What is a Miniature Pinscher?
Miniature Pinschers are not miniature versions of the larger Doberman Pinscher (a common misconception). They are a 400+ year old breed originally bred to control mice in the barns of Germany. Nowadays, they are primarily considered a companion dog, but they still retain the qualities of a 'mouser', with the drive and desire to chase and catch small prey.
Miniature Pinschers, "Min Pins", average 6-10 pounds and stand 10-12½ inches at the shoulder. They have relatively little body fat and short hair so they are NOT suited for life as an outdoor dog or for walks in below-freezing weather. At home they need to be confined to a fully fenced yard for their own safety, as they may chase birds, squirrels, rabbits, etc. (although many will co-habit peacefully with cats). They enjoy sunbathing and will happily lounge in the yard when the weather is nice. They also enjoy a good romp in the park but should be on-leash, especially when other dogs are present. Many are quite fearless where caution is prudent (cars, bicycles, large dogs and other perils) and may put themselves in harm's way. Building reliable recall is possible but requires time, patience and training. Until they are completely trained and trustworthy, they should not be allowed to go off leash.
Min Pins are energetic and enthusiastic companions. They tend to settle in with maturity, and that, combined with obedience classes and/or other kinds of specialized training, makes them excellent prospects for many kinds of dog sports. Min Pins can excel at Agility, Obedience, Rally-O, Flyball or in the Conformation ring.
Min Pins are quite hardy for their size and are overall a healthy, easy-care breed, prone to relatively few health problems. Even thought they are sturdy, proper care should be taken around small children because of their quickness and small size. They are inquisitive dogs and their curiosity can find them getting into an amazing amount of things in a small amount of time (even as adults), so supervision is highly recommended until they are mature enough to be reliable. They are an entertaining breed and are devoted to their "people". They usually co-exist well with other dogs and even cats, but their fearlessness will sometimes put them at the disadvantage and risk of injury when paired with a larger dog, even a playful one. They seem to especially enjoy the company of other Min Pins. They do well with housebreaking when training is carried out on a regular schedule. Consistency is the key to success.
Miniature Pinschers are intelligent and will reach their full potential with respectful, kind and patient human interaction, regular exercise and positive methods of training. They do best in mature, organized and responsible households.
This breed is not for everyone.