does very much depend on the individual temperaments and early socialization.

Apartment living can be an option as long as they get the chance for a good run each day to burn off some energy. They do, though, hate the cold with a vengeance and will need coats and jumpers to get them through the winter months.

Miniature Pinscher Health & Grooming

  • Generally, a healthy breed

  • Some health conditions which breeding dogs should be screened for

  • Minimal grooming needs


The Miniature Pinscher is a healthy breed with responsible breeders helping to keep it this way by screening their dogs for health conditions before breeding. This includes assessments for –

Patellar Luxation. A common problem in small dogs. This condition causes the knee joint to slide in and out of position resulting in pain and lameness.

Cervical (dry) Disc. Caused by the discs in the spine losing their ability to act as shock absorbers. Symptoms include stiff head and neck, severe muscle spasms, and the potential for paralysis.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease. This condition causes the top of the femur bone to begin to deteriorate. Signs of the problem include hindlimb lameness, loss of muscle in the thighs, and pain when moving the hip joint.

The Miniature Pinscher’s short, hard coat needs very little grooming. A once-weekly going over with a brush to remove dead hair is all that’s required.

Miniature Pinscher Training

  • Make training fun by making it a game

  • Find a great training class that uses reward-based methods

  • Strong hunting desire


The Min Pin is an independent and opinionated little dog. This means that training needs to be considered as a game with lots of opportunities to receive rewards. The more fun they find it to be, the more they’ll want to join in and learn. Great training classes fill quickly, so do your research for a well-organized rewards-based class before your pup comes home.

Many Miniature Pinschers are competing in a whole range of performance dog sports, including agility showing their ability to learn advanced behaviors and hold their own against other breeds.

That desire to hunt, which was so valued hundreds of years ago, is still strong in many Min Pins. This means that care needs to be taken as to where and when they are off-leash for both their own safety and for other animals.

Miniature Pinscher Exercise Requirements

  • Make training fun by making it a game

  • Find a great training class that uses reward-based methods

  • Strong hunting desire


Although this is an energetic little dog, they tend not to need the intensity of exercise required by other breeds. An hour a day split into two walks is enough for most adult dogs though if there is no garden to potter around, they will need additional opportunities to go outside for toilet breaks.

One of the reasons that the Miniature Pinscher makes such a good companion dog is their love of play. Whenever you’re able to, they’ll be up for a game. Make sure that you teach the rules first, such as leaving a toy when asked, to ensure that things don’t get out of hand in the excitement.

Miniature Pinscher Diet & Feeding

  • Speak to your vet for professional nutritional advice

  • Select food for your dog's age, size and exercise level

  • Avoid foods with unnecessary colorings and additives


We recommend speaking to your vet for advice on your individual dog’s feeding needs.

Selecting the right food from the hundreds available can be a daunting task, so remember to look for ones that are suitable for your dog’s age, size, and exercise intensity. Other things to look for include checking that the food is free of unnecessary colorings and additives and that the contents list states the primary source of protein.

You may also be interested in:

Miniature Pinscher Rescue Groups

Sadly, there will be times with a Miniature Pinscher finds themselves in need of a new family. If you’re interested in rehoming a dog, we recommend speaking to one of the breed rescues who can provide you with help and advice.

Miniature Pinscher Service –

Mo Min Pin Rescue –

True Heart Pinscher Rescue –

For further information on the breed, take a look at the website of the Miniature Pinscher Club of America –