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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Miniature Pinschers

What Are Miniature Pinschers?

In this photo you have the Doberman Pinscher (the largest one), the German Pinscher (the medium one) and the Miniature Pinscher (the little one). Although they all look alike except for size...they are not alike. Pinscher is German for "biter".

The Doberman Pinscher was only developed about 110 or so years ago by a German, Karl Doberman. Being a tax collector he needed a protection dog that was fierce but loyal. The breed is believed to have been created from several different breeds of dogs that had the characteristics that Dobermann was looking for, including the German Pinscher, the Great Dane, the Rottweiler, the Thuringian Shepherd Dog, the Beauceron, a black Greyhound, the Weimaraner, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Manchester Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog. The exact ratios of mixing, and even the exact breeds that were used, remains uncertain to this day, although many experts believe that the Doberman Pinscher is a combination of at least four of these breeds. The single exception is the documented cross with the black Greyhound.

The German Pinscher was bred in Germany and descended from early European herding and guardian breeds. The source of the German Pinscher can be followed back until 1836. Pinschers were used as guard dogs for coaches and their horses. Nobody bothered a coach when a German Pinscher took care of it. They lived in homesteads where they were used to kill rats on their own.

But the Miniature Pinscher is not a "Miniature Doberman". Rather, the breed is much older. The Miniature Pinscher appeared in paintings and sculptures several centuries ago. Developed in Germany from terrier breeds, including the German Pinscher, the Miniature Pinscher's original use was in hunting rats to keep the population down in the stables that it frequented.

Italian Greyhound blood may have been added to produce such a tiny, high stepping-dog. It is NOT related to the Manchester Terrier which looks so similar that the uninitiated would not know the difference. The Manchester Terrier is slightly larger, has a more funnelled face and it's tail i sleft natural. It was developed in England while the Min Pin was developed in Germany. Here is a photo of the Manchester Terrier. There are 2 sizes of them...the standard (larger one) and the toy. A Manchester has close set, almond shaped eyes. Notice the difference in the profile of the head. The Min Pin has a definite stop at the eyes with a finer and shorter nose. The Manchester has a slight tapering with very little stop. The head just funnels right to the nose. The Manchester is one of the oldest terrier breeds going back before 1570 when it was written about. It was developed as a ratter and, later, for fox hunting. Smaller Manchesters were carried in specially designed leather pouches suspended from the rider's belt, (earning the title of "Groom's Pocket Piece"). With their smaller stature these dogs obviously could not keep up with the hounds, but when the hounds ran the fox into dense thickets they were not able to penetrate, the little Manchester Terrier was released. Nicknamed the "Gentleman's Terrier" this breed was never a "sissy."

The Min Pin is a demanding, headstrong, willful, proud, spirited, courageous little dog. They are very self aware and are known as the King or Queen of Toys because of their regal bearing. They are intelligent and high energy little dogs. They are not a dependent toy dog but an independent toy dog. They love their people but they love to have their own way even better. They can be little tyrants. They are as alert as any terrier breed and can be curious to a fault. They need a fenced in yard and to always be on a leash as they will ignore their master and run off on their own when loose. They think it's all a big game and let's have fun running from the desperate owner. And they can run right into danger without realizing it. They are barkers and make good watchdogs.

This photo looks exactly like my Spunky Monkey except he doesn't have cropped ears. He is handicapped so he can't do show stands like this but he is same color and same beauty and same size.

Miniature Pinschers should have a straight or slightly sloping (to the rear) back. They should have a square look, compact and sturdy. They should be 10-12" in height and 9-12 lbs. You will find smaller or larger Min Pins but this is not the breed standard. They can have natural ears or cropped ears. If natural, the ears should be standing. Many Min Pins have folding ears but this is not preferred. The tail should be docked for showing although some owners may leave the tails natural. They have a drop to their muzzle, called a stop. It's not too pronounced but much more so than a Manchester Terrier. Their nose is black except for the chocolate Min Pin which has a chocolate nose.

These puppies show a blondish red, a blue & brown and chocolate & rust.

There are black & tans, reds, chocolate and blue Min Pins. Various shades of red run from a stag red (red with black hairs intermingling) to a blondish red but a rich, vibrant medium to dark red is preferred. The chocolate should have rust red markings. Blues are a charcoal grey with brown markings. Blues aren't considered breed standard but they are pretty. No white markings that exceed 1/2" is allowed in showing. Black & tans should have specific markings. They should have a bowtie on the chest, thumb marks over the eyes, a clown smile around the mouth, rust on the chest and down the lower parts of the legs, inside the hind legs and around their bottoms. Most of them have twin cowlicks on either side of their bottom. They should have black pencil marks over each toe. In the show ring, reds are the color that seems to get anywhere.

Their feet should be small and catlike and have good muscling on the thighs. They do tend to jump and hop a lot. They have a prance like a horse. A hackney like movement.

