Miniature Pinscher (Min Pin) 101: Ultimate Guide + FAQs

Lively and energetic, the Miniature Pinscher is one doggie that isn’t shy to make its presence known. And in today’s article, we’ll be taking a closer look at one of America’s most favorite toy dogs. What is a Miniature Pinscher?

The Miniature Pinscher is a dog breed that originated in Germany bred with the sole intention of hunting rats in homes. A friendly personality, coupled with energetic displays, have, however, seen the Min Pin become a much-beloved member of human households around the world.

Fondly referred to as the ‘King of Toys,’ the Min Pin is also renowned for its low grooming requirements, all-around good health, astounding levels of playfulness, and a high propensity for mischief! We’ll take a look at all of this and more in a bit, but before that, let’s see how you can tell a Min Pin apart from other dog breeds.

How Big Does A Miniature Pinscher Get?

Miniature Pinschers are small-sized pooches that belong to the Toy Group classification of dogs. A Min Pin is typically referred to as the ‘King of Toys’, and this is not without reason.

On average, the ideal weight for both male and female Miniature Pinschers lies anywhere between 8 to 11 lbs.

And when standing on all four legs, Min Pins are typically between 10 to 13 inches tall if you measure from ground level to the top of their shoulders.

Image from Instagram:@miniature.pinscher.pups


The Miniature Pinscher’s athletic and compact build is characterized by a lean body with well-toned muscles and a slightly curved neck that blends perfectly with its back and shoulders.

The Miniature Pinscher’ build closely resembles that of the Doberman Pinscher, and the Manchester Terrier, but there is no relationship between these dog breeds!

The Min Pin has slightly oval eyes that are usually dark brown or pitch black in color, with dark rims lining the eyeballs. High-set ears – these could either be cropped or uncropped – located on a narrow head and a short, docked tail are also distinctive features of the Miniature Pinscher.

Min Pins typically have short, sleek, one-layered coats that mostly appear in one of these three shades or patterns – solid red, black, rust, or chocolate and rust.

Identifying A Purebred Miniature Pinscher

A Miniature Pinscher that boasts the physical characteristics listed above is most likely purebred. But to be doubly sure, you can either:

  • Request for its parent’s info from the breeder, or
  • Run a DNA test.

How Long Do Mini Pinscher Dogs Live?

Miniature Pinschers typically live for anywhere between 12 to 16 years.

And how long your Min Pin will live is subject to feeding habits, hygiene, healthcare, and to an extent, training.

Image from Instagram:@o_pin_mailo

Common Health Issues

Min Pins are generally healthy dogs, and you can expect your furry friend to spend most of its lifetime jumping and playing around the house rather than at the vet. However, due to either genetics, poor handling, and environmental factors, Min Pins are predisposed to health issues like:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA refers to a condition that causes a gradual degradation of the retina in Miniature Pinschers, and ultimately, loss of sight. Min Pins suffering from PRA typically start by becoming night blind, and then as the condition worsens, they lose the ability to see during daytime as well.

Sadly, PRA has no known cure, and the best you can do for a pooch suffering from this disorder is to manage its symptoms while helping it through its loss of sight. Min Pins suffering from this condition typically adapt well to the loss of sight, as long as there are no drastic changes in their immediate environments.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a condition that affects the head of the femur bone located in Miniature Pinschers’ hind legs. This disease causes a gradual collapse of the hip joint, thereby resulting in swelling of bones and joints.

Min Pins suffering from this condition typically show signs of pain when moving their hips and a loss in muscle mass over the affected area.

Legg-Calve disease in Min Pins can be treated by medication prescribed by a qualified vet, and in some cases, surgery is needed. Most times, physical therapy is needed for affected Min Pins to regain control of affected limbs.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation in Min Pins happens when the doggie’s kneecap or patella shifts away from its normal position on the thigh bone. A luxating patella typically occurs as a result of an injury, or in the case of Min Pins and other toy dogs, due to genetics.

Patellar luxation in Miniature Pinschers results in decreased mobility, joint pains, and in extreme cases, arthritisSurgery is often prescribed as a treatment for luxating patellas in Min Pins. But it can as well be treated with appropriate pain and anti-inflammatory medication, as well as weight-management exercises.

Other Health Issues

Apart from the health conditions listed above, Min Pins are also predisposed to various viral and bacterial infections, obesity, eye problems, and mast cell tumor (which is a form of skin cancer). Also, if you notice your Min Pin losing hair, it may be suffering from color dilution alopecia.

Min Pins also tend to shake out of fear or excitement. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, and you should take your furry friend to the vet for proper diagnosis immediately after you notice shaking.

This is not necessarily a medical issue, but Miniature Pinschers will smell if you haven’t cleaned their ears in a while. To prevent your Min Pin from stinking up the house, regularly clean its ears with specially formulated cleaners or a mixture of white vinegar and warm water.

How Much Do You Feed A Miniature Pinscher?

You should take extra care when feeding Miniature Pinschers to ensure they maintain their lean, muscular body structure and do not develop problems of obesity.

The best food for an active Miniature Pinscher is one that contains lots of protein. And half an ounce per pound of body weight of high-quality, dry dog food like the Pet Plate will meet an active adult Min Pin’s dietary requirements.

The Pet Plate is prepared from 100% natural, healthy ingredients. And it contains food substances like beef that Min Pins typically love to eat, thereby eliminating picky behavior when eating.

For less-active Min Pins that’d rather lounge on a couch all day, the feeding diet should contain more fiber and less fat; This prevents the pooch from gaining excess weight and, in turn, eliminates the risk of obesity.

