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Welcome to the Miniature Pinscher dog microsite. This page contains detailed information on the breed. From this point you can use the above tabs to navigate to the other Miniature Pinscher pages.

- Kitt Killion

Miniature Pinscher Breed Information

Alternative names - Zwergpinscher

Country of origin - Germany

Common nicknames - Min Pin

Classification and breed standards

FCI:|Group 2 Section 1 #185|Stds
ANKC:|Group 1 (Toys)|Stds
CKC:|Group 5 - Toys|
KC (UK):|Toy|Stds
UKC:|Companion Breeds|Stds

The Miniature Pinscher, also known as the Min Pin by fanciers, is a toy breed of dog. Min Pins were first bred to hunt vermin, especially rats. In its native Germany, the dog is known as the Zwergpinscher. Pinscher, refers to a classification of dogs bred as guardians or to hunt vermin. Zwerg, in German, means Dwarf or Midget and Pinscher, in German, means Terrier. The Mini Pinscher is also known as the "King of the Toy Dogs". Though the Miniature Pinscher is considered a toy breed due to their small size, their temperament resembles the terrier more.

1. History

Although it has an appearance similar to the Doberman Pinscher, the Min Pin is not a "Miniature Doberman". Rather, the breed is much older. Although the miniature pinscher appeared in paintings and sculptures several centuries ago, the factual documentation on this breed goes back less than 200 years. The Doberman Pinscher which was bred by Karl Frederich Louis Dobermann in 1880. The basis of resemblance does not fall on the Miniature Pinscher but the Deutscher Pinscher (German Pinscher). It is strongly believed that this is the breed that Dobermann used in establishing his Doberman Pinscher. In 1895 The Pinscher Schnauzer Klub officially recoginzed Dobermann's Pinscher. The error occurred as the Doberman Pinscher was introduced to the US before the Miniature Pinscher. In 1919 the Miniature Pinscher was introduced to the AKC show ring. At that time not knowing that it was referred to officially in Germany as the Zwergpinscher (dwarfpinscher) the AKC referred to the breed as simply "Pinscher" and listed it in the miscellaneous category. By 1929 (the breeds official introduction into the AKC) not noting it was a true "Terrier" breed decided to officially place it in the "Toy" breed classification. Unfortunately for conformation purposes the description that the AKC noted "must appear as a Doberman in miniature" led to the misconception still noted today that this breed is a "Miniature Doberman Pinscher" when in fact it is not related. The Miniature Pinscher and Dobermann's Pinscher share no common ancestry. In 1836 (the oldest documented writings of the Miniature Pinscher) Dr. Reichenbach after years of study of the breed determined that the Miniature Pinscher was derived from crossing a smooth coated Dachshund (a favorite German breed of the time with excellent ratting skills) with an Italian Greyhound. The goal was to make for a more swift ratter as this breed was primarily used on farms where open fields left for a faster dog to chase down rats and mice. The original Miniature Pinscher was not a true house pet but a working breed left to the barn with minimal human contact. Much like feral cats on farms today. This created the unique independent trait in the breed still found very often today. It must also be noted that the word "pinscher" in German does not stand for or mean, "terrier". The word "terrier" like "setter" pertains to the way the breed works. The word "pinscher" in German translates to "biter" or the way it bites when attacking its prey. This has been a long problem with the term "pinscher" where the reference and translation is two fold but those referencing the information regarding the word fail to note that actual translation.

2. Appearance

Typically, the Min Pin stands between 25 and 30 cm (10 and 12.5 in) at the withers, weighing between four and six kg (9-13 lbs). The coat is short and smooth, with colors, according to most breed standards, of red, stag-red, and black or chocolate with tan markings. Min Pins also come in a blue and a fawn coat. Blue coats are allowed in the UK but in the US can be registered but cannot compete in show but all other aspects of the AKC. The miniature pinscher frequently has a docked tail and cropped ears, though the AKC no longer requires ear cropping for shows. The AKC standard specifies a characteristic hackney-like action: "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." The Miniature Pinscher will on occasion carry a small white patch generally located on neck or breast area. This links directly back to the original breed coloring. The Miniature Pinscher did come in Merle coloring which in the Dachshund is referred to as Dapple and in Harlequin like that found in the Great Dane. The white gene is part of the makeup of this breed; though breeders for years have fought to eliminate this gene, it is accepted by AKC in conformation and show so long as the area of white is limited to no more than 1/2 inch in direction. The original true Miniature Pinscher was more stout in appearance than today's refined dog. Its coat was more coarse and the dog in general was less refined. The refined look of today's dog was a result primarily of many who neglected to realize that the breed was a working breed and not a toy breed. Much of the natural look went away with years of breeding for the refined small dog now seen as today's Miniature Pinscher.

3. Temperament

The Miniature Pinscher is a lively very energetic breed that requires a great deal of exercise. As a single coated breed they are primarily an indoor breed. They do not do cold or wet weather well. This breed lives in a state of 2 year old until well into their senior years which can make for very entertaining as well as some frustrating times. They can in most cases be difficult to house train requiring much patience. Being an independent breed by nature, they prefer to initiate contact and generally do not do well being overly handled. This is where much of the misconception of the breed being a biter comes from. Not always a best breed for children due to this consideration also. They are quite fearless and can be overprotective. This breed truly does not see itself as a small breed. As such, it gets into trouble because a Min Pin will attack a much larger dog if it perceives a threat, whereas smaller dogs are treated as "objects of interest." Protective attitude and guard instincts are very strong in this breed. They can be one-owner dogs, or adapt greatly to families (without small children). The breed is very loyal and will alert their owner to any changes within the home environment. Miniature Pinschers are not for everyone, as they are very curious, strong willed, and frolicsome. Their owners must have a great sense of humor and a lot of patience. Keeping in mind that this breed is in fact a working breed, spoiling could result in the dog becoming somewhat of a tyrant. This breed by nature can be stubborn so anything to induce this generally will result in a more difficult dog to handle.

4. Care

* Although the breed is not necessarily bad with children, care must be taken in educating youths about proper handling and play. Although sturdy, they can be easily injured by rough play with a child. In addition, their high-strung temperament leaves little patience for such rough play.
* Grooming is easy, as the smooth, short-haired coat requires little attention. Care must be taken in colder weather as the coat provides virtually no insulation from the cold.
* Due to their instinct to hunt vermin, special care must be taken in preventing a Min Pin from "attacking" small objects, such as bottle caps, as they could pose a choking hazard.
* Min Pins are also prone to overeating and should have their diets monitored to prevent obesity.
* This breed has an insatiable curiosity, so the best toys for Min Pins are ones that stimulate their curiosity. This may include toys that move or make an interesting noise. Cat toys (that do not have catnip) are suitable as well. However, Min Pins will chew and inevitably try to eat their toys, so avoid toys made of rubber or plastic. Small stuffed animals and rope toys work well, as do laser-pointers. Min Pins will ignore large toys.
* Min Pins are territorial, so they should be provided with their own place to sleep/rest. They prefer to sleep on soft objects as well as under soft objects, so a small blanket should be provided to cover them. Care should be taken not to accidentally injure a Min Pin while they are sleeping under blankets.

Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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