Photograph: Black and Tan Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher, or Min Pin, is an old breed dating back several hundred years originating in Germany. Some consider that Dachshunds and Italian Greyhounds were mixed with smaller pinschers to get the high stepping, hackney pony gait and terrier attitude we know today. The AKC first accepted the Min Pin in 1929 and they were first shown as terriers, but one year later changed the listing to the Toy dog class. Their bold attitude and strong guarding instincts make them protective, and sometimes aggressive, towards home intruders. Because of this the Min Pin is often brought into a home as a “toy” and soon becomes an unwelcome family member when their natural tendencies take over and they get nippy with strangers and small children and may easily become ankle biters. However, with proper guidance and nurturing these small dog are fun-loving, affectionate and happy little dogs and they can be wonderful obedience and agility dogs. Often mistaken as a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher, this little dog originated well before the Doberman and probably has very few common ancestors.

Their terrier attitude makes this is a lively breed, needing a lot of exercise to burn off some of this energy. Some say living with a Min Pin is like living with a forever toddler! They are a generally healthy breed living well into their teens, so a home must be prepared for what some may consider a "hyperactive" dog for many years! With a lively, headstrong temperament, the Min Pin can be a handful and learning about the breed is prudent before bringing one into your life. For further research into whether or not a Min Pin is right for your home check out - The Miniature Pinscher Reigning King of Toys by Dr. Jacklyn Hungerland found at www.amazon.com


Small dogs - small kids, sounds like the perfect match, right? Not really. While the MinPin may affectionately be called The King of Toys, this lively little dog is not a Toy. In fact, this dog is probably too active and easily injured for small children. A wriggling little Min Pin can easily fall out of even adult hands, so handing a Min Pin to a child is risking broken bones. Children grabbing and poking or playing rough with a Min Pin can result in a nervous little dog with the potential to bite in defense. Min Pins do not forget poor treatment and can learn to be wary and aggressive with children making them often a bad choice for young families. The Min Pin's terrier ancestry has given them a drive to chase fast moving objects, so screeching, racing children around a home can bring out the prey drive and nippiness in a Min Pin. A more appropriate dog for such homes is usually a larger, more pain tolerant breed such as labradors, or golden retrievers. These dogs are bred to tolerate pain in order to handle the long days in the fields hunting, enduring cold waters and brambles. This makes them much better choices for children who might step on them or pull their hair or hug them a bit roughly. While a well socialized, well monitored Min Pin can be quite happy in a home with children, we as a rescue organization see the results of poor choices and discourage homes with small children from getting a Min Pin.