Miniature Pinscher

AKC Toy Group


Ch. My-O-My I'm Simply Irresistible. Owned by Dorothy Mash. Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Ch. My-O-My I’m Simply Irresistible. Owned by Dorothy Mash. Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Miniature Pinscher was developed in Germany from terrier breeds, including the German Pinscher. (“Pinscher” means “terrier” in German.) Italian Greyhound blood may have been added to produce such a tiny high-stepping dog. The Miniature Pinscher is not related to the Doberman Pinscher, and, in fact, is an older breed than the Doberman. The original use of the “Min-Pin” was hunting rats, but his high spirit and bright personality make him a charming companion.


The Miniature Pinscher is a small, compact, muscular, sleek dog with square proportions and well-chiseled lines. The topline is either level or sloping slightly toward the rear. The front legs are straight with dewclaws removed. The feet are small and cat-like. The muzzle is strong and in good proportion to the rest of the dog. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The dark, bright eyes are oval. Cropping the ears is optional; the tail is always docked. The Miniature Pinscher’s short easy-care coat usually comes in red, but may also be black and tan, or chocolate. This dog has an unusual high-stepping gait.

Key Facts

  • Height:  10 to 12-1/2 in.
  • Size:  Very small
  • Weight:  8 to 10 lbs.
  • Availability:  Widely available
  • Talents:  Watchdog, agility, earthdog, and competitive obedience


Don’t overfeed. Protect this dog from extreme cold. Can be aggressive with other dogs. A very healthy breed, but watch for slipped stifles.


A hardy fellow, very demanding, headstrong, and intelligent. Proud, spirited, and alert, with high energy. Lively and brave. A big dog in a little dog’s body. Don’t spoil this breed too much or the dog may become a tyrant. The Miniature Pinscher is often called “King of the Toys.”


  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Fairly independent
  • Dominance:  High
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Very dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Likes to bark
  • Indoors:  Very active indoors
  • Owner:  Not recommended for novice owners
  • Friendliness:  Moderately protective


  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Docking:  The ears are customarily cropped, and the tail is customarily docked
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A poor jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Good for apartment living
  • Outdoor Space:  Does OK without a yard
  • Climate:  Prefers warm climates
  • Longevity:  Long (15 or more years)

Useful Links

AKC® Miniature Pinscher Breed Standard

Miniature Pinscher Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher Gifts