This baby is ready to go to work with his Daddy! What a cute tie on a cutie pie! Great markings on this black & tan and you can see what a beautiful head he has with his high, alert ears!

Don't overfeed these dogs. They don't know when to stop and can eat themselves sick and can put on too much weight. A fat dog can put too much stress on legs, knees, heart. They don't know when to stop so it is up to you, as the human being with a brain, to feed them quality dog food and measure it out. Keep the dog food and any other food out of reach of the Min Pin. Do not feed dogs human food unless you know what you are doing. There is human food that is poisonous to dogs and other food that can cause them to develop colitis, pancreatitis, bowel obstructions and obesity. These are costly conditions. You will pay for them in the pain of your dog, your inconvenience (taking them back and forth to the vet and medicating and picking up diarrhea and vomit), and beaucoup $dollars$. Do some research before you give anything to your dogs to eat. And don't feed any dog a cheap, grocery store brand of dog food. This is like feeding your children nothing but Twinkies. Your dog will suffer because of the malnourishment. Do some research online and talk to your Vet to find some of the good brands of dog food such as Diamond, Iams, Nutro, Royal Canine, etc. Then try a small bag at a time to see how your dog does with it. Measure it out according to the bag's instructions. No more or no less. It should not cause them to vomit, or have diarrhea, it should not cause them to poop too much or too often (that means it's going straight through them with little value). Make sure their coat stays shiny. Not dull and dusty looking. Make sure their toenails are growing well and are strong. Pay attention to your dog's weight. If it's gaining too much weight, pull back on the amounts. If it's showing ribs then increase it to put some healthy weight back on. These are all signs as to whether or not a dog food is working. You would be amazed at how many conditions, especially skin conditions, can be eradicated with a good dog food. Feed the dogs every day, and, if possible, twice a day. If the bag says 1 cup of food per day then give it half a cup in the morning and half a cup at night.

These dogs are cold intolerant. They are not outdoor dogs. They need to be inside and keep a coat or shirt on them almost all the time. In the summer, mine wear bibs with a piece of elastic around the belly to keep them warm enough in the air conditioning. In the winter they wear fleece coats. They require very little grooming. With good dog food they will have a glossy coat with short fur and bathe very occasionally. I use a wet washcloth if they come in a little dirty. This cleans their feet and between their toes. If they get in mud or roll around in yuck, then a bath is in order, but otherwise they are good to go. Just keep their teeth in good condition and trim their toenails. No brushing, detangling, etc.

They need some exercise everyday but, being a small dog, they can get that in a small fenced in backyard (we have about 1/4 of an acre fenced for them) or some fun chases around in the house (we have a 2,40o sq ft house). They do better with a fellow Min Pin or similar small dog as this gives them a buddy and they exercise each other. It also helps keep them from getting bored. They need some training since they are so headstrong and potty training may not always be easy with a Min Pin. My little girl took 2 years to be 100% potty trained but my little handicapped boy took no time to learn to use the pee pads although he still has an accident once per day (I haven't a clue as to why!?!).

Being bred ratters you will notice that they like to play with small stuffed animals. They will grab it's neck and shake it (like breaking a rat's neck) and then begin to disembowel it. This is their nature. They will tend to grab socks or underwear or even clothes off the floor and take it to their "den" and begin to chew it up. So, as the human with the brain, it's up to you to protect your clothes by keeping them off the floor. These dogs don't know any better, it's their nature. You do know better. And remember, it's not just the cost of a chewed up sock...it could be the cost of a vet bill. Fibers, chewed pieces of plastic, chewed shoes, etc can cause them to choke or get bowel obstructions. This can be deadly and can cost you a lot of money or the death of your beloved pet. So keep stuff like this out of their way. Use the brain God gave you.


Anonymous said...

I have a black and tan female min pin and I am totally in love with her. My vet states she is the best example of min pin he has seen. She also makes accidents in the house, seems like no matter how many time I let her out. She has a sister (beagle, jack russell mix) and they are fun to watch hunt the squirrels and rabbits in our yard. Beagle sniffs them out and min pin kills them. So far in 2 1/2 years she has killed 5 squirrels.
She is a cuddler and sleeps with me every night. I would have another min pin in a minute.

Nicole, miniature pinschers lover said...

I have Mina, a mini pinscher. She is the most beautiful dog for me and I love her so much but because I spoiled her especially with food, she is now overweight. Are small overweight dogs prone to arthritis?

Anonymous said...

I have a mini pin too. While reading this I just want to hug him! He is very loyal and active.

Very good blog! =)

Anonymous said...