What You Shouldn’t Feed Your Miniature Pinscher

Milk is a human favorite, but a high level of lactose intolerance in Min Pins means it’s not the best thing to feed your furry friend. You should also avoid feeding your Miniature Pinscher things like chocolate, grapes, avocado, or caffeine, as they all contain substances toxic to your pooch.


Miniature Pinschers require, at least, 40 to 50 minutes of exercise per day to maintain their muscular builds. And a game of fetch with the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs is a good way to keep your Min Pin fit and exercised.

By teaching your pooch to retrieve balls, coupled with the iFetch’s automatic ball launching feature, your Min Pin can exercise for as long as it wants.

And apart from playing fetch with your Min Pin, taking your pooch on regular walks or leaving it to run around without a leash in an enclosed area, will help keep it in shape.

Are Miniature Pinschers Good Family Dogs? Temperaments Of Miniature Pinschers

Miniature Pinschers are renowned for a sassy and confident personality that is personified by a cocky, high-stepping walking and running gait. Min Pins are super lively and full of energy – you’d hardly find them lazily lounging – and they can be quite a handful to handle!

Min Pins are by no means cuddly – they certainly have a lot of other things to do – but they are fiercely loyal and protective of their family members. Also, for their extroverted and outgoing nature, Min Pins demand loads of attention from their owners and tend to develop separation anxiety when they’re away from loved ones for a considerable period.

A Miniature Pinscher is also well suited and friendly with kids, but it can also be easily injured from rough handling; Hence, it’s better suited for households with older kids that understand proper dog care and handling.

Image from Instagram:@silliously

Friendliness With Other Pets

Min Pins are good and friendly with cats and other pets, provided they’ve been properly socialized and trained to cohabit peacefully with other pets from an early age. A Miniature Pinscher may show signs of aggression towards a bigger dog, but this is typically done to show who is boss.

Security Purposes

Min Pins will charge towards a threat without fear, and it is this, coupled with a natural protective tendency and a keen sense of observation that makes this pooch an excellent watchdog. Additionally, the Miniature Pinscher is not afraid to bark at everything and anything to warn its owner of impending danger.

This tendency to bark at everything can become a nuisance, particularly for those living in smaller apartments. But you can get your Miniature Pinscher to stop barking by training it to be quiet on command.


The Min Pin’s curiosity knows no bounds, and it will make sure to investigate anything that catches its attention till its curiosity is satisfied. Consequently, you should always keep an eye on your Min Pin to prevent it from running into trouble.

Additionally, due to a typically strong urge to explore and investigate, Min Pins are particularly skilled at escaping; Hence, you should never take your pooch on a walk without a leash. 


Min Pins are quite defiant, and it’d take a great deal of patience and determination to successfully train one – it’s tough work, but it’s very achievable.

Walking a Miniature Pinscher on a leash particularly requires great effort as Min Pins always have a strong urge to dash off, thereby leading to them pulling on the leash. Training a Min Pin to walk on a leash can be achieved with the use of special anti-pull harnesses and positive reinforcement.

Do Min Pins Shed A Lot? Grooming Tips For Miniature Pinschers

Min Pins do not have a lot of fur; hence, they do not shed as much as dog breeds with longer hair. You can, however, expect to see loose hair around the house with a Min Pin, but cleaning up after your furry friend is easy with the automated iRobot Roomba i3+.

The iRobot boasts a powerful suction that will pick up Min Pin hair nestled firmly in your rug. And its automatic waste disposal system means you don’t have to worry about offloading dirt, thereby giving you the chance to spend more time with your beloved Min Pin.

Miniature Pinschers produce less dander; hence, they are typically less hypoallergenic than most other pooches and are good for owners with dog allergies.


The Miniature Pinscher’s short, single-layered coat doesn’t require much grooming and will remain polished, even with minimal brushing. To keep your pooch’s coat shiny, though, it is recommended that you brush its coat once a week with the FURminator Undercoat Tool.

The FURminator Tool, with an ergonomic handle, is particularly adept at reaching through Min Pins’ topcoat to remove loose undercoat hair only, thereby, giving your pooch’s coat an even and polished look.


Frequent bathing is not recommended for Min Pins because it dries the oils keeping the coat shiny. However, you should occasionally bathe your Miniature Pinscher to prevent its coat from getting very dirty and smelly.

And when you do have to bathe your Miniature Pinscher, I strongly recommend that you do so with the Pro Pet Works All Natural 5 In 1 Oatmeal Shampoo. Formulated from natural ingredients only, the Pro Pet is perfect for sensitive dog skin, and also provides soothing relief to Min Pins suffering from allergies. 

An alternative way of bathing your Min Pin is to dip a dry cloth in warm water, and gently mop the doggie’s coat. It is also recommended that you brush your Min Pin’s teeth at least twice or thrice a week to prevent the accumulation of tartar.

How Much Is A Miniature Pinscher? You should be prepared to spend any amount from between $400 to $1,300 if you’re looking to buy a Miniature Pinscher puppy from a breeder. Adopting Min Pins from shelters or rescue groups typically costs less than purchasing from a breeder, and you can get a puppy from any of them for as low as $200.

How Old Is The Oldest Min Pin? Due to different claims around the world, there is no definite answer to the question of how old the oldest Min Pin is. However, several reports have claimed that, according to the Guinness World Book of Records, the longest-living Miniature Pinscher lived up to 21 years before its death.

Can Miniature Pinschers Swim? Miniature Pinschers, like most other dog breeds, can swim. Although, due to their lean anatomy, which makes it difficult to swim for longer periods, Min Pins will rather steer clear of water bodies. However, with the proper safety gear and precautions, and appropriate training, your Min Pin will become a capable swimmer.

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Pete Decker