The Miniature Pinscher, also known as the Minpin by fanciers, is a toy breed of dog. Minpins were first bred to hunt vermin, especially rats. In its native Germany, the dog is known as the Zwergpinscher. more...
Pinscher, refers to a classification of dogs bred as guardians or to hunt vermin. Zwerg, in German, means Dwarf or Midget.
Typically, the Minpin stands between 25 and 30 cm (10 and 12.5 in) at the withers, give or take a bit depending on the breed standard. Its weight is about 2.3 to about 4.5 kg (8 to 10 lb).
The coat colors, according to most breed standards, are red, stag-red, fawn, and black with tan markings. The coat should be short and smooth.
A Minpin frequently has a docked tail and cropped ears, although this is becoming a somewhat controversial practice, especially outside the United States.
Dogs, like people, have a wide range of personalities. Although the same is true for Minpins, members of the breed generally share some personality traits. Minpins, by their nature, are not generally timid, calm "lap dogs." Rather, they have an energetic spirit and curious nature. Although small, a Minpin generally makes a good watchdog, as the breed is eager to sound the alarm when unfamiliar people and creatures appear in or around the home.
As with any puppy of any breed, it is important to properly socialize a Minpin puppy with people and dogs. This is especially true for Minpins, since their small size combined with curiosity and fearlessness could pose problems with larger dogs and human houseguests. Fans of the breed argue that its exuberant spirit and small size make it the ideal house or apartment dog. The dog's energetic temperament, cat-like agility, and curious nature, however, may not be for everyone.
Although the breed is not necessarily bad with children, care must be taken in educating youths about proper handling and play. Although Minpins are known to bound through, around, and over obstacles, they can be easily injured by rough play with a child.
Grooming is easy, as the smooth, short-haired coat requires little attention. Care must be taken in colder weather, however, as this coat provides virtually no protection from the cold.
Due to their instinct to hunt vermin, one should take special care in preventing a Minpin from "attacking" small objects, such as bottle caps, as they could pose a choking hazard.
Although appearing similar to the Doberman Pinscher, the Minpin is not a "Miniature Doberman". Rather, the breed is much older. Although, the miniature pinscher has appeared in paintings and sculptures several centuries ago, the factual documentation on this breed goes back less than 200 years. The Doberman Pinscher was bred by Lois Dobermann in 1890 to resemble a Miniature Pinscher. Both Miniature Pinscher and Dobermann Pinscher share common ancestors. Similarities between the two may result from a common genetic relation to the German Pinscher. Some genetic stock may have been contributed by the Italian Greyhound and the Dachshund. The source of confustion regarding the relationship between the Doberman and the Miniature Pinscher may have been the result of a Miniature Pinscher breed standard from the 1930s, which basically stated that the breed should appear as a Doberman in miniature. The Miniature Pinscher was imported into the U.S. in 1919 and was first registered with the AKC in 1925.
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