Miniature Pinschers are small and spunky pups with a strong energy and confidence that never runs thin. Known as “King of the Toys” this little doggie is not to be messed with! Miniature Pinschers are smart, curious, and very protective. While this breed can be a bit of a handful and may not be the best choice for first-time owners, experienced dog owners often find Miniature Pinschers to be just the kind of friend they are looking for. Whether you already own a Miniature Pinscher, or are considering purchasing one, this guide is all you need to know about what Min Pins have to offer, and how to offer them the best kind of care.
Meet The Miniature Pinscher
Weight: 8 to 11 pounds
Height: 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder
Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
Fur type: Short and smooth, no undercoat.
Color: Red, black and rust, or chocolate and rust are most common.
Miniature Pinschers aren’t called “King of the Toys” for nothing! These spunky little dogs have a big attitude for their size and they’re not afraid to stand up for themselves in any situation. Min Pins are very protective and territorial, and they have a never-ending energy that can both delight and tire out their owners. They are also very curious, and love to investigate which can get them into trouble if left unsupervised. This breed is extremely spirited and confident with a strong will that, while not for everyone, can be very endearing.
Miniature Pinschers have a very high energy level, and they love being the center of attention. He is always up for a good walk, a game, or a chase, but he is also a master of escape so make sure his collar and leash are secure so he doesn’t slip away.
Good With Children
Because Min Pins are so strong willed, they are often suspicious of strangers and children unless well-bred and well-socialized. They can get along well with older children as long as the kids don’t manhandle them. Their activity level is great for kids as well, just make sure to supervise so that no one gets hurt.
If he is socialized from a young age, your Min Pin can get along with other dogs, but if not he’ll most likely challenge or attack any dog he comes in contact with. With proper training and good socialization, your Min Pin should do just fine with other dogs after some initial scuffling to determine who’s top dog. Due to this breed’s chasing instinct, they don’t do well with other pets or small mammals, so if you do have a house cat or other pet, make sure to keep the two separated and fully supervised.
Miniature Pinschers have a very low shedding level, due to their short coat. However, although it may be just enough to suit your allergies, this breed is not completely hypoallergenic.
Miniature Pinschers are fairly easy to groom due to their short, slick coat. Giving them a once over with a bristle brush once a week should be just fine. Frequent baths aren’t recommended since it can dry out their skin, so many owners will use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe down the coat once a week instead. If your dog does roll in something stinky, a bath with a soft dog shampoo should be sufficient.
The rest is basic care. Brush your Min Pin’s teeth daily to keep plaque and bacteria from building up. Clip his nails once a month if he doesn’t wear them down himself. Check the ears weekly and wipe the outer ear with a cotton ball and ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian to avoid infection.
Because Miniature Pinschers are so territorial, they are often prone to lots of barking. Training him from an early age and helping him get daily exercise can help reduce the constant barking. On the plus side, no one will get near your home without you knowing it!
Tips For Training
Min Pins can be stubborn, strong willed, and mischievous. They need firm and consistent training from puppyhood to control any nipping or inappropriate barking. Even at 8 or 10 weeks old he is capable of soaking in anything you can teach him, so don’t let him get away with bad behavior even at this age or it will quickly become a habit. Those who train with firmness and consistency are most likely to find success.
It’s also a good idea to get him into a puppy kindergarten by 10 to 12 weeks old and make sure that he gets as much socialization as possible. Crate training is also recommended because he will need to be tucked away in a crate from time to time if no one is around to supervise and keep him out of trouble.
Although the most common type of dog food is your everyday kibble, your Miniature Pinscher will greatly benefit from a raw, natural-food diet. Because the food hasn’t been cooked at high temperatures it still maintains the nutrients that your dog needs to live a healthy lifestyle. Raw dog foods will help improve your furry friend’s digestion, teeth and gum health, immune system, vitality, and overall behavior.
One other thing to keep in mind when shopping for dog foods is what ingredients to avoid. Make sure your dog food doesn’t contain corn or wheat gluten, food dyes, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), or rendered fats. Remember, the better quality the dog food, the less of it you’ll need to shake into their bowl, and the more nutrition they will get out of it!
