The Miniature Pinscher is an old German breed of dog that is often kept as a city dog due to its small size. The little, bright guy is much more of a hunter and guardian after his original use!
The FCI runs the standard under No. 185 in Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid, Swiss Mountain Dogs, and other breeds, Section 1: Pinscher and Schnauzer, without a working test.
Miniature Pinscher dog breed
FCI Group: 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs and other breeds
Section: 1: Pinscher and Schnauzer
Country of origin: Germany
Colors: deer red, chocolate tan, black-brown, black-rust, chocolate-rust, red
Life expectancy: 13-15 years
Suitable as: guard, companion, family, and apartment dog
Sports: agility, dog dancing
Temperament: Playful, Outgoing, Energetic, Approachable, Smart, Friendly
Exercise requirements: rather high
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: rather low
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: short, dense, smooth, lying, shiny
Child friendly: medium
Family dog: yes
Social: rather no
Origin and breed history
As with so many other old dog breeds that originated in Central Europe, the Stone Age peat dog is assumed to be the ancestor of the Pinscher. The fact is that pinscher-like dogs have been used for several centuries both as mouse and rat catchers on farms (then also known as “rattlers”) and to watchfully accompany carriages and wagons. At the same time, there was still no uniform picture in terms of the size or the texture of the fur of these dogs. They were mostly of medium size, robust and with smooth or wire-haired fur in a wide variety of colors. Above all, however, they were very self-confident, attentive and mostly only loyal to their master.
The breeder Josef Berta founded the “Pinscher- und Schnauzer-Klub” as early as 1895, after a few years earlier the breeders had started to differentiate between smooth-haired Pinschers and rough-haired Schnauzers. Targeted breeding for different sizes also started here. In addition to the medium-sized German Pinscher, the smaller, agile Miniature Pinscher was also created as a separate breed variant.
As early as the mid-1920s, more than 1,000 stud book entries were registered, meaning that the Miniature Pinscher can look back on a long and stable history. The small, elegant dogs with the trotting, springy gait and the big heart quickly found their way out of the stable and into high society. The Rehpinscher soon became a fashion dog, especially when accompanying well-off women in the cities. Because he was easy to care for and with his short, smooth fur also absolutely suitable for upholstery. A benevolent description of the breed by Felix Ebner from 1937 reads: “With his clean little paws, his short, smooth fur, he can confidently be taken to the most elegant upholstered furniture… and if you show him to the front door a few times a day, the City Council will quietly and without charge have the minor signs of his metabolism removed.”
Nature & temperament of the Miniature Pinscher
Now, don’t be fooled into thinking that the Miniature Pinscher is your typical lapdog, content to snuggle up on the sofa and just step outside the door to do his or her business. On the contrary, the Rehpinscher is an extremely lively, spirited boy who is bursting with strength and waiting to be active with his master or mistress. And since he tends to become close and unwaveringly loyal to just one person in the pack, that person should spend as much time with him as possible.
As this breed is highly intelligent, curious, and willing to learn, these little powerhouses enjoy playful activities that also involve using their heads. Sufficiently challenged and integrated into everyday family life, the Miniature Pinscher is a great family and companion dog. However, children should be old enough to understand that the dog also needs its retreat and rest periods. The pinscher must be well accustomed to other pets. Because at heart he is still a hunter, and this behavior breaks out with fast-running cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and the like.
As confident and even-tempered as the Miniature Pinscher is when it is being exercised both physically and mentally, it does not like being left alone at all. He must therefore be accustomed to short periods of solitude carefully and sensitively in order to prevent his tendency to bark out of boredom or frustration.
Are Miniature Pinschers barkers?
The breed actually tends to bark a lot and willingly. However, if the dog is sufficiently busy, exercised a lot, and trained well, then this problem can be easily controlled.
The appearance of the Miniature Pinscher
Miniature or Reh Pinscher reach a shoulder height of about 25-30 centimeters and weigh between four and six kilograms. Their short, wrinkle-free coat that lies close to the body has no undercoat and has a lustrous sheen. A solid red or deer brown is permitted as a coat color, as is deep black with reddish-brown markings on the face, chest and legs and under the tail, the so-called brand.
The muscular physique is almost square, since the height at the shoulder corresponds to the overall length of the dog. The head with the large ears, which can be worn as upright or tipped ears, and the oval, dark eyes sits on a not too short, slender neck. The medium-length, thin tail is usually carried upwards or in a sickle shape over the back. Pinschers used to have their tails and ears docked, but fortunately this is now illegal in Germany. With its mostly trotting gait and shiny coat, the little pinscher has a very elegant appearance.
