show your support

Miniature Pinscher Puppy Care & Training

Go straight to Miniature Pinscher training information.

"King of Toys" - That may seem like a strange way to start describing a dog breed but that is really all you need to say about the Miniature Pinscher (Min Pins). They are often described as the "King of Toys" and they have the self possession that should be found in all kings.

In fact, this toy sized dog is a wonderful breed that has plenty of personality. He is a spirited and energetic dog that has, surprisingly, a large amount of fortitude when it comes to exercise. He enjoys a good romp, loves to play with adults and children alike and enjoys spending time curled up under a blanket with those he loves.

Miniature Pinschers are an intelligent breed who love to please their owners and the breed has seen many successes in both obedience and agility competitions. Unfortunately, the breed is also known for its stubborn streak and this can make training difficult, especially for the inexperienced dog owner.

Miniature Pinscher Puppy Breeders

The breed is fairly easy to care for with its striking short coat but it does take a bit of vigilance in keeping them safe. They are an opportunistic breed who will escape from yards and homes if they are not properly secured. They will also eat hazardous items if they are left out where little teeth can grab them. This means everything from paper clips to car keys.

Miniature Pinschers can do very well in homes with children and with other dogs but the key is socialization during the puppy stage. It is also important to supervise this breed with children since they can be injured very easily. They can also snap at overly noisy or boisterous children - once again socialization and some training are crucial.

The breed does very well living in both apartments and homes but they do require daily exercise through walks and a good romp in a secure area. They make excellent companions and with proper training and socialization, they will easily show you how wonderful the "King of Toys" can truly be.

Miniature Pinscher Breed Profile

If one was to look at a Miniature Pinscher, the first dog that would spring to mind is a Doberman Pinscher. The two breeds share many traits when it comes to appearance but they are, in fact, not related. Both breeds originated from different breeds and do not share a common ancestry.

The Miniature Pinscher, according to the American Kennel Club, is a sturdy small dog that has a well-balanced appearance and a compact build. He should be proud, spirited, fearless, and alert.

His coat, which is short and smooth with a hard texture, comes in a variety of uniformed colors that give the breed it's striking appearance. These colors are a solid, vibrant red, and stag red, which is a mingling of red and black hairs. They can also have a coat that is black with rust markings that are similar to a Doberman Pinscher's, where the rust markings are found on the throat, lips, cheeks, inside of the hind legs, on the lower part of the forelegs, the chest, lower jaw and two spots above the chest and the eyes. The same rust markings can also be found matched with chocolate coats.

The Miniature Pinscher has not changed significantly since the breed was first recorded in the 17th Century. Little is known about the actual history of the breed but we do know that it was created as a working dog. The Miniature Pinscher was used as a "ratter" in many homes and, more specifically, in barns.

Although it is speculation, it is believed that the foundation dogs for the Miniature Pinscher include the Italian Greyhound, the German Pinscher and the Daschund. Regardless of what the foundation dogs are, the Miniature Pinscher has been a well known breed in Germany for roughly 200 years; however, the breed did not become popular outside of Germany until well into the 20th century.

The first Miniature Pinscher ever registered in the United States, was done so in 1925, but the American Kennel Club did not officially recognize the breed until 1930.

Today, the Miniature Pinscher continues to capture the heart of many and it's energy and wonderful temperament has seen it become a treasured family pet and an active competitor in obedience and agility competitions.

Miniature Pinscher Size

The Miniature Pinscher is a toy sized dog that should be very compact and structurally sound. Generally, the dog is very square in proportion with the length being equal to the height; only females can be slightly longer than they are tall. A Miniature Pinscher ranges in height from 10 to 12.5 inches at the withers for both males and females; however, the ideal height for a Miniature Pinscher is one that ranges between 11 to 11.5 inches. The weight of the Miniature Pinscher should be between 8 to 10 pounds. A healthy, well balanced diet is crucial to the health, wellbeing and longevity of your Min Pin.

Life Span Of A Min Pin

This is a long lived breed with the average life expectancy being 13 to 15 years.

A Good Diet Is Essential For All Miniature Pinschers

Caring for your Miniature Pinscher

When it comes to caring for your Miniature Pinscher, you may find that the everyday care is much easier than many other breeds. Caring for your dog does involve a lot more than grooming though and there are a few unique traits with a Miniature Pinscher that require some special care instructions.

