Breed Spotlight: Miniature Pinscher

3 min read
Jun 10, 2022

Miniature Pinscher Quick Stats


12 – 16 years


8 – 10 lbs


10 – 12.5 inches




affectionate, low-maintenance, intelligent, watchdog

Common Health Problems:

progressive retinal atrophy, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism

Miniature Pinschers: How Do I Look?

The miniature pinscher size comes in at just over a foot tall, with an eye-catching coat and a distinctive trotting gait.3 You may see them with a docked tail, but it’s a practice generally considered by vets to be unnecessary and cruel.4

Coat Type and Colors

The “min pin” has a smooth coat with straight, short, lustrous fur. Its most common coloration is a solid clear red, sometimes with intermingled black hairs (known as “stag red”).


The ears of the miniature pinscher are high-set and often erect. Like the tail, you may see miniature pinschers with cropped ears. Most vets recommend against this practice.

Shedding and Grooming

The short coat of the miniature pinscher is easy to care for. Weekly brushing will maintain its shine and collect shed hairs

Drooling Level

A miniature pinscher will rarely drool.


Min Pins: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

You can tell by the way I walk that I’m a fancy Pin! I look good and I know it, and I’ve been told my spirited personality elevates the room. Not much scares me, except perhaps strangers. But, when it comes to my family, I’m all love and playtime. I’ve got energy to spare, so let’s see if you can keep up!


The miniature pinscher temperament is highly spirited and confident. They are often fearless and extremely curious. They are energetic and often make an excellent watchdog. The miniature pinscher has the curiosity of a cat and may get into trouble if not watched carefully.

Exercise Needs

Although the miniature pinscher is extremely affectionate, they are not made for lounging. They need plenty of exercise despite their small stature and will enjoy multiple walks per day. Even after you meet that quota, your min pin will likely be down to chase some tennis balls.

Good with Other Pets?

Miniature pinschers love to play, and dates with other dogs can be a great way to get out that energy. The same self-confidence that might cause friction with younger children could also lead to issues with overzealous playmates.


Miniature pinschers can be too smart for their own good. Early obedience training is recommended. Don’t be surprised if your min pin pup tries to test your limits along the way.

Good with Kids?

Miniature pinschers can be too smart for their own good. Early obedience training is recommended. Don’t be surprised if your min pin pup tries to test your limits along the way.

Barking Level

Miniature pinschers have a voice and they aren’t afraid to use it. They’ll let you know if there’s a stranger around, or if they’re just feeling talkative.

Miniature Pinschers: A History

Likely descended from Italian greyhounds and dachshunds, the history of miniature pinschers is something of a mystery. Factual documentation of their existence only goes back to 1888, appearing in a drawing by German painter Jean Bungartz. Other paintings and historical artifacts, however, hint at a much older history for the min pin.5

The name “miniature pinscher” is also something of a misnomer. Min pins actually have no relation to the doberman pinscher. They didn’t arrive in America until 1919, several decades after dobermans. The American Kennel Club saw the physical resemblance and drew the natural conclusion. In Germany, however, miniature pinschers had long been known by a different name: Zwergpinscher, or “little biter.”

Common Miniature Pinscher Mixes

  • Chipin: Miniature pinscher Chihuahua mix

Min Pin Health Problems

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Miniature Pinschers


Epilepsy manifests in miniature pinschers in much the same way as humans. Surges in electrical brain activity cause seizures, despite a lack of lesions or otherwise atypical brain function. Epilepsy is diagnosed once all other potential causes of seizures have been ruled out. Your vet will want to perform thorough physical exams, review your min pin’s medical history, and will likely order blood and urine tests and radiographs.6 Once diagnosed, your miniature pinscher will be prescribed anticonvulsants to reduce the risk and severity of future seizures. Because epilepsy is so difficult to diagnose, it can be a long and expensive process. With a dog insurance policy from MetLife, you may be able to offset some of that cost through reimbursement.1,2


Miniature pinschers experience hypothyroidism when the thyroid gland is underactive. Their metabolism slows, causing them to put on weight, have less energy, and potentially develop other conditions like high blood cholesterol. A simple blood test can diagnose hypothyroidism, and medication can be prescribed to supplement the hormones that should be produced by the thyroid. As a lifelong condition, the cost of medication will remain constant.

For more information on how pet insurance can help your min pin, check out our guide on How Pet Insurance Works. Then, figure out if investing in dog insurance is right for you and your furry family.

Protect your Miniature Pinscher with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3”Miniature Pinscher,” American Kennel Club, 2022

4”Ear Cropping and Tail Docking,” Fetch by WebMD, 2020

5”Miniature Pinscher,”

6”Hypothyroidism in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital, 2022

7”Epilepsy in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital, 2022

L0424039765[exp0426][All States][DC,GU,MP,PR,VI]