The first thing one should realize about the Miniature Pinscher is that it is not a small version of the Doberman Pinscher. The Miniature Pinscher is in fact an older breed, which was possibly used to create the larger Doberman breed. The confusion comes from two sources. The word “pinscher” describes the method of hunting which is to leap and bite its prey. It is not a breed description. The other reason for the confusion is the standards given for the breed in 1935 by the Miniature Pinscher Club of America which stated, “a miniature of the Doberman pinscher, having on a modified scale most of its physical qualifications and specifications.” It was thought at the time a comparison of its shape and coloring, which is similar, would make show-standard Miniature Pinschers easier to recognize.
While the Miniature Pinscher is listed as a “Toy” breed, they are by no means weak or demure. The Miniature Pinscher is active and very self-possessed. Despite their size, the Miniature Pinscher is a fearless and high-spirited breed that still makes an excellent watchdog. They are very loyal and have a great need to be close to their humans all the time.
Physically the Miniature Pinscher stands between 10″ and 12.5″ at the shoulder. The female is a bit longer in the body than the male. The optimum weight for an adult Miniature Pinscher is between 8 and 11 pounds. The Miniature Pinscher is a very long-lived dog breed. An average of between 14 and 17 years can be expected so they are a long-term commitment for the pet owner.
There are four American Kennel Club (AKC) accepted colours. The most common is the Solid Clear Red, which varies from dark red to tan. Stag Red is defined as the Red with intermingled black hairs. It is the Black and Tan that makes the Miniature Pinscher most closely resemble the Doberman. It includes the rust-red markings above the eyes, on the throat, lower jaw, chest, inner hind legs, lower forelegs, hocks and feet. The true Miniature Pinscher will also have the pencil stripes on its toes.
The short, smooth coat of the Miniature Pinscher makes it very easy to groom and keep looking good. A quick brushing every few days to remove loose hair will keep the coat shiny and un-matted. It is not suggested bathing the Miniature Pinscher except under extreme circumstances as water will remove the essential oils that protect the skin and coat, thus drying out the skin. A warm, damp wash-cloth can be used to gently wipe any surface dirt from the Miniature Pinscher’s coat. The toenails will need to be frequently clipped to prevent them becoming too long.
The Miniature Pinscher is exceedingly curious and very quick. With a desire to explore everything, one should always keep their Miniature Pinscher leashed when out of the home or yard. They need to be carefully house trained starting as early as three weeks from birth. With as indomitable a will as the Miniature Pinscher possesses, they will never be completely housebroken without it.
Miniature Pinschers are not recommended for beginning dog owners. They need proper care and training to keep them from acting as though they are the masters. They should not be kept around small children unless the children have been trained to respect and understand the dog’s behaviour. Raised properly, the bursting energy and loyal affection the Miniature Pinscher can show will produce a pet that is far superior to most any house dog you might consider sharing your life with.