What size does a Miniature Pinscher get?
Miniature or Reh Pinscher reaches a shoulder height of about 25-30 centimeters and weigh between 4 and 6 kilograms.
Education & keeping of the Miniature Pinscher – this is important to note
The saying “Small, but mighty!” applies, particularly to the Miniature Pinscher. Because despite his small stature, he wants to move a lot. His alert mind also needs a lot of “feed” so that he becomes a balanced and sociable companion dog. This breed is therefore not for people who have little time or desire to go for daily walks or sporting activities with the dog. But if you like to exercise in the fresh air, maybe jog, ride a horse, ride a bike and enjoy dog sports, the Miniature Pinscher is a great and absolutely loyal companion.
As with all dogs, the Miniature Pinscher owner needs a good deal of patience and, above all, loving consistency. The dog, the basic commands, has to learn what it is allowed to do and what not, and thus find its place in the pack structure and in the everyday life of its owner. Since the breed is very intelligent and willing to learn, and the Miniature Pinscher wants to please his favorite human, training is not too difficult, always provided he can work out sufficiently and does not have to get bored. Then the little pinschers quickly tend to have their own will and show their quick-tempered temperament. They can then easily become nervous barkers, which can quickly disturb the peace of the neighbors.
The hunting instinct, which the breed has retained from its earlier use as a rat and mouse repellent, must be kept in check through consistent training and sufficient employment. The early and frequent contact with other dogs helps to make the Miniature Pinscher a social, sovereign four-legged friend who later reacts calmly and not aggressively and dominantly to dog encounters.
If the Rehpinscher is busy, the size of the apartment doesn’t matter to him. Whether in a flat in the city or in a house with a large garden – the main thing is that it is integrated into the everyday life of its people. With his joy of playing and his good mood, he then likes to whirl it up.
How much does a Miniature Pinscher cost?
A Miniature Pinscher puppy from a responsible breeder will cost around $1,000 or more.
Diet of the Miniature Pinscher
Even a very small dog is descended from the wolf – and is therefore one of the carnivores. A species-appropriate and balanced diet with high-quality meat-based food and the right composition of nutrients, vitamins and minerals is the best basis for a long and healthy dog life. The decision for wet or dry food must be made by the dog owner according to his needs. Whereby small dog breeds, which like to live to an advanced age, often develop dental problems, at least in the later years of life, and should then be better provided with soft food.
Of course, the general condition of the dog such as age, health and activity must always be taken into account when calculating the ration. If a lot of playful work is done with the dog, the daily food ration should be given entirely or at least partially as a treat as a treat, otherwise, additional treats will quickly make the Miniature Pinscher too strong. And always make sure there is enough fresh drinking water.
What do Miniature Pinschers eat?
High-quality ready-to-eat food, whether wet or dry, offers an optimal composition of meat, vegetables, and all the important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals so that your dog is fed healthily.
Health – life expectancy & common diseases
Fortunately, breed-typical diseases could be avoided in the breeding of miniature pinschers, which has been practiced very responsibly for many years. As before, these are robust dogs, bursting with strength and health, which certainly reach an old age of 15 and more years of life.
Unfortunately, there are also dubious “breeders” with this breed who try to produce smaller and lighter dogs and sell them at high prices. However, such dwarfism inevitably leads to more or less serious health problems for these tiny dogs. That is why the official breed standard does not recognize Pinschers under 25 centimeters or weighing less than four kilograms. Such so-called teacup dogs are often considered torture breeds.
Due to the short fur and the lack of an undercoat, Miniature Pinschers are somewhat sensitive to cold and moisture. This can be counteracted in the cold and wet season with an appropriate dog coat.
Grooming of the Miniature Pinscher
The short coat of the Deer Pinscher is extremely easy to care for. From time to time brushed with a soft brush, it shines wonderfully. Dirt and mud after a long walk are simply wiped off with a damp cloth and the little dog is then dried again with a dry towel.
Depending on the feeding, the teeth of older dogs in particular must be checked regularly by the veterinarian in order to remove heavy tartar and thus preserve the function of the teeth for as long as possible.
Miniature Pinscher – Activities and Training
Although its small size and delicate limbs make it appear like a lapdog, the Miniature Pinscher is a spirited bundle of energy and needs plenty of exercise to keep from getting bored. Since he attaches his big heart to just one person and is therefore not “everybody’s darling”, this one person must also be willing to meet the needs of his little four-legged friend.