My red miniature Pinscher was adopted at 3 years of age after being hit by an SUV and subluxating her pelvis on both sides of the spine. She recovered well, and when I left her in the care of my mother while at college she got up to 21 lbs- Granted, standing at roughly 13.5inches at the shoulder she is tall for a minpin, her ideal weight (which she is now at) is about 17.5-18lbs. There is no stomach-brain connection with these little guys-- just a nose-brain-- Nose smells food, brain says eat. They will beg, and get into things even if well fed. They can develop congestive heart failure and diabetes among other issues if allowed to be overwieght-- so RESIST those laser-beam eyes and adorable perked ears- It's for their best interest ;)

Sharon said...

You are absolutely right about how easy it is to overfeed them. And it is bad for them to be overweight. They get their food from you so you can control it. Don't let them have "snacks" and human food (unless you know what you are doing). Read your dog food bag for proportion sizes and watch them carefully to see if they are gaining or losing too much weight. I've been able to keep my dogs at their perfect weight all these years by paying attention. It is for their best interest! Thank you for your comments.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 mini pins all boys all fixed i rescued them. they were in very bad shape but now they are thriving very well one is black and rust one red and one chocolate and rust the red one is very hyper and he can jump 5 feet in the air but the little one is only 8 pounds and he is a bit different, could it be because he was the runt and the sickest one when i got them?

Jason Stone said...

The pics of the red min pin that was wearing a silver looking outfit that had dragonflies on it, look just like my chubby little guy Tristan. Tristan turned 11 on July 13th, I've had him since he was 4 months old, he has slept with me, under the covers since the night I brought him home. He even has his own pillow under the covers. Your descriptions of min pins was right on the money! Some parts that you wrote, such as: "prance like a horse", "tyrant and demanding", "twin cowlicks on either side of their bottom", "grabbing a small stuffed animal by the neck and shaking it", and on and on and on sounded exactly like you were talking about my Tristan! I am a paraplegic in a wheelchair, but am very active, independent, live alone, drive, work, etc., and having a min pin has turned out to be the best experience I could ever have hoped for. The wheelchair was never an issue for Tristan and he was never afraid of it, as some dogs are. I had never owned a min pin before, and frankly, one of the main reasons why I bought him was because the humane society had no small dogs under 25 lbs., which is the rule in my apartment building, even though I had checked with them numerous times, the small dogs always went so quickly, I could never get one. And honestly I got a deal on my Tristan and only paid $225 for him, because him and his 5 sisters were 4 months old and weren't selling like the guy hoped so he has dropped the price from $475 to $225, and he was the only breed in the paper that I could afford lol. I had also never owned a male dog before, always had females, but he is a joy. I trained him to go on pee pads as several winters here in PA were too snowy and icy and I couldn't get him outside, so he learned to go on the pads. But once a day he will have an accident and go to the bathroom off the pads, and I never could figure out why he did it either. My little guy is 11, Tristan, who was named after Brad Pitt's character in one of my all time favorite movies, Legends Of The Fall. My Tristan who was born on Friday the 13th and the breeders had nicknamed him Jason because he was born on Friday the 13th, and I figured he must have been meant to be and that that was a sign from God, since Jason is my name also, and that convinced me right then and there that this was the dog for me, and he sure has been. I hope I have him around for another 11 years, I can't imagine life without him. Thank you for writing this wonderful, informative and warm hearted blog. I don't know why I felt the need to write all this, but your site just made me feel welcome and made me feel like sharing my story with you and your readers. Peace to you and your readers! Jason

Anonymous said...

I have a beautiful purebreed Rat Terrier and am seriously considering breeding her with a mini pin because of their simalarities. Can you for see any complications with this mix of breeds. (She will be 7 in June and I just could not find a male Rat Terrier to breed her with.)

Sharon said...

I'm not a professional but they are so similar that I would think it would make a nice dog. But I hope you consider adopting a rescued dog. Look for a Min Pin rescue organization near you! :)

Anonymous said...

We found an abandoned puppy that we thought was a Chihuahua, but he looks exactly like a Red Miniature Pinscher. He is about 7-8 months old and very head strong. Loves to burrow under blankets. He does have more of a Chihuahua face, so perhaps he is a mix. If I knew how to post a picture, I would. He is a sweetie, and that is what really counts :)

Helen Mary said...

It has been very useful reading these posts as I have a red mini pin, adopted at five years of age as a rescue girl. She is always on the look out for food but I keep her at 4kg and she has heaps of exercise. These posts have helped me understand her very independent nature. She is also extremely loving and affectionate wanting to be with you all the time. She is a real little character. Her shelter name, which I kept, is Chai.

Anonymous said...

I had a black/tan MinPin that we rescued (had to have him put down at 12 years old) that I loved dearly. Then we rescued another female MinPin and she is just precious! I highly recommend adopting one. We got both of ours from an organization called IMPS. You can google to find them. They rescue MinPins and put them up for adoption. They even do a home visit to be sure the dog will be well-placed and cared for. Wonderful dogs! My Miss ChiChi is more like a child than a dog!

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