Feeding Your Puppy
Miniature Pinscher puppies are very small, and although they’re full of energy you may be surprised at the small amount of good, healthy food they require. Start your puppy on about ¼ cups of puppy food per day, spread into 3 or 4 meals per day. Once your Min Pin is about 6 months of age he should be ready to tackle a healthy adult diet.
Feeding Your Adult
Even adult Min Pins are still small, and don’t eat much. A general rule of thumb is to give your dog 44 calories per pound of body weight, split into 2 meals per day. However, a dog’s specific dieting needs vary depending on their exact age, activity level, and much more. To calculate exactly your pup’s food needs, use this calculator!
Another great way to be sure your Miniature Pinscher’s dieting needs are correct is to check his figure. You should be able to feel his ribs rather easily, but not see them. If you can see his ribs, he needs to be eating more, and if you can’t feel them through his skin, it may be time to cut back on the treats, and up the exercise.
Miniature Pinschers generally live their long lives happy and healthy, but unfortunately all breeds have a risk for certain health conditions. You should be aware of the diseases listed below if you’re considering this breed. However also be aware that not all Min Pins will get any or all of these conditions.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA occurs when the retina begins to gradually deteriorate. Early in the disease your dog will become night-blind, and then start losing sight during the day as it progresses. Dogs can adapt well to lost vision as long as their surroundings stay the same.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This disease is common for many toy breeds. Legg-Perthes occurs when the blood supply in the femur is decreased and the bone begins to disintegrate near the pelvis. The first signs, such as limping, generally occur within a puppy’s first 6 months. The condition can often be corrected with surgery.
- Epilepsy: Epilepsy involves mild or severe seizures, which your Min Pin may show as unusual behavior such as running frantically, staggering, falling down, or rigid limbs. If you suspect this type of behavior take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a disorder involving the thyroid gland. This disorder can be treated with medication and a proper diet.
- Patellar Luxation: This is another common problem for small dogs. Patellar Luxation occurs when the patella (or kneecap) slides in and out of place, causing pain. Although it can be crippling, many dogs lead relatively normal lives in spite of the condition.
Frequently Asked Questions About Miniature Pinschers
Q. Are Miniature Pinschers aggressive?
A. While Miniature Pinschers are highly territorial and protective, if trained well from a young age they can be kept under control. However, they do tend to show aggression toward some strangers or dogs, and may nip or bark if not supervised.
Q. Are Miniature Pinschers hypoallergenic?
A. No. Although the Miniature Pinsher has a short coat and low shedding level, they are not technically hypoallergenic.
Q. When is my Miniature Pinscher full grown?
A. A Miniature Pinscher will generally reach their full size at about 10 months to a year. An adult Min Pin generally measures 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder.
A. Miniature Pinschers are often prone to nuisance barking. The best way to avoid this as much as possible is to train him from a very young age, with firmness and consistency. Puppy kindergartens are a great place for him to learn basic obedience skills. But even at home It’s important to not spoil him or let him get away with inappropriate behavior, as he will think he runs the household. Making sure to leave him alone as little as possible can also help reduce barking.
Q. Can Miniature Pinschers swim?
A. Although Miniature Pinschers may swim, they may or may not particularly like it. If you do decide to take your Min Pin swimming, make sure to supervise and keep him close.
Q. How much do Miniature Pinscher puppies cost?
A. If you’re looking to purchase a Miniature Pinscher you should budget somewhere between $1,200 upwards to $6,000.
Q. Why is my Miniature Pinscher shaking?
A. Because Miniature Pinschers have such a short coat, they can easily get cold in chilly weather. It’s important to have a sweater on hand for your pup in the cold months so they don’t get cold.
Clearly a MinPin can be quite the handful, especially as a puppy. Though we don’t necessarily recommend them for first time puppy parents, if you’re experienced with training dogs and maintaining a good structure in your home, you will have a lifelong and protective little friend!