Lifespan: 12 – 16 years
Weight: 8 – 10 lbs.
Height: 10 – 12.5 inches
Do I shed?: Somewhat
Personality: affectionate, low-maintenance, intelligent, watchdog
Common health problems: progressive retinal atrophy, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism
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
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”).
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.
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.
A miniature pinscher will rarely drool.
What My Adoption Bio Might 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.
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.
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.
Miniature pinschers are protective of their families, including children. However, their independent spirit may clash with younger kids still learning the concept of boundaries. Because of this, a miniature pinscher will be happiest around children aged 10 or older.
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 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.
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.”
● Chipin - Miniature pinscher Chihuahua mix
● Legg-Calve-Perthes disease - a genetic condition common in small breeds. Short legs can cause the dog to develop back and joint pain.
● Patellar luxation - a kneecap that moves out of its normal position
● Progressive retinal atrophy - a group of retinal diseases that result in gradual blindness
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.