Breed Profile: Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher, also known as the Minpin by fanciers, is a toy breed of dog the Zwergpinscher. Minpins were first bred to hunt vermin, especially rats.
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The Miniature Pinscher is a small, robust dog with a lively and lovable personality. This is a loyal, smart breed, but it also tends to have a stubborn streak. Despite its small size, the Min Pin is a strong, athletic dog with the spirit of a hunter and watchdog.

Caring for Your Miniature Pinscher

The Min Pin has erect ears that may be cropped, and a tail that may be docked. Its coat is smooth, shiny, and very short. The Min Pins requires no more than basic grooming care. Its coat should be brushed weekly or more to maintain a healthy, shiny appearance. The breed tends to shed at a relatively low rate.

Min Pins are very active, energetic dogs that need plenty of exercise. The breed is generally fearless and bold, often called the "King of the Toys." Proper training is an absolute must with this breed. The Min Pin is quite smart and tends to respond very well to training. Without effective training, the breed can also become stubborn and unruly. Either way, the Min Pin can be considered quite the character, so expect to be entertained by its antics.

Miniature Pinscher History

The Miniature Pinscher originated in Germany and dates back several hundred years, where it was used to hunt rats on farms. It is likely that the breed descended from the German Standard Pinscher, as did the Doberman Pinscher. The Min Pin is not a bred-down version of the Doberman, as it actually pre-dates the Doberman. Additionally, Dachshunds and Italian Greyhounds are likely among the ancestors of Min Pins.

The Miniature Pinscher was brought to the US during the early 20th century and was officially registered by the AKC in 1925. The Min Pin's popularity has continued to grow over the years.

Miniature Pinscher Information 




8 to 11 pounds


  • Solid red
  • Stag red (red with some black hairs)
  • Black with rust markings
  • Chocolate with rust markings

Miniature Pinscher Health Problems

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to develop hereditary conditions. Some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed:

Living With a Miniature Pinscher

The Min Pin's lively attitude and dynamic personality make it a great companion for the right home. With appropriate socialization, Min Pins may be able to get along well with children if raised with them and properly socialized. Though the Min Pin can be an affectionate companion, this is no lap dog. The breed does best in an active but attentive household.

If you think the Miniature Pinscher might be right for you, try to locate Min Pin breeders and owners in your area so you can spend some time with the breed first. Consider searching for a Min Pin rescue group so you can adopt one.