In addition to the long daily walks in the fresh air, this also means keeping him mentally occupied. For example, through interesting and changing search and intelligence games or in a wide variety of dog sports disciplines. So it is not uncommon to meet the little Miniature Pinschers on the agility course or in obedience or dog dancing courses alongside the active Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, who often steal the show from their larger training partners here.
Good to know: Peculiarities of the Miniature Pinscher
Since the Pinscher is a very old breed, they appear again and again in numerous old paintings, and the Pinscher is also a literary part of Germany’s cultural heritage. In Theodor Fontane’s novel “Der Stechlin”, for example, a pinscher is used as a pied piper, and a miniature pinscher also plays a not inconsiderable role in the black-and-white street sweeper “The Third Man” from 1949.
Disadvantages of the Miniature Pinscher
A well-worked Miniature Pinscher is happy to spend a lot of time with his human whom he would like to please. Only a bored, under-challenged and under-noticed Pinscher becomes a nervous, sometimes aggressive barker. He is also an attentive guard, which must also be steered into tolerable paths early on, so that he does not stop at every unknown noise.
After all, you have to be careful with all smaller animals, so that your old hunting instinct doesn’t get the upper hand and you turn back into the “ratter” that used to keep the stable and yard free of rats and mice.
Is the Miniature Pinscher right for me?
Before you decide to buy a dog, no matter what breed, you should always ask yourself a few important basic questions:
- Do I have enough time and desire to look after my Miniature Pinscher, to exercise and keep him busy every day?
- Can I keep a dog in my apartment at all?
- Do all other family members also agree to moving in a new four-legged flatmate?
- Who takes care of the dog if I can’t?
- Am I willing to spend my holidays with the dog from now on and for the next 15 years or so?
- Should it be a male or rather a female?
- Do I have sufficient financial resources to cover not only the purchase price for the puppy and the initial equipment with transport box, leashes, toys, dog bowl and dog bed, but also the running costs for high-quality food, necessary visits to the vet, vaccinations and medication, dog tax and liability insurance Insurance, possibly paying for attending a dog school? After all, in the course of its life, a dog costs about the same as a small car, regardless of its size!
If you have finally thought everything through and decided to bring a Miniature Pinscher into your family as a new member, you should first look for a reputable breeder. Important criteria for the breeder being really serious about breeding Miniature Pinschers are above all a manageable number of breeding animals and litters (preferably only one at a time) and the keeping of bitches and puppies within the family and with close contact to caregivers. A good breeder will ask you a lot of questions, want to know how and where you want to keep their puppy, and if necessary, will refuse to sell a dog if your answers are not satisfactory.
Recommendations for feeding, information on veterinary treatments such as initial vaccinations and deworming and the offer to contact you even after you have bought a puppy should be a matter of course for a good breeder. It is best to visit the breeder before you finally buy the puppy and take a look around.
You should never buy a puppy from a pet market or from the trunk of a dubious dog dealer, not even out of pity! Although these dogs are usually cheaper than from a reputable breeder, there is almost always unscrupulous and cruel animal cruelty behind them! The mother animals are kept as pure “litter machines” in terrible conditions. The puppies are neither vaccinated nor otherwise provided with veterinary care, often suffer from acute, in the worst case fatal diseases soon after purchase or remain a lifelong case for the vet – and the bottom line is that this is much more expensive than the puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder !
In addition to purchasing from a breeder, it may also be worth going to an animal shelter – purebred Miniature Pinschers are always waiting here to find a new and beautiful home. Various animal welfare organizations have also dedicated themselves to helping Miniature Pinschers in need and are looking for suitable, loving owners for such dogs. Just ask.
When all questions have been clarified in favor of the dog, then nothing stands in the way of your Miniature Pinscher moving in. It is important that you spend a lot of time with the puppy, especially at the beginning – because, as already mentioned, the Miniature Pinscher often develops a particularly close relationship with just one person, to whom he is then devoted with all his heart, and that becomes even greater Certainly be the person who cares about him the most. If you can’t afford this, then don’t be disappointed if the dog doesn’t follow you later, but perhaps your wife/husband or the children! Even if he can feel just as comfortable in a family with children as in a single household, the Miniature Pinscher needs a caregiver. The little Pinscher is also an ideal companion for sprightly seniors who have a lot of time for them and like to go for walks or hikes with them. And those who are no longer quite so active can perhaps help an older Rehpinscher in need to find a new and beautiful home and find a grateful and loyal friend in him.