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Miniature Pinscher

(Reh Pinscher, Zwergpinscher)
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Miniature Pinscher

Form and Function

The Miniature Pinscher is athletic, spirited, and among the most energetic dogs. Despite their name, the Miniature Pinscher or “Min Pin” is not a miniature version of the Doberman Pinscher. In fact, the Min Pin is the older of the two breeds.


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Breed Traits

Energy Level

5 out of 5

Exercise Requirements

2 out of 5


5 out of 5

Affection Level

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Dogs

2 out of 5

Friendliness To Other Pets

1 out of 5

Friendliness To Strangers

1 out of 5


1 out of 5

Ease of Training

1 out of 5

Grooming Requirements

1 out of 5

Heat Sensitivity

3 out of 5


5 out of 5

Breed Attributes




8-10 lb





Area of Origin


Date of Origin


Other Names

Reh Pinscher, Zwergpinscher


Clues about the Miniature Pinscher’s origin are scarce, but it is noteworthy that a cat-sized red dog resembling a Min Pin is depicted in a seventeenth century painting. By the nineteenth century, several paintings include dogs of distinct Min Pin type. These dogs probably resulted from crossing a small short-haired terrier (German Pinscher) with the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound.

Many of the traits from these breeds can be seen in today’s Min Pins: the strong body structure, feistiness, and black and tan coloration of the German Pinscher; the fearlessness and red coloration of the Dachshund; and the elegance, playfulness, and lithe movement of the Italian Greyhound. Yet the Min Pin is more than the sum of its parts; it is perhaps the world’s most energetic breed!

These little German spitfires were developed into a distinct breed, the “reh pinscher” in the early 1800s, so named because of their resemblance to the small red German roe (reh) deer. Pinscher simply means terrier. The breed quickly became one of the most competitive and popular show dogs in pre-World War I Germany, but after the war, the breed experienced a plunge in numbers. Its future was left to those dogs that had been exported before the war. Its popularity continued to grow in America, and it received AKC recognition in 1929. Dubbed the king of toys, the Min Pin slowly accumulated admirers and is presently one of the more popular toy breeds in the United States.


Among the most energetic of all breeds, the Min Pin is a perpetual motion machine. He is busy, inquisitive, playful, bold, and brash. He retains terrier-like traits and tends to be stubborn and independent. He can be scrappy with other dogs and may chase small animals. He is reserved with strangers but affectionate to his family.


The Min Pin needs lots of activity. Because of his small size, his exercise needs can be met indoors or out; regardless, he needs several play sessions every day. He hates the cold. His coat is virtually carefree, requiring only occasional brushing to remove dead hair.


  • Major concerns: none
  • Minor concerns: Legg-Perthes, cervical (dry) disk, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, heart defects, MPS VI
  • Occasionally seen: PRA
  • Suggested tests: knee, (hip), (eye), (DNA for MPS)
  • Life span: 12–14 years


Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

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