A small, muscular, black and tan, short-haired dog, wearing an olive green coat, stands on a woodland path, looking proud and alert.

Miniature pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher (or “Min Pin”) is a small German dog breed in the Toy group. As implied in the name, they are the miniature version of medium-sized German Pinscher which is the origin breed of a number of other breeds (including the - perhaps more familiar - Doberman). Originally bred as ratters, these little dogs are now common family pets and companion dogs.

There are more than 300 BorrowMyDoggy Miniature Pinscher owners looking for help with dog care and to share the love of dogs. Read on for unique photos and examples of Miniature Pinscher characteristics straight from the BorrowMyDoggy community.

A small, short-coated, black and tan dog with pointy ears is lying on a bed looking out of the window

What is a Miniature Pinscher?

This breed is believed to have developed from the German Pinscher family of dogs. It is the smallest of the Pinschers, standing at around 25 - 30cm at the shoulder. They usually weigh between 3.5 - 4.5kg.

These little pups are smooth haired with no undercoat - so a warm doggy coat may be a worthwhile investment for Min Pin owners for colder days. Their glossy hair can be a variety of colours. The UK Kennel Club breed standard includes black, blue and chocolate with distinctive, sharp tan markings and solid red in various shades.

They are known to be spirited, animated and independent pups.

Bobbie is sitting on grass in his smart coat, looking off to the distance with his pointy ears facing forward

Thomas, owner of Bobbie, says:

“[Bobbie] craves affection and attention. Very loving and always by your side. Huge character in a tiny body, bundles of energy and would walk all day if she could. Well natured with other dogs unless she feels she is backed into a corner and will let you know she’s not happy. Quite well trained and will always work for a treat.”

Miniature Pinschers have a characteristic ‘Hackney gait’ which has been favoured by breeders and has become part of Min Pin Kennel Club breed standards. The term ‘Hackney gait’ comes from the British Hackney horse which trots with a very high knee action. Pedigree Miniature Pinschers should display this high-knee-prancy trot to the delight of their owners (and borrowers)!

Two small dogs, one red and one black and tan, are cuddled up together in a car seat

Fun Facts

  • Contrary to popular belief, this breed predates the larger Doberman Pinscher which was developed around 60 years later than the earliest factual Min Pin records.
  • Miniature Pinschers were originally bred for catching vermin. Some believe that the name ‘Pinscher’ comes from the English ‘pincher’ or ‘pincer’, in reference to their tireless ability to catch rats and other rodents.

How much exercise do they need?

The UK Kennel Club recommends up to 30 minutes per day - however, these pups are probably the most active of the toy breeds and so more exercise may be appreciated, depending on the dog. Exercise might be in the form of walks, interactive games or ‘prancing’ around the house.

For example, BorrowMyDoggy owner, Jade, says:

[Roxie's] favourite pastime is prancing (really I mean prancing) in the sunshine...

That said, she also loves:

cuddling - your lap will never be bare with Roxie around.
A small dog in a reindeer costume is lying on a sofa

The breed is known to be agile, intelligent and curious so they’ll likely appreciate plenty of playtime at home as well as on walks. Many BorrowMyDoggy owners describe their little pups as lively. For example, doggy member Misty:

“Likes going out for a long walk at least three times a day. She's very active, full of energy, really playful and she likes to play with other dogs and children”.

On the other hand, doggy member Reya:

“loves short walks in a good weather and long sleeps on the sofa under her blanket… Reya hates to go out in a bad weather, rain or snow.”

Captain has come to investigate the camera, his face just inches away from it and his large ears facing forward

Captain sounds like a typical Miniature Pinscher - loving to walk but also in favour of a good nap:

Captain is a high energy small format dog and needs to be walked at least an hour a day for him to be happy. After his walk he will sleep all day.

It’s safe to say every dog will be different but the advice here is: even though they’re small, their energy levels are not to be underestimated!

Temperament - what are they like?

These pups are animated, spirited and independent. They are known to be intelligent, suspicious and, if not trained, will ‘speak’ (woof) whenever they feel it’s necessary! Their intelligence and curiosity means they will need lots of mental stimulation to avoid boredom or becoming naughty, especially when left alone.

BorrowMyDoggy owner, Annelie, gives a nice thorough account of her two Min Pins:

“Bobi is a sensitive soul and loves playing with a ball, could do it for hours. Baxi isn't scared of anything and will do anything for a snack. They are very close to each other, despite not being brothers by blood. Baxi is the alpha inside the house, but Bobi takes over and gains a lot of confidence when they go outside.

They are very cuddly, trusting and loving, always wanting to be close to any human in the vicinity. Neither was crate trained, so they always sleep in laps and beds. They need a gentle borrower.

Unfortunately they can't be left alone for more than a couple of hours as they get mild separation anxiety. Both boys are intact so they usually don't go very well with other intact males, but neutered males and any females are usually ok.

Both are very curious when outside so should never ever be let off their leashes - they will go on a very long adventure!”

Two small dogs, one red and one dark grey and white, are curled up in a dog bed

If not socialised properly, these little dogs' naturally suspicious nature may lead to a disdain for other animals, children and new people - which could result in a very vocal objection (woof!). Socialised properly they will make friends with new people and animals alike. They may take a little longer to warm to new people and animals than other breeds but, once trust is gained, they will be big fans of cuddling and playtime.

Two black and tan dogs with short coats and large ears are approaching the camera

Are Miniature Pinschers easy to train?

Due to their independent streak, suspiciousness and, perhaps, their agile ways of evading instructions, they are not the easiest breed to train. However, like all dogs, with consistency, patience (and treats!) these pups are totally trainable. The key challenges to overcome will be:

  • Barking - early work on this will help, building respect for their owner so that commands are listened to.
  • Housebreaking - often a challenge with Toy breeds - perhaps due to their ability to ‘do their business’ in hidden places. Crate training and establishing a good routine will help.
  • Recall / off lead - they can be independent and curious so may tend to wander off. Stick to secure, fenced areas until you are really confident your dog will come back to you.

For example, Roscoe, Min Pin member owned by Stacie, is described as:

Inquisitive, a natural hunter, scared of but chases cats... Cannot be let off the lead on walks!

It seems it would be hard to annoyed at Roscoe as, Stacie claims, he was:

Voted the most handsome dog ever 2011-2016 .
A small black and tan dog with large ears and a well proportioned face is staring at the camera
This puppy's large, dark eyes are very endearing, as is the rapidly wagging tail which is blurred in the photo

Why not check out our Hound Hack to get some tips and tricks for recall training with your cheeky pups:

Thanks to the pawsome and darling Miniature Pinschers (and owners) from the BorrowMyDoggy community for sharing their pawfect photos and quotes.

  • Owners - need a dog walker? If you’re looking to find your Min Pin a new friend and extra love and attention, why not get in touch with local borrowers from the community who would love to help you out? Why pay extra dog walking charges when a borrower might be able to help you out for free?
  • Borrowers - if you’re looking to learn more about different breeds of dog, why not meet local owners in the community who would love some help?

Start messaging to spread more woofs, walks and waggy tails and to share the love of dogs.

Why not join the BorrowMyDoggy community today.

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