Before I get into the overall care of your Miniature Pinscher, let's look at grooming. A Miniature Pinscher has a short smooth coat that makes caring for it very easy. Generally, a Miniature Pinscher only requires a weekly brushing to keep their coat healthy and shiny. Usually, this should take care of any loose fur and the Miniature Pinscher is considered to be an average shedder.

When it comes to bathing your Miniature Pinscher, it is recommended that you only bathe them if it is absolutely necessary. Once a year bath is more than adequate to keep you Miniature Pinscher clean and you should make sure that you use a high quality dog shampoo to avoid drying out your dog's coat and skin. Throughout the year, you can keep your dog very clean by wiping him down with a damp cloth once or twice a week. Start at the face, cleaning around the eyes before you begin moving back to the tail of the dog.

With the rest of the care of your Miniature Pinscher, you should make sure that you keep the nails trimmed and neat. This can be done about once a week or once every two weeks. If you hear your dog's nails when he walks across a tiled floor, then it is time to clip the nails back.

Ears should also be cleaned on a regular basis with a cotton ball or damp cloth. Never stick anything into the ear canal of your dog since it can damage your dog's sensitive ears.

As mentioned before, Miniature Pinschers are an active breed and this means that they require a fair amount of exercise. It is often surprising how much energy the breed has since they are considered to be a toy breed. Although the Miniature Pinscher will require one or more walks a day, it is also important for them to have time where they can play around. If you live in an apartment, you will need to find a secure place where they can chase a ball around or do another activity where they can expel that energy.

Generally, the Miniature Pinscher is an active dog inside but he can easily adapt to both apartment and house living. They can be fairly noisy, which makes them an excellent watch dog, but they may not be suitable for an apartment that has strict noise guidelines.

Miniature Pinscher Training

When it comes to home life, it is very important for the owner to be vigilant. This breed is very good at finding something to get into and a Miniature Pinscher will eat just about anything from paper clips to food set out on the table. Even with excellent training, a Miniature Pinscher could still eat something hazardous, so plan your environment around this trait. Keep things up and out of the way and be aware of what your dog is doing. Also, you may choose to crate your dog when you are away.

The same vigilance applies for your yard. Miniature Pinschers enjoy a good run, away from the house, and if they can find a place to escape from, they will. Make sure your yard is securely fenced and that all gates are locked. Check your yard on a regular basis and if there is a spot where you can put your hand through, then you will need to fix it immediately. Also make sure that doors to your house are secure since your Min Pin will slip out if the opportunity arises.

With proper vigilance and care, you will find that your Miniature Pinscher is not only a strong and confident dog but a little sweetheart who finds snuggling up with you the best part of his day.

Miniature Pinscher Health Problems

The Miniature Pinscher is a hearty breed that has very few hereditary health concerns; however, it is important to mention that due to their size, they can suffer from injuries if they are played with too roughly or if they are dropped.

Patellar Luxation:
This is a very common problem that is seen in many small and toy dog breeds. It is also referred to as "slipped stifles" and it is caused when the patellia is not lined up correctly. The dog experiences an abnormal gait and some dogs can experience lameness in the leg. This condition can lead to arthritis and it is a condition that is present at birth, although the luxation may not occur until later in life. Patellar Luxation has four grades and each grade reflects a more severe type of luxation. Treatment for Patellar Luxation is usually surgery.

Legg's Perthes Disease:
Also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, it is a disease that is caused by a deformity in the hip, or more specifically in the hip joint ball. Generally, when it occurs, there is a decrease in the blood supply to the femur bone.

This causes the head of the bone to deform and arthritis or inflammation follows. Although the cause of Legg's Perthes Disease is still unclear, it is believed that the disease can occur due to hereditary reasons or from an injury. Symptoms include pain, lameness that worsens, atrophy of the limbs, chewing the affected area, stiffness in the affected joint and the dog becomes very irritable. Generally, the treatment is surgery where the deformed joint is removed, which is followed with rest and physical therapy. Many dogs that are treated for Legg's Perthes Disease have very few lasting side effects and can live very long and healthy lives after the surgery.

Epilepsy in dogs is very similar to Epilepsy in people; the dog suffers from seizures. These can be controlled with some medication but it is important to note that, although Epilepsy cannot be cured, dogs can still live a long and happy life.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):
This is a serious disorder that affects the eyes of a dog. It is a progressive disorder where the dog begins to lose the photoreceptors at the back of the eye. As the condition advances, the eye sight of the dog degenerates until the dog is blind. On a positive note, this disease is one that can be detected before any significant long term vision loss occurs by having yearly eye exams and only selecting puppies from breeders who get their dogs eyes tested and certified (respected and reputable Miniature Pinscher breeders).

Miniature Pinscher Puppy Pictures

Training A Miniature Pinscher

If you have ever heard the saying, "You will have more control with a small dog," then you should forget that you heard it. Trust me, small dogs do not equate to an ease of control. In fact, many small dog breeds are very intelligent with very big egos, that make training fairly difficult. The Miniature Pinscher is definitely one of those breeds and it is very important to start training your Miniature Pinscher as soon as you bring him home from your puppy breeder.

The Miniature Pinscher is a very intelligent breed of dog and when it comes to training, they can excel in many different areas. In fact, since they are so intelligent and active, the Miniature Pinscher can become excellent competitors in both agility and obedience competitions. The problem is getting them to the point where they are excelling.

As with all intelligent creatures, if they feel their way is the best way, then you are in for a challenge. As a general rule, Miniature Pinschers will retain everything that they are taught. Once learnt, it stays with them for the long haul. Unfortunately, this can also mean that any bad habits stay for the long haul as well. For this reason, it is important to train yourself before you train your dog so you do not teach your dog any bad habits such as jumping up or eating from, and I mean literally, the table.

Miniature Pinschers are considered to be stubborn but they also have a natural need to please. This means that with a little perseverance on your part, you will move through the stubborn stage and into actual training eventually.

Although socialization is important for all dogs, it is very important for the Miniature Pinscher since he does tend to have a larger ego. Many Miniature Pinscher owners and breeders have referred to the breed as the "King of Toys," and the Miniature Pinscher is well aware of this title. This means that some Miniature Pinschers can be aggressive towards other dogs but with proper socialization, this problem can be kept to a minimum.

Make sure that socialization also includes children and strangers since a Miniature Pinscher can become snappy around active children. Having ample socialization to them will cut down any problems but it is important for both your dog's safety and the safety of the children, that all interactions between them are supervised.

Crate training is another important training area when it comes to your Miniature Pinscher. Although many owners of small dog breeds prefer to allow their dog open access to their home, this is not the best choice for a Min Pin. Generally, these dogs will snatch up anything from counters to floors and this can result in serious vet trips for your dog. Keeping him kennelled while you are away will alleviate some of the anxieties and will keep him from getting into something harmful.

Lastly, leash training is another important aspect of training your Miniature Pinscher. They are well known as escape artists and will take off for a lovely jaunt if the opportunity presents itself. You should never allow a Miniature Pinscher to walk around without a leash unless you are in a secure area where he cannot escape.

If you plan to socialize and train your Min Pin yourself, at home I recommend that you read, study and apply the techniques outlined in a guide such as - Canis Clicker Training. Min Pin's love clicker training!

More Min Pin Training Advice from a Professional Dog Trainer

Further Miniature Pinscher Information

When you are looking into purchasing a Min Pin puppy, it is very important to find out as much as you can about the breed. Speak with other owners, and breeders who have firsthand knowledge about Miniature Pinschers. My advice to you would be to only source your puppy from a knowledgeable and respected Miniature Pinscher breeder or a rescue center.

A New Owner's Guide to the Miniature Pinscher by Jacqueline O'Neil:

If you are looking for a complete book about Miniature Pinschers, then this is the book to purchase. It covers the history of the breed as well as some interesting facts. It also covers the care, training and how to select a Min Pin puppy.

The Miniature Pinscher: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet by Rose J. Radel:

There are very few books available for Miniature Pinschers but this is one of the better ones. The book covers all of the important facts on owning a Miniature Pinscher.

Breed Club:

There are many breed clubs out there for Miniature Pinschers but I would recommend starting with the parent club since they can direct you to other clubs. Try the Miniature Pinscher Club of America (MPCA) or the Canadian Miniature Pinscher Club.


Not all new dog owners will opt for a puppy, and this can be a wonderful choice. There are many purebred Miniature Pinschers that are looking for their forever homes and you can even find some Miniature Pinscher puppies. Many breed clubs will provide you with a listing for a rescue center and some have a rescue center of their own but here is one to get you started. Remember that some rescue centers will allow out of state, or transcontinental adoption, while others will not.

More articles we recommend: